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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Vayigash (December 19, 2015)
by Rabbi Allison Tick Brill

IN MY FIRST SIX MONTHS AT TEMPLE EMANU-EL, I have seen countless ways that our congregation brings Jewish values to life. One of the most striking examples takes place once a month on Sunday mornings, when the student council of our Religious School meets. For more than 100 years, children in the Religious School have been empowered to determine which organizations receive the school’s tzedakah collection. Starting in fourth grade, children can join the student council, where they learn to represent their classmates and consider which qualities make an organization worthy of support. This past month, the student council voted to respond to the global refugee crisis. They felt a religious obligation to help people find shelter and peace, and so they selected the International Rescue Committee as our tzedakah recipient. For the next several months, the money collected in Religious School will provide sustenance and care for refugee families in crisis.

Continue reading Rabbi Tick Brill’s commentary »

Rabbi Tick Brill -- You have used this Parashah as a jumping-off point for
discussing a difficult subject , the absorption of foreigners in a society,
and you have done it with tact and warmth. No one can criticize an action
our young people take, especially when it is such a worthy action. And the
way you tied it to the Torah portin is masterful. Congratulations!

bjeis - December 14th

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