The “Aderaba Lod” Center for Ancient-Contemporary Innovation, located in Lod, Israel, will be an educational-tourist visitor center presenting one of the most exciting chapters in the history of the Jewish people – the era of the “Tannaim,” the sages of the Mishna who lived in the Land of Israel 2,000 years ago. These scholars, and the Talmudic enterprise that followed them, were responsible for creating the modern-day “Beit Midrash,” the Torah study hall renowned for its intellectual vigor and groundbreaking methods of discussion and thought.
The center will be interactive, inviting the visitor to encounter these thinkers and to experience their concerns and discussions in ways that trigger the modern imagination. The center’s uniqueness thus lies in its ability to create a connection between the interests of the contemporary visitor and the creative thinking of the Beit Midrash.
The center’s name itself, Aderaba, is a term from the Talmud that literally means “on the contrary.” The word can be said to represent the heart of Talmudic discussion: One side brings evidence for its opinion, and then remarkably, the other side uses the same piece of evidence to make the contrary case.
“Aderaba Lod” is establishing this center in cooperation with the Lod Municipality and the Jerusalem Heritage Office. Lod Mayor Adv. Yair Revivo says that “Aderaba Lod will be built in this ancient city of Lod, the place in which these personalities lived and operated … Lod will identify its image as a city with a glorious historical past, and as a city that invests in education and the values of its heritage. The center will attract visitors of all sorts to the city, helping to realize its tourist and economic potential.”
The center is currently in the planning stage. The association held an extensive competition among architects for the project, which was ultimately won by Neuman-Heiner. Together with the “Aderaba Lod” Association and with the Diskin Society – experts in designing experiences and visitor centers – the architects have initiated the detailed planning stage. The building is projected to be complete in two years.
Yair Lieberman, a resident of Lod and chairman of Aderaba Lod, says that the center “will be an important and influential institution that will initiate and hold meetings and collaborations that inspire creativity and innovation.”
As part of its mission, Aderaba Lod has already founded the Innovation Lab, which seeks new ways to implement Beit Midrashic thought in contemporary life. While some members of the Lab have a Beit Midrash background themselves, others are researchers and scholars in other fields of thought. These varieties of experience make the Lab an ideal place for groundbreaking innovation.
The Lab has set out to translate the principles of Beit Midrashic thought into creative tools such as workshops, curricula and activities to facilitate modes of thought. It will also provide programs that utilize these tools for problem-solving among a wide range of populations with various needs. For example, just last month the Lab assisted General Roni Noma in his strategic problem-solving efforts against the coronavirus.
The Aderaba Lod Association can be contacted via email: email@example.com.