Rabbi's Message

Responding to Charlottesville

“Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” – Elie Wiesel.  Charlottesville, Virginia became the centre of the universe last

$15 and Fairness

I’m involved in an initiative that I want you to know about — the $15 and Fairness Campaign.  This initiative is working to raise Ontario employment standards, affecting a range of concerns from fairer wages, to sick leave, to the

Reflecting on 50 Years Since the Six-Day War

This June will mark fifty years since the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan.  The marking of a span of fifty years has deep significance in Jewish life.  It is called yovel / the Jubilee.  According to

Listening for New Life in Birdsong & Torah

I am grateful for my colleague and friend Aviva Chernick for the inspiring conversation and teachings that stirred these words. The earth is renewing itself. Trees that have been stark and bare for months are coming alive again, dotted with

Jewish Innovation, Life-Long Learning, and Where We Are

I recently participated in a three-day consultation in the U.S. with an organization called New Paradigm Spiritual Communities Initiative.  Headed by Rabbi Sid Schwarz, innovative Jewish leaders from across North America were invited to come together to share what we’ve

Purim’s Radical Laughter

In Amnesty International’s recently released annual report, its authors state that the prevalence of hate crimes and hate speech world-wide have not been this high since the 1930s.  This year has seen thirty-six different countries closing their doors to refugees

Shabbat before the Women’s March

I shared the following words at the DJC Shabbat morning service on Saturday, January 21st, the day of the Women’s Marches around the world and the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.  I’d like to share them with the wider DJC

Deployed for Goodness

Recently, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted an early Chanukah reception at the White House.  I think his words convey insights about Chanukah and the power of this moment with clarity and humour that are worth sharing.

You Want It Darker

In the final album of the magnificent poet of the human soul, Leonard Cohen, alav ha’shalom (peace be upon him),his deep, graveled voice rolls these words alongside the eerie vocal beauty of the choir of his childhood shul: If you

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Let’s start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start, again (queue Julie Andrews dancing in the Alps with a Torah).  With the recent celebration of Simchat Torah on October 23rd and 24th, the full arc of the