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Derrière la scène

02/10/2022 11:46:52 AM

Feb10

La Torah discute dans la Parasha de cette semaine de la mitsva de la Menorah "Et vous ordonnerez aux enfants d'Israël de vous apporter de l'huile d'olive pure battue pour que la lumière fasse brûler une lampe en permanence… Aharon et ses fils arrangeront (la Menorah ) du soir au matin…."

Lors de la consécration du temple, toutes les tribus ont participé aux cérémonies inaugurales. Aharon était très attristé; toutes les...Read more...

Talmudic Wisdom - Believing Is Not Seeing

02/10/2022 11:44:47 AM

Feb10

Rabbi Meir says: From where is it derived that just as one recites a blessing over the good that occurs him, he recites a prayer over the bad? The verse states: "That the Lord, your God gave you." "Your God" is a reference to the attribute of divine justice; your Judge, in whatever judgment that He judges you, whether it is a positive measure of the goodness or a measure of calamity.

When bad things happen to us, perhaps the last we...Read more...

Community In Focus

02/08/2022 08:19:44 AM

Feb8

On Sunday, February 7, we hosted an insightful, profound, and inspirational program with guest speaker Dr. Harry Freedman. The subject at hand was Freedman's latest book, "Leonard Cohen - The Mystical Roots of Genius." Harry Freedman uncovers the spiritual traditions behind Leonard Cohen's profound and unmistakable lyrics.

Cohen's music is studded with allusions to Jewish and Christian tradition, to stories...Read more...

Talmudic Wisdom (Advice) - No Ordinary Blessing

02/08/2022 08:16:41 AM

Feb8

Let us not consider the blessing of an ordinary person insignificant in your eyes.

We all want blessings in our lives. A berakha (blessing) varies depending on the receiver of the blessing. And for some, blessings can be curses and vice versa. It is an ancient Jewish tradition to give and receive blessings. The quality of the individual was also...Read more...

Community In Focus

02/01/2022 10:56:00 AM

Feb1

This Tuesday and Wednesday, we celebrate Rosh Hodesh Adar I. Rosh Hodesh has forever been a source of celebration in the Jewish calendar. The month of Adar accentuates the celebration tenfold. The Talmud states, "When the month of Adar begins, one increases rejoicing." Adar is the month of Simha. And in a leap year, like this year, when we have two months of Adar, we have double the Simha - simple math. It's interesting to note that...Read more...

My Unity

01/31/2022 02:19:00 PM

Jan31

Unity is appreciating the uniqueness of every individual. Where must we start in creating such unity? The first person whose uniqueness you must appreciate is your own.

Read more...

Keep Trucking

01/27/2022 02:33:51 PM

Jan27

Starting a new job or changing careers can be challenging and even frightening. Walking into unknown territories, new boss and co-workers, and the pressure for performance can be stressful. The reassurance that we are doing a good job can make us very anxious. 

An individual that changed careers came to seek advice and guidance from a Rabbi. Advising him on how to adjust to his new environment, the Rabbi suggested, "For the first...Read more...

Killing Softly with His Words

01/27/2022 01:26:49 PM

Jan27

Mishpatim is the name, and laws are no games! THE ENDLESS TALMUDIC DISCUSSIONS COME RIGHT TO MIND when I read through this week's parasha. Mishpatim, loosely translated - as rules or laws, are usually referred to as laws in the realm of rationale. But to the modern mind, the difficulties are apparent—laws of servants, marital obligations [of minors], murder [capital punishment], honoring parents [and the...Read more...

Mental Health - Our Community, Our Wellbeing!

01/25/2022 10:46:24 AM

Jan25

Mental Health is not always visible and, at times, undetected. People's mental health challenges in their private and social lives can be crushing. Mental illness is factual, and the challenge is growing every year. The awareness and need for mental health and wellbeing have skyrocketed since the pandemic's beginning. Studies show that about 4 in 10 adults in America have reported anxiety or depressive disorder symptoms during the pandemic....Read more...

Community In Focus

01/25/2022 09:22:53 AM

Jan25

Dear members and friends,

I hope you are doing well and staying healthy. Some of you, like myself, miss the Synagogue tremendously. This morning I was discussing with one of our members about Shabbat services, the holidays, and the beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat at the Spanish and Portuguese. She then told me if it would be possible to offer services via zoom? I explained that we conduct services (virtually) as scheduled every day,...Read more...

Talmudic Wisdom - Measured Beauty

01/25/2022 09:21:16 AM

Jan25

Three matters give a person comfort: A beautiful abode, a beautiful wife, and beautiful vessels. (Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 57, b)

In this short Talmudic passage, we learn the order one should follow in life; buy a house, marry, and renew yourself with new vessels [clothing, car, furniture and alike]. 

