These and Those

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

Archive: February 2014

The Pardes Kollel Experience

Posted on February 3, 2014 by Jeff Amshalem

This past week, while I was substitute teaching a halakhah class here at Pardes, I mentioned by way of introduction that as well as being a proud and very busy member of the Pardes Educators Program, I am also, in that context, a member of the Kollel here. People immediately asked, what is this Kollel Continue Reading »

Over and Under

Posted on November 29, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

From my blog: A short teaching from R. Uziel Meizlish, Tiferes Uziel, Parshat Miketz ויהי מקץ שנתים ימים ופרעה חולם והנה עומד על היאור וגו’. פרעה אמר בסיפור חלומו שעומד על שפת היאור. וקשה הא בחלום עצמו כתיב שעומד על היאור ולא על שפת. ואפשר שזה הרשע שינה במכוון כי היאור היה אלהיו כידוע מאמרם ז”ל שהרשעים Continue Reading »

And the LORD appeared to whom?

Posted on October 14, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

From my blog: From Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev Kedushas Levi, Perushei Aggadot When you say the words of the living God in studying Torah, or engage in the holy work of prayer, you should intend to cleave to the blessed Creator. But you must consider the question, how can a person of flesh and blood cleave Continue Reading »

[PCJE Dvar Torah] One for Two and Two for One

Posted on September 24, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

Here’s a teaching of R. Aharon of Karlin (1802-1872) based on teachings his grandfather, Aharon the Great of Karlin (1736-1772), one of the earliest Hasidic rebbes, gave at Simhat Torah. Before we start, it’s worth taking a look at the midrash that will be the lynchpin of the teaching, from Bereishit Rabbah 8:1. Said Rabbi Jeremiah ben Continue Reading »

Only in Israel, Sukkot 5774 edition

Posted on September 23, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

This Shabbat we were at lunch in the sukkah of a friend, Shmulik, whose life story reads like Israel’s. Both his parents were survivors of Auschwitz. After two years in a DP camp they tried to come to Eretz Israel on the famous SS Exodus 1947. They were stopped by the British and sent back Continue Reading »

With apologies to the foodies…

Posted on May 22, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

From my blog: From R. Uziel Meizlish of Ostrog, Tiferes Uziel, Beha’alotecha שָׁטוּ הָעָם וְלָקְטוּ וְטָחֲנוּ בָרֵחַיִם אוֹ דָכוּ בַּמְּדֹכָה וּבִשְּׁלוּ בַּפָּרוּר וְעָשׂוּ אֹתוֹ עֻגוֹת וְהָיָה טַעְמוֹ כְּטַעַם לְשַׁד הַשָּׁמֶן The people walked about and gathered it. Then they ground it in a mill or crushed it in a mortar, cooked it in a pot and made it Continue Reading »

What goes around comes around

Posted on May 22, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

From my blog: A nugget from Zeev Wolf of Zhitomir, Or haMeir, Behaalotecha If you see people spreading lies about you, know for sure they are only giving you back your own, and that you have brought this upon yourself because you could not keep your mouth shut.

The World is a Mirror

Posted on May 18, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

From my blog: A nugget from Zeev Wolf of Zhitomir, from Or haMeir on Parshat Naso Everywhere you happen to look and everything you happen to see, even the ugly and the coarse, you should understand that it was not for nothing that God showed you this thing.  Rather, it is because you yourself have some lack Continue Reading »

Face to Face at Sinai

Posted on May 14, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

From my blog: Two brief teachings by R. Kalonymus Kalman HaLevi Epstein on Shavuot, excerpted from Maor vaShamesh ויחן שם ישראל נגד ההר And Israel camped there under the mountain. Exodus 19:2 Rashi points out that ‘camped’ is in the singular, and explains they camped there ‘as one person with one heart.’ To receive the Continue Reading »

Wearing Holy-Glasses

Posted on April 14, 2013 by Jeff Amshalem

From my blog: A teaching from Zeev Wolf of Zhitomir, Or Hameir, Parshat Kedoshim.  וַיְדַבֵּר יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֶל מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר: דַּבֵּר אֶל כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ כִּי קָדוֹשׁ אֲנִי יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם God spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all of Israel and say to them, ‘Be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.’”Leviticus 19:1-2 Continue Reading »

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