Rabbi’s Message

Miriam’s Cup: What’s the Blessing for the Covid Vaccine?

In Jewish practice, brachot/blessings give us the language to express joy and gratitude.  Brachot also function as the spiritual technology for lifting experiences, mundane as well as sublime  experiences, into elevated moments of consciousness and wonder.  Particular experiences are assigned their particular blessings to root us where we are, directly linked with the action we …

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Miriam’s Cup: Interfaith Families in Toronto – A Brandeis Study

Brandeis University’s Center for Modern Jewish Studies has released a study of Interfaith families in Greater Toronto. The project was initiated by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto with the desire to understand the needs and experiences of interfaith families. I have the pleasure of participating in UJA’s Interfaith Working Group, along with a thoughtful and …

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Miriam’s Cup: Artists are the New Rabbis

As I listened to Amanda Gorman perform her powerful poem at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, I remembered and re-remembered this statement – “artists are the new rabbis.” These were the words of Kendell Pinkney, a theatre artist and rabbinical student who moderated the recent panel, ‘Art and Artists On Being Black and Jewish,’ assembled by Fenster …

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Miriam’s Cup: Learning From Trees – What Will Get Us Through the Winter

I was walking with a dear friend in High Park right after a beautiful snowfall. Tree branches held ribbons of snow along their leafless lengths. The cedars and spruces wore the snow more thickly among their needles. The ground was so soft, muffling the sounds of traffic and voices and our footsteps. We followed a …

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Miriam’s Cup: What 15 B’nei Mitzvah Students are Teaching Me About Chanukah

This past weekend, I spent more time in our sanctuary at Bethminster than I have in the past 9 months!   I felt a special kind of quiet and reverence walking into the space. The colourful fabric banners were already hanging on the walls and the aron kodesh (the ark) was in its place on …

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A Little Less Alone, A Lot More Together: A Report from our Community Conversations

This past week, we held two community conversations about Judaism in the time of Covid on Zoom.  I love community conversations! (Yes, I am that kind of nerd.)  As a rabbi, I spend a lot of time leading and shaping experiences and practice for the community but when we gather to think together, share ideas …

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Erev Rosh Hashana 5781 – Dismantling (and Building Anew)

A cluster of 4 rabbis made their winding way to Jerusalem. When they reached Mount Scopus, they looked out across the valley and could see what was once the magnificent and holy Temple, the centre of Jewish life, now destroyed, and they tore their garments in grief. This scene takes place some time after 70 …

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A note from Rabbi Miriam before our upcoming Yom Kippur services

Getting Connected, Being Human and Keeping Your Cameras On If you are able to (and there are certainly legitimate reasons why someare not able to), please keep your video cameras on during the services.This is for two reasons: 1) At a time when we can’t be physically together, it is challenging to feel like we …

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Miriam’s Cup: The Days of Awe Will be Awful Unless…

My dear DJCers.  I’m going to be frank here. Leading services for Yamim Nora’im/the Days of Awe on Zoom, singing alone in my office, listening to Cantor Lisa sing alone in hers, and speaking to the little camera dot on my computer while trying to see you in your little Zoom boxes, in your separate homes, …

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