WRJ's Blog

Much occurs in this Parashah, which begins the book of Exodus, among the best known and widely taught stories of our history.

Joseph and his generation are gone. The Israelite population had increased greatly and Pharoah enslaved them. The Egyptians made life very bitter for them. In an order of extreme cruelty, the Hebrew midwives were directed to kill the boys born to the Hebrew women.

This is the environment into which Moses was born. When it was no longer possible for his mother, Yocheved, to hide him, she laid him in a wicker basket and placed it among the reeds along...

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New laws around the country are restricting access to abortion and a woman’s autonomy to make decisions regarding her life and health. In particular, Ohio, Florida and Texas have recently passed laws that affect a woman’s access to abortion services.

Last month, Governor John Kasich of Ohio signed a ban on abortions after the 20-week mark. Only about 1% of abortions happen at the 20-week mark, an arbitrary point in gestation...

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Beside January representing the secular New Year, January is also the third anniversary I share with two dear friends. During the fall of 2013, Resa Davids, a long time member of WRJ, wanted to connect people in Israel to people in the United States with the goal of learning Hebrew.  There were no “rules” per say, whatever worked for each group was fine. For our group, she matched 3 people, 2 from Texas and 1 from Haifa. Rather, Deborah Nof of Haifa volunteered to teach two strangers across the world, Renee Roth and myself.

We began with a book called Aleph Isn’t Tough.  This was...

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This week begins the final portion of the book of Genesis, Parashat Va-y’chi, which deals with Jacob and his final blessings for his son Joseph and burial wishes preceding his death. We find Jacob in failing health, concerned with his legacy. Jacob makes Joseph promise to take him out of Egypt and bury him with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca in Canaan, near Hebron. “When I lie down with my fathers, take me up from Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” (Genesis 49:29-30) While on his deathbed, Jacob is consumed with thoughts of his legacy and is looking toward the future...

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National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month serves as a time to bring awareness to the issue of modern-day slavery: the trafficking in persons that occurs around the world and within communities in the United States. Human trafficking is the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. At least 20 to 30 million men, women, and children...

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