Related Blog Posts on Voices of WRJ

Parashat Yom Rishon shel Rosh HaShanah

During the High Holidays, my thoughts turn to the special blessings, prayers, and melodies that shape our journey from Selichot to Rosh HaShanah to the final shofar blast on Yom Kippur.

Many of our prayers in the High Holiday liturgy are written in the plural

My Journey from Altar-Girl to Cantorial Soloist

Kyra Goldman

I was born a Goldman, and always knew I was Jewish on my dad’s side. Although my whole family was spiritual in their own way, the Jewish side of my family didn’t have warm feelings towards religion, and the only thing  passed down to me was the Jewish humor


Parashat D'varim

Judy Wexler

Recently, I was bicycling with my husband, and we looked up to see a flock of birds sailing across the sky in formation.

Parashat Matot-Mas’ei

Marsha B. Moller
As part of a sisterhood/women’s group, we achieve consensus, agree to accept a decision, and move forward. Maybe the deliberations are difficult. But, these challenging conversations allow for the betterment of the group. We accept the imperfect and agree to amend when needed. These five courageous sisters in this parashah provide an example of women united in sisterhood. It takes courage to state one’s position. It takes compromise to reach a consensus. It takes skill and willpower to keep looking forward.

Parashat Balak

Blair C. Marks

This week we encounter the strange tale of Balak (king of Moab,) Balaam (a non-Israelite prophet,) and Balaam’s she-donkey, who, like most of the females in the Torah, has no name. Let’s call her Jennie, which, after all, is the term for a she-donkey. 


Parashat Korach

fredi Bleeker Franks
How many times have we reacted angrily to someone’s comments when taking a moment to reflect would have resulted in a calmer discussion and potentially a better outcome? As leaders in our Sisterhoods and women’s groups, we are often faced with women who challenge our ideas, disrupt our meetings, or fail to follow through on promised activities. When faced with a challenging conversation, sometimes taking a moment just to breathe is the most helpful thing we can do.

Parashat Sh’lach L’cha

Gayle Kipp

Parashat Sh’lach L’cha (“Send for Yourself”), Numbers 13:1–15:41, tells the dramatic story of Israelite scouts going into Canaan to survey and report on the land’s inhabitants and natural resources.

Parashat B'haalot'cha

Lillian Burkenheim Silver

I was eight, sitting in my Hebrew class on a hot Tuesday afternoon after school. Cantor Wagner entered the room, sat down on the teacher’s desk, and took off his watch. He held it up and looked at each of us. The watch looked expensive to me.

Parashat Naso I

Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman
If we read this passage from the perspective of a society which has conquered inequality, then perhaps we would be justified in dismissing it as entirely irrelevant to us. If we read it, however, from the perspective of a society which still struggles and strives for equality, then what can we learn from this and other places in the Torah which step toward egalitarianism or equality without fully embracing it?