These and Those

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

Tag Archives: hope

[PEP Student] Stand Tall

Posted on July 16, 2011 by Tamara Frankel

Dear Friends, Tonight I am writing to you from my backyard in Toronto. It’s not exactly Jerusalem, but the weather is pleasant as the sun sets and the birds are chirping. Literally. I can’t really tell if I’m ‘acclimatized’ to Toronto – not just in the meteorological sense – but so far, so good. Now Continue Reading »

Shavuot: a Temple Holiday without a Temple

Posted on June 16, 2011 by Zach

I know a lot of my posts have been about how holidays are celebrated in Israel, but I hope you’ll bear with me through one more.  I promise, no more! Last week we celebrated Shavu’ot – the “Festival of Weeks” and the forerunner to Christian Pentecost.  Like most Jewish holidays, it was originally an agricultural Continue Reading »

Modern Days

Posted on May 18, 2011 by Shibley

The time between Pesach and Shavuot is marked in Israel with four modern holidays. Yom Hashoa, Yom Hazikaron, Yom Haatzmaut, and Yom Yerushalayim. Colloquially, this time of year is called y’mei yamim. The days of days. It has been an incredible experience to watch Israel move from Pesach into these modern celebrations. Israeli flags adorn Continue Reading »

[PEP Student] Parshat Achrei Mot & Shabbat HaGadol

Posted on April 18, 2011 by Tamara Frankel

Dear Friends, Believe it or not – I’m in Jerusalem! And although I’m tempted to take a nap before Shabbat comes in, I felt it would be a bad way to start off my “spring season” of learning. So, I did some reading on the plane and managed to read over the parsha and special Continue Reading »

Refuah Shleimah

Posted on February 14, 2011 by Shibley

My apologies for the long delay between posts. I was privileged to be visited by my parents followed by a battle with the flu, which has become in the inspiration for this post. While I was sick with the flu, I was fortunate enough to receive get well wishes from a number of teachers and Continue Reading »

[Take 5] Faith Brigham: Poetry From Poland

Posted on February 9, 2011 by Joel D.

By Faith Brigham “Barefoot and exposed I walk along a shoreline. With the clumping of a million grains of sand, my toes tingle Reminding me of my human-ness. My body-ness. The limitless of these grains tickle my brain as they tickle my limited body. A conch shell lies before me. My eyes gravitate towards its Continue Reading »

An End

Posted on December 31, 2010 by Barer

n some ways it feels like yesterday that I walked into this apartment for the first time, toured Pardes for the first time, and met the people that turned out to be a fantastic and interesting community of friends, but nearly four months have passed. A few weeks ago, as the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ of my leaving Israel was just beginning to glimmer, I had a conversation with a Pardesnik in which I was asked a question that I immediately knew was one that needed further thought as my time to leave drew near. The question was: what am I going to take home with me from my time at Pardes, in what ways is my life going to change as a result of my time here?

I see my time here as being defined mainly by the friends I made and the community I had the privilege of being a part of, as well as the ongoing struggle to define for myself what it means to be Jewish – i.e. coming to terms with my Jewish identity. Therefore, if the changes I want to incorporate into my life as I re-enter the familiar life I have in Vancouver in two short days are going to truly reflect my time here, I must focus on these two broad aspects of the past four months.

First, maintaining connections with the new community I have made while here. This is no easy task, as after four months I am just getting truly comfortable in my life here, and can only conclude that there is so much more to explore and learn from the people that I have gotten to know. I truly believe that I have had the privilege of studying alongside many future Jewish leaders, whether they end up in the US, Israel, or elsewhere, and those are the exact people with whom I want to continue to develop lasting relationships. On the flip side, I have experienced for the first time what it is like to forget about the community of friends and family that I have always lived amongst back home. A reality I didn’t believe was possible has unfolded, and there is no question that the exact connections that I seek to maintain to fellow Pardesniks will be just as hard, if not harder, to maintain than those that I only did a so-so job of maintaining with friends and family back home. I expect that I will live in this ‘fragmented’ world from now on, always having connections that I hold dear in multiple places, yet only really being able to engage with those who are physically close to me at any given time.

On to what I was personally striving towards within the Pardes community. If I had been asked, in a moment of clarity, why I was coming to Pardes back in the summer, I may have been able to articulate that continuing to struggle with my Jewish identity was on the forefront of my mind. That is indeed how I would define my overall ‘project’ here, and why I am considering coming back for another year in September (no, not for the Educator’s Program, Sam). As for answering the question, not physically being at Pardes is no excuse to stop working on how I see Judaism and my place in it. Because ritual is so central to so many forms of Judaism, my own ritual observance, and all the changes and developments it will surely undergo in the near (and not-so-near) future must be a chief component of my bringing Pardes home with me.

As an idealistic young person, I have grand hopes and designs for what the Jewish world could and should look like. However, given that, in reality, change happens glacially, the best I can do is work hard and hope that I can inspire and influence others to do the same. Towards that end, taking more of a leadership role in improving a community like Pardes is an amazing opportunity, but one that I need to have clear goals for before I start. Those are the tasks that I set before myself as I start this next chapter of my life, coming home from a meaningful semester spent thinking and building a community in Jerusalem.

Psalmist and Prophet

Posted on December 30, 2010 by Mosheh

The Psalmist is in love, with G-d, with his earthly lover, with being fully Alive.* The Prophet is intimately connected with the Divine Plan and with his community, he / she is deeply pained by our distance, fear, shame, inadequacy, and disconnect from our souls and the Divine Spirit. So he engages, she calls us Continue Reading »

The Foggy Road

Posted on December 1, 2010 by Spirit Wolf

The greatest gifts you will ever receive are love and life. And love of life, even when times are difficult, is an unstoppable force. Never forget that 🙂  Chanukkah Sameakh! ————————————————————— The Foggy Road Fog descends before me. The way ahead, a foggy mist, The path behind, a distant memory. To fight the damp, swirling Continue Reading »

What I Learned at Pardes This Week #5: Hillel, Shammai and Uncle Vanya

Posted on November 6, 2010 by Pious Antic

This entry is a cross-post from my personal blog. This week, in my Talmud class, we looked at a couple of classic sugyot in the Gemara, one of of which, in the first chapter of Tractate Eruvin, discusses some conflicts between the rival schools of Hillel and Shammai. Before the Montagues and the Capulets, before Continue Reading »