Masa Israel Journey Blog

December 14, 2010
Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) is one of many URJ camps and communities in the United States and was one of the most important parts of my childhood. I started at GUCI when I was 9 years old, eager and ready to experience the joys of camp that I had heard so much about from my older brother and many friends from my Jewish community in Dayton, Ohio. My time at GUCI was filled with cabin bonding activities, musical services in the outdoor Beit T’filah, Jewish study under the Eitz Chaim, and a feeling of community that cannot be replicated. My connection with GUCI continued after my years as a camper with the NFTY Israel trip, Avodah Work/Study year, and as a counselor. All of my time and experiences at GUCI greatly shaped me into the independent, fulfilled, and Jewish person that I...
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December 13, 2010
Being constantly surrounded by texts, and basing the vast majority of my education this term at Pardes on those texts, has made me think a lot about issues of how we understand texts. Specifically, I have reflected on just how much is lost from a traditional Jewish text (Chumash, Talmud, etc.) when it is read exclusively in a language other than Hebrew. This contrasts quite severely with how Western Analytic philosophy is taught at universities in the Western world these days (at least in my experience).
As is the case with the texts we study at Pardes, most of the texts studied in the course of obtaining a degree in philosophy were not written in English. However, no time is spent learning to read and understand the original languages, and barely any mention is even made of the fact that much is undoubtedly lost through studying the texts...
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