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PEP-RJ's Blog

by Karen Maes

Did you ever wonder where the word tzedakah comes from? We have heard it all through our religious school education (the famous “tzedakah box”) and in adulthood but what does it really mean? Typically most think of it as giving charitable donations (this is true to a certain extent) but in the Bible tzedakah means righteous behavior and is easily interchanged with justice.

This week's parashah, Shoftim, deals with exactly that: justice. The parashah, from beginning to end, talks about justice and righteousness. The most memorable line for me is Deuteronomy 16:20...

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by Rebecca Benoff

This week we are celebrating the WRJ YES (Youth, Education, and Special Projects) Fund with a series of blogs from those who have benefited from the Fund and other WRJ philanthropic efforts. We are proud to build Reform Jewish women leaders within the Reform Movement and beyond. 

Sexual assault. We hear about it all the time in the news. As a college student, it’s always being discussed on my campus. I know all the statistics...

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by Evie Krislov

This week we are celebrating the WRJ YES (Youth, Education, and Special Projects) Fund with a series of blogs from those who have benefited from the Fund and other WRJ philanthropic efforts. We are proud to build Reform Jewish women leaders within the Reform Movement and beyond. 

I was with two before I found the one. No, I'm not talking about boys, I'm talking about camps. The first two I went to were Conservative, because that's...

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by Elle Muhlbaum

This week we are celebrating the WRJ YES (Youth, Education, and Special Projects) Fund with a series of blogs from those who have benefited from the Fund and other WRJ philanthropic efforts. We are proud to build Reform Jewish women leaders within the Reform Movement and beyond. 

This year, I was the proud recipient of the...

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"See (r'eih), this day I set before you blessing and curse" begins R'eih: a blessing for following God’s commandments and a curse for failing to do so. It goes on to detail a variety of commandments, including laws of kashrut; treatment of the stranger, the needy, the widow, the orphan, and the Levite; and how to observe Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

Why start with “see?” The text could have simply read, “This day I set before you a blessing and a curse.” Why is that word “see” needed at all? It seems to function as an opening exclamation point, providing emphasis: sit up, take...

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