This week’s parashah, Vayigash, is one often retold and even popularized in movies and musicals. This is the high drama story of Joseph meeting with his estranged brothers, who had years ago sold him into slavery over their jealousy of his favored status with their father. The brothers don’t recognize Joseph and think he is an Egyptian because of his status as Pharaoh’s aide. When a stolen goblet is found in their younger brother Benjamin’s bag, the brothers beg Joseph to spare him from slavery.
At a crucial moment in this exchange, Joseph reveals his true identity and cries out. “...Read More
On November 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education published a proposed rule that, if implemented, will dramatically scale back schools’ responsibilities to address sexual harassment. This proposal will change how schools interpret Title IX, a section of the 1972 Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education programs and activities that receive federal funding. The...Read More
Parashah Mikeitz begins with Joseph’s accurate interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams. Joseph, the favorite of Jacob’s 12 sons, had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. After years of imprisonment, Joseph was released from slavery due to his foretelling of the seven years of plenty followed by seven years of want. Upon his release from the pit where he was held captive, Joseph was elevated to the second highest position in Egypt.
Preparation for the years of want did not extend to the land of Joseph’s father and brothers and famine was rampant throughout their land. Jacob...Read More
In 2012, the year before WRJ celebrated our 100th anniversary, my mitzvah participation while a member of the WRJ Executive Committee was to write 12 D’vrei Torah all of which had the theme, “Women’s Voices Deepen Our Jewish Legacy.” One that I wrote for our centennial year was entitled “Tamar: Conscious Choices and Choosing One’s Own Destiny” and is based on Parashah Vayeishev (Genesis 38: 1 – 30). And, of course, I used “The Torah: A Women’s Commentary” as my companion. Parts of this blog came from that D’var Torah, improved by some grammatical edits and some rethinking of the subject...Read More
Abraham Geiger College, one of WRJ’s YES Fund recipients, asked WRJ to send a representative to Berlin for the 80th anniversary commemorative events of Kristallnacht, including special services, concerts, art exhibitions and panel discussions. It was my honor to be representing WRJ at these events.November 9, 2018
We began the day with Rosh Chodesh Kislev services organized by Abraham Geiger College. The service was led by a graduate of the cantorial program, a current cantorial student, and one of WRJ’s grantees at Geiger College, rabbinical student Jasmin Adriani.