WWOT: Weekly Words of Torah – Parashat Naso 5779

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 Naso, is the longest Torah portion in the entire full Torah reading cycle (as opposed to the triennial cycle of reading.) The Priestly Blessing, the Birkat Kohanim, is found in this week’s Parashah, in Numbers, chapter 6, verse 24-26: May God bless you and protect you; May God deal kindly with you and be gracious to you; May God grant you favor and peace.” We do not have to be a kohen, a priest, to give each other a blessing. A kind word goes a long way, as do words of encouragement and love.

How can this relate to our lives in Women’s League? At the end of a meeting or an event, have people pair up, or go into small groups, and ask each person to share what they feel comfortable saying, in terms of what they would like to see in their lives. This exercise is not designed to make someone feel uncomfortable, or forced to share. However, it should be a time of safety, security, and confidentiality. After each person speaks 2-3 minutes (time them), have them bless each other, from the thoughts the person just spoke. It can be a very powerful moment, to bless someone, in one’s own spontaneous words, from the heart, spoken to someone who just spoke from the heart. If someone does not want to share, a blessing for health, happiness, joy, and the gift of breath, always works, as well as the Priestly Blessing.

Weekly Words of Torah is 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.