Monday was Shushan Purim, and in keeping with our tradition when Purim falls on a Sunday, we had a special Shushan Purim seudah for the whole yeshiva followed by a series of Purim shpeils. This year there was great participation by the students, with over a dozen shpeils, all of them extremely funny and some totally hilarious. There were also two presentations from the staff and rebbeim. Jennifer Geretz did a takeoff of Dr. Seuss' Sam I Am with a series of truly amazing artwork following the plot and drawings of the book. I did a shpeil as well, departing from my normal "reworking" of songs from famous musicals (Open Orthodoxy on the Roof, Rabbi Poppins, My Fair Mikveh Lady), and instead doing a series of skits based on Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail. The whole day was one of great chevrehshaft, and a wonderful opportunity to poke fun and also show our love, affection and respect for the yeshiva, its students, the rebbeim and the staff.
Students continued in their learning of Shabbat, now focusing on the issue of recooking and reheating, and their learning of Kashrut, now focusing on the topic of nat bar nat, of two-degrees-removed taste, and of davar charif, sharp foods which can transfer taste without heat.
As mentioned above, we stopped our learning on Wednesday to say tehillim for all those injured in the Eged bus station bombing. One of the themes of my Thought on the Parsha, below, is that of ahavah mikalkelet et hashura, that "love oversteps proper boundaries," and can sometimes make us act in ways that violate accepted norms, or are even inherently wrong. The ongoing terrorism in the world in general and in Israel in particular, fueled as it is by hatred and religious passion, reminds us the it is equally if not more true that hasinah mikalkelet et hashura, that hatred destroys any sense of boundaries. Let us all continue to pray and work to see a civilized world in which the sense of boundaries, of halakha, of civilization and civilized and ethical behavior, govern our actions and ensure that our passions remain within the proper boundaries.
Finally, a big Mazal Tov goes out to Rabbi Drew (YCT '09) and Rachel Kaplan on the birth of a baby girl, Lillian Rose (Shoshana Raizel).