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I have been thinking a lot this past week about the word yes. Giving assent, agreement, even within our silence. Rabbi Mendel Torum of Rymanov taught: Only the first letter of the commandments, the aleph of anokhi, “I am,” was spoken by the Divine voice. Aleph signifies the number One, referring to the unity of all in God, […]
Each week when we have services over Zoom, I like to find part of our musical heritage to end the service – sometimes contemporary and sometimes an historical treasure. These past two weeks I was with families as we buried their beloved husbands, fathers, and grandfathers – both men born in Istanbul. In their memory, […]
We had a wonderful Shabbat morning service this week. Two people were called to Torah – one for the first time, and one for the first time since her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in 1997! Kol haKavod to George Haniotis, moved here (we hope to stay) from Quebec, and to Cathy Basskin, visiting from Calgary.
This week in Parashat Kedoshim, we face into some of the fundamental demands of Judaism. We are commanded to be kadosh, holy – to do what is holy – in all that we do. God tells us, “I am holy, so too, you are a holy people unto Me.” But holiness for Jews isn’t a feeling, or […]
We are a community of learners and a community of givers. I am so grateful to be in your midst. One of our members has suggested that we use our Seders moving forward (as we did this year – instead of a full – and costly – meal), we offer the Seder as an opportunity […]
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, […]
Chag sameach everyone, may you all have a joyous Seder. At our Seder this year we are incorporating a Sephardic custom of holding the Seder plate over the heads of each person, welcoming them with this song: “Bibhilu yasanu mi-mitzrayim, ha lahma ‘anya, bené horin,” “With haste we left Egypt, this is poor bread, [now] we are […]
Shabbat HaGadol is traditionally a morning when the rabbi addresses the congregation with an often lengthy discourse about the mitzvoth applying to preparation for Pesach – how to rid one’s home of Chametz, preparation and koshering of kitchen, stove, fridge, counters, burning of Chametz and planning of Seder.
It is time for my annual sending of photos of our beautiful Victoria to my brother who lives in Calgary: sprays of pink cherry blossoms, blooming magnolias and clematis, all sent as counterbalance to the near dead looking grey soil of Ted’s backyard. And yet. I know that spring will come to Calgary. I know […]
The weeks before Purim and Pesach are weeks of planning and dedicated eating – eating as much of the chametz in our homes as we can, prior to Pesach. The pasta, the bulghur, the cookies, (so much baking as we use up the flour), checking our pantries for what must be eaten or sold before […]