Faculty Articles

Combining Torah and the Arts at Pardes

Posted on June 22, 2022

This article was originally published in the December 2021 edition of Pardes’s Havruta magazine. To learn more about the Pardes Arts and Culture Fellowship, visit www.pardes.org.il/pardes-arts-culture-fellowship or email Ilana HaCohen at ilana@pardes.org.il.  

Jerusalem Post: The Belzer Rebbetzin’s Blessings on Conceiving Children

Posted on May 23, 2022

Written by Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper – In 1965, Surah’le Hager (b. 1946) married Yissachar Dov Rokach (b. 1948). Surah’le was the granddaughter of the Vizhnitzer rebbe, Rabbi Hayim Meir Hager (1887-1972). Yissachar Dov was the leader-in-waiting of the Belz Hassidim, a position he would officially assume in 1966. The Belzer Rebbe and Rebbetzin did Continue Reading »

Jerusalem Post – The License to Reinterpret

Posted on April 25, 2022

Written by Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper – Is there a license to reinterpret the Torah through pronunciation? The license to reinterpret the biblical text by transposing the vowels is a potent, perhaps even dangerous tool. The sages explained that both Moses and David did apprenticeships as shepherds. Since they looked after their sheep with care Continue Reading »

JewishPress – Thou Shalt Not Slap Thy Neighbor

Posted on April 3, 2022

Written by Rabbi Alex Israel (Pardes Faculty) – An incident during the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday has lit up social media recently like few other events. Actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after he made a hurtful joke at Smith’s wife’s expense. Since everyone is weighing in about “the slap,” I’ll share three Continue Reading »

The National Library of Isael: The Last Will and Testament of Rabbi David Friesenhausen

Posted on March 22, 2022

Written by Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper – In Vienna 1820, Rabbi David HaKohen Friesenhausen (ca. 1756-1828) published a work in Hebrew entitled Mosdot Tevel (Foundations of the Universe). Friesenhausen procured rabbinic letters of recommendation which he printed in Mosdot Tevel, including such a letter from the illustrious Rabbi Moshe Sofer (known as the “Ḥatam Sofer”, 1762-1839), Continue Reading »

A Purim Message from Rabbi Leon Morris, President

Posted on March 16, 2022

Living with uncertainty has been a leitmotif of the past two years as we have navigated our way through the Covid-19 pandemic. For many of us, uncertainty plays a central role in our religious lives. It keeps us humble. It recognizes our limits. It reminds us of what we cannot know. We reflect upon God’s Continue Reading »

Jerusalem Post – How Did Chabad Go From Hassidic Subgroup to Global Jewish Phenomenon?

Posted on March 13, 2022

Written by Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper, also known as the Maggid of Melbourne (Pardes Faculty) – How did Chabad go from hassidic subgroup to global Jewish phenomenon? Ramash was truly following in the footsteps of his predecessors. Almost anywhere you go in the world, you find Lubavitch. How did a hassidic subgroup that did not Continue Reading »

Jerusalem Post – Parashat Pekudei: Partnering with the Divine

Posted on March 6, 2022

Written by Rabbanit Nechama Goldman Barash (Pardes Faculty) – I have always found much of the end of Exodus tedious, centered as it is on the endless details of instruction for building the Tabernacle and weaving the priests’ garments. This Shabbat we finish reading the Book of Exodus. It tells the story of a people Continue Reading »

Lookstein.org – Experientializing the Text: An Invitation to Join

Posted on March 3, 2022

Written by Aviva Lauer (Director of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators) – Those of us reading this journal are a pretty self-selected group. We love studying Jewish text. We find meaning and value and personal relevance in the word of God, in the divinely inspired writings of our ancient leaders, and in the holy Continue Reading »

Times of Israel – Carry That Weight

Posted on March 2, 2022

Written by Rabbi Brent Spodek (PNA Faculty, Year ’00-’01) – The first and only time I tried to impress a girl by singing was when I was 15 years old. I had gone to the closing dance of my summer program with Franchesca, even though I really had a crush on Stacey. However, when the Continue Reading »