The original Talmudic text uses a different word for comfort; marh'ivim daato, loosely...Read more...

Jewish Wisdom from the Talmud

01/20/2022 11:56:10 AM

Jan20

Rabbi [Yehudah HaNasi] said: don't look at the container but at that which is in it: there is a new container full of old wine, and an old [container] in which there is not even new [wine].

Rabbi Yehudah's teaching comes after earlier statements from the sages about wisdom, in which they claim that wisdom is the lot of the old; they are like "old wine." One that seeks knowledge, it is preferable to learn from an older person, who is...Read more...

Donc, vous voulez etre un BIG shot? 

01/20/2022 11:46:55 AM

Jan20

Et ils [le peuple juif] ont voyagé de Refidim, et ils sont arrivés au désert du Sinaï et ont campé dans le désert. Israël y campa en face de la montagne. (Chemot 19:2)

Hacham Haim Ben-Attar zt"l, l'Ohr Hahaim Hakadosh, explique que ce verset vient nous enseigner les trois conditions préalables les plus fondamentales pour recevoir la Torah, que le peuple juif a toutes manifestées :

D'abord, Apprendre la Torah...Read more...

So You Want To Be A Big Shot

01/20/2022 11:45:51 AM

Jan20

And they [the Jewish People) travelled from Refidim, and they arrived at the desert of Sinai and encamped in the desert. Israel encamped there opposite the mountain. (Shemot 19:2) 

Hacham Haim Ben-Attar, the Ohr Hahaim Hakadosh, explains that this verse comes to teach us the three most fundamental  prerequisites for receiving the Torah, all of which the Jewish People displayed:

The first condition is, to learn...Read more...

Community In Focus - A message from the Rabbi

01/18/2022 10:39:47 AM

Jan18

Dear members and friends,

It felt great to see all of you last night for the Tu Bishvat seder. It was a cold and snowy day in Montreal; one would have difficulty finding a tree outside, and yet here we were sharing a lovely time with the community.
We started with four cups of wine; I told you it was a seder! Like the four cups we have for Pessa'h, only this time, their symbolism was a bit different. The fours cups of wine on Tu...Read more...

Tu Bishvat Reflections

01/18/2022 09:46:37 AM

Jan18

The Talmud brings diverging opinions about the New Year for the tree. On the first of Shevat is the New Year for the tree; this ruling follows Beit Shammai's statement. But Beit Hillel says: The New Year for trees is on the fifteenth of Shevat, Tu Bishvat.

Time is important. So we need to know when the trees reach certain stages during the year. Their New Year is necessary to determine particular agriculture Jewish law, but Tu...Read more...

Jewish Wisdom from the Talmud

01/14/2022 08:23:53 AM

Jan14

Narcissism
Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Woe to authority, which shortens the life and buries its holders. This is evident from the fact that you don’t have any prophet who did not outlast four kings in his lifetime, as the kings’ positions of authority caused them to die young.

Sages explain that this refers to a narcissistic leader. One that does not include himself with the general population, does not take part of the joys and...Read more...

Sing It Together

01/14/2022 08:06:29 AM

Jan14

The week’s Torah portion parasha B’Shalakh is also referred to as Shabbat Shira - Shabbat of Song. Our ancestors crossed the red sea and so we too have to cross our own sea. The sea of life. But let's leave that aside for a second and ask a more basic question on the opening words of “the song”, which is it written in the future tense, אז ישיר משה THEN SANG MOSES. Why? 

Rashi offers two...Read more...

Tu B'Shebat and three takeaways

01/13/2022 09:57:22 AM

Jan13

Traditionally, we celebrate Tu B'Shebat as the New year of the trees. The reason is that the vegetation in the land of Israel begins to bud at this time of year. There are many laws regarding agriculture that are affected by this date. According to Torah laws, consuming fruits from the young trees in their first three years is forbidden, and products anywhere from the fourth year are allowed for consumption. The date determining the "age" of...Read more...

Tu B'Shebat et trois leçons

01/13/2022 09:54:58 AM

Jan13

Traditionnellement, nous célébrons Tu B'Shebat comme le Nouvel An des arbres. La raison en est que la végétation de la terre d'Israël commence à bourgeonner à cette époque de l'année. De nombreuses lois concernant l'agriculture sont affectées par cette date. Selon les lois de la Torah, il est interdit de consommer les fruits des jeunes arbres au cours de leurs trois premières années et les produits à partir de la quatrième...Read more...

Dr. Harry Freedman and Rabbi Pinto Email Exchange

01/10/2022 08:14:44 AM

Jan10

Dr. Harry Freedman:

Dear Maimon,
This is a lovely piece, thank you so for much for sharing it with me. Leonard Cohen may not have had all the qualities necessary to be prophet but is there a lesser category he could fit into ? A חוזה perhaps? I am not sure what the difference is between that and a נביא.

