Wednesday, November 21, 2007

מרפסות - Porches

Sitting on the porch...a different experience every time: a different place, a different time, or a different person. In my past, there were two significant porches: the back of the library at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and the back of our house at Camp Ramah Darom. Even now, they inform the present and the future. My current porches: at our apartment on Derech Hebron and between the Maiersdorf Faculty Club and the School of Social Work in the Humanities Building at Hebrew University.

Why HaMirpeset Sheli, The View from My Porch, as the title of this blog? The porch is a place of solitude, of individual reflection. It can be a place to feel small and, yet, to think and dream big. It is a place for watching and for listening. There are times when the Mirpeset is a social gathering place and others when it is a place for problem solving, crisis management, and just plain old group thinking. I choose this frame, this locale, for it is a place:

  • To think quietly;
  • To dream;
  • To observe the world from above the fray of the stress of the day to day;
  • To engage in conversation, Human and Divine

all in the name of the Jewish present and the Jewish future.

As much as the porch is a Place to sit and think, to reflect and relax, it is also a place to act, or minimally to create the plan to act, and then to get up, go, and do, to execute, to make it - the future - happen. In our Jewish world today, thinking is not enough. Action must follow thought and study:

גדול תלמוד - שהתלמוד מביא לידי מעשה
ספרי דברים, מא

Greater is the study of Torah for it leads to action.
Sifre Devarim 41

And so this is a place for thinking about and acting for:

Real People
Real Issues
Real Action

in today’s Jewish world for the Jewish world of tomorrow.

So ברוכים הבאים למרפסת שלי - Welcome to The View from My Porch.

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