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BESHALACH 5783

02/03/2023 10:04:29 AM

Feb3

Dear mitpallelim I am writing from my son’s house in Boca. I miss Chevra Shaas and all my Montreal friends very much, but I can’t say that I miss the snow and cold temperatures. Benai yisrael are finally escaping from Egypt. They get to the yam suf, cross over the sea, and then begin the journey through the desert to erets yisrael. How did they know the direction? How is it possible to travel without Waze?  Well, they had the best gps system ever! For Hashem was leading them with a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire.Read more...

BO 5783

01/27/2023 12:41:09 PM

Jan27

Dear mitpallelim:

Reminder: our friend Malcolm Moscovitch is in the Eldercare, Victoria entrance, 4th floor.

——

Wow, the land of Egypt really got a beating.

When I read this week’s parasha, the song that my grandchildren sang at the Seder rings in my head “10 Makkot, makkot 10, the Mitsrim were...Read more...

VA-'EIRA' 5783

01/20/2023 01:29:06 PM

Jan20

I observe yahrzeit for my father, Samuel White, Shmuel ben Menachem, this Tuesday, 2 Shevat.

Mariam Mintz and Stanley Goldstein observe for their mother, Chana bat Shalom HaKohen, this Thursday, 4 Shevat.

May their memories be for a blessing

****

Wow! Those Egyptians must have...Read more...

SHEMOT 5783

01/13/2023 11:22:21 AM

Jan13

*Our friend Malcolm Moscovitch is in the Jewish Eldercare, Victoria entrance.

* Mariam Mintz and Stanley Goldstein observe yahrzeit for their grandfather, Shalom ben Yerachmiel HaKohen, on Tuesday, 24 Tevet

*******

GREAT NEWS:

Although not an agudist, I must give great credit to...Read more...

VA-YEHI 5783

01/06/2023 01:09:48 PM

Jan6

Mr. Irwin Miller observes yahrzeit for his mother Bess bat Tvi Hirsh, on Wednesday 18 Tevet.

**

Moving to NJ was difficult, as I had to leave behind all of my friends from the synagogue, from my school from my neighborhood, (oops, that’s the American spelling) etc.

There is another kind of friend that I had to...Read more...

VA-YIGGASH 5783

12/30/2022 01:43:03 PM

Dec30

Dear mitpallelim: A thought on tefillah:

Many years ago, when I was in high school, we studied the Book of Mishlei (Proverbs.) Among the many verses that we had to learn by heart was lekh ‘el nemalah `atsel, re’eh drekheha va-hakham, “go to the ant, you lazy guy, see its ways, and become wise.” (6:6)

I never fully understood that verse,...Read more...

12/23/2022 12:34:20 PM

Dec23

Update this content.

MIQQETS 5783

12/23/2022 12:33:55 PM

Dec23

First of all, mazal tov to Simcha Foxman and Shulamit, on the engagement of his son Moshe Yehudah of Jerusalem

Since we are now in the festival of lights, we present a little light humor, that has been going around the internet in Hebew. Here is the translation: It purports to present a conversation between a young boy, and his "litvish," Yeshivish" father. It is funny, but reflects a serious "kulturkampf" in Israel. "Tattie" is...Read more...

VA-YEISHEV 5783

12/16/2022 02:20:41 PM

Dec16

As I wrote last week, my new grandson's name is Akiva Simcha. After whom was he named?

Following a tradition of not revealing the name until the actual berit, the parents of the baby had kept the name a secret. When we heard the name, we felt it was a very nice name, and assumed he was named after someone on "the other side." But the "other side" also did not have anyone by that...Read more...

VAYISHLAH 5783

12/09/2022 01:55:31 PM

Dec9

In honour of the berit this past Tuesday of Akiva Simcha Tzur, son of my granddaughter Rosy and her husband Elchanan, grandson of my son Yehoshua and his wife Racheli, BH.

In this week's parasha, we read how Yaakov Avinu returned to his family in the Land of Canaan, after many difficult years of hard labour and deception from his relative Lavan.

But the return trip wasn't easy.  Yakov was afraid that Eisav would kill him...Read more...

