This week's services:     Friday evening @ 7:30PM  -  Saturday morning @ 9:30AM

Friday night services will be held at the home of the Rabbi.  The address is 1506 Victoria Avenue.  Enter via the door nearest the driveway.

This week's parsha

Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the website.  We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given.  For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website.  If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the website.

Enduring Testament

In this week's Torah reading, Moses calls the heavens and the earth as testimony to the eternal bond between G-d and the Jewish people.

Why not gather ordinary people as witnesses -- a somewhat more normal method than using such seemingly abstract witnesses?

As the commenter Rashi explains, the heavens and earth endure generation after generation.  Rather than using human witnesses who will eventually pass on and the testimony will be lost, the idea is to have an eternal testament.

We see this in reality.  Even many tens of generations from Sinai, not that much has changed.  We still follow the same Torah, the same laws, traditions and customs, preserving this eternal bond and passing it on intact to the next generation.  It is all the more impressive since, as someone remarked recently, G-d spoke to the Jewish people thousands of years ago at Mount Sinai, and He hasn't spoken to them collectively since, yet we still do what He told them to then!

Healthy Dynamic

Our lives as individuals often display two quite different features.  One is dynamism, movement, progress, discovery and change.  The second feature, seemingly the opposite, yet also very important, is the attempt to strengthen one's position, to consolidate, to attempt to be secure and firm, immoveable.  The combination of these two contrasting qualities creates a healthy dynamic.  One moves forward and grows - but not at the expense of what one has already gained.  There is the thrust towards expansion and also a concern for consolidation.

These two qualities are expressed by the names of the double Torah portion which is read this Shabbat, the Shabbat before the New Year, Rosh Hashanah.  The first Torah portion is called Nitzavim, which means in Hebrew "standing firm."  In its opening words, Moses tells the Jewish people "you are all standing firm here today."  The second Torah portion is called Vayelech, which means "he went," referring to Moses:  "Moses went and said these words to the Jewish people."

Read more: Healthy Dynamic

The Bigger Picture

This week's Torah reading, Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8), discusses the concept of the first fruits offering, Bikkurim.  The Torah explains the commandment to bring an offering of the "first fruits" which the land yielded, upon entering and settling in the Land of Israel.

There are two opinions in the teachings of our Sages concerning this commandment.  The Midrash Sifri maintains that every individual was required to bring the first fruits offering as soon as he entered the Land of Israel and his land began to yield fruit.

Read more: The Bigger Picture

In our thoughts


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Kiddush Club

Date: Aug 4 '18
Sponsor: Regina Novak
In honour of the yahrzeit of my good friend Harold Eisenberg (AH)
Date: Feb 16 '19
Sponsor: Regina Novak
In honour of my husband Morris Novak (AH) yahrzeit

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