As the last days of my first year of Rabbinical school begin to wrap up, I am struck with awe as I begin to reflect on all that I have learned. Okay, partly since finals start this week and I only have so many hours to reteach myself everything we’ve covered in class (holy cow so much stuff!)!
- Hebrew: Not only can I have a decent conversation in this beautiful language, but I can write (and type!) essays and read chapter books! Did I mention I study grammar every day? Bring those verbs on! Thank you to my WONDERFUL teacher Mira Rosenthal for holding my hand this past year!
- Mishnah: The collection of Mishnayot consists of 6 different books covering a variety of topics instigated by the Torah. The version of the text we use also has (Albeck) commentary on the bottom. Often the commentary is more difficult to decipher (and having no vowels doesn’t help either!). But thanks to our Mishnah Man Rabbi Cohen, the girls and I have come a LLOONNGG way! Rabbi Cohen, you are the most brilliant linguist I’ve ever met – thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge…and I’m glad you’re part of Beit Midrash so I can always use your smarts!
- Torah: I know who Rashi is! We often hear a drash where a Rabbi quotes a famous rabbi or scholar, but its hard to quote Torah and not consider what this brilliant man had in mind. This semester, I’ve taken a class with one of the Associate Deans of Ziegler, Rabbi Aaron Alexander – who teaches, lives and breathes Torah with a love and enthusiasm that is intoxicating (in the best way). This course has been challenging but incredibly rewarding-mostly because the book we use is quite complex and Rashi has his own font which is terrible to read! I can tell you that I will never read Torah the same though. My personal Rabbi, Rabbi Micah has been a H U G E help and guide for me diving into this new arena. Only 2 exams left for this class!
- As for liturgy….well, we’re still working on that. I’ve had a great semester with Rabbi Elliot Dorff, who is an incredible educator and spiritual leader. The text we used was My People’s Prayer Book and I HIGHLY recommend it! I plan to reread the series. It’s offered a lot of light on to the topic of prayer.
Oh wow, there is so much! I’ve enjoyed my last few break-out sessions with guest Rabbi Spitz from Orange County on Expressionism in Judaism; Biblical Role Play, Visualization Meditations….nothing I’d love AT ALL! 😉
I am excited to continue learning how to best facilitate Shabbats on Campus – but we did have 15 students last week!
Well, it’s time for me to study! Thanks for your ear, support and love! Only a few more exams and papers to go, and year one is a completed mission!