Weekly Words of Torah goes PC (Parashah and Chesed) – Parashat Ki Tavo 5779

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

The topics discussed in this week’s Torah Reading, Parashat Ki Tavo, are the following: Moses instructed the Israelites on how to build the Altar; commandment to write a Sefer Torah, Torah scroll; the blessings and curses.

Parashat Ki Tavo, in Deuteronomy 26:12, reminds us of obligation to take care of “the stranger, the parent-less, and the widow.” A Chesed idea for Parashat Ki Tavo is to raise awareness of Neve Hanna, in Kiryat Gat, established in 1973 under the dynamic leadership of Hanni Ullman, a veteran Israeli educator and recipient of the prestigious President’s Award for Volunteerism. Neve Hanna is named for Hanna Kaplan, a Holocaust survivor who bequeathed money to Hanni to create a family-style home for children in distress. Neve Hanna is a home for children who were removed from their homes due to physical and psychological violence, neglect and sexual abuse, and now live in family-like units grouped according to age. The current co-Presidents of American Friends of Neve Hanna are our very own Women’s League International Past President, Janet Tobin, and her husband Irwin Tobin. (Ironically, Parashat Ki Tavo teaches the mitzvah that one should write one’s own Torah, and Neve Hanna has recently embarked on a project to write a Sefer Torah for Neve Hanna.) Parashat Ki Tavo speaks about welcoming the stranger: for example, one who is not familiar with the community. Make a phone tree to call all the new Sisterhood members and synagogue members who have joined your community over the last two years. Reaching out to new people in your Sisterhood and synagogue are important acts of Chesed. Also, for Parashat Ki Tavo, a Chesed idea is to see what is being done for immigrants in your community. Find out if there is a program run by HIAS, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in your area that your sisterhood can get involved in.

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.

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