For today, Va-Yeishev, Genesis 37:1 – 40:23 – the beginnings of the stories of Joseph, and some other stories about Jacob’s household.
The story of Tamar is here, a wife of two sons of Judah who don’t provide her offspring. When Judah shirks his obligations to her, she tricks him into doing the right thing.
This story, a triumph of a woman for justice over a society that tends to ignore women, reminds us that the fight for equality even within Jewish culture has gone on for millennia.
The reflective time of Elul offers us the reminder that we should not take our rights for granted. We should appreciate how far we’ve come as people and individuals, and how much work we still have ahead of us.