WRJ's Blog

In the months leading up to November 8, I suffered from acute election anxiety. Instead of incessantly checking my phone for the latest headlines or polls, I turned my anxiety into action. Leaving my suburban Philadelphia home with a clipboard and handmade “Voter Registration Volunteer” badge, I headed downtown to the Philadelphia Probation and Parole office, where I spent several mornings informing men and women who did not think they were eligible to vote that, in fact, they could vote, as long as they registered first. I spent afternoons knocking on doors and talking to people at bus...

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As with any Torah Study, we each bring our own experiences and learning to the table. This Torah portion is one that we all know well, but each of us has different reactions to different parts of the text as well as different experiences, with the text.

Basically this text relates the story of the Jews departing from Egypt, splitting of the Reed Sea, rejoining of the waters, continuing on to the Songs of the Sea by Miriam and ending with the journey in to the wilderness. G-d then sends manna from heaven.

As I reflect on the parashah, I must say that if, indeed, the story is...

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More than one friend as well as my two California Senators have asked me why I attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Friends wondered why I would fly across country and not simply march in either Oakland, San Francisco, or Walnut Creek which were all within my geographic location. Others wondered why I didn’t go to Chicago, where we have a condo.

As a child of the 1960s, marching and protesting are in my blood. As I aged to my current 70 year-old self, I thought that those days were totally over. I could slip into a peaceful and quiet “old-age.” But when Donald Trump was...

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This week’s Voices is written by Deena Gottlieb who is a 2nd year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR in NY. Deena is one of 6 students who are receiving YES Fund scholarships this year from WRJ.

This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, continues the narrative of the ten plagues. As the parashah opens, God tells Moses to plead with Pharaoh on behalf of the Israelites. However, in the same verse, we also learn that Moses’ efforts will be futile; Pharaoh will not relent because God has hardened Pharaoh’s heart against any sort of persuasion. This seems rather cruel of God. In essence, God...

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On January 23, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order reinstating the global gag rule, formally known as the Mexico City Policy. This policy was established by the Reagan Administration in 1984 and blocks all U.S. foreign aid to international family planning agencies that provide abortions or even mention abortion as an option for clients seeking health care.

As presidents have taken office, the global gag rule...

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