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This week's parsha
Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the website.  We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given.  For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website.  If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the website.

Feminine Power PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tali Loewenthal   
Monday, 10 November 2014 00:00

The goal of creation is that this physical, practical world should become a dwelling for the Divine, a domain in which real human beings express holiness in their daily lives. Jewish teaching tells us that women and girls have special power and responsibility in this process. This week's Torah reading speaks of two special women: Sarah and Rebecca.

The traditional name of the reading is Chayei Sarah, "The Life of Sarah." Although she passes away at the very beginning of the reading, the name "Life of Sarah" indicates that in some sense she continues to live. Her body was buried in Hebron, but the effect of her goodness and holiness did not cease. She was equal with Abraham as founder of the Jewish people.

Hebrews Not Welcome PDF Print E-mail
Written by Shimon Posner   
Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00
"No Hebrews Allowed."  It's the first reference that comes to my mind when I hear us called Hebrews.  Okay, I know YMHA means the Jewish YMCA, and HIAS a Jewish Immigrant Aid Society, but still, Hebrew – when talking about people, not our language – smacks of long-hand for Hebes.

In Biblical times the name Hebrew was a put down often enough.  Ivri:  the one who crossed over.  The one from on yonder, the foreigner.  And no, Ramses University didn't credit diversity appreciation courses.  But if Ivri was a put down, it also contained a measure, sometimes a substantial measure, of respect.
Was Abraham the First Feminist? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chana Weisberg   
Monday, 27 October 2014 00:00

Living in the 21st century, we have cause to celebrate the great advances that have been made in the past 100 years in granting women rights and freedoms -- freedoms that are unprecedented in all of recorded history.

And yet, despite the real advances in women’s rights, when I view the image of womanhood as it is portrayed in today’s media, I can’t help but cringe. What message is being sent about femininity in a society where a woman’s physical attributes are emphasized as being of prime (or sole) importance?

To me, feminism means that, along with certain freedoms, a woman is treated as more than a physical being. It means that she is seen as a multidimensional individual who has spiritual, intellectual and emotional strengths (and needs) which are recognized, developed and expressed.

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Remembering the yahrzeit of husband Morris Novak (AH)

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