Lo Bashamayim Hi. It is not in heaven. [Deut. 30:12]
Every Sunday, I make the 40-minute drive across from Northern Virginia to Rockville for a few hours of learning.
The teachers guide us through some text, introduce provocative questions derived from the text, and then join us in
the discussion. Who wrote the Bible? Why do bad things happen to good people? Does everything “happen for a
reason”? What is Judaism – an ethnicity, a culture, a religion, a set of values, a people…more than one? What
does it mean to “believe” in God? Class often ends with me confused and unsatisfied. But no one knows the
answers to these questions. Maybe there is no one right answer. Maybe we’ll never know the answer. Yet I still
always come home with new ideas that resonate with me. As soon as I see my Mom after Shoresh, I almost always
have a question to share with her that's been troubling me or exciting me since earlier that night. And the pursuit of
the answers to arguably unanswerable questions makes three hours feel like no time at all.
What initially started as a forced-by-my-parents program so that I would stay connected to Judaism, tolerated only
because of friends at Shoresh, has become one of the highlights of every week. I love Shoresh.
So if the debate is not in heaven, where is it? Here of course, right inside this building, every week, at
Shoresh: Klal Yisrael In Action
Shoresh exemplifies, better than anything I have ever seen, the value of klal yisrael. Klal yisrael is the idea that
Jews, regardless of denomination or belief, are all members of one people and that we must respect each other
fully even though we may disagree sharply when it comes to our theology and practice. ... MORE
So how does Shoresh do such a good job where other Jewish organizations don’t? ... MORE
Finding Our Place in Judaism
Buber claims that there are two types of relationships in the world: The I-It relationship and the I-Thou relationship.
An I-It relationship is one in which a person thinks of another person or object in terms of what use the person or
object is serving to himself. Even if he regards the other with affection, he is still regarding the other as an "it," or
something to be used. On the other hand, an I-Thou relationship manifests itself between two people, or an object
and a person, who have no material use for each other. Instead, their personalities speak freely to each other in
unencumbered enjoyment. ... MORE
Excited About Judaism
My time at Shoresh has been amazing, full of wonderful teachers and classmates, all of whom want to teach and
learn. I’ve listened to and fought in passionate debates during which I’ve changed sides multiple times, and
continued those debates just as passionately with Dad on the car ride home.
Most importantly, Shoresh has made me excited about Judaism in a way that I never was before, and in a way that
won’t go away once I leave.
At my old school, there were some questions that I would never ask because I thought they would sound stupid or
even sacrilegious. Here I could ask almost anything because I didn’t have to worry so much about that. I could just
One of the most important things I’ve learned by coming to Shoresh is that it is normal to have doubt and to
struggle with my faith. Shoresh gave me a good place to begin that struggle.
|Ulpan Ben Yehuda
at the JCCGW is now open to
Shoresh students for only
$100 per semester,
a $300 savings!
Call today for details.
|Shoresh Hebrew High
School is a nonprofit
organization and has
501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.