BT movement and Yeshivat D'var Yerushalayim
Date: July 02, 2002 12:11AM
My first stop in Israel in '78 was at Yeshivat D'var Yerushalayim. Although I only stayed there for about 3 months during a summer program, it made an indelible mark on me.
Although D'var advertises on its website that it allows students to progress at their own pace, it didn't find all of that to be the case. My life was made miserable at D'var, mostly by the student's more than by the teachers.
When I firs came to D'var, they tried to figure out which prayers I had to say out of the prayer book liturgy. Someone handed me a prayer book and then looked at me saying, "you have to say [this one and this one and ....]" These people always seemed to think they were right.
I used to lead the prayers while I was in Hebrew school at Suffolk Jewish Center in Deer Park, LI, NY. But I got burned out at D'var.
Another problem was over the students always thinking they knew what they were talking about even when they didn't. For some reason, someone in D'var thought I was a drug addict and called me that. I'm not and never was. In fact, most of the music I listen to, up til this day, is Jewish music as I want to steer clear of music which is drug music.
Also, Kashrus was another problem. One of the rabbis told me one day that if I wanted to get a kosher chicken, such and such restaurant was up to his standards. So I went there and got a chicken.
My holier than thou roommate asked me where I got the chicken and who recommended it. When I couldn't remember which rabbi said it was kosher. He tried to insist I couldn't eat it.
I did anyway.
When I was at D'var, I must have been under scrutiny because one day a few students came up to me saying how the Torah was a system and "you can't just pick out of it what you want to do and not do the rest". Actually, this was a speech I had given many years previous to my parents who I always chided for only keeping some laws and not others.
I found that the Torah is not "one system" but a series of systems, which vary greatly from group to group.
Finally, my association with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach the singing rabbi also came under fire. People came up to me saying they hoped or heard that Shlomo was dead. That his ordination
(smicha) was going to be revoked etc. They also hated him because he hugged and kissed women, etc.
Shlomo has a song called "Lord Get Me High", it's on the "Live in Vienna" recording. At D'var, someone claimed that Shlomo wrote this tune while on LSD.
And D'var had a bedbug infestation in it's dormitories. I got bitten up from head to toe. I have some more information at:
Look at the postings and at the "files" section.