Rabbi’s reply:

Shalom Harry,
There is definitely a difference between a חוזה and a נביא...Read more...

Leonard Cohen - A Mystical Genius or a Prophet?

01/06/2022 09:46:55 AM

Jan6

A couple of months ago, I read a recent book by Harry Friedman titled Leonard Cohen Roots of Mystical Genius. I immediately reached out to the author. The profoundness of the book deeply inspired me, and I wanted to share it with my community. After my conversation with Harry, I decided right then and there to invite him to talk about his new book. It is a highly spiritual book with a glimpse into the mind of a great poet that carries the...Read more...

Un concours où tout le monde est perdant

01/06/2022 09:02:39 AM

Jan6

L'histoire de la rédemption de l'esclavage se transforme en un concours de volontés. Pharaon atteint la limite de sa patience dans la Parasha de cette semaine. Il avertit Moshe de ne pas oser revenir le voir. Il estime que les demandes de Moshe ne sont pas sérieuses car il reste inflexible et n'est ouvert à aucun compromis à leur sujet. Il croit aussi apparemment que Moshe n'a plus de pestes à visiter en Égypte.

Les troubles...Read more...

Jewish Wisdom from the Talmud

01/06/2022 09:01:36 AM

Jan6

King Salomon, in his book of wisdom, Proverbs says the following about Anxiety; "If there is a concern in a man's heart, let him cast it down, and a good word will make it cheerful." Rashi comments in the first part of the verse on how to deal with Anxiety, "let him cast it down," as meaning to say, let him divert his attention from it, and by so taking only one of the opinions of the sages.    We find diverging...Read more...

Jewish Wisdom from the Talmud

12/30/2021 11:26:36 AM

Dec30

Everyone agrees that anger is a bad trait, but did you know that it has side effects? The Talmud in Tractate Nedarim (22, b) is sure of that. "Whoever loses his temper forgets his learning and increases his foolishness."

Even in debates, and the Talmud has many heated debates, The Talmudists felt that productive arguing resulted in truth. Losing one's temper disrupts the process. 

The sages also advise on what to do when...Read more...

Stubborn Like A Jew

12/30/2021 11:25:15 AM

Dec30

The sages say that King Salomon is the wisest man ever to live. Queen Sheba was in complete awe when she paid him a visit from her home country, Egypt. In Ecclesiastes, Salomon said G-D created all things and their counterparts; good and evil, light and darkness, and the list goes on. This week's Torah read finds two leaders with similar stubbornness, and yet for one, it is good quality and for the other a vice. Good stubbornness and bad...Read more...

Mon nom Juif

12/24/2021 09:34:36 AM

Dec24

La Torah met l'accent sur les noms de la famille de Yaakov dans la paracha de cette semaine, comme elle l'a fait encore plus en détail dans la paracha de Vayechi de la semaine dernière. Il peut y avoir de nombreuses raisons diverses à cette concentration d'intérêt pour les noms des tribus d'Israël. Mais quelles qu'en soient les raisons, la Torah la considère évidemment comme d'une grande importance. En fait, tout au long de la Torah,...Read more...

Jewish Wisdom from the Talmud - Rebuke

12/24/2021 09:33:21 AM

Dec24

If a scholar is loved by the townspeople, it is not due to his greatness but because he does not 
rebuke the people for disregarding religious matters. (Tractate Ketubot 105, b)

When a religious leader is popular, it could mean that he is not doing his job properly.

The Talmud also teaches how to rebuke; Always let your left-hand push away and your right hand bring close. Not like Elisha that pushed Gehazi...Read more...

Biblical Wildlife

12/15/2021 03:22:12 PM

Dec15

While I was reviewing this week's Torah portion, I found myself wondering in the Babylonian Talmud, searching for a famous and profound passage about the good qualities one may learn from animals. Rabbi Yohanan said: Even if the Torah had not been given, we would nonetheless have learned modesty from the cat, which covers its excrement, and that stealing is objectionable from the ant, which does not take grain from another ant, and forbidden...Read more...

Moi, Toi et nous!

12/15/2021 03:18:11 PM

Dec15

Jacob leur a donné toutes les bénédictions qu'il a données à chacun individuellement. Genèse 
Bien que nous ayons chacun nos rôles uniques dans notre mission divine de faire de ce monde la maison de D.ieu, nous sommes tous impliqués dans une certaine mesure dans les rôles joués par les autres également. Il existe trois moyens de plus en plus efficaces pour y parvenir :

Nous nous concentrons tous exclusivement...Read more...

Fri, May 20 2022 19 Iyyar 5782