French Israel

Friday, June 04, 2004

So I was a bit too ambitious on Wednesaday morning.
[Note to self: never start with "so".] I did indeed join my yeshivah group for a stroll around the archeological park of Jerusalem's southern wall with Rav Beryl Wein, and I took a boatload of photos (like the one here of Hulda's Gate, which used to be an entrance to the Temple). I learned a lot, and have a lot to say about it. But I didn't put together that whole replicated guided tour by Wednesday evening, as planned. In fact, it's still coming together. On Motsei Shabbath, if I'm lucky, or more likely at the beginning of the week.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, we're going to discuss yeshivah study after that. I entered yeshivah a year ago, after plodding around in amateur Jewish learning for many years, knowing basically nothing about how one goes about reading classic Jewish texts. And while I can still be squarely classified as an amateur, a few things are beginning to make sense. My goal is to try to explain the system to you in a clear and entertaining fashion, whether you have never read one word of Hebrew, or whether you are a life-long Talmid Hakham.

Why bother with the latter category? Because this will be more than just a simple sharing of personal experience. I have no guarantee that anyone wants to read my anecdotes, anyway. (To my 10 or so daily readers: I love each and every one of you... And I wish I had many more of you to love, if you get my drift.)

What I am interested in is learning how to teach and learning how to learn. This past year (and more, if you count the attempts I made at community synagogues in America) has been a massive experience of trial and error in a discipline that was quite new to me. Yet this discipline is considered the occupation par excellence for a Jew.

So what I intend to do is detail the experience, for better or for worse. With your help and critique, I hope we can make some sense of it and perhaps -- perhaps! -- try to imagine what would be an ideal method to learn such a difficult subject.

But first, we're going to see Ground Zero. Till then, Shabbath Shalom.
PinḼas Ivri 15:19


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