WWOT – Weekly Words of Torah: Parashat Shemot

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 begin the reading of a new book of the Torah, Sefer Shemot, the book of Exodus, with the Torah reading by the same name, Parashat Shemot. A new Pharaoh came to power in Egypt who did not know Joseph, and so was frightened of the Israelites that, if they got too numerous, they could overpower the Egyptians. He commanded that all of the Israelite baby boys be killed at birth, but the baby girls be saved. The midwives Shifra and Puah defied what Pharaoh said, and saved the baby boys who were born, and cast them into the Nile River.

This truly teaches all of us, to this day, to stand up to injustice when we think something is happening that is wrong. Shifra and Puah could have been killed for going against the Pharaoh’s commands, but they were brave and courageous. They risked their lives to help the future, atid, of the Jewish people. What are we all doing to insure the future, our atid – our individual atid, our family atid, our community atid, our sisterhood atid, our synagogue atid, the Jewish atid, the atid of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, and the atid of our five Seminaries?

May the new year of 2019 be a happy, healthy, peaceful and joyous New Year for all!

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