“Depart from evil and do good” (Psalms 34, 14) – that was the motto of the 4th FestivaLimud, held in Misgav on May 20, 2016. We’ve been a key member in the coalition of organizations that puts on the festival each year since 2013, and are happy to report an unqualified success. About 150 people from Misgav and Karmiel attended, enjoying an interesting mix of talks, workshops, movie discussion, study tour and musical session.
Many of the participants commented on the interesting variety the program offered. Where else could one find a female Orthodox rabbi (Rabbi Devorah Evron) leading a study session on a lesser-known biblical story, the former Archbishop of the Galilee (Father Elias Shakur) in a discussion about good and evil in Christian and Jewish traditions, and author Eliezer Yaari telling the personal story behind his new book?
True to the topic, several representatives of NGOs spoke about their work: Gadi Gvaryahu from Tag Meir describing efforts to combat racist attacks; Hagit Breitmann and Dina David discussing work at the local soup kitchen; and Ran Melamed from Yedid, a leading social justice organization.
The festival was a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with organizations committed to the dissemination of Jewish culture in Israeli society - Noya Sageev from 929: Tanakh B'yachad (more on our participation in this project in one of the upcoming newsletters) led a discussion on the book of Ruth, and the Gesher Film Fund sent a short film which sparked a fascinating discussion.
For those more inclined to physical activity, the Foundation’s Sigalit Ur led a study tour to Yodfat, site of a historic battle between Jews and Romans. And all reconvened at the end of the day for a musical Kabbalat Shabbat, led by Rabbi Or Zohar and George Sam’an.
In the opening remarks by Rabbi Dubi Avigur (founding father and organizer-extraordinaire of the festival) and Sigalit Ur, we extended our hopes that the festival might energize some of the participants and motivate them to take action – “Depart from evil, and do good”.
The effects remain to be seen…