WRJ's Blog

This week’s Torah portion, Vayeishev, is one that may be familiar to most of us. It’s the early story of Joseph and his relationship with his brothers, his dreams, and his coat of many colors. It’s also the story of Tamar and her father in law, Judah, and finally Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. All three of these subplots deal with clothing or garments and deception.

I am especially drawn to the story of Tamar and Judah. Judah is one of Joseph’s brothers. Judah arranges for Tamar to marry one of his sons, Er. Er dies and she is then given to his brother Onan, who also dies. Judah...

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On Wednesday, December 6, the first day of URJ Biennial 2017, energized participants came together for a learning session in Boston to learn about pay equity efforts within the Reform Movement. On average, professional women in the United States earn 85 cents to every dollar men earn. Sadly, this is true in Reform institutions as well. The session was titled “Gender Justice: Women in the Workplace" and  focused on the issue of wage disparity both inside and outside of the professional institutions that make up the Reform Movement.

 “It is easy when you’re the employee to see the...

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This parashat contains the sole Genesis Bible story I never learned in Religious School. In fact, I never learned that Jacob had a daughter, only four wives who gave birth to those important twelve sons who became namesakes for the twelve tribes. So, my friends, read on with care and let’s learn about Jacob’s only daughter.

Dinah, whose voice we never hear (sound like many women today??), experiences rape and degradation at the hand of Schechem, son of the local chief Hamor. Ironically, Dinah’s father Jacob immediately does nothing! (Of course, we never hear her mother Leah say a...

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December 14, 2017, will mark the 5th anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the years since, 500,000 Americans have been killed or injured by gun violence. From December 6-17, please join us and our allies across the country to commemorate the tragedy in Sandy Hook, to remember all innocent victims and survivors of gun violence, and to call for an #EndGunViolence once and for all.

So far, 188 events in 40 states are being...

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In this week’s parasha, Jacob has set out for Haran, and finds a place to sleep. He places a head rest down as he prepares to sleep. He dreams of a ladder going from the ground to the heavens with angels going up and down. Adonai speaks to Jacob reminding him of the commitment to Jacob’s descendants. When Jacob awakes, he realizes that he was in the presence of Adonai, and did not know it. And Jacob places the stone as a monument to this place and called it Beth El.

This is the first time that one of the patriarchs sees G-d in a dream, and communicates with G-d through that dream....

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