As a young child, I walked to shul with my father every Shabbat morning and watched the service intently as I hid beneath the fringes of his tallit. I especially relished hearing the weekly Torah portion and was intrigued by the colorful cantillation styles. One Shabbat, when I was nine years old, I had apparently talked too animatedly to the Torah reader (a teenage boy) about various tropes and was banished to the women’s section. What a shock! Not only could I no longer see the service, I couldn’t hear it either. Nevertheless, I continued attending services because prayer helped me...Read More
We read in Pirkei Avot, “Be among the disciples of Aaron – seek peace and pursue it.” One of our highest aspirations as Jews is to establish peace within our homes, within our communities, and in our world. Sh’lom Bayit – peace in the home – is a core value of Jewish life.
For 30 years now, Jewish women have gone in peace to the plaza of Hakotel Hama’aravi, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, to hold a morning service for Rosh Chodesh. At 7 a.m., the “Women of the Wall” begin with Shacharit, proceed to Hallel, and hope to arrive at the service for the reading of the Torah. These...Read More
In parashah Vayikra, we learn about the sacrifices the Israelites need to make for God. We learn that animal sacrifice is a way to approach and to be near God. The rituals of sacrifice were performed as a way to thank God for good fortune and to ask forgiveness for sins. It is not just the priests who are instructed about how to approach God but the entire community, men and women alike. The community supplies the animals and the priests help to slaughter them. These sacrifices were not easy, however, to the Israelites; it was a way to bring them closer to God.
Although the...Read More
Where do we look? How do we find them?
This week’s Torah portion, Pekudei, concludes the book of Exodus. The construction of the Mishkan or portable Tabernacle used by the Israelites in the desert is complete and we are told of its success. “And the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Presence of God filled the Tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34). A temple had been built for God and He has chosen to dwell in it.
The next verse is quite surprising when we realize that Moses and God’s overwhelming presence could not be in the tent at the same time. The Tabernacle was so holy...Read More
As our mission statement says, Women of Reform Judaism is dedicated to creating caring communities, nurturing congregations, and cultivating personal and spiritual growth. We achieve these goals by using our collective voice to speak up and advocate for change.
I was given the immense honor of representing WRJ in the U.S. Capitol last week as we celebrated the 9th annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD).
JDAD is an opportunity for professionals and lay leaders from Jewish organizations and diverse communities from around the United States to come to Capitol Hill and...Read More