Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ברוכים הבאים!

This is my honest attempt at keeping people updated this year. Should it be difficult to hear from me often, I hope that this gives you an inside scoop to my life (to the extent that I would want it on the internet). We'll see how long I can keep up with this, but I really hope it'll last.
So far, I have immensely enjoyed Nativ. While I have not had many opportunities to do much outside the gates of the Fuchsberg Center, I have really enjoyed getting to know the other Nativers and hanging out with my old friends. Considering the circumstances of my arriving late, it has been an extremely welcoming and open environment. As I get completely settled, I'll start going out in the evenings - there are always many things to do and I have a long list of places to go out to.
I sit right now in the new Beit Midrash of the Conservative Yeshiva in Yerushalyim Ir Ha-Kodesh as I wait for classes to begin. Today is my 2nd day of classes. While yesterday, having been jet-lagged and coming off very little sleep, I had a hard time keeping focused, today should be good. The classes I take:
*Talmud IV (S, M, W, Th)
*Chumash from Midrash to Middle Ages (S, T)
*Mishna Bekiut (M)
*Biblical Grammar (S, T)
*Poskim II (W)
*Modern Jewish Thought (course for Nativers) (T)
*Contemporary Issues in Halacha (course for Nativers) (Th)
*Halacha L'Maaseh (M)
The only classes I've had so far are Chumash, Grammar, and Modern Jewish Thought. In Chumash, we're studying ברית בין הבתרים, which is Chapter 15 of B'reishit. We're primarily looking at Rashi in-depth, plus some midrash and other goodies. As sad as this is, I had to literally turn on my brain to study in chevruta; I was challenged but I learned and got into the swing of things. I was enthused by the shiur afterwards - the teacher (Shaiya Rothberg) runs an engaging and intellectually stimulating classroom environment. In biblical grammar (Rabbi Zacharow) we are learning about טעמי מקרא - some things were review, a couple of new things, I'm looking forward to the class to get challenging. Modern Jewish Thought was beyond fascinating - we looked at Rav Kook's religious Zionist philosophy through the lenses of Shmuel Ha-Nagid, John Coltrane, and more. Lots of thought provoking discussion. I had a hard time staying awake for a good portion of the afternoon so I can't go into much detail about what I learned.
I will leave off here for now.
To be continued...
יהודה ארי קרבל
Judah Ari Kerbel

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