VA-YEITSEI 5783

12/02/2022 12:59:19 PM

Dec2

In light of all of the anti-Israel and antisemitic attacks and expressions we have been hearing lately (such as from Pres. Trump's new-found dinner friend! and the attacks at the Jerusalem bus stops), the following observations are pertinent:

Rashi on Genesis:  Most of us are aware of Rashi's first comment on the Torah: really, since the torah is a book of laws, it should have...Read more...

TOLEDOT 5783

11/25/2022 12:56:04 PM

Nov25

Greetings from Teaneck

WHAT? It's already Rosh Hodesh Kislev? That means that Hanukkah is only in a few weeks!

What is the significance of lighting all 8 candles (our minhag is to light all 8 on the last day of Hanukkah, whereas the approach of Bet Shammai, as recorded in the Talmud, was to light all 8 specifically on the first day.)

Read more...

HAYYEI SARAH 5783

11/18/2022 01:17:47 PM

Nov18

Due to a computer glitch (on the part of my computer) my "Blog" for Va-yeira' was not published last week. Since it remains most relevant, especially in light of the recent vote at the UN concerning the Intenational Court of Justice (sic!), it is appropriate to reprint it for this week, with a few changes and an addition:

Two weeks ago, I referred to the sharp divide among Israelis...Read more...

VA-YEIRA 5783

11/14/2022 10:02:59 AM

Nov14

Last week. I referred to the sharp divide among Israelis concerning the Israeli election, and in that context mentioned Rashi's comment as to the purpose of the whole Book of Genesis: to show the connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.

This past week, we had the American mid-term elections, and the concern of many Jews was how the outcome could affect America's...Read more...

LEKH LEKHA 5783

11/04/2022 01:15:08 PM

Nov4

So.... Israeli elections were held this past week (again?!). Some were certainly very happy with the outcome, others very worried. We wish the government much hatslacha.

Nachal Oz is a kibbutz located very close to the Gaza border. Back in 1956, there were many infiltrations of Gazans, who came to steal the crops that had been growing in the fields. The kibbutz security officer, a young man named Roi Rotberg, went out, on the day of...Read more...

NOAH 5783

10/28/2022 02:57:47 PM

Oct28

When I was a very young boy, growing up in Boston, I felt bad for boys growing up in New York. For we had the Red Sox, but the New Yorkers had to root for the Yankees. Ugh! 

That was a silly, childish thought. But, maybe not. Can you believe? After all the pride that Aaron Judge brought to NY this past summer, breaking Babe Ruth's 60 home run barrier by 2, and with a .311...Read more...

BEREISHIS 5783

10/21/2022 02:38:15 PM

Oct21

DEAR MITPALLELIM,

I trust that you had a good season of the yamim tovim. For someone like myself who hardly ever drove across the Decarie to Cote St Luc after Covid struck, I had quite a busy week: 

I spent the first days of Sukkot with my son and family in Boca Raton, Florida, then flew with them to Passaic, NJ, for shabbat; and then drove back to my daughter's house in Teaneck for the end of...Read more...

HOL HAMOED 5783

10/14/2022 01:00:18 PM

Oct14

I am writing from Boca Raton, Florida, where I am spending part of the holiday with my son and his family.

I remember my first Sukkot in Montreal, when the sukka was covered with snow. Here it is the opposite: 88 degrees with high humidity! (Brings to mind the gemara at the beginning of tractate AZ, about the people who kicked the sukkah because it was too hot!)

Read more...

HA'AZINU

10/07/2022 02:56:03 PM

Oct7

As the saying might go, you can take the boy out of Quebec, but you can't take Quebec out of the boy. So I have been following Qc news here in Teaneck. And I was thinking: Sukkot is the holiday of joy: The Torah specifically states in Sefer Devarim, parashat re'eh, ve-samahta behagekha. Premier Legault and his cohorts have much to be happy about.  But Sukkot is also the holiday of hospitality: we...Read more...

VA-YEILEKH 5783 SHABBAT SHUVAH

09/30/2022 04:43:26 PM

Sep30

GREETINGS FROM TEANECK. Teaneck is one of the first New Jersey communities you would come to, after crossing the GW Bridge in Manhattan.

In my daughter's section of the city, there is hardly any vehicular traffic on Shabbat and Yom tov, so it is common for people to walk in middle of the streets. Her house is situated between 2 large shuls. I sometimes wonder if Montreal could have...Read more...

