January 21, 2012/26 Tevet 5772 – Parashat Va-era
Theme: Hiddur Mitzvah
The concept of hiddur mitzvah – enhancement or adornment of a mitzvah – is the theme of programming for this year’s Women’s League Shabbat and the Torah Fund campaign. Hiddur mitzvah is an unusually rich concept, one that focuses on the question posed in the midrash by Rabbi Yishmael: “How can a human of flesh and blood glorify God?” The answers are varied and comprehensive. We create beautiful ritual objects, we behave ethically, we rejoice in abundance, and appreciate the glories of creation.
As we celebrate the founding of Women’s League by Mathilde Schechter on this Women’s League Shabbat, we sit in magnificent sanctuaries, we wear beautifully woven and silk-screened tallitot, and we sing songs of praise joyfully and with spirit.
From our beginning in 1918, members of Women’s League have maintained continuity in Jewish life through our commitment to religious values and community. Our members have enhanced mitzvot by helping to maintain the synagogue structure, establishing sisterhood Judaica shops, sponsoring the kiddush on Shabbat, and more recently, as qualified and committed Torah readers and shlichot tzibbur (prayer leaders).