Flour and Torah: Mah Tovu

Places of Jacob and Israel– how good are both!
In last week’s Torah portion, the final portion of Genesis, Jacob/Israel adopts two of his grandsons, blesses his sons, gives them directions for his burial and dies. The Patriarch is called both “Jacob” and “Israel” throughout his life, even to his death, never becoming wholly “Israel.” “Israel” — the name given Jacob at Gen 32:29, because he had “wrestled with the Divine and with man and [had] overcome” — is usually understood as referencing his spiritual self.
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Searching Out a Place

Many contemporary women and men are searching for “a place,” in the Jewish world. We frequently bemoan the lack of singing, fellowship, learning or youth programs at our various synagogues. We struggle with issues from the pettiest to the most fundamental in our worship communities. We all know of clergy and other Jewish professionals who were treated badly by their congregations or vice versa.
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What Is Prayer?

Women and men are invited to an interdenominational conference on women and prayer, cosponsored by the Jewish Theological Seminary, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Women of Reform Judaism, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and NYC-based organizations. Will take place at Heschel high school in Manhattan, March 1, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Keynote address will be by Aliza Lavie, editor of the new Jewish Women’s Prayer Book.