Is it permissible for Jewish women who
have reached the age of mitzvot to serve as prayer leaders for Shaẖarit,
and Neilah at Beth Tzedec
During my tenure as Senior Rabbi, I have
permitted and encouraged women to participate in many public ritual
activities, performative mitzvot
that were previously limited...
After the Hurricane"El Elohey Ha'ruhot ~ God of wind and spirit" (Numbers 16) ~ we turn to you at this time of devastation.We think of words recited during the Days of Awe, "Who shall live and who shall die, Who at the measure of days and who before. Who by fire and who by water.""The floods have been raised up, the floods have raised their voice, the floods have raised the pounding waves."...
deeds: A rabbi watches the events in Charlottesville
Opinion: Baruch Frydman-Kohl on being shaken by modern antisemitism and
hatred—and how to stand up to it
August 18, 2017
Baruch Frydman-Kohl is Anne and Max Tanenbaum Senior Rabbi of Beth
Tzedec Congregation in Toronto and the vice-chair of the Canadian Rabbinic
Caucus. He holds American and Canadian...
On this solemn and yet ultimately hopeful occasion—Monday night, July 31—we gather under dim lighting and low seating like mourners. Ma’ariv and the chanting of Eikhah, the Book of Lamentations, create a mood of reflection and sadness.
During morning services on Tuesday, August 1, the Torah and Haftarah readings as well as kinot (poems emphasizing the destruction of the...
Masons and Jews, Hatred and Hitler
What a wonderful
gathering. Our thanks to our hosts at Metropolitan United Church and to the
Grand Lodge who have brought us together. I thank my colleagues, all of whom
work tirelessly for their particular faith community and for the benefit of all Toronto.
In many ways, the
message of Masonry might be encapsulated by the words of Psalms:...
Rabbi Frydman-Kohl recently co-authored a teshuvah accepted by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. Many people inquire about the standards of dress in synagogues, schools and social settings. "Modesty Inside and Out: A Contemporary Guide to Tzniut" is an attempt to respond to those queries.To download the teshuvah, click here>>
I have been asked whether women may be included in a minyan, the quorum required for the recitation
of specially sanctified prayers (devarim shebeqedushah).
Download the full text of the teshuvah: frydman-kohl-women-and-minyan-2011.pdf
.ערב טוב ותודה רבה עבור הכבוד וההכרה הזאת.
you to the committee that made this selection. Kol hakavod to all the honourees tonight.
as we all stood together at Sinai, we all faced the flames of Auschwitz and
sang Hatikvah at the birth of Israel. Tonight, in Toronto, our hearts are with
those killed and wounded in Tel Aviv. We are all...
The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS) of the Rabbinical Assembly
recently released some decisions regarding the consumption of kitniyot on
Pesaẖ. These decisions have already generated significant press,
and have led to many questions within our community. On a recent Shabbat, we
had the pleasure of discussing our approach to this subject and...
Adar II 5776 / April 2016
Below is the Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl's summary of the recent teshuvah on post-mortem circumcision. To read the full text of the decision, as written by the Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards, click here>>Question: In the
event of the tragedy of a stillbirth or the death of an infant boy, must there
be a brit milah, circumcision, before burial? Many...
25 November 2015 ~ 14 Kislev 5776“This is the day that the Eternal has made.” What a privilege and blessing for our two communities to witness Canadian Rabbis and Bishops sharing wine and sitting together for dinner. This would have been unimaginable 100 years ago, when Albert Einstein presented his famous General Theory of Relativity. Just as his theory and equation changed forever the way...
Annual General Meeting—JIAS1
December 2015 ~ Kislev 5776
Growing up in America, I was, of course, more familiar with HIAS, but
have always admired the work of JIAS. As the child of an immigrant to the
United States and as an immigrant to Toronto, I was aware of the important work
of JIAS with Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, its
heroic efforts for...
Days after the recent Paris atrocity, U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry said: "There's something different about what happened
from Charlie Hebdo … [Then] There was a sort of particularized focus and … a
rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they're
really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely
indiscriminate.” I’m sure that many...
Nisan 5775 / April 2015She’elah: May non-Jews be members of a professional
choir for synagogue prayer?
Teshuvah: A Hazzan is a specially trained shali’ah
tzibbur, who leads a congregation in rinah u’tefillah,
melody and prayer. In addition to knowledge of Torah and personal piety, a Hazzan
is expected to have expertise in liturgy and prayer motifs and to possess...
resilience are two qualities that spell out the will to survive of the Jewish
people. Hope and resilience are integral components of the DNA that define the
Jewish spirit. We owe a debt of unimaginable gratitude to our ancestors who,
over a span of 3,000 years, fashioned rituals, customs and traditions
in ways that made sure that hope and resilience always hibernated near...