Selections from The Torah: A Women's Commentary: Sukkot 2001

By Julie Pelc Adler

In every generation, Jews have understood the significance of the Torah in their lives. We have studied, written, and taught about the meaning of Torah and its relevance to contemporary circumstances. With the publication of The Torah: A Women’s Commentary in 2007, the teachings of women scholars and Jewish professionals on the significance of Torah in their lives is now available in a scholarly compendium. One of the unique additions in this commentary is the Voices section: “In addition to the more traditional modes of interpretation, this Commentary includes poetry, an innovative mode of expanding and extending the Torah text. In the Voices section at the conclusion of each parashah, we have collected poetry, along with selected prose pieces, to invite you to consider how issues and themes in each Torah portion reflect and illuminate women’s lives and experiences.” (Sue Levi Elwell, “The Poetry of Torah and the Torah of Poetry,” The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, page x.)

Today’s Ten Minutes of Torah is excerpted from The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, Voices on Parashat R’eih, page 1140.

Based on Deuteronomy 16:13-15.

Beneath the wings of your shelter
I shudder.

You want so desperately to protect us
From the wind
Howling and blowing
Debris that hits
Our backs, our hands, our faces
We hide.

I watch as four posts
Our stronghold
Sway lightly
And begin tipping, rocking
Leaving the ground
As the wind blows stronger,
Colder.

I look up,
Pray for the spaces
In the branched roof to
Grow smaller
Pray for reasons to stay here
Pray for calm.

But your shelter
Cannot shelter
Forever.

The WRJ Ten Minutes of Torah series is sponsored by the Blumstein Family Fund and by Sandi and Mike Firsel and Temple Chai Sisterhood.

Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler works at Aitz Hayim Center for Jewish Living in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She also serves as the Director of the Berit Mila Program of Reform Judaism.  Previously, she was the
Assistant Director of the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and served for two years as the Director of Jewish Student Life at Santa Monica College.

Published: 9/17/2013

Categories: Arts & Culture, Reform Movement, Torah Study