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09/24/2021 01:54:04 PM


The Torah tells us that on "the first day" we must take the etrog and lulav. According to peshat, that means the first day of Sukkot. But the rabbis of the ancient midrash suggested it could also mean the first day of a new beginning after Yom Kippur. In that vein, the late Rav Kossowsky z"l suggested that the midrash could be expanded to refer to the Jewish people, able to start afresh in the middle.

You see, back in the year 70 CE, we were already an ancieint people, having been a nation for over 1000 years. But in that year, we saw the destruction of the Temple. We could have given up, accepted Roman religion and life-style, and language. But our sages taught us that Jewishj life can go on, guided by the rabbis of Talmud and midrash. 

In the 1st millennium, there was a great Jewish community in Bavel.  And then it too collapsed, but Judaism regrouped and continued in Spain and in Ashkenaz.

There was the golden age of Spanish Jewry: ibn Ezra, Yehudah HaLevi, Ramban, Rashba, Abravanel, etc.  But then came the inquisition, and in 1492 there was the expulsion. And so the Jews made their ways to Turkey and Erets Yisrael, and established great centres of Kabbalah and Jewish law. 

There was the "alte heim," the wonderful Jewish life in Eastern Europe, that came crashing down with the holocaust. But our people regrouped, and established the Medinah, and the flourishing centres of Torah and Jewish community here in North America. 

On a smaller level, around 12 years ago, we at Chevra Shaas had to close our beautiful building on Bourret.

Yet we were able to move to our new home in the Spanish, 

And, of course, the past year and a half has been very difficult for shuls everwhere. Yet we are confident, that with haShem's help, and by respecting gov't guidelines, the situation will soon return to normal.  

Am Yisrael Chai!. We are always able to create a "first day." And we look forward to the time when all of Am Yisrael can live in peace and security in Erets Yisrael.

Chag Sameah!!

Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782