WWOT – Parashat Vaetchanan

To inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women
By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, Executive Director, Women’s League For Conservative Judaism

This week’s Torah reading, Parashat Vaetchanan, contains both the Ten Commandments and the Shema. A classic discussion of the Ten Commandments is which of the ten are the most important? Everyone has their opinion, and who could say that one is more important than another, especially when one finds out that these are only 10 of the 613 commandments!

Which do you personally think is the most important? Your answer today may not be the same as your answer will be next week, or was last week, last year, or even ten years ago. A teenager may not think that honoring one’s father and mother is the most important commandment, when his or her parent is giving the teenager a curfew, and dictating what he or she can or cannot do under their roof. However, for the person who is saying kaddish for their parent, there is nothing more important to him or her than finding that tenth person to help with a minyan, so that respect can be paid to his/her parent by reciting kaddish. This puts a whole new spin on attending minyan – seeing it as a commandment, not only to pray, but as a way to help someone else to be able to fulfill the mitzvah of kabed et avechah v’et emecha, honor your father and mother.

WWOT, Weekly Words of Torah will be a brief paragraph prepared weekly by our new Executive Director, Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, presented in our “This Week @ Women’s League.” WWOT will provide meaningful thoughts related to the Weekly Torah Portion, an event on the Calendar, a Prayer, or something of Jewish interest, to inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women. If you have any particular interest in future topics, or want to send Rabbi Wolintz-Fields an email, you can contact her at ewolintz-fields@wlcj.org. Read previous Weekly Words of Torah here.