Voices of WRJ: Parashat Va-et’chanan
This week, Parashat Va-et’chanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11) gives us the foundation for living a Jewish life by presenting text and images that remain the nucleus for our Judaism to this very day. It begins with Moses asking our ancestors to reflect on their past experiences and learn from them. Moses stresses to his people and their leaders the importance of keeping God’s commandments when they enter the Promised Land. The Ten Commandments, the Sh’ma, and the V’ahavta—the center of the Jewish proclamation of faith—are included in this text.
Playing the role of teacher, Moses reminds our ancestors of the great things God has done for them in the past and that they, as well as their children and grandchildren, are responsible for continuing to obey God’s laws. Education and the responsibility of women to raise and educate the next generation in ancient Israel are emphasized in this Torah portion.
As women of Reform Judaism, we are role models and mentors for the young girls in our congregations. We have a responsibility to nurture them and empower them to make the world a better place. We can do this by building on the dedication, passion, and accomplishments of the women who came before us, while also staying relevant to the next generation.
As Moses prepared his people and their leaders for their future, Women of Reform Judaism has a wealth of resources, both material and personnel, to mentor sisterhood leaders. As another fiscal year of sisterhood begins and many of you are assuming new leadership roles, I encourage you to take advantage of these resources. As we continue the extraordinary legacy of WRJ’s first 100 years through programs that support the ideals and enhance the quality of Jewish living, we will ensure the future of progressive Judaism in North America, Israel, and around the world.