WWOT – Weekly Words of Torah: Parashat Vayera

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

When Abraham argued with God in the hope that God would not destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, we could certainly see that Abraham was capable of showing that he could work with God in figuring out a plan to save the two cities and their inhabitants. Yet, in this week’s Torah reading, Parashat Vayera, when Abraham is told by God to go sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham seems to just go and do it without objecting. The ultimate question often asked is – why does Abraham not argue with God now? Why does he leave things to Fate and take his only son Isaac, whom he loves dearly, to the place God shows him, in order to sacrifice his son? Perhaps Abraham was so confident that God would change God’s mind, that he knew that Isaac would not be sacrificed. Who knows if that is the reason why Abraham argued with God in one case, and did not argue with God in the other?

It does make me stop and ponder an important question that I would like to pose to all. What should we argue about and what should we let Fate control? Do we even need to do any arguing or leaving things up to Fate? As part of an organization like Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, we have, for the most part, found that we generally leave very little to Fate by learning to work with others through compromise, thus strengthening the organization. Additionally, we know that we also become even stronger individuals by listening to other people’s opinions and realizing that someone else’s view might be the way to go for the greater good of the entire organization. For us, unlike for Abraham, we say, “Goodbye, Fate! Goodbye, argument! Hello, WLCJ Sisters working together for the long-term success of our beloved organization for the next hundred years and even after!”

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.