We are now in the week of Pesach. We had a truly wonderful Seder this year, highlights included eating a delicious variety of charoset, singing with Susan Cogan, Neil and Charlotte Marcovitz, hail (marshmallows) flying around the room during the recitation of plagues, and (gently) whacking each other with scallions during Dayenu. Across the board, the consensus seems to be that we should have a similar Seder next year. Never mind the stress of preparing/hiring a meal; the charoset with matzah and chrain more than sufficed. Thanks to all who helped out: Pat Dunphy and Doug Marshall, Sam Savard, Francie Lake, Lizzie Dailey and Laura Weeks.

All feedback is welcome. For example, Aaron suggested we put names beside the list of ingredients in each charoset, so that people know who to ask if they would like the recipe. We will make sure to bring bins for food waste/recycling/garbage next year. Please let us know if you have suggestions.

This coming week we are back to Zoom for Shabbat. This service is a Yizkor service as well, so we will probably be a little longer than one hour. Yizkor is that special time when we honour the memory of those we have loved in life and continue to love even in their death. Yizkor can also be an opportunity to think about taking on a new mitzvah, perhaps joining a new class, to honour the memory of a beloved family member. This week we are beginning our 6-week class on Pirke Avot, a unique text that provides an envelope for a much more difficult – perhaps ferocious – text, Mishnah. Pirke Avot tells us a story, through the sayings of our early Rabbis, who inherited our tradition from the Pharisees. The destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, necessitated a re-invention of what had been Temple Judaism. Mishnah emerge in about 200 CE, and Pirke Avot shortly afterwards. These texts hold this re-invention in words; what could no longer stand in stone, would now be shared in learning. Out of death came new life. Pirke Avot is a series of teachings that hold an emerging theology embedded in ethical and moral teachings with a soupçon of practical advice! And, as always, a demand for life – l’chaim. I will be co-leading this class with Hazzan Rob Menes, now chaplain at Louis Briar in Vancouver.

With gratitude,Rabbi Lynn