Learning resumed on Wednesday with 1st and 2nd year students turning to the issue of constructing and fixing vessels (e.g., screwing the temple from eyeglasses back on to the frame) and with years 3 and 4 continuing on the topic of how a forbidden substance redefines the entire mixture.
We were also thrilled to begin some new classes on Jewish Thought for this final zman. On Wednesday, Blu Greenberg and Dr. Judith Plaskow began an eight-part series on Judaism and Feminism. The first class centered around the Blu's and Judith's personal journey in become a Jewish feminist. Some of the future classes will address egalitarianism or gender differentiation; theology and liturgy; halakhic inclusion and exclusion; and the issue of iggun. And on Thursday, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg began an eight-part series on Tzelem Elohim as a Foundational Principle, applied to the realms on sex, money, and work. Both classes were quite heavily attended. What an exciting way to being our zman!
On Thursday, I gave a shiur to the students on Sefirat HaOmer and Zekher li'Churban, looking at the issue of the transition from a mikdash-centered religion to a Torah-centered one. The central idea of this shiur appeared in an article I wrote many years ago in Millin Havivin, which can be found here. Also in the category of resources, the Thought on the Parasha below looks at the sin of Nadav and Avihu and deals with the issue of too much or too little religious passion. For those interested in seeing a nice debate between Rav Kook and Yeshayahu Leibowitz on this point, see here.
Mazal Tov to Rabbi Dr. Zev Farber (YCT 2006) on the successful defense of his dissertation this Thursday. He was awarded a PHD in Bible from Emory. May he continue to spread Torah, scholarship and wisdom throughout Klal Yisrael.
Mazal Tov to Allison Batalion, our Academic Coordinator, and her husband Aryeh on the birth of a baby boy on the last day of Pesach. We look forward to attending the bris this coming Tuesday. Shetizku li'hakhniso li'brito shel Avraham Avinu bizmano, u'ligadlo li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim.
And, finally, a belated Mazal Tov to Rabbi Gabe Greenberg (YCT 2012) and Abby Streusand on the birth of baby girl, Adra Simone. Shetizku li'gadlah li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim.