If I asked you to imagine a scientist in your mind’s eye, what image would emerge? A balding man in a white lab coat? A woman wearing thick glasses? A millennial glued to a laptop? How many of them would be women? This becomes relevant when we think of takin a census. Census-taking rolls like a sand dune through& Parashat B’midbar, which is also the Hebrew name for the fourth book of the Torah that we begin reading this week, known as the Book of Numbers in English. More than once in Numbers, God issues an order to count heads.
Did you know that Gloria Steinem’s grandmother, Pauline Perlmutter Steinem , was not only a sisterhood president of her Reform congregation, but also a suffragist? The legacy of activism in the Steinem family, paired with lessons learned from Parashat Naso, reminds us to be on guard against gender-based discrimination meant to preserve an unjust status quo.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States this year, Rabbi Carole Balin, Ph.D., is sharing eight chapters of an "alternative Book of Numbers” designed to tell the stories of Jewish women who combined civic engagement with Jewish values in a 40-year struggle “
...all the artisans who were engaged in the tasks of the sanctuary came, from the task upon which each one was engaged, and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than is needed for the tasks entailed in the work that the Eternal has commanded to be done."