These and Those

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

Tag Archives: Jewish Identity

Swirl Swirl Desert Stop

Posted on January 19, 2013 by Naomi Bilmes

From my blog: (written two days ago) So, last night, I sat around a crackling fire with a group of religious people chanting incantations in ancient languages while passing around a hand-carved knife and letting the blood from our left pinkie fingers drip over the hot, scalding flames… Okay, that was an exaggeration. But I Continue Reading »

Some Initial Thoughts on Halakha

Posted on January 16, 2013 by David Bogomolny

One Aspect of Halakha that is Particularly Meaningful to Me “Anyone who identifies as Jewish today only need go back three or four generations to find observant Jews in their family. And from there an unbroken chain of Jewish living that goes back more than three thousand years. Not that everyone has always been observant. Continue Reading »

a new struggle i didn’t see coming

Posted on January 12, 2013 by Andrea Wiese

From my blog: “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. I know this sounds naive, Continue Reading »

[Alumni Guest Post] Alissa Thomas: ‘It’s More Than a Feeling’: A Reflection on Zionism

Posted on January 6, 2013 by The Director of Digital Media

Zionism has become a touchy subject for many people in today’s post-modern culture, but here’s a beautiful, articulate piece that describes Pardes alum Alissa Thomas’ (Spring ’11) personal relationship to the concept of Zionism and the modern state of Israel: From alum Alissa Thomas’ Sh’ma Blog: As expected, everyone is thinking, talking, and praying about Continue Reading »

[Alumni Guest Post] Shira Abramowitz – The Burden of Legacy: It is no dream.

Posted on January 4, 2013 by The Director of Digital Media

Shira has left us for another adventure, and we miss her… But her insightful writing continues (x-posted here below)! Legacy. A pretty big word around here. Here being Jerusalem, a city that many nations hold dear due to its history and importance in relation to their people, their culture, their religion. As a proud member of Continue Reading »

[Student Profile] Mike Backman

Posted on January 1, 2013 by Derek Kwait

When it came to picking out a college and a major, Mike knew he wanted to work with numbers and that he wanted to do something practical. So he searched and weighed the available data: He looked into economics but found it boring. He looked into physics, but thought it just wasn’t for him, then Continue Reading »

Not a Hypothetical Situation

Posted on December 14, 2012 by David Bogomolny

We spent last Shabbat with a friend and his partner. He is a Jewish convert who is currently not halakhically observant, but his Jewish identity is very important to him, and his attitude towards Jewish tradition and halakha is very respectful. His partner is a woman whose father is halakhically Jewish, but she is not halakhically Jewish herself. Therefore, she must go through Continue Reading »

Lot

Posted on December 2, 2012 by Falynn Schmidt

Originally posted on my blog: Years ago I heard comedian Yisrael Campbell give his shpiel about converting to Judaism. It is hilariously funny in the way that can only come from truths. In one part, the rabbis ask him, “Do you put your lot in with the Jewish people.” “Sure,” he shrugs, realizing that is Continue Reading »

Authentically Now

Posted on November 27, 2012 by David Bogomolny

Evan was my first flatmate in Israel; he and I studied at Pardes together, and we had plenty of conversations about our shared Jewish heritage over the course of that year. He had fond childhood memories of his grandfather, a traditional, American shul-going Jew, and recalled the smell and texture of the tallit that he had worn at Continue Reading »

Why I’m Not Making Aliyah

Posted on November 8, 2012 by Derek Kwait

“Oh, so you’ve been here [almost a year/two years]! So are you planning on making aliyah?,” they say, bearing their teeth and gently lifting their eyebrows in anticipation of the upcoming hearty “Mazel tov!” they’re sure to owe me. “No.” “Oh,” this is less an expression than the sound a face makes as it falls. Continue Reading »