Weekly Words of Torah goes PC (Parashah and Chesed) – Parashat Ha’azinu 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

Parashat Ha’azinu is Moses’ poetic final oratory. The poem introduced in the last line of last week’s Torah reading is recited by Moses at the start of Parashat Ha’azinu. Moses calls upon heaven and earth to witness his words. Moses begins by praising God and describing the special care God has given Israel. In response, the people have spurned God and God’s laws. Because of Israel’s unfaithfulness, they will suffer God’s wrath. In the end, God will show mercy to the Israelites, and deliver them from their enemies. Moses tells the people to take the warning he has recited very seriously. Israel’s observance of God’s laws is no small matter. These laws are the essence of their lives. Parashat Ha’azinu concludes with God directing Moses to go up to Mount Nevo and to look at the Land promised to the Israelites. Moses is told that he will die on the mountain. 

Parashat Ha’azinu has the theme of words, and the importance of reading and reciting poetry. A Chesed idea for this week is to read to people who may not be able to read on their own. Find a preschool program in your area that may need people to read to the children. Perhaps there is an afterschool program at your local library, where children remain after school, and you can volunteer there. In addition, another Chesed idea is to go to a local senior citizen home, and see if there are people there who can no longer read themselves, because of vision problems, and go and volunteer to read to the residents, perhaps poetry, a best seller, or the newspaper. These are ideas related to Chesed and Parashat Ha’azinu, which help bring poetry and reading to those who may not be able to read on their own.

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.