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Parashat B’har-B’chukotai

Susan Singer

This week, we conclude the book of Leviticus with the double Parashat B’har-B’chukotai. It begins with a discussion of shmita, a practice of letting the land rest between harvests.

WRJ Goes to Israel!

Elisa Heisman

This week, several WRJ women arrived in Israel to tour the country on what we are calling the “Women Off the Beaten Path” journey. They have been sending photos and stories about their adventures all week, and we have been posting them on social media.

One Family's Connection to the Holy Land

Eve Panush
On May 9, 2023, I had one of the most moving experiences of my life, thanks to the 2023 WRJ Mission Trip to Israel. After we spent the day touring around Jerusalem, we visited the Machal Memorial at Khan Sha’ar HaGai, where I shared my father’s story. Nathan Krotinger was one of the non-Israeli volunteers who fought in the 1948 Israel War of Independence.

WRJ’s Spice Girls: Making Za’atar in Israel

Bernice Porrazzo
Who knew that this spice doesn’t need refrigeration? Or that Za’atar can help to heal the skin because it has anti-inflammatory properties? And I read online that Za’atar has magnesium properties to help you get a restful sleep. I plan to eat some now, so I will be energized for tomorrow morning and our fifth day in Israel.

WRJ Appreciates Nurses!

Shoshana Dweck, VP of Social Justice, Temple Shaaray Tefila, Bedford Corners, NY
It's National Nurses Week, and today, we honor our “WRJ nurse,” friend, and North American Board Member Joanne Fried. Joanne spoke to WRJ's VP of Social Justice, Shoshana Dweck, for this blog post. 

Crossing Over

Josh Rodriguez
I’m feeling very peaceful today. I went to the mikvah this morning. I was a little nervous, just because official rites of passage can be a little scary. But I knew everyone was going to be super nice and supportive (and they were!).

Parashat Emor: Order and Chaos

Deborah Wilfond
On the surface, this parashah deals with separating things: life and death, celebration and self-denial, holy and unholy, perfect and blemished. Yet, we know that the real world is much more complicated.   Our existence cannot be arranged into perfectly neat categories. Illness and death are part of the way of things, the cycle of the seasons. Our grasp on life is more fragile than we realize. Our attempts at classification and hierarchy often contradict the multifaceted nature of our world. Chaos and order are both the stuff of our existence.

Earth Day, WRJ, and the Power for Purpose 2023 Campaign for Climate Justice

Andrea Stillman
The moment I knew I had to get more involved was when I watched a news story of a mother holding a child that was sick and limp after years of drinking contaminated water. I have seen too many of those news stories and have known too many people who are suffering because of what has been done to our environment. To me, fighting climate change is synonymous with fighting for others to be able to live as full and long a life as possible.

Parashat Sh'mini

Shoshana Dweck, VP of Social Justice, Temple Shaaray Tefila, Bedford Corners, NY
Parashat Sh'mini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47) starts with expectation, celebration, and solemn excitement. Aaron and his sons have just been ordained as the first priests. Step by detailed step, we follow along as Moses gives the instructions to Aaron, the priests, and the elders of the people, and they conduct the rituals to offer their first sacrifices. There is awe and wonder and the singing of praises. But suddenly, everything goes terribly awry.