Posted on December 31, 2011 by Derek Kwait
(X-posted from my home blog, Yinzer in Yerushalayim) Menorah at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue This was actually my second Chanuka in Israel, I was here on Birthright in December 2008. So the menorahs on the streetlights, the Chabad menorahs in every public square, the impossibly delicious-looking sufganiyot* everywhere, and the total lack of anything Continue Reading »
Posted on December 23, 2011 by Barer
On this week’s podcast, James Jacobson-Maisels discusses Miketz and Chanukah through the eyes of the Eish Kodesh Miketz/Chanukah
Posted on December 22, 2011 by Andrea Wiese
Posted on December 21, 2011 by Derek Kwait
At my shul back home, Young People’s Synagogue, members take turns giving the d’var Torah each Saturday morning. This is one I gave for Parashat Mikketz/Shabbat Chanukah on December 19, 2009 about the parsha, Chanukah, and the Holocaust. For what it’s worth, these themes repeated themselves again this year when we began learning about the Continue Reading »
Posted on December 20, 2011 by The Director of Digital Media
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Hannukah at Pardes! Check #3 on this list of MASA recommended events! 🙂
Posted on December 15, 2011 by Heligman
From our very talented friends at Midreshet Ein Prat (Pardes and Ein Prat periodically learn together)! Woohoo!!!! AND for those of you that are obsessed with Ein Prat as I am they will be performing December 31st, 9pm at the Begin Heritage Center. Let me know if you want to come with me!!! Get excited Continue Reading »
Posted on December 13, 2010 by Barer
I’d like to focus on something I mentioned very briefly in my overview of Chanukkah which has been coming up in my mind as I consider life back home: namely, Hityavnut or Hellenization, or what would today be called assimilation.
The word gives varied messages manifested in different languages. Hityavnut is an example of a word that I find to have a different and deeper feel to it in Hebrew than its counterpart in English. “Greekify” hardly implies assimilation, and yet that is what Hityavnut would mean, on an extremely literal level. But that is not the most noteworthy part of this Hebrew word. Rather the fact that, as far as I could tell being around Israelis discussing issues of modern assimilation, Hityavnut is a word that means not only Hellenization (only meaningful in the context of discussing the Chanukkah story) but its modern meaning is also assimilation. I guess this could just be me falling for the allure of a language whose words encapsulate the history I learned growing up in Jewish day school, but which had no connection to the language I was speaking. I find it fascinating that I can understand the meaning of Hityavnut without understanding what the denotation of the word ‘assimilation’ as long as I know the Chanukkah story; English has nothing like it.
Returning to the content of this appealing Hebrew term, I have what amounts to a simple concern about living in a Jewish and a secular world simultaneously. Can one live in both worlds without being swayed ‘too much’ by either? What is ‘too much’? Can one have purely secular, non-Jewish interactions as well as purely religious, Jewish interactions and still keep all the varying world-views and lenses together in one’s head? While such questions have undoubtedly been asked endlessly by anyone who is not content to live in exclusively Jewish surroundings their entire lives, each time, and for each individual, it is slightly different based on each individual’s circumstances.
What should one’s goals be in living simultaneously in both worlds? The discussion with Israeli teenagers mentioned the Westernization of Israel in ways exemplified by the prevalence of Gap stores and other Americanized companies, and the fact that they are in English for the most part. No doubt language is more than the sum of its parts, and losing a language means so much more than losing the words, as the example of Hityavnut shows. But if recent news is any indication, we need more people that are deeply aware of more than one culture’s needs and concerns.
Posted on December 13, 2010 by Zach
Yet again, it’s been way too long since my last post. I seem to start every post that way… maybe I’ll get better at this eventually. Instead of giving the normal Christmas break that American schools give, Pardes, and Israel in general, has a winter break for the eight days of Chanukkah. Chanukkah this year Continue Reading »
Posted on December 13, 2010 by Shibley
Last Thursday evening, we returned to the normal weekday arrangement of t’fillot. Friday we resumed saying tahanun (putting down of the head). Remember, since the beginning of Hannukah, we did not say tahanun, and we inserted into the amidah a passage about the holidy of which we were in the midst. Additionally, we encountered rosh Continue Reading »
Posted on December 8, 2010 by Shibley
from my blog: Throughout the ongoing week of Hannukah, we insert into each recitation of the Amidah a special passage that references and recalls the festival which we are currently celebrating. We commonly think of Hannukah as a holiday about a simple jug of oil that miraculously lasted for eight times longer than expected. We Continue Reading »