Blog

Parashah Tazria

Karen Sim, WRJ First Vice President, Isaac M. Wise Temple, Cincinnati, OH
April 1, 2022

This week’s Torah portion is the oft-dreaded Parashah Tazria, from Leviticus, commonly referred to as the menstruation/leprosy parashah.  

One of the topics this parashah deals with is female impurity as a result of giving birth, segregation from the

Standing with Women of the Wall

Abigail Fisher
April 1, 2022
The first time I celebrated Rosh Chodesh with Women of The Wall (WOW) at the Kotel was in 2013 during the WRJ Centennial Mission to Israel. I was fully prepared and expecting to be detained by police. At that time, women were being arrested simply for wearing a tallit – a prayer shawl! For over 30 years, Women of the Wall have led the struggle for women’s right to pray aloud, with tallitot, tefillin, and Torah, at the Kotel in Jerusalem. This is a cause I really believe in. No one, and I mean NO ONE, is going to tell me how to pray or not.

Parashah Sh'mini

Laurel Fisher
March 25, 2022
The Shema, Judaism’s most essential prayer, begins with the words “Hear O’ Israel.” Daily, we are commanded not to speak but to listen. I believe that this call to understanding also asks to be silent in order to hear God’s voice.  This week’s Torah portion, Parashah Sh'mini, opens with the ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests (Lev 9:1-10:3). Aaron is proud of his children, and this is a moment of great joy and celebration.

Parashah Tzav

Shelley Niceley Groff
March 17, 2022
We know that every word in the Torah is there for a reason; there are no superfluous verses. So what do we learn from detailed instructions for these ancient rituals? As Nancy Fuchs Kreimer reminds us in The Torah, a Women’s Commentary, after the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple, the sacrificial system was replaced by maintaining sacrifices in new forms. These new forms still included a complex system of laws and rituals around preparing and eating food.  And we know, too, from other rituals performed both communally and privately that detail and ritual remain important. Why? 

Let Us Be Like Esther and Elena

Jane Taves
Micaela Sheinhait
March 14, 2022
In June 2018, twenty-three women converged in Jerusalem for WRJ's Wilkenfeld International Women's Leadership Seminar. One of the women was Elena Izmailova of Ukraine. Last month, these women reached out to Elena who lives in Odesa to check in on her. This story is what the term sisterhood is all about. Read more about Elena here. 

Parashah Vayikra

Jenn Daley, WRJ Executive Committee, Marketing & Communications Chair
March 10, 2022
This past weekend, my women’s group, Congregation Gates of Prayer Sisterhood, was able to hold our annual Sisterhood Shabbat after missing it last year due to the pandemic. It was a beautiful Friday evening service full of feminist perspectives -- led entirely by women, with meaningful readings from WRJ’s Covenant books, tunes of mostly female singer/songwriters for our prayers, and dancing through the aisles WRJ-style to MiChamocha. It was the ‘dancing of the women’ that brought me to tears remembering what I’ve so dearly missed, an overwhelming feeling of being closer to God.

Creating a Meaningful Installation Service

Sandi Firsel
March 3, 2022
Spring is a time for renewal. For many, it might be the first time being part of a Board, and for others, it might be renewing their commitment as leaders. At the start of the new season, it is time to acknowledge these dedicated women. Here are some tips on how to honor all of these women.

Parashat P’kudei

Rosanne M. Selfon
March 3, 2022
To write this D’Var Torah gift to all of you, I decided to take a different path from what I usually do when I write. I did online research to discover what I didn’t know about The Tabernacle. So, please indulge me. I want to share little-known P’kudei facts that I hope you find inspiring, if not illuminating!