WRJ's Blog

This week’s parashah, Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3) is translated to “he went out” and begins with Jacob leaving Beersheba and traveling to Haran. On the way, he “comes upon a certain place and he passed the night there, for the sun was setting; taking one of the stones of the place, he made it his head rest as he lay down in that place.

“He dreamed, and lo- a ladder was set on the ground, with its top reaching to heaven, and lo-angels of God going up and coming down on it. God spoke to him and assured Jacob that his descendants will be like the dust of the earth and all the...

Read More

During the past year, the government of Canada admitted 25,000 Syrian refugees and another 11,000 have been arriving as part of private sponsorship opportunities. Upon the arrival of the Syrian refugees, they immediately receive permanent resident status which means they have access to health care, schools, jobs, in other words, a full and, hopefully, productive new life.

In late 2015 and early 2016, members of the Holy Blossom Temple community in Toronto raised funds to sponsor two Syrian families. A core group of volunteers assembled to take on various roles to coordinate the...

Read More

In Tol’dot, The Generations (of Isaac), Rebekah is the driving force. Her pregnancy causes concern so she inquires of the Eternal One. The Eternal One said to her: “Two people are in your belly; two nations shall branch off from each other (as they emerge) from your womb. One people shall prevail over the other; the elder shall serve the younger.” (25:19-26) Esau gives Jacob his birthright in exchange for some stew. (25:27-34) Isaac plans to bless Esau, his firstborn. Rebekah and Jacob deceive Isaac so that Jacob receives the blessing. (27:1-29)

In this parashah we learn about...

Read More

Recently, the Mission Statement for our Sisterhood in Miami was modified to end with “… as a legacy for our daughters and granddaughters”. I hope that legacy includes a willingness to persevere through the challenges that will always be present. Changing our language was part of an attempt to clarify our “Why”, an ongoing quest for meaning that reminds us to be flexible, inspiring, and dynamic.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities, yet we all know that the greater good is far more meaningful and profound. The “Why” can be our key to creating long-lasting...

Read More

This week’s parasha, Va’yeira (Genesis 18:1-22:4), is chock full of familiar stories, including Abraham’s welcome of 3 strangers, the promise of the birth of Isaac and Sarah’s resultant laughter, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the casting out of Hagar, and the Akedah, the binding of Isaac.

I am choosing to focus on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, specifically Abraham’s argument with G-d, prior to the destruction. As you may recall, when G-d tells Abraham of the plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham asks, “Will you sweep away the innocent along with the guilty?” (Gen...

Read More