Start your year off right with Pardes Daily! Join hundreds of other Pardes Daily listeners, cultivate your own learning routine, and prepare for the upcoming Hagim (Jewish holidays)! This 2021, we are kicking off with THREE back-to-back learning challenges.
Whether you’re learning on your own, with a havruta, or with friends and family, be a part of this incredible community of online learners. To learn more about the three tracks for the Purim Challenge, see below. Download the app today by clicking on the appropriate icon below. Need some assistance? Contact Amira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch up on all previous episodes of Pardes Daily here
Passover, a holiday that recalls the transformative moment in biblical history when the Jewish people go from bondage to freedom. After 10-15 minute podcasts a day, 5 days a week, for 3 weeks leading up to Passover, you will complete one of the following areas of study:
Dates: March 8-26
1-Week Challenge Tracks & Faculty:
For our Passover Challenge, we are offering 3, 1-week mini-challenges! These tracks were featured Torah on Elmad that we didn’t want you to miss:
|Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper||Halakha Track (March 8-12)
What is the blessing one says when receiving the coronavirus vaccine? What if you have to get your vaccine on Shabbat? Does science win over Judaism in all matters related to the vaccine? These are very important halakhic questions that the Maggid of Melbourne, Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper, answers along with other covid-related questions in his new short series, This Covid Life.
|Rabbi Meir Schweiger||Haggadah Track (March 15-19)
Explore some of the major themes and texts from the Passover Haggadah with Meir Schweiger. This track was originally featured on our first Pardes Daily Passover Challenge in 2020.
|Rabbi Michael Hattin||Tanakh Track (March 22-26)
Dive into Exodus, the foundational text that serves as the basis of the holiday of Passover with Michael Hattin. This track was originally featured on our first Pardes Daily Passover Challenge in 2020.
3-Week Challenge Tracks & Faculty:
Challenge yourself to one of our new 3-week tracks to get into the Passover mindset!
|Yiscah Smith||Hasidut Track (March 8-26)
Prepare to Experience Inner Freedom and Liberation
We will explore excerpts from Rav Kook’s deep and spiritually infused commentaries on the Passover Haggadah. These profound teachings will guide us as we move along the path to discover aspects of our true essence – the image of the Divine in Whom we have been created and Who continues to dwell within us. This awareness will allow us to not only approach the Seder experience in a more informed, inspired and indeed prepared way, but also to experience individual and personal spiritual redemption, as we celebrate the “time of our freedom.”
|Rav Rahel Berkovits||Mishnah Track (March 8-26)
The “Mitzvah” of Hametz: Human Creativity, Ingenuity and Desire
The first two chapters of Mishnah Tractate Pesahim focus on the essence of hametz. The concept is presented on its own and not in relation to or corresponding to matzah. Why are we required to check for hametz? When, why and how should we destroy hametz? What is the relationship between hametz and rabbinic creativity? Come join us in learning these mishnayot to find out.
Monday, February 15-Friday, February 26
Tracks & Faculty:
|Rabbi Alex Israel||Tanakh Track
Terror and Jubilation in Megillat Esther
This track will study the terror and the jubilation of the carnivalesque book of Esther. Each of our ten classes will explore the ten chapters of this riveting story and evoke messages relevant to our lives and those of the Jewish people, in those days and in ours.
|Rabbanit Nechama Goldman Barash||Mishnah Track
Whose in? An Exploration of Tractate Megillah
In this Pardes Daily Challenge, we are going to learn through mishnayot in all four chapters of the tractate Megillah in preparation for Purim. While the beginning of the tractate focuses on the reading of Megillat Esther, the focus of the holiday, the tractate also moves beyond the narrow confines of Purim to look at the overall laws around public Torah readings, public prayer and the sanctity of the synagogue. Between the spaces of legal discussion emerge a few consistent themes– how do we include more people into our community? How do we present sacred texts when language creates a barrier to comprehension and meaning? Who counts when we build community and how do preserve the holy space that invites the Divine to reside within?
|Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield||Jewish Thought (Machshava) Track
Purim on a Soapbox
Whoever said wild fun and soul stimulating depth can’t go together? Although we often associate Purim with costumes, parties, and carnivals, as a Holy day and a text (the Megillah), Purim has been a source of profound insight and reflection for many thinkers and commentators. Together we will encounter 10 different Jewish thinkers with unique approaches to the central questions and themes of this Holy day.
The Tu Bishvat Challenge is now complete, but you can still access all of the lessons here.
Monday, January 25-Friday, January 29
Tu Bishvat, also known as Chag HaIlanot (Holiday of Trees), is traditionally celebrated by feasting on fruits and planting trees. The Mishnah Tractate Rosh Hashanah suggests that Tu Bishvat is considered by some as one of the four Jewish “New Years”.
After 10-15 minute podcasts a day, 5 days a week of the week of Tu Bishvat, you will complete one of the following areas of study:
Tracks & Faculty:
|Rabbi Michael Hattin||Tanakh/Bible Track
Tu Bishvat: Of New Years and Renewal
Tu Bishvat is celebrated in our tradition as the birthday of the trees. The Hebrew Bible actually abounds with references to trees, flowers and other vegetation. In this series, we will look at some eclectic examples of trees in our Biblical tradition, and how the tree serves as a potent symbol of restoration and hope.
|Rabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer Kossoy||Halakha Track
Because the Human is a Tree in the Field
The Commandment to Preserve Fruit Bearing Trees in Torah, Talmud, Halakha, Paradigm and Symbol
Deuteronomy 20 prohibits the downing of fruit-bearing trees in times of war. We will explore the simple and deep meaning of this mitzvah (commandment) as it expands and contracts over the course of 3 millennia of interpretation, both as a technical commandment and as a symbol for our relationship with consumption, sustainability, and the natural world. Is “the human a tree of the field”? (Deut. 20:19) Find out in our Tu Bishvat Daily Challenge!
|Rabbi Daniel Silverstein||Hasidut Track
The Relationship between Nature and the Divine
With the Hasidic master R’ Tzvi Elimelech Spira of Dinov (1783 – 1841 known as the Bnei Yissascher) as our guide, we will explore the spiritual work of this season, drawing from his insights into this season of inner renewal and preparation for the coming liberation and rebirth of spring. We will also explore the profound spiritual and psychological aspects of the activity that our ancient mystical tradition suggests that we pay attention to this month: eating.
This Tu Bishvat, Pardes Daily is proud to partner with Hazon: A Jewish Lab for Sustainability:
Small commitments can make a big change. Fifteen minutes of Torah with Pardes along with a commitment to change with the Brit Hazon adds up to a huge impact. The climate crisis is the moral imperative of our time. The Brit Hazon is a simple, six-week commitment program that helps you adopt new pro-environmental behaviors. After signing up, you will receive a tip sheet and a series of six weekly emails designed to provide the information, inspiration, and tools you need to be successful. Click here to learn more about the Brit Hazon.