Thursday, September 07, 2006

Week Wrap up/ פרשת כי תבוא

Since its almost Shabbat, I thought I'd try to combine my update of the last few days with a bit of a d'var torah. It is quite appropriate that we read this parsha whose opening words (Devarim 26:1) describe B'nai Yisrael entering the land of Israel and cultivating it, as I and my fellow Nativers have also just arrived in Israel to spend the next nine months here. It is also an appropriate metaphor for those living outside of Israel as well, as entering the land is analogous to beginning anew, which is something we are all doing as the school year and Jewish year begin.
Over the past few days I have participated in many activities which portray the breadth and depth of the Jewish and Israel experience in Yerushalayim alone. On Wednesday I, along with 12 other Nativers, participated in an orientation for our semester at the Conservative Yeshiva. It was so amazing and encouraging to experince the kind of Torah Lishma, learning for its own sake, that goes on at the Yeshiva, which I will have the privilege to participate in for the next few months.
Over the past few nights, I have also begun to appreciate the diversity of the city of Jerusalem, whether it was having a barbecue in a park near the knesset, going on a scavenger hunt all over dioiwntown Jerusalem, hanging out on Ben Yehuda in the evening, or walking through Meah Shearim as I did this morning. Although it is distressing that many of the different groups in the city, such as secular, traditional, or ultra-orthodox, do not get along, it is still amazing to see the great diversity within a few square miles. Halevai, if only, these diverse groups would appreciate the great resources available here.
At the end of this wek's Parsha, we are told that one of the reasons the people of Israel would recieve the cuses contained within instead of the blessing would be "because you did not serve the Lord with joyfulness and gladness of heart" I will take this message and apply it to this and every shabat, as we all should, and observe it with as much joy as possible.
Shabbat Shalom Mirulshalayim!

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