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Eshel Across America
November 11, 2022 at 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Why Parshat Vayera?
On Shabbat Vayera, we read in the Torah “[Avraham] planted an eshel at Beer-sheba, and invoked there the name of Hashem, the Everlasting/Universal God.” (Genesis 21:33)
וַיִּטַּע אֶשֶׁל בִּבְאֵר שָׁבַע וַיִּקְרָא־שָׁם בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה אֵל עוֹלָם׃
What is an eshel?
The Talmud identifies the eshel as a tamarisk tree, a flowering tree that provides shade and shelter in the desert. In welcoming strangers to their home, Avraham and Sarah allowed them to experience the Divine. Understanding God’s nature of אֵל עוֹלָם, God of the entire world, requires that we extend our welcome to outsiders.
Reish Lakish says that Avraham did not just stop at one tree, but rather planted a whole orchard, a Pardes, with all sorts of sweet things in it.
What is Eshel, the organization?
Eshel supports LGBTQ Jews by opening hearts, minds, and doors in Orthodox Jewish communities so that all can experience the sweet things it has to offer. In doing so, we are continuing the work of Avraham and Sarah in making our tent bigger, accessible, and welcoming to all.
Eshel’s mission is to create community for Orthodox lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and their families. Eshel envisions a world where Orthodox LGBTQ individuals can live out their lives in the Orthodox communities of their choice.
On Shabbat VaYera every year, Eshel sponsors Eshel Across North America to encourage Jewish communities across the Americas to support their LGBTQ+ members. Everyone is invited to participate. Get involved this year:
EAA for LGBTQ+ People:
On Shabbat Vayera, the LGBTQ Jewish community will come together over shabbat dinner, and engage in conversations about inclusion and welcoming. Sign up to join a meal near you!
EAA for Parents and Allies:
We want to bring the conversation about welcoming and including all, and especially the LGBTQ+ community, to every Shabbat table. Sign up to receive our discussion guide to share with your Shabbat guests.
EAA for Rabbis:
On Shabbat Vayera, we want shuls to share the message of inclusion. Browse/sign up to receive our resources for Rabbis for ways to speak about hachnasat orchim for Parshat Vayera.
If you are not a Rabbi, email us if you’d like to help get your Rabbi involved.
Browse meals below!