June 21st, 2011


Yeshivat Hadar day 2

...and the first day when I'm really starting to feel comfortable there. And like it there. I think I get why everyone who's done this before was so excited for me that I was going.

Today was also our longest day yet (yes, of the 3 so far). The morning and afternoon were the same as yesterday, but apparently every Tuesday evening we open up all of the classes for anyone in the community to participate for free. And because this Tuesday was also the kick-off celebration, there were a couple of speeches and divrei torah (um, speeches on a word of torah, teaching something). So we didn't even finish ma'ariv (evening services) until 9:30. I got there about 7:15 this morning. At least things start 45 minutes later on Wednesdays!

Morning talmud class was my favorite today, again. I seem to be getting along well with my gemara chevruta (the person assigned to me, for us to learn talmud in a pair, hopefully every talmud class for the summer, 4 mornings a week for 3.5 hours each time), and she agrees. We're at about the same level. Let's hope it keeps working out!

Tuesday afternoons, it looks like I'm going to be taking the mandatory Jewish Thought class and then Biblical Grammar in the elective slot. Thought will be interesting, because it's really not my cup of tea. I know the teacher well enough to talk to him about it, and to try to get him to explain to me why Abraham Joshua Heschel doesn't disagree with everything I believe in. He said he may have some more sources for me. So hopefully that will work out. And grammar may finally give me a chance to flex the linguistics muscles that I haven't gotten to play with (outside of reading Language Log or talking to my language nerd friends online) for years. Even though my Hebrew sucks, my grammar is way stronger than my vocabulary or comprehension speed. So I'm looking forward to it. And Tzemach should be a great person to learn it from.

In the evening, I ran into a ton of good folks at the kickoff program (really, didn't know it was that big a deal), and then spent about 35 minutes learning the very beginnings of basic torah repair from Jen. I may stay in that class, or switch to the class starting next Tuesday night and being taught by a cantor. I love learning about service leading, but when will I have an opportunity to learn from a sofer/et again?? Tough choices!

The evening closed with a d'var torah from Ethan Tucker, which almost made me cry even though it was "just" about community building. If I only had him to learn from this whole summer, it would be enough. He's incredible, and I'm very much looking forward to more with him.

Only one choice now: sleep. And whether to set the alarm 45 minutes later, or try to cheat and buy myself another 15. And then, in the morning, to buy a bagel from the same place I did today, or find somewhere else. Sadly, the most obvious option is no more. If I'd known, I'd have gone there today!

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