In Va-et’chanan, many powerful lessons can be learned, with the ten commandments, the Sh’ma, and the V’ahavta in this parashah. Moses pleads with G-d to be allowed to enter the Promised Land. The Israelites are instructed to treasure the Torah and to teach the precepts to the generations to come. Cities of refuge are set up on the eastern side of the Jordan River, in addition, the prohibition of interfaith marriages is mentioned.
One of the important aspects of this weeks’ parashah is the one on teaching and learning. Moses states why the Israelites should obey G-d’s teaching, he...Read More
It’s one thing to be standing in front of a room when you know more than everyone else; it’s entirely different to be educating a group of people who know as much, if not more, than you do. It is scary, your heart is racing, and you feel like you could never possibly be equipped to handle whatever you’ve been tasked with.
But the room is filled with energy and passion, and people know as much as you do because they care as much as you do. And so they ask questions and answer questions. They help each other talk things through and figure things out. In this room, I can be okay with...Read More
When I was in second grade, I won an essay contest. The Jewish Agency asked young people across the country to respond to one question – what does Israel mean to you? In retrospect, my family should have understood this as a sign that I was destined to be a rabbi. But back in 1986, all I remember was my elation at winning the $200 prize.Last year, while cleaning out the basement I stumbled across my essay. The handwriting was something that only an eight-year-old girl could replicate, with hearts drawn in place of dots over the “I’s,” I wrote, “what Israel means to me is hope. Hope that...Read More
In this week’s parashat we hear the voice of Moses retelling the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. This includes the explanation of why we had to spend 40 years in the desert. He also shows his time of weakness when he needs to look to others for help to get the people to the Promised Land.
As I was reading this parashah I kept thinking of my own current journey. My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer just last year. This was the third time he was hit with cancer and I just didn’t think I was going to be able to get through the journey with all the responsibilities I...Read More
I recently had the opportunity to visit Israel as part of the 2018 WRJ Wilkenfeld International Women’s Leadership Seminar. Following the seminar, a number of us attended the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism Biennial on a kibbutz outside of Tel Aviv. Each of these two amazing events has been described in detail by other WRJ women who attended, and I recommend their articles to you.
The experience I want to share here is a day that I spent visiting the West Bank. While our WRJ group was in Israel, a group from ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) was touring...Read More