Bikurey HaPardes is a yearly journal of the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies. Its primary goal is to enable the reader to peer into the classroom, or Beit Midrash of Pardes in order to share and learn from some of the discussions that took place over the course of the year. All the articles published in this volume are based on classes taught in the Pardes Kollel (Advanced Scholars Program) during the academic year 5769 (2008-2009).
The primary subject studied this year in the Kollel was the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Baba Batra. Baba Batra deals with many pressing issues regarding the formation of a civil and just society, such as relationships between neighbors, caring for the poor and weak, conflicting claims over land and much more. The contributors to this journal are the teachers in the Pardes Kollel, as well the Kollel fellows. Towards the end of the academic year, each fellow was asked to submit an article on one sugya from either the first or second chapters of Baba Batra. The material was taught by Daniel Roth, who taught the in-depth Talmud class during the second semester, and Rachel Furst, who taught a complementary class on Rabbinic Responsa related to the topics studied. In addition to transcribing many of the discussions from the original classes, each fellow researched and expanded extensively upon the topics in her or his own creative manner. What are presented to the reader of this journal are truly the fruits of many minds working together to understand and bring clarity to eternal Talmudic discussions and dilemmas, as the Talmud states “Torah is only
acquired in a group” (T.B. Berachot 63b). In addition to the articles based on classes taught on Baba Batra, this volume also includes an article submitted by Rav Elisha Ancselovits, the advanced Halachah instructor.
I would like to thank each member of the Pardes Kollel: Raphael Dascalu, Ales Koukal, Joshua Schwartz, Haggai Reznikoff, Debbie Jacobson-Maisels, Yosef Rosen, Noah Moline, William Friedman, Livia Levine and Sophie Rapoprt, who not only contributed their own articles to this journal, but also worked hard in assisting their peers over the course of the year in studying together as a group and editing each other’s articles.
Special thanks to Rabbi Daniel Landes, the Rosh Yeshiva of Pardes, magid shiur of the in-depth Talmud class to the Kollel for half of the year, and to Libby Werthan, former Pardes Chairwoman and writer, who reviewed the articles submitted in this journal. Deep gratitude is also offered to Dr. David Bernstein, Dean of Pardes, Louise Szczerb, Pardes Director of Communications who assisted in bringing this new project to fruition.