Text Comes Alive at Pardes

Our new video, narrated by faculty member Leah Rosenthal, brings alive a passage of Talmud through a dynamic havruta (paired study) between two Pardes students. It showcases Pardes’s unique approach to living text study and our deep-rooted connection to the city of Jerusalem.

The featured story (moed katan 16b) discusses a Rabbinic decree that “you should not teach students in the open public market place.” In our piece, Machane Yehudah shuk (market) represents the public world, immersed in commercialism, exteriors, labeling and practical matters. On the other side is the beit midrash, the cerebral, spiritual world, pursuits of passion and inner life.

Video credit: Ori Salzberg

Want to understand this story even deeper? Click here to listen to the accompanying podcast by teacher Leah Rosenthal on Elmad.

Click here for the source sheet.

Continue the conversation…

Does Torah belong equally in both domains? What tensions exist between them? How do they complement each other? We hope to provoke and create debate and continue the conversation among our students, teachers, alumni and the wider Jewish world. Continue the conversation in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

You can continue the conversation in person as part of one of our short- or long-term learning opportunities. See www.pardes.org.il/programs.

Meet the stars of the video!

Jonah Potasznik (Pardes Experiential Educators Program, 2016-17)
I grew up as a camp and youth movement kid in Rockville, MD. In many ways, Pardes makes me feel like I’m back in those formative spaces: a loving community and energized environment that make the long days very much worth the effort. Before coming to Pardes, I worked for BBYO for three years in a pluralistic space, helping Jewish teens connect to their community and their tradition. The learning that I have done as a student in the Experiential Educators Program has broadened my knowledge base and skill set, and deepened my sense of purpose as an educator. Pardes helps me pass on the best parts of Jewish learning — and Jewish life in general — to the next generation of our communal leaders.


Naomi Burke (Pardes Fall Semester Program, 2016)
Originally from England, I recently completed my masters in Human Rights and Transitional Justice. At Pardes, I have felt very lucky to be studying amongst great individuals who share the value of grappling with Jewish texts. Studying the text reveals to me the vast number of arguments and differing opinions that exist in relation to Jewish concepts, which I find very liberating. Receiving guidance from my teachers and gaining insights from peer discussions has been fun and truly rewarding! I am now in the process of Aliyah, and am hoping to find a job in Israel which will help people live in a more peaceful society. I hope to continue my Jewish learning in parallel.