To inspire, guide, engage, enrich, and empower Conservative Jewish Women
By Rabbi Ellen S. Wolintz-Fields, Executive Director, Women’s League For Conservative Judaism
Our Torah reading, Parashat Vayeilech, states the following in Deuteronomy, Chapter 31, Verse 6: “Be strong, and resolute, be not in fear or in dread of them; for the Lord your God God’s self marches with you; God will not fail you or forsake you.” This verse teaches us that, for many, the belief in God is so strong, and God is always with them, no matter what happens.
There is a story of a woman who was a firm believer in God. One day, it began to rain very heavily. It kept raining and a big flood came. The woman climbed up on the roof of her house and knew that she would be okay. God would protect her. It kept raining, and now the water had reached her waist.
A boat came by, and a gal in the boat said, “Hey, jump in. We will take you with us.”
“No thanks,” said the woman. “I’m a firm believer in God. God will rescue me.” She sent the boat away.
It kept on raining, and now the water had reached her neck. Another boat came by and a gal in the boat said, “You look like you could need some help. Jump in and we will take you with us.”
“No,” said the woman. “I’m a firm believer in God. God will rescue me. Don’t worry about me.” The boat sailed away.
It still rained and the water now reached her mouth. A helicopter came by, and a gal in the helicopter threw down a rope and said: “Hi there, my friend. Climb up. We will rescue you.”
“No,” said the woman. “I’m a firm believer in God. God will rescue me. I know God will.” The helicopter flew away.
It kept on raining and, finally, the woman drowned. When the woman died, she went to Heaven. When entering Heaven, she had an interview with God. After giving a polite greeting and sitting down, the woman asked, “Where were you? I waited and waited. I was sure you would rescue me, as I have been a firm believer all my life, and I have only done good to others. So, where were you when I needed you?”
God scratched God’s confused-looking face and answered, “I don’t get it, either. I sent you two boats and a helicopter.”
Many who believe in God (or in Karma, etc.) somehow believe that signs of help and guidance come as a big event of some kind, when they would probably come as small signs of help here and there along the way. We need to learn to listen to the world around ourselves. Sometimes, if we just stay open, with an open heart, mind, soul, and ears, we will find what we are looking for; however, the ways of God, and people, are beyond human comprehension. Yet, we need to try to see the face of God in all, no matter how hard that may be at times. And, I will add a caveat – there are events, such as the events of 9/11, which go beyond this story, and the pain is way too deep. May the memories of all who were lost on 9/11 remain an eternal blessing.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Read previous Weekly Words of Torah here.