Voices of WRJ: Noach

by Rozan Anderson

There’s probably no one among us who doesn’t know the famous story of Noah and the ark. The tale is central to this week’s parashah, Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32). It is a story of a world gone corrupt and God’s decision to hit a reset button: why, how, and the aftermath.

Now, I’m not saying that our world today needs such a major reset. Indeed, after the flood, God created the rainbow as a covenant with all living things, with a promise to work together, rather than to erase and keep starting anew.

What types of resets might we consider, though, on a smaller scale? Especially at this time of the New Year, with our experiences of the High Holy Days still so fresh?

In this age of information, we are constantly bombarded with a metaphorical flood of news from around the world and such an abundance of activities that most of us must constantly choose what we’ll do next, all the while trying to stay focused on what we’re currently doing and, perhaps, taking a little time to reflect on what’s now in the past.

We see the impact of this flood as we look around our communities and notice all the competition for people’s time, energy, and financial support. If our congregations and sisterhoods, and Women of Reform Judaism, are to stay relevant and keep people engaged, this flood is our opportunity to hone in on what’s important—and what’s unique—about who we are and what we’re offering.

Is your sisterhood thinking about resets? Your congregation? Are you thinking about resets in your own life?

WRJ has grappled with these issues recently in a comprehensive visioning process, and we are excited to move forward with powerful new initiatives.

In just a few weeks, from November 4-8, 2015, many of us will be gathering in Orlando, FL for the WRJ Assembly 2015. There is no better time and place than this for a reset and refresh, as we come together to celebrate our successes, learn, teach, discuss, and carve out our future. There’s still time for you to join us in Orlando, if you’re not already registered!

Just as the good man Noah, his family, and all the pairs of animals were saved, we can take what works well with us into the future, leaving behind in the flood what’s no longer so useful. In doing so, may we go from strength to strength.

Rozan Anderson is a WRJ Executive Committee member. She is also Temple Beth El president elect in Madison, WI, and Temple Beth El Sisterhood past president.

Published: 10/16/2015

Categories: Voices of WRJ