These and Those

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

Archive: November 2019

The Answer to a Question I Didn’t Ask

Posted on November 28, 2019 by Branden Charles Johnson

This post was written by Branden Johnson (PEEP ’18-’19. PEP ’19-’20). Ever since I was a young child, I have wanted to travel the world and see new places. There are very few places at which I would balk; and even fewer that don’t inspire some amount of curiosity in me. For better or worse, Continue Reading »

The Jewish People’s Historical, Spiritual & Emotional Connection to Hebron

Posted on November 26, 2019 by David Berman

I was privileged to join the Pardes trip to Hebron this past week, and would like to share some personal remarks about some of what we saw and heard. I must state at the outset that all the opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect that of my employer, Pardes; it would Continue Reading »

“What would George do?” On Tshuvah and changing the way we think about change

Posted on September 13, 2018 by Mira Niculescu

The other day, my friend Hilorie told me about this wonderful technique she has been using for years in her psychotherapy practice. She tells her patients about this Seinfeld Episode in which George wanted to change things in his life. Remember George? The little fat, balding, glasses wearing and bitterness wreaking single middle-aged man, as Continue Reading »

From fire to peace. Reflections on Tisha B’Av

Posted on July 22, 2018 by Mira Niculescu

Today, Tisha B’ Av, we commemorate the destruction and mourn the burning of the temple. As I open Facebook mechanically, trying to forget the hunger of a fast day, here I see it: a video shared, showing southern Israeli fields burning. Acres and acres of fields and forests and trees burning from fire kites sent Continue Reading »

To feel at home: Shabbat in Turkey (Pardes Turkey trip 2018)

Posted on March 26, 2018 by Gavi Bernat-Kunin Kornsgold

Shabbat entered with a wonderful sense of familiarity. Again we were at the Etz HaHayim synagogue in Ortakoy, honored with co-leading and energizing Friday night services and dinner with our lively songs. Joining us was an Israeli dance group who we were going to see perform Saturday night at the Carmiel dance show! This was Continue Reading »

Charlottesville and Beyond: A Chassidic Response

Posted on September 3, 2017 by Mira Niculescu

Charlottesville was much more than Charlottesville. And what we can get out of it is much more than tears. A couple of weeks ago, I saw with consternation these men –  these women too, blond and bold, walking martially, torches in hand, closed jaws, empty eyes, shouting the chants that too often in history have Continue Reading »

Bringing a Piece of Jerusalem to North America: The Pardes Community Beit Midrash Initiative

Posted on April 28, 2017 by Yaffa Epstein

This article originally appeared in The Times of Israel. Click here for the original post As we approach Yom Ha’atzmaut, my thoughts return repeatedly to a different Yom Ha’atzmaut two years ago. It was on that day when, with hope in my heart and tears in my eyes, I made the difficult decision to take Continue Reading »

Matching a Couple is as Difficult as Splitting the Sea

Posted on January 23, 2017 by Jonah P.

We are taught: “Matching a couple is as difficult as splitting the sea.” And we are also taught: “At the moment of each person’s conception, a Heavenly Echo calls out and decrees their future partner.” Which is it? Two weeks after becoming engaged to Rebecca, as we enter our 4th year as a couple, I Continue Reading »

[Alumni/Staff Guest Post] My story of loss, hope and Tu B’Shevat

Posted on January 15, 2017 by Hirsch Fishman

Karen Feuer (Year ’99-’00 and current Pardes staff member) shares her thought about Tu B’Shvat. Seven years ago I underwent induced labor with twins at only 21-weeks into my pregnancy. The pregnancy was no longer safe for me, and this forced, early labor (that sounds nicer than “abortion”) was the result. It was a gut-wrenching Continue Reading »

The G word. Defining God and other existential questions in a Parshanut class

Posted on January 4, 2017 by Mira Niculescu

So a few weeks ago, in my parshanut class, we had the God discussion. Anyone familiar with the Jewish world, and with the yeshiva world in particular, will know that while we spend our days reading and discussing what He does, how we relate to Him, what it means to be in His image, how Continue Reading »