WWOT: Weekly Words of Torah – Parashat Shelakh Lekha 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

Parsahat Shelakh Lekha, our Torah reading this week, is the official Torah reading of the Israel Ministry of Tourism. The image of two people holding bunches of grapes is often used as the symbol for the Ministry of Tourism, and can be seen on tour buses, cars, and tour guide identification badges while travelling in Israel. This image comes from this week’s Torah reading. Moses sent spies into the land of Canaan to investigate the land and see what the people were like. The spies came back with news that the people were strong and powerful, and told the rest of the Israelites that they could not attack and defeat the people dwelling in the Land of Canaan, because they were stronger than the Israelites. However, two spies, Joshua bin Nun, and Caleb ben Yefuneh, said they entered the Land of Milk and Honey and they brought back the fruit of the land, and they presented bunches of grapes – which is now often associated with the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

How does this relate to our lives in Women’s League for Conservative Judaism? We must not listen to what other people say. We should form our own opinions, and witness things for ourselves – especially our amazing state of Israel. Last week was the Masorti Women’s Day of Study at the Schechter Institute, one of the five seminaries we support through Torah Fund. The Masorti Women’s Day of Study brings together women from all over Israel to study Jewish text in Hebrew, English, Spanish, and Russian. It truly shows the incredible melting pot of the different types of Jewish people in Israel, and how the Conservative/Masorti Movement is flourishing in Israel. It is so important that we continue to support Torah Fund, which supports our Seminaries, who educate the leaders who help our Conservative/Masorti Movement thrive.

We must make sure that we begin now, to help support next year’s Masorti Women’s Day of Study. Perhaps we can all travel to Israel together, and study together with our Masorti sisters at a future Masorti Women’s Day of Study, and reap the joy of our land of milk and honey, and enjoy the sweet taste of grapes, and the beauty of Torah Study.

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.