The day started with running. Running to the bus - for which I waited 10 mins - what a waste of energy! I did not keep to my lesson of "buses are unreliable". Nevertheless I was punctual for my first "advanced" Talmud class. We were going to learn about the shofar! So Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield gave us a list of verses we should look up in the Tanach and a set of Mishnayos to look at for more details. We got assigned a random chavruta from the class and off we went to different rooms for our chavruta! Of course everything while keeping the Corona guidelines. The class was composed out of 9 people and 2 people joined on zoom. The dynamic of the in-person / zoom participation was better than I expected. People thought along - for example typed out questions asked in person in the zoom chat - and worked together to make it as pleasant of an experience as zoom can possibly make it. Some takeaways from the class: The verses mention a Shofar and trumpets and they also bring up occasions when a sounding of such an air-instrument was common (and prescribed). For example to proclaim a Jovel year, or to announce a war, to gather people, to proclaim a joyous occasion. A shofar sound was also sounded when the camp of the Israelites was about to move on in their journey through the desert. So we see that that sound is a signal for moving. So what is the lesson? What is the common denominator between all of them? They are all to announce something BIG something transformative that is about to happen. Its supposed to prepare the people for this moment. Why is an air-instrument the right choice for this intent? An air-instrument takes breath, which is something quiet by nature and turns it into something big and loud! So an air-instrument is by its very nature transformative!
Hello friends close and far! I wrote the following piece for the Pardes Havruta magazine. It's about my experice at Pardes, Covid and my thoughts on Pluralism. You can read the full magazine here .