WWOT – Weekly Words of Torah: Parashat Eikev

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 Eikev, includes the second paragraph of the Shema, the section which begins, “V’haya Em Shamoah,” Deuteronomy, chapter 11, verses 13 through 21. This paragraph states that, if one observes the commandments, and follows God’s rules, then God will bring rain at the proper time, and the grain will grow.

This paragraph is somewhat problematic, because the theology it teaches can be very difficult to comprehend. Can the modern-day person truly believe that, if we follow the letter of God’s Torah exactly, all good will come to us – and, if something bad happens, then it is because we strayed from God’s commandments?

We all know people for whom we have prayed, and they were not healed. We have seen  righteous people who have suffered some misfortune, despite their godliness. And we have seen others, who do not seem to be walking the path of righteousness, but nothing bad ever seems to happen to them. How do we account for this?

When we are in a relationship with God, we have a dimension – God – to lean on for support. I believe that God is always there to hear our prayers, to be in dialogue with us – even if we do not always like the answers we receive. And, perhaps, when we try, and pray, and do, and still things do not turn out how we want, this dimension continues in the community we have that supports us and prays alongside us. For those of us in WLCJ and in our sisterhoods, during those difficult moments, we see God  within the eyes of each Sisterhood sister we have surrounding us – and that  is our rain in its due season. From this rain, our “grain” will grow.

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.