Israel Year 5776

Karen and Aviva Talmud CY 6.2016This post seems ridiculously overdue.  As of today, I am complete with my class work for my 4th year of rabbinical school.  FOUR YEARS nearly COMPLETE! I have 2 final pieces to wrap up (a Tanakh project and an oral Talmud) – but CLASSES ARE OUT! Hello Summer break! The learning this year was exquisite. The teachers at the yeshiva have such passion for Torah – and genuine wisdom.  I will forever have a home in Jerusalem, thanks to the Conservative Yeshiva – and I look forward to returning and sitting in on shiurim (classes) in the future!


photo credit: Karen Isenberg


Today was ending ceremonies at the Yeshiva. We laughed hard, cried a little and learned a whole lot.  My favorite moment was this afternoon, my Talmud teacher Shoshana (she’ll officially be RABBI in 2 weeks!!) led us in a fantastic and truly heartfelt blessing activity. She passed around a basket filled with name cards.  We each drew out someone we were to write a blessing for, and then we went around and shared the blessings out loud. Strange serendipity that I shared first (offered a blessing to my friend Sam), and the person who had my blessing was called next to last – offering me to receive the final blessing as well.  It was a beautiful activity, and everyone left feeling uplifted, held and loved. The whole day was wonderful – and at the very end, I was blessed to lead mincha (afternoon prayer service) – our very last one we will have together as a community. What an honor!

Perhaps as things start to wind down (next up is LEAVING THE COUNTRY!) – I will take some time to reflect on what I’ve learned this last year.  Hazarah (review) is an essential piece of learning (thanks for the reminder Ben Richards!) so sounds like it might not hurt to recap a little!

For now, I will leave you the names of the courses  I took, just to give you a taste:

Talmud – Ketubot (marriage, gender issues/roles)

Halakha L’maaseh (Jewish law; kashrut) taught by the esteemed Rabbi Joel Roth

TaNaKh – all of Kings 1 & 2 with commentary

Israeli Culture – a class aimed at experiencing parts of Israeli culture through the Hebrew language (Israeli news, famous authors/writings/music…)

*Previous semester included: Talmud (Ketubot), Tanakh (Leviticus), Halakhah (Shabbat) and Poskim (Jewish divorce law & commentary)

Where did the year go!? Thanks for reading! More to come!


Aviva in Jerusalem




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