Weekly Insights with Ellyn Hutt

Hello from Jerusalem!

A cold, rainy, and windy day. Sounds like a good time to stay home and curl up with a book and a hot drink, right? That’s not what 250 women did this past week. Instead, they traveled by bus, car, or foot to come and learn Torah from two dynamic, smart, and engaging women Torah scholars. And it wasn’t a special event. This happens every Monday morning at a synagogue here in Jerusalem.

Even though I tend to be the I-think-I’ll-stay-at-home-and-stay-warm kind of person, I had decided that I wasn’t going to let challenging weather keep me from taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities for learning that are so close to me while we’re in Jerusalem. So I bundled up in my warmest coat, gloves, earmuffs, and scarf…and went out to catch the bus.

I was so glad I did. It was such an interesting and inspiring morning. I wish I could have taken pictures of the variety of women who were there.  Women ranging in age from their 50s through their 80s, women dressed fashionably and plainly, able-bodied in heels and some with walkers and even a wheelchair, it was so special to be part of such a wonderful group of Jewish women all making the effort to come and learn the wisdom of Torah together. 

It was also interesting for me to be in this environment because I basically didn’t know anyone and could just observe as a newcomer — something I haven’t been for most of my life. So I was soaking up the energy and enjoying every minute. 

When I mentioned how much I had enjoyed one of the teachers, Rickie Rabinowitz, to my sister, she told me that in addition to being a Torah scholar, Ricki is also a social worker and one of the women responsible for and involved in creating the special psychotrauma response team for Hatzalah (volunteer medical emergency response team). The Monday morning learning program is also her creation. She teaches, sets out the refreshments, schmoozes with the women, and creates a warm, comfortable, accessible environment to be educated and inspired.

So the weather outside might have been daunting, but the warmth and passion inside were exhilarating! And my note to self is that there will always be a hundred reasons not to do something important, helpful, or inspiring; and the decision to just get up and do it can be the most significant step that launches you to a whole new level of growth, pleasure, and success.

The couch will always be there, but the opportunities may not.

Hope your day is inspiring!


P.S. I hope that on our next Women’s Trip to Israel, we’ll be able to arrange some time with Rickie for both Torah study and to learn more about Hatzalah!