By Robin Krieger, Chai Society Member & FWC Co-Chair, Temple Shalom of Newton, Newton, MA, 4/09/2021
Why is my sister still kosher?
It never occurred to me to ask my sister, Toby, why she keeps a kosher home until I read this week’s Torah portion, Shemini, which discusses the strict dietary rules of kashrut. While we are taught all about these rules, it provides no explanation for the incredibly detailed and complicated rules of clean and unclean animals that are discussed in the portion– leaving it up to the interpretation of scholars over centuries. Was it for health reasons, or were the rules for the killing of animals more humanitarian? Or, was it meant to separate the... Read More
By Lisa D. Singer, WRJ Chai Society Member Temple Israel Sisterhood, Akron, Ohio, 4/02/2021
Parashat Yom Sh’vi-i Shel Pesach tells the story of the last days of Passover. The Jewish people witness the parting of the Sea of Reeds, and God delivers the Israelites from the Egyptians. In celebration of this miraculous rescue, Moses and the Israelites sing Adonai, a hymn to God’s power: “The Song of the Sea,” which includes “Mi Chamocha,” words that are incorporated into today’s daily prayer service. Then Miriam the Prophetess, Moses and Aaron’s sister, picked up a timbrel, and she leads the women in song and dance.
Miriam is not a Prophetess in the literal sense of... Read More
By Trina Novak WRJ Northeast District Immediate Past President, 3/26/2021
When I was younger, before the age of all our electronics, my Mom initiated me into the world of list-making. Each day was organized by my to-do list, and I took great satisfaction in checking off each item as it was completed. Most items were of a mundane nature, such as picking up a carton of milk on the way home from work. Some were of a higher priority and intent, such as completing an educational plan for a student in need of specialized services. At that time in my life, I would probably say that very few items on my checklist had anything to do with a spiritual nature, or a... Read More
By Susan Bass WRJ Immediate Past President, 3/18/2021
I love baseball. I am an unabashed baseball fan and have been since attending my first Atlanta Braves baseball game at the age of nine. I am willing to watch baseball at any level – from the Little League World Series to the College World Series to, well, THE World Series. It took a little while for my 10-year-old brain to understand why a batter would intentionally lay down a bunt (a sacrifice) to advance a runner, or why a fly ball was called a sacrifice, just because a runner went to the next base (or scored a run).
After all, a sacrifice is something important or precious that is given... Read More
By Holly Plotnick, 3/12/2021
In last week’s Torah portion (Ki Tisa), the Israelites gathered against Aaron (Moses’ brother) to demand that he led them to make the Golden Calf as an idol to represent God as they were unsure when or if Moses would be returning. As we move into this week’s Torah portion, Vayak’heil-P’Kudei, the people are struggling to trust God and find a way to rebuild the relationship. This double Parashot concludes the book of Exodus, establishes Shabbat and the building of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle.
In this Parashat, God gives incredibly detailed instructions on building the Mishkan,... Read More