Weekly Words of Torah goes PC (Parashah and Chesed) – Parashat Bereishit 5780

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 Shabbat we read Parashat Bereishit, the very beginning of the Torah. In fact, if your synagogue reads a Triennial cycle, we now begin the first part of the Triennial cycle. God created the world in six days, and, on the Seventh Day, God rested. We read about Adam and Eve, who live in the Garden of Eden and eventually are expelled from it after eating from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. Once they leave the Garden, we read of Adam and Eve’s children, Cain and Abel. In the first incidence of sibling rivalry, Cain kills his brother Abel and then says to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Torah portion concludes with a list of ten generations between Adam and Noah.

The Chesed concept this week, for Parashat Bereishit, Shemirat HaTeva, means “guarding the environment.” There are many different types of acts of Chesed, which we can perform to protect and guard our environment. Here are some examples:

Carpool, bicycle, or walk if you are able. Recycle paper, glass, aluminum, batteries, and plastic. Sweep your backyard, rather than hose it down. Buy products with less packaging; try to reuse the packaging. Use energy saver bulbs. Use recycled paper. Turn off lights and other electronic devices.

Weekly Words of Torah is a brief paragraph prepared weekly by our 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, and stay up-to-date with the latest WWOT theme, Chesed, here.