womenatprayers

On weekends that our Rabbi is in Victoria, we hold Adult Education sessions on topical subjects. 

All sessions are held on Saturdays at 2:30 pm at private member homes.  Please see calendar for exact dates and contact the Kolot Mayim office at 250-704-2503 or e-mail km@kolotmayimreformtemple.com for locations.

Jewish Reading
(Book titles in red contain links to the URJ review)

All sessions are held on Saturdays at 2:30 pm at private member homes.  Please see calendar for exact dates and contact the Kolot Mayim office at 250-704-2503 or e-mail km@kolotmayimreformtemple.com for locations.

Day After Night: A Novel by Anita Diamant
In her best-selling novel, The Red Tent, Anita Diamant reimagined the lives of women in biblical times, the community of support between them, and their unmarked footsteps in history. Her new novel, Day After Night, seeks out a woman's narrative in a real event that took place in Israel three years prior to statehood.
 
America's Prophet: Moses and the American Story by Bruce Feiler
Bruce Feiler opens up the Exodus story in a new way by viewing it through a different lens--the history of the United States of America. "For four hundred years, one figure stands out as the surprising symbol of America," Feiler writes. "His name is Moses."
 
The Spirituality Of Welcoming by Dr. Ron Wolfson
The new synagogue we envision is a spiritual centre for all those who set foot inside it. It is a “kehillah kedosha.” a sacred community, where relationships are paramount, where worship is engaging,  where everyone is learning, where repair of the world is a moral imperative, where healing is offered, where personal and institutional transformation are embraced.
The time is ripe for this spiritual call.
 
Relational Judaism by Dr. Ron Wolfson
What really matters is that we care about the people we seek to engage.When we generally care about people, we will not only welcome them; we will listen to their stories, we will share ours, and we will join together to build a Jewish community that enriches our lives.
 
Everyday Holiness, The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar by Alan Morinis
Mussar is an illuminating, approachable, and highly practical set of teachings for cultivating personal growth and spiritual realizations in the midst of day-to-day life. The core teaching of Mussar is that our inner essence is inherently pure and holy, but the inner radiance is obscured by extremes of emotion, desire and bad habits. The Mussar masters developed transformative teaching to help us to heal and refine ourselves.
 
Why we are a week ahead in our Torah reading
The traditional calendar is overlaid with weekly parashiyot consisting of the Torah divided into 52 sections. In regular years some of those sections are double portions; when a leap month is added to the calendar, they are split into two separate sections.
The discrepancy occurs when a Jewish festival overlaps onto the Sabbath on the second day of Shavu'ot or Shemini Atzerret or the eighth day of Pesach. These are days that are not observed as holy days in Eretz Yisrael where the biblical number of days prescribed are observed. Outside of Israel, they are observed with an extra day because it took too long to get word to Diaspora Jewry by riders on horseback, as to when the Beit Din in Jerusalem declared the new moon, which in turn would determine the correct day to observe the festival. To make certain they were observing the festival on the correct day, a second day of observance was added outside of Israel. Today, that practice persists among traditional Jews despite the current determination of the new moon and festivals by mathematical calculation. Reform Judaism long ago returned to the biblical number of days of observance, even outside of Israel.
When the second day of a festival overlaps with Shabbat, Jews in Israel go on to the next week's parasha while Jews in the Diaspora read a holiday passage and then go on to the next weekly parasha the following week. This puts Diaspora Jews a week behind Israeli Jews for a number of weeks until the next double portion when Diaspora Jews can catch up with Israeli Jews.
I have always calculated the parashiyot read in the Synagogues I have served according to the Israeli readings, which made complete sense to me. I long ago rejected the parasha divisions found in the calendar of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, now Women of Reform Judaism. The solution there was to cut one week's Torah portion in half and read one half one week and the next half the following week. This meant that we were trying to keep our calendar in some kind of sync with our traditional neighbours rather than with the biblical and Land of Israel standard. Much to my chagrin, the URJ has adopted that unfortunate way of determining our calendar. That has become an issue now that they send out emails with Torah commentary according to that calendar determination.
This places me in the uncomfortable position of being pressured to compromise integrity with expediency. As the spiritual leader of Kolot Mayim, I am choosing to honour my integrity and keep our Torah portions in line with Eretz Yisrael.