The outstanding success of last month’s inaugural Women of Reform Social Justice Conference (SJC) can be measured in myriad ways: the intriguing workshops, elegant Shabbat services, networking with friends, YES fundraising, and engaging plenaries. Appropriately, and in keeping with the theme of tikkun olam, the attendees were not given program books and a dozen flyers at registration but were asked to upload all conference materials to an app. Throughout SJC and continuing through the Religious Action Center’s Consultation on Conscience that followed, we received reminders about places to...Read More
B’Chukotai. One of the Torah portions that people avoid like the plague- (literally -like the chapters about the plagues). Here is a vision of G-d that we don’t want to embrace. The passages are full of blessings and curses. Do as I say and all will be well. Ignore me, and your world will crumble.
Why do we have so much trouble with this? Is it because we don’t want to believe in a G-d that would be so heartless as to destroy us and our future generations if we stray from the path? Or is it that the responsibilities are so overwhelming that we think we will fail, and somewhere deep...Read More
This week's Torah portion, Parashat Behar (“at the mountain”), speaks to the centrality of Eretz Yisrael in Jewish thought and deed. Although the Jewish people have lived in many other lands throughout much of our history and continue to do so today, we always have been profoundly aware of our link to Eretz Yisrael. Throughout the ages, intense love between Jews and our homeland has permeated our prayers, our Torah and our hearts. After traveling to Israel for the first time on a WRJ Mission in 2017, I myself have fallen in love with the land of Israel and its people.
In this...Read More
“Love people. Cook them tasty food.” - These are the words, on a bumper sticker, that hangs above my cookbooks. As I think about this week’s Torah portion, Emor, I consider why this saying resonates so much with me. I think about my Bubby who taught me how to bake cookies and I think about my mother who also taught me how to bake cookies. For both, the time spent in the kitchen with me was precious and the baked goods we created were an expression of nurturing those they loved.
From both my grandmother and mother, I learned how to follow a recipe’s rules, and with both women, I...Read More
This week’s Torah portion, K’doshim, meaning “holy ones,” opens with Adonai speaking to Moses saying, “Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I, Adonai your God, am holy.’” I see this parashah as a blueprint for how we should conduct our lives and how we should treat people. But first we need to take stock of ourselves and our relationships to determine if our dealings with others are honest and honorable.
In this parashah we find many commandments which guide our daily lives, both individually and communally. We are commanded to revere our...Read More