Weekly Words of Torah goes PC (Parashah and Chesed) – Parashat Vayechi (Shabbat 1/11/2020)

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

In Parashat Vayechi, Jacob is dying, and Joseph promises to bury him in the Cave of Machpelah in Canaan and not in Egypt. Jacob calls in Joseph’s sons to bless them. Just as Jacob did when he was younger, received the blessing that should have gone to the firstborn, so Jacob blessed Ephraim first, and then the older son Menasheh. Jacob then blesses his own twelve sons. Joseph dies and is buried in Egypt.

A Chesed idea for this week, in relation to the stories of Jacob and Joseph dying in Parashat Vayechi, would be preparing care packages of non-perishables that could be brought to a shiva house, immediately when the shiva is announced. Examples of items that can be placed in the care packages are cups, napkins, utensils, tablecloths, paper towels, pitchers, sheets to help cover mirrors, if that is one’s custom, and some kippot. Perhaps some low plastic chairs, with arms, could be purchased by the Sisterhood, and lent to families who are sitting shiva.

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.