NITZAVIM 5782

09/23/2022 01:47:48 PM

Sep23

As we are still in the month of Elul, the month that puts us in the mood for Rosh Hashanah, I would like to repeat one of my favourite divrei torahs.

You see, in Hebrew the word "elul" is comprised of 4 letters: 'aleph, lamed, vav, lamed.  So, over the years, rabbis found allusions to certain verses which they felt are alluded to in those letters.  This is what we call an...Read more...

KI TAVO

09/21/2022 09:39:53 AM

Sep21

In memory of her majesty, Queen Elisheva ob"m

In memory of whom? Of course, Don't you know? In chapter 6 of Shemot, we are told that Moshe's older brother Aharon married a woman called Elisheva. And according to the ancient Greek translation, known as the Septuagint, her name was Elisabeth!!

So, our late Queen's Hebrew name was Elisheva!!

Read more...

KI TETSEI

09/09/2022 12:15:12 PM

Sep9

I know that Rosh Hashanah is around the corner, But please excuse me if I talk about Sukkot.

Let me explain:

According to the Torah, the holiday of Sukkot lasts 7 days. Midrashic tradition is that during this holiday, we prayed for the welfare of the nations of the world.

But when the Jews were about to leave Jerusalem and go to their homes, HaShem said to them to stay another day: that became the holiday known as...Read more...

PARASHAT SHOFETIM

09/02/2022 01:19:03 PM

Sep2

Two relevant observations, one from this past week, parashat re'eh, one from this week, parashat shofetim.

1) In last week's haftarah, the 3rd haftarah of consolation following the 9th of Av, from Isaiah, we read "no weapon used against you will succeed, and if anyone stands up against you in judgement, you will show that he is the wicked one." There are 2 ways to attack...Read more...

RE'EH 5782

08/26/2022 02:02:10 PM

Aug26

Voyez, je vous propose en ce jour, d'une part, la bénédiction, la malédiction de l'autre

This is the first verse of this week's parasha.

You might ask, why am I quoting it in French? Well, of course, to show our appreciation for the French language.

But there is another reason: this translation, which I took...Read more...

EIQEV 5782

08/19/2022 02:43:33 PM

Aug19

I wrote about this incident 2 years ago.

As it is a personal story that is very meaningful to me, I am taking the liberty of repeating it this year:

Many years ago, I had the privilege of taking my family on a year’s sabbatical in Jerusalem.

We left Montreal on a Wednesday evening, via El Al, when it was still...Read more...

VA'ETHANAN 5782

08/12/2022 12:44:59 PM

Aug12

This week is Shabbat nahamu, the shabbat o f comfort.

This past Friday was Tu be'av, described by the mishnah as one of the happiest days of the year.

Last week, we began reading the book of Deuteronomy, the 5th Book of the Pentateuch.

In Hebrew, the book is called “Devarim”: “Words”. The word davar, or...Read more...

DEVARIM 5781

08/05/2022 01:48:49 PM

Aug5

Congratulazioni agli italiani per aver vinto la Coppa del Mondo.

Well, I’m not really a soccer fan. But I was intrigued: how many of these players for Italy have Jewish blood?

You see, I was reminded that when I was in high school, I was given the book The Jews of Ancient Rome, by Prof. Harry Leon.   He described how there had been,...Read more...

MATOT-MAS`EI 5782

07/29/2022 12:59:01 PM

Jul29

When I was growing up in Boston, one of the most popular Israeli songs began with the words tse’na tse’na tse’na ha-banot u-re’na, hayyalim ba-moshava meaning “come girls and see, there are soldiers (i.e. Tsahal) in our settlement.”

[The words were probably inspired by the last verse in Song of Songs, chapter 3, “come out, O daughters of Zion (that is , Jerusalem),...Read more...

PINCHAS 5782

07/22/2022 11:15:31 AM

Jul22

In the period of the 3 weeks, which began last Sunday, we read special haftarot. This week, the first of the 3 special haftarot, is from the beginning of the Book of Jeremiah. HaShem appoints Jeremiah to be a prophet, telling him that he is predestined for this task.

Yet, Jeremiah hesitates. He feels he is not worthy of the task. According to a midrash, in the back of Jeremiah’s mind, he recalled the problems previous prophets had...Read more...

Fri, February 3 2023 12 Shevat 5783