WRJ's Blog

Torah scroll

 

In Parashah Chukat, “God said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and find a completely red cow on which there is no blemish and no yoke has ever come. You shall give it to Eleazar, the priest, and he shall take it outside the camp and slaughter it. This cow shall then be made into an offering and those that participate in the sacrifice shall be unclean until the evening. ‘Remember...

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Last week, our friends at the Reform Jewish Community of Canada issued a statement of solidarity with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in light of the discovery of a mass grave of 215 children on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. As we mourn this indescribable loss, we also acknowledge that the injustices inflicted upon Indigenous people are not limited to historic abuses. We must work together to...

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Torah scroll

 

There is something a bit disturbing about reading a Torah portion with insurrections and plague in 2021. Parashah Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32) contains two different rebellion- Korah’s challenge to Aaron’s leadership of the priesthood and Dathan and Abiram’s challenge against Moses’s leadership. Tests and consequences follow, including a plague. Moses directs Aaron to act, and the plague is checked, although thousands had already died. Reading anything about a plague is simply different these days than it would be pre-COVID-19.

Perhaps...

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Torah scroll

 

There are times I have ideas that are contrary to the majority opinion. Within the confines of my mind, I ponder what could be a plausible strategy at best, an idea worthy of discussion at the very least. Yet sometimes I hesitate and stay silent. I second guess my thought process. I consciously choose the comfort and safety of  aligning with the status quo or the majority.  For that moment, fear overtakes wisdom. 

 

I recalled these moments of hesitancy and fear as I read this week’s parashah, Sh'lach L’cha. Would I have had...

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On April 8th, I had the chance to hear Sue Bird, one of the WNBA’s great sports activists on equality, LGBTQ rights, and pay equity, remind us that “Being an ally is so important. The voices are louder. Women in sport have always been quick to lend that voice.”

I would prefer to center my oldest son’s voice in any discussion of transgender people as simply and truly existing in this world and having the right to do so. But Sue Bird reminded me that there are more allies than there are people who are gender nonconforming, and it is our responsibility to raise our...

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