The first several paragraphs of Vayeira (Genesis 18:1 – 18.16) recount the story of the visit by God, in the form of 3 strangers, to inform Abraham that his wife, Sarah, at the advanced age of 90, will bear a son. It is apparent from the text that these visitors while appearing mortal, are, indeed, divine messengers of God.
We tend to view this narrative as an instructional text highlighting the importance of Isaac’s birth. At the same time, we see this as a fable: a patently impossible scenario of a post-menopausal conception and delivery. A true miracle – a Bible story....Read More
Over a decade before #MeToo took over the internet, activist Tarana Burke was working to empower and heal young survivors of sexual violence. In October 2017, Burke’s lifework was thrust into the national spotlight, as the phrase "Me Too" became a viral social media hashtag to shed light on the abhorrent prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault in society. The #MeToo movement has sparked a long-overdue public conversation about the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct and has provided a platform...Read More
I first heard Debbie Friedman’s music in 1976 at an Ohio summer camp. Twenty years later I heard “L’chi Lach”, a song Debbie Friedman and feminist biblical scholar Savina Teuba wrote based on this week’s parashah, Lecha L’cha (“go forth”). Friedman’s text uses the feminine words “l’chi lach.”
Genesis 12:1-3 tells the story of Avram and Sarai as they begin a journey of faith and to be blessed on this journey. God says, "Leave your land, your birthplace, and your father's house and go to the land that I will show you." It was difficult for Avram to leave behind everything he has...Read More
The Religious Action Center is thrilled to announce that registration for the 9th annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD) is officially live. JDAD, hosted in partnership with The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), is a one-day event where Jews with disabilities and their allies from organizations and communities across the nation convene on Capitol Hill to learn about relevant disability policy, raise awareness on disability inclusion, and advocate on current legislative priorities with their elected officials. This year,...Read More
When most people think of this week’s Torah portion, Noach, they think of the flood, the ark, and the animals. When I think of Noach, I think of cross stitch, Canada, and connection. During my first week at WRJ, I made plans to connect with the Vice President that I would be working with, Sara Charney. While getting to know each other, I shared with her that I was a knitter. She paused before asking if I did other needle crafts. I responded that occasionally I would do a cross stitch project. Coincidentally Sara had just been introduced to a unique new project by Temma Gentles, who was...Read More