Writings from the Rabbis

Remarks After Receiving the Gordy Wolfe Award for Community Professional Service (June 8, 2016)
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Jun 9th 2016
.ערב טוב ותודה רבה עבור הכבוד וההכרה הזאת. Thank you to the committee that made this selection. Kol hakavod to all the honourees tonight. Just 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...
Rabbi2Rabbi: an email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (May 2016)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Jun 6th 2016
Rabbi2Rabbi  Episode TWENTY-TWO – May 2016 Rav Adam, At a recent lecture that I attended, the instructor positioned two great Orthodox Jewish thinkers of the modern era in opposition to each other with respect to whether or not the mitzvot are meant to "do something" for the doer. For Joseph Soloveitchik, a committed mitzvah-laden life leads one to know God and to cleave to...
Passover Guidance—A Message from Our Rabbis
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Apr 19th 2016
A Passover Kitchen 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...
Post-Mortem Circumcision (Summary)
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Apr 8th 2016
 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...
Rabbi2Rabbi: an email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (April 2016)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Apr 7th 2016
Rabbi2Rabbi  Episode TWENTY-ONE – April 2016 On March 30, 2016, at 3:45PM, Rabbi Adam Cutler wrote: Dear Rav Adam, When a congregant asks a formal she'eilah (question), I am happy to provide a rabbinic teshuvah (response). When however I am asked to weigh in on issues of public concern, especially if my voice is intended to be public, I am less at ease. When it...
Purim 5776/2016
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Mar 30th 2016
Originally published on Rav Adam’s facebook page, Purim 5776/2016. Some serious Purim Torah: Fearing, as I am, bringing some solemnity to this day of levity as well as addressing in this public space a topic that brings about significant passions, I want for a moment to share a thought or two about Purim and the Jian Ghomeshi verdict. [For my American friends, go here for some more...
Rabbi2Rabbi - an email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (March 2016)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Mar 11th 2016
Rabbi2Rabbi  Episode TWENTY –March 2016 On March 9, 2016, at 11:10 AM, Rabbi Adam Scheier wrote: Dear Rav Adam, As Purim approaches, I think of a story that Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach would tell, about a rabbi who walked around wishing people a “kosher Purim,” and a “happy Passover.” Someone pointed out to him that he must be confused, for Purim is connected to...
Rabbi 2 Rabbi: an email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (January 2016)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Jan 28th 2016
Rabbi2Rabbi  Episode NINETEEN – January 2016 On January 12, 2016, at 10:38 PM, Rabbi Adam Scheier wrote: Dear Rav Adam, Recently, a media marketing firm interviewed me for a segment they were producing about “religion and the web.” Just as our 21st century web-based reality has impacted practically every area of human endeavour, it has affected the way...
From Disputation to Dialogue - Conflict to Co-Operation
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Jan 11th 2016
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...
Refugee Relief, Poverty Assistance and Jewish Responsibility
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Dec 29th 2015
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...
After Saturday - An Address for the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus (December 7, 2015)
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Dec 17th 2015
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...
Rabbi2Rabbi - an email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (December 2015)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Dec 10th 2015
Rabbi2Rabbi  Episode EIGHTEEN –December 2015 On Friday, December 04, 2015 12:02 PM, Rabbi Adam Cutler wrote: Recently, 1,000 American rabbis signed a letter encouraging Congress to welcome Syrian refugees to the United States. I often receive solicitations to add my name to petitions on all sorts of issues ranging from environment concerns to the death penalty, from...
Teshuvah: Non-Jews in Synagogue Choirs
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Nov 30th 2015
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...
Rabbi2Rabbi - an email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (November 2015)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Nov 12th 2015
Rabbi2Rabbi  Episode SEVENTEEN–November 