Friday, October 15, 2010

what a week!

Hey World!

So wow this week was super busy, so yeah I haven't had so much time to write on the blog.

Let's on Tuesday I went to the Israeli rabbinical program's talmud class (the advanced level what what) and it was great. I mean I definitely struggled through it, but it was super interesting and I understood almost all of what was going on. The theme of the class is people's responsibilities towards others and we spoke about borders and exclusion of people and where those lines are drawn.

The teacher does a cool thing (which makes following a bit more difficult but it's worth it) where he brings in different sources, not just the Talmud. Part of the time (the class is 3 hours long) we spoke about the law from the Torah that says when you build a house you must build a fence around the roof of your house. We talked about why, and what that signifies. I had never really thought about it. The most basic reading of it is you need to build a fence around your roof so that someone who goes out onto the roof won't fall off. The argument was raised (in one of the sources we read) that says well if God plans everything and decides when people die then why does it matter, because if someone falls off your roof that just means it was their time and you couldn't really do much about it. The question could be answered by saying well ok maybe it was this persons time to die (I'm summarizing the text, I def don't have such a deterministic view of the world) BUT you don't want to have the shame of being the person whose room someone fell off of. This text puts a lot of emphasis on the motivation of shame (בושה) in following the mitzvot. An interesting/troubling thought. Truth be told I need to read over this source, its a hasidic drash, again to gain a better understanding of what is going on.

Yeah a lot of other stuff happened in the class also, but my brain is tired.

What else...umm I have been going to the gym. I am rediscovering my love of exercise. Yay endorphins.

On wednesday, Israel seminar day, we did a walk around Jerusalem which was cool. We went first to Rehavia and talked about how it was set up to be this nice middle class town with homes and gardens and how this was where the elite jerusalemites tended to live. Then we went to a museum that used to be the central Jerusalem prison during the british mandate. This prison was used (among other things) to keep Jews who fought against the british/fought for their homeland before Israel was declared independent. Whenever I go to these type of museums it makes me want to make aliyah for a few seconds because I totally get caught up in this glorified narrative they present about Israel and its early days/struggles...I dunno it's kind of hard to explain, maybe I will try some other time. (don't worry Mom I'm not actually planning on making aliyah)

I learned a lot this week, my brain hurts. So I'm gonna end the post here.

Shabbat shalom!


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