Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, has a track-record for coining catchy phrases that launch revolutions. Her book Lean In got women thinking in new ways about getting the most out of their careers and lives. More recently, she pioneered the notion Ban Bossy, which suggests that we do our daughters, and all women, a disservice by labeling women who speak up for themselves with a negative label like “bossy” instead of a positive one like “leader.”
“Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up,” says the ban bossy website. “By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys – a trend that continues into adulthood. Sandberg’s campaign has partnered with the Girl Scouts of America and superstars like Beyonce and Jennifer Garner to spread their message. Read more
Last fall, the world’s population hit a record 7 billion people. Today, approximately 8 months later, we’re up to 7,025,433,781 (and growing). At an abstract level, all those new babies being brought into the world is a beautiful thought. Be fruitful and multiply, right?
But the world’s quickly expanding population has its challenges too – putting a stress on ecological and community resources, and a strain on many families – and particularly women. That’s why today, World Population Day aims to raise awareness about population issues across the world.
The focus of this year’s celebration is family planing and reproductive health. According to the UN: “Reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of ill health and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. Nearly 800 women die every day in the process of giving life. About 1.8 billion young people are entering their reproductive years, often without the knowledge, skills and services they need to protect themselves.”
This post is part of a weekly series of Torah commentaries presented by the American Jewish World Service. It was contributed by Aviva Presser Aiden.
At the outset of Parshat Kedoshim, all Israel receives the nebulous command of “kedoshim tihiyu…You shall be holy, for I am holy; I am the Lord your God.” ((Leviticus 19:2.)) The text then proceeds to enumerate numerous laws appearing to detail the requirements of this injunction.
Within this collection of verses we find an interesting parallel: In Leviticus 19:3, the text dictates that part of fulfilling the commandment to be holy includes the obligation to “… revere [one’s] mother and [one’s] father, [and to] keep my Sabbaths, I am the Lord your God.” ((Leviticus 19:3.)) Toward the end of Chapter 19, a second verse, also linked to holiness, structurally and linguistically parallels 19:3 quite closely. It requires that “you shall keep my Sabbaths and venerate My Sanctuary, I am the Lord.” ((Leviticus 19:30.)) In these two verses, the language of Sabbath reverence is identical, and the word for reverence—tira’u—is used in relation to both parents and the Sanctuary. Read more