These and Those

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

Archive: April 2014

Ezrat Avot: the Gala Dinner Fundraiser

Posted on April 4, 2014 by Yisrael Ben Avraham

It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. In this case, the the offer was to fork over a sizable amount of cash to raise money for Ezrat Avot’s new building and in return get a 6 course meal prepared by a posse of Michelin star chefs. Ezrat Avot was started by Rabbi Shlomo Gamliel z”l Continue Reading »

Hashem’s Golden Bong

Posted on March 2, 2014 by Yisrael Ben Avraham

Is it just me, or does the opening of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas sound a lot like the Torah’s ingredient list for the incense offering? We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored Continue Reading »

German Colony Blues

Posted on February 4, 2014 by Yisrael Ben Avraham

“I just don’t get it,” remarked Ya’akov Schmuckwitz as he sighed. A 29 year old resident of the German colony, Ya’akov could be considered most eligible bachelor in Jerusalem.  He starts his day as a criminal defense attorney for high profile clients; that is, clients that can afford his rate of 3000 shekels an hour.  Continue Reading »

The Kiddush Paradox

Posted on January 21, 2014 by Yisrael Ben Avraham

It was a paradox in the space time continuum. Two spaces that were but only a few meters away was actually worlds away. What was an inconspicuous courtyard I felt was actually a wormhole to that connected two very different worlds that seemed like other dimensions. What I’m talking about is the courtyard between the Continue Reading »

Book Review: ‘A Second Life’ by Walter Orenstein

Posted on December 16, 2013 by Yisrael Ben Avraham

What does becoming ba’al teshuva look like? I reckon it can take on many forms. How it is presented in A Second Life, by Walter Orenstein, does so in a way that will reinforce the current ba’al teshuva’s decision and will surely raise the curiosity of those on their path to being observant. This book Continue Reading »

Free Advice for Future Pardesniks

Posted on May 28, 2013 by Yisrael Ben Avraham

I’ll be a Pardes alum in the next couple weeks and possibly a second year student. I thought I’d write a list of random things for new and returning students to make their lives in Israel easier and enjoyable. These are in no particular order, but I cannot emphasis enough how much Ulpan Morasha chews Continue Reading »