Vayak’hel/Pekudei concludes the book of Exodus, solidifying the freed Israelites into a people through the establishing of Shabbat (holy time) and the building of the Mishkan (holy space). The detail with which the text describes the artistic design and execution of the Mishkan creates a vibrant image of the holy space for our community in their transition from slavery to freedom. There is much to grab our attention in this parshah, from the community’s donations towards building the Mishkan to the detailed depiction of Betzalel and Oholiab’s work. In the midst of the lengthy description...Read More
After 125 years, the sisterhood in Congregation Shaarai Shomayim in Lancaster, Pennsylvania underwent a renaming to become Women of Shaarai Shomayim (WSS) in attempts to reflect its growth and restructure over the years.
Once this change was announced, 9-year-old Mila Wachstein was walking with her “bubbio,” Rosanne Selfon, past president of WRJ, and she posed the question, “Why isn’t there a GSS or Girls of Shaarai Shomayim?”
“I feel like a lot of girls in third to sixth grade don’t really get the opportunity to talk a lot,” Mila said.
The goals of this group,...Read More
At the beginning of parashah, Ki Tisa (“when you take”) Moses is still on the mountain receiving some last-minute instructions from G-d about the census, the tabernacle, purification rituals, and recipes for the holy oils and incense. He has already received the tablets written by G-d that contain the Pact between G-d and the Israelites. But, Moses has left the Israelites with Aaron as a substitute leader for too long, and they have become restless, demanding a new god since the man, Moses, does not appear to be coming back. So, Aaron, fearful of what the Israelites might do if he does not...Read More
This portion speaks to me in many ways. As women, we have long fought for a place in our homes, congregations, towns, states, nations, and world. The Torah portion T’tzaveh speaks to women on different levels, speaking about ritual traditions and instructions for specific ways of cooking and eating, and for clothing and ritual items. The following are a few of the instructions that speak to me personally.