Posted on June 23, 2011 by Tamara Frankel
Dear Friends, The scene: the Pardes bet midrash. The time: Thursday afternoon, an hour or so after class dismissal. The players: a bunch of students and big pile of books. Oddly I find myself at home in this lonely place. The books and the buzz of learning, although minimal as it is “off season” Continue Reading »
Posted on March 24, 2011 by Avi Strausberg
following the priestly induction ceremony, the cohanim are required to camp out in the tent of meeting for seven full days. they are warned to remain inside day and night, lest they come out and die. what an incredibly high-pressure, terrifying way to start a new job. this week’s parsha shmini marks the eight day Continue Reading »
Posted on March 17, 2011 by Merissa
Check out my BIG IDEA at TheNextBigJewishIdea! “One part cafe, one part Jewish bookstore, and one part events venue, ‘Miriam’ is one-stop Jewish shopping for the body, mind and spirit. The acts of reading, eating and being entertained feed off of one another. By simply being in the building you can’t help but be funneled Continue Reading »
Posted on January 19, 2011 by Avi Strausberg
i’ve been wondering for the past few parshot to whom moshe is able to turn when overwhelmed by the responsibility that has been thrust upon him. as the middle man, he receives all of God’s direct commands while bearing the weight of the people’s fear and doubt. God is able to rant to moshe about Continue Reading »
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.
Posted on December 14, 2010 by Drew
Crossposted from Jewschool and the J Street U Blog “Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and those that return to her in righteousness.” —Isaiah, 1:27 Three years ago I moved to Jerusalem. I grew up as an involved member of the Reform movement in Connecticut, spent my college and post-college years working in Jewish education Continue Reading »
Posted on November 2, 2010 by Eryn
1. “It is not your job to finish the work, but neither are you free to neglect it.”-Pirkey Avos 2:16 2. “Ben Zoma said, who is wise? He who learns from all people, as it is said: ‘From all those who taught me I gained understanding’ (Psalms 119:99). Who is strong? He who conquers his evil inclination, Continue Reading »
Posted on November 2, 2010 by Eryn
Hundred of years ago in candle lit rooms Rabbis argued on the rules of Judaism and on the words of the Torah. These arguments come to life everyday in the Beit Midrash through ribbons of pinks and yellows and greens and blues and through sing-song voices that might make us smile just a tiny bit. Continue Reading »
Posted on November 2, 2010 by Eryn
The importance of honoring your teachers Brenna Stein Studying Gemara sometimes feels like an experience in between reading a Supreme Court case fought by Rabbis over a few generations to watching a halachic discussion unfold (often with several tangents) on an E-mail list-serve or chat room. Recently I was given a reminder of the etiquette Continue Reading »
Posted on October 20, 2010 by David Bogomolny
Many of you may be familiar with Rav Meir Schweiger – he has taught at Pardes nearly since its founding. Rav Meir Schweiger happens to be the faculty advisor for the 2010-11 Pardes Fellows, which is really a wonderful privilege for those of us who have chosen to return here for a 2nd year of Torah study. Generally, each class Continue Reading »