These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Archive: October 2011

Yom Kippur Wrap

Posted on October 9, 2011 by Shibley

I will be the first to admit that Yom Kippur is one of my favorite days of the year. Between the liturgical poetry, the beautiful nusach, and the freedom from caring about my appearance, or physical sustenance, the experience is a catharsis of emotions and senses. Even with all of the positives, I found myself Continue Reading »

The Unattainable Prayer

Posted on September 26, 2011 by Shibley

The lead-up to Rosh Hashana is in full swing, slichot start in a few hours. Each morning except for Shabbat and erev Rosh Hashana we have heard, and will hear the blats of the shofar, it awakenings us, and reminding us of the importance of the upcoming days. Aside from intensifying the tshuva process, that Continue Reading »

School Shopping

Posted on September 22, 2011 by Shibley

Late last month I realized that I needed to purchase some basic school supplies. In the States, I imagine that CVS (among other stores) are still loaded with all sorts of back to school supplies, deals, tchochkies, lunch boxes, etc… Of course in CVS the back to school displays begin on July 5th and once Continue Reading »

Driving Lessons

Posted on September 12, 2011 by Shibley

Since arriving in Israel last July, I have repeated numerous times the phrase, “The only thing worse than an Israeli driver is an Israeli driver in training.” They fly or creep down my street with the big lamed on top of the car. Sometimes multiple students are in the back seat. The instructor often has Continue Reading »


Posted on September 12, 2011 by Shibley

A few years ago, I had the privilege and the pleasure of living in Manhattan while I was learning at Yeshivat Hadar. New York is well known as a center of culture, arts, business, and the like. There is also a significant population of weirdos in New York, as in any city. I developed two Continue Reading »

Conference room davening

Posted on September 8, 2011 by Shibley

Throughout the first year of of my blog I tried to write about a few different locations where I davened, in an effort to try and understand how a space does or does not impact the tfillah experience. Yesterday afternoon, I was asked by one of my Pardes teachers if I would go to mincha Continue Reading »

Psalm 27: A Personal Reflection II

Posted on September 8, 2011 by Shibley

With the onset of Rosh Hodesh Elul, we will begin the twice daily recitation of Psalm 27, along with the daily blasts of the shofar. Sephardic communities begin the recitation of slichot (liturgical poems for forgiveness), and the gradual ascension from Tisha b’Av to Rosha Hashana increases its gradient. As such, I thought it would Continue Reading »


Posted on September 6, 2011 by Shibley

When living far from loved ones in a distant land, Skype becomes a helpful tool for remaining in touch, and seeing the faces of friends and family. However, I would propose several rules of public skype ettiquite, for most a more positive skyping experience for you and those seated near you. In no particular order. Continue Reading »

The Gever

Posted on August 19, 2011 by Shibley

I originally posted this on my blog on August 17: In Israel, one social role is occupied by the gever. The gever (literally, man), is a mythical man who exudes machismo and confidence. A man who wears sunglasses indoors and/or at night, who unbuttons at least two buttons on his shirt. A gever shows very Continue Reading »

A House Divided

Posted on August 19, 2011 by Shibley

I originally posted this on my blog on August 16: Later this afternoon and evening I will have the pleasure of travelling to Philadelphia where I will board a flight bound for Tel Aviv. In many ways I am going home, and in many ways I am leaving home. Since returning to the States from Continue Reading »