For the last week I've been studying at The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, an incredible place to learn Jewish texts in Jerusalem. I'm taking classes on a wide variety of subjects, all centered around hevruta learning; Intro to Talmud (Nechama Goldman Barash), Women and halacha (Nechama Goldman Barash), Jewish peoplehood (Daniel Smokler ), Rav Kook (Mike Feuer) and Kabbalat Shabbat (Ruth Gan Kagan). The learning is deep, rich and engaging. I've only been here a week, and I am already trying to figure out how and when I can come back.
Tuesday afternoons are spent outside of the Beit Midrash experiencing Israel through field trips. I chose to go to the Tower of David Museum in the Old City. We focused on a newer part of the museum, the Kishle. The Kishle was built in 1884 as a military compound, as well as a police station and prison. Pre-State underground Irgun members were imprisoned in its walls/ During the archaeological excavations that took place there over the last decade a “timeline” of Jerusalem was discovered – finds from the First Temple Period, the remains of Herod’s palace and tanneries and dying pools from the Middle Ages. It is remarkable to see layer upon layer of history right in front of you.