In this Torah portion, the Israelites lose two of their leaders: Miriam and Aaron. When Aaron dies, the people are prepared – they observed Moses, Aaron and Eleazar ascend Mount Hor. Later, when only Moses and Eleazar (wearing Aaron’s vestments) descend from the mountain, they realize that Aaron has died. They mourn him for 30 days before continuing on their journey.
Miriam’s death seems to come without warning. It is at the very beginning of the parashah that her death is recounted, naming the place of her death and burial. No official mourning period is mentioned.
On Friday, June 23, we celebrated 45 years since the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex under any education program or activity that receives federal funding. Title IX is most commonly known for its application to the fight for gender equality in collegiate athletics, but I have come to know it intimately for a different reason.
In recent years, the term “Title IX” has become closely associated with student activism around sexual violence in schools, particularly on college campuses...Read More
This week’s Voices is written by Jennifer Mager who is a 2nd year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR in New York. Jennifer is one of 6 students who are receiving YES Fund scholarships this year from WRJ.
In this week’s parashah, Korach incites rebellion, rallying the Israelites against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Korach, Dathan, and Abiram, together with 250 leaders of the community, rise up against Aaron’s exclusive right to the priesthood and criticize Moses’ leadership. The parashah unfolds with the terrifying details of their punishment; the earth opens its mouth and swallows...Read More
Each June, we observe Pride Month and take time to celebrate the many important victories won for LGBTQ people in the United States. We also reflect on the long road to winning those battles, and the ongoing fights for nationwide employment protection, discrimination protection in public accommodations, and full equality for transgender people.
However, as we strive for the more complete inclusion of LGBTQ people in American society, we must also remember equality for all is not limited by borders. Like the United States, other countries...Read More
In the Torah Portion Sh’lach L’cha, Moses sends twelve scouts to assess and report on the land of Canaan, the land that God has promised. The scouts return with a mixed report on the land and the people. In Numbers 13: 32-33, ten scouts report “All of the people that we saw in it are of great size…and we looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we must have looked to them.” (The Torah A Women’s Commentary, p. 875). In contrast Joshua and Caleb report of the wealth and surety of Adonai’s promise of protection and blessing. Again, the Israelites turn away from God in rebellion.