Amudim: Our 7 Pillars

Amudim: Our 7 Pillars

"חָכְמוֹת, בָּנְתָה בֵיתָהּ;חָצְבָה עַמּוּדֶיהָ שִׁבְעָה"

-משלי ט:א

Inquiry

Amudim is a place for inquiring minds and seekers who are highly motivated to think on their own, get their big questions answered and raise new ones. 

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Via Giphy

Imagination

There is a lot of creativity to learning at Amudim, as students formulate their own interpretations, draw comparisons, apply theory and uncover meaning. 

 Via Giphy

Via Giphy

Individuality

Our students’ most important asset is… Themselves! At Amudim, diversity is celebrated as students carve their own paths, finding a sense of self from the learning and, in turn, making Torah “their own.”

 Via Giphy

Via Giphy

Innovation

Our faculty members, scholars in their fields familiar with the most current scholarship and trends of thought, bring fresh and innovative approaches, always pressing students to “think higher,” sharpen their thoughts, consider the significance and implications of each comment and respectfully critique one another, fostering within their seminars an atmosphere of openness and critical exchange.

 Via Giphy

Via Giphy

Introspection

Amudim’s mission to teach a Torat Chayim and nurture a Torah personality is geared at helping each student internalize and process what she is learning and understand how it can be incorporated into her life.

 Via Giphy

Via Giphy

Invigoration

The Amudim experience fosters healthy mind, body and spirit, providing opportunities for exploration, recreation, and physical fitness.

 Via Giphy

Via Giphy

Israel

Amudim inspires students to value the Land of Israel’s spiritual dimensions, the roles it plays in Jewish history and Jewish identity, and to truly experience contemporary life in Israel.

 Via Giphy

Shabbatot and Chagim

Shabbatot and Chagim

Shabbatot and Chagim are incredible experiences in Israel!

At Amudim, many of the chagim—Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Purim, Yom Ha’atzmaut, Yom Yerushalayim, and Shavuot—are celebrated together, allowing students to experience beauty, flavor and intensity of chag in Israel while being joined by Rabbeim and teachers who deliver special shiurim, participate in panel discussions or lead student-centered activities and chagigot throughout the day.

Three different types of Shabbat schedules allow students to get the most out of Shabbat in Israel as well.

In Shabbatot

  • Once every three weeks, the entire midrasha spends Shabbat together in Modi'in.

  • Students are joined by faculty members and their families.

  • This allows for more personal and unique discussions and for students to form close connections with their teachers.

Out Shabbatot

  • Free Shabbatot where students are encouraged to visit friends and relatives or explore new places in Israel for Shabbat and to recharge their batteries.
     
  • Of course students always have the option to stay in their apartments. In this case, they are encouraged to join teachers and community members for Shabbat meals and are provided with assistance, if necessary, in making arrangements.

Shabbatonim

  • A truly unforgettable experience in which the entire midrasha leaves Modi'in to experience Shabbat together in cities throughout Israel.
     
  • Sharing Shabbat with communities around Israel inspires students to value the Land of Israel’s spiritual dimensions, the roles it plays in Jewish history and the shaping of Jewish identity, and to truly experience contemporary life in Israel.

How do I get around Israel?

How do I get around Israel?

Israel is a modern state with an advanced transportation network. Navigating throughout the country has never been easier. Modi'in's central location and accessibility to public transportation enables our students to travel all throughout the country. 

The bus stop for the 110 to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station is a two minute walk from the Midrasha and dormitories. Busses come every half hour and the ride takes about 30 minutes. From there one can go to practically anywhere in Israel. 


The Modi'in Central Train Station is located right next to the Azrieli Mall and is about a 10 minute walk from the Midrasha and dormitories. Trains to Tel Aviv and all points north run every half hour. 

Mobile Applications such as Moovit will be extremely helpful in providing students with up-to-date transportation information so they will be able to plan their trips. 

Recently Israel has implemented a personalized "Smart-Card" called a Rav Kav for storing bus and train rides. The Midrasha takes all of the students to get one of these cards at the beginning of the year. 

Where will I live?

Where will I live?

Each apartment has air-conditioning, a fridge and microwave, laundry machines, high-speed wireless internet access, and a computer for students to keep in touch with family members back home.

Amudim  has no dorms. Seems crazy! Where do our students live? Instead of common dorm life, we give our students a home to live in. Students live in apartments with dining and living rooms, spacious bedrooms, and even though all meals are provided, a kitchen.

We believe that our students’ environment and living conditions play an important part in their achieving success in their studies. We have therefore invested money, time and energy in ensuring that the amenities of daily life outside the Bet Midrash matches the high level of excellence inside the Bet Midrash.

Students feel that they have a home to come to during breaks, at night and on Shabbat. Having a home in Israel and not just a bunk in a dorm gives our students a sense of belonging and security. Our students study better and develop a greater connection to Israel with their own home.

 

 

Why Modi'in

Why Modi'in

Before 1996, Modi'in existed only in the dreams of its government promoters and the imagination of its designer, famed architect Moshe Safdi. This fact is remarkable, considering that Modi'in now has over 83,000 residents. The vast majority of the Anglo residents are professionals: doctors, lawyers, hi-tech workers, and educators.

Modi'in’s central location and accessibility to public transportation enables you to travel throughout the center and south of Israel.

Modi'in is a picturesque, modern city with a suburban feel.  Conveniently located 25km (15miles) from both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem students have easy access to the national transportation system.

Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut is one of the fastest growing cities in Israel. The location is very convenient as it's between two major cities Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The infrastructure of the city is great: shopping centers, beautiful clean parks, movie theaters and restaurants, playgrounds and bicycle paths. There's a central train station on the north side.

As a "planned city" there are a myriad of recreational amenities located throughout Modi'in. Some amenities include various parks and sports facilities (basketball, tennis), pools and gyms for students to enjoy during break time. 

The Big Questions

The Big Questions

1) How can I prove that God exists?


he approach to answering such a question lies in first questioning the methods we use to ascertain what is “true” or “exists” and what does not. Most of us are highly in tune with the concept of scientism, or using science as the arbiter of what exists and what does not. If we cannot perceive something with our senses, or prove something with repetitive experimentation, that why should we assume it exists?

If this indeed were the case, then nothing else need be written page – God does not exist in any scientific way. However, it is incorrect to rely on this quasi-scientific outlook as a method to understand what is true or real. First off, a brief study of physics teaches us that what we perceive as real is merely one layer of reality; enter the world of quantum (not a subject of this page) and our normal rules of science are tossed out the window. Furthermore, we also know that when we express scientific certainty, we are really speaking about probability. We know that the past million times you sat down, gravity worked. But there is no definitive way to prove this MUST happen again. We sense it will based on our experiences, and thus lead us to come to what we think our scientific truisms, when in fact they are probabilistic assumptions.

Therefore, when it comes to discussing the existence of God, one should use rational thinking based on argumentation. Many of our great Sages have developed numerous “proofs” and other approaches for why it makes sense to believe in God (examples include Intelligent Design, First Cause, among others). Each one has its own compelling logic to it; I would be glad to point them out to you. The upshot, though, is that to believe in God can be a rational, intelligent conclusion, and need not be seen as a “belief” not rooted in sound thinking.

2) How can there be freewill if God knows the future?

The subject of freewill (and the opposing determinism) is one that is hotly debated and quite often misunderstood. I will focus more on the aspect of how external knowledge of a decision has no effect whatsoever on the phenomenon of freewill itself. 

Let’s assume for now freewill means my ability to choose cookie dough flavored ice cream instead of plain ol’ vanilla (to make it simple, this ice cream store unfortunately only has these two options, and it is the only one in town). Now, let’s also assume that you know, through some type of prophesy, that I will 100% choose vanilla (disappointing as that might be). Only you know this information. I do not know that you have this information. When it comes time to make the decision then, the fact you may know what I will choose has no bearing whatsoever on my ability to choose. It simply means you have a degree of knowledge I do not have. 

In a similar vein, and as Maimonides discusses, God has a different quality of knowledge than man, one not bound by time and space. Therefore, He knows what you will choose to do. But this does not mean it has any bearing on making the choice itself, and that is the essence of freewill. 

3) What is the point of praying?

The subject of prayer is a complex one, and cannot be understood in any sense of entirety with a brief few sentences. However, a starting point to approaching the Jewish concept of prayer is to re-consider certain assumptions. For one, it is incorrect to assume that our prayers “affect” the Creator of the Universe. God does not change, and to assume otherwise is considered heretical. Even the idea of “answering” us does not mean He is changing (the concept of Divine Intervention is a different area of discussion). In fact, the very goal of prayer is not necessarily the desired response.

When we look at the structure of the Amida, it is divided into three sections: praise, requests, and gratitude. Halacha mandates that if one does not have the appropriate understanding of the section on praise, he has not fulfilled his obligation. Praise of God, then, would appear to be the central facet of prayer. If so, this has nothing to do with our requests. Rather, it engenders a certain reality of the relationship you and I have with God. He is the Creator, Benefactor, the King, and only through the idea of chesed does He choose to relate to us.
 
If someone has this basic concept in place when praying, he has achieved its objective. Therefore, one can see that a change in the self is really the primary goal of prayer. As Rav Hirsch has written, the term “lehitpallel” really means an inquiry of the self.

Do you have questions like these?

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Amudim in Seven Words

Amudim in Seven Words

INQUIRY

Amudim is a place for inquiring minds and seekers who are highly motivated to think on their own, get their big questions answered and raise new ones. 

IMAGINATION

There is a lot of creativity to learning at Amudim, as students formulate their own interpretations, draw comparisons, apply theory and uncover meaning. 

INDIVIDUALITY

Our students’ most important asset is… Themselves. At Amudim, diversity is celebrated as students carve their own paths, finding a sense of self from the learning and, in turn, making Torah “their own.” 

INNOVATION

Our faculty members, scholars in their fields familiar with the most current scholarship and trends of thought, bring fresh and innovative approaches, always pressing students to “think higher,” sharpen their thoughts, consider the significance and implications of each comment and respectfully critique one another, fostering within their seminars an atmosphere of openness and critical exchange.

INTROSPECTION

Amudim’s mission to teach a Torat Chayim and nurture a Torah personality is geared at helping each student internalize and process what she is learning and understand how it can be incorporated into her life. 

INVIGORATION

The Amudim experience fosters healthy mind, body and spirit, providing opportunities for exploration, recreation, and physical fitness.     

ISRAEL

Amudim inspires students to value the Land of Israel’s spiritual dimensions, the roles it plays in Jewish history and Jewish identity, and to truly experience contemporary life in Israel.