April 19, 2024 |


Posted on February 12, 2018

What an amazing day!!!
Pizmon, the Jewish, coed, pluralistic acapella group from Barnard, Columbia and JTS, joined us this morning.  The Pizmon singers worked with each class to learn a song.  After our acapella workshops, Pizmon performed for us and then student groups performed for each other.  There was beautiful music, joy and great fun!
Later in the morning, in Gesher, it was all Purim, all the time! We learned about the four mitzvot of Purim: Giving Tzedakah to two poor people, giving mishloach manot, hearing the Megillah read, and enjoying a festive meal.  We were rabbis addressing a question from 17th century Europe:  If there are only 10 Jewish men available for the Megillah reading, and one of the men doesn’t want to join the others to make the minyan, can he be compelled to participate? First we wondered about situations when the needs of the community might supercede the preferences of the individual such as being a member of a team or not going to school/work when one is ill.  Then Students developed their own responses to this question.  They asked;could we count women?  What if each man simply read the megillahin his own house?  And then we looked at some Jewish texts to find answers from our tradition.  We also looked at Megillat Esther, chapter 4 verses 13 and 14.  In these verses, Mordechai is trying to convince a reluctant Esther to approach the king and to intervene on behalf of the Jewish people.  He says, perhaps it was for this purpose that you have become queen.  Do we have a purpose?  How might we know what it is?

Best wishes for all good things during the February recess.  When we return, our focus will be Pesach.