In recent weeks, our community has been shaken repeatedly by bomb threats at Jewish community centers across the country, as well as by hate-fueled acts of vandalism and violence.
This spring, as the flowers start to bloom and we put away our warm winter clothes, another transition is happening in many of our congregations: teens on youth group boards will pass the baton of leadership to their peers in youth group elections. For some of you, the youth group model may be changing, while for others, this time-honored tradition is a major pillar of leadership in your community. However your congregation has set up your teen leadership model, one thing is universal: elections can be challenging. After all, by lifting up some teens we run the risk of disenfranchising or leaving behind others.
Whoever saves one life in Israel [i.e., of a Jew] is as if he had saved an entire world.
– Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5
Whoever saves one life is as if he had saved an entire world.
Parashat Ki Teitzei includes a rich and varied collection of directives that serve as a partial blueprint for behaviors and norms to create the emerging covenantal culture. As Professor Adele Berlin notes, “Issues pertaining to women are prominent in this parashah. . . .
My mixed impressions about Rosh Chodesh Adar will still take some time to settle, but I feel enriched and empowered knowing that each small step is meaningful in the ongoing struggle for all Jews to feel welcome and respected at that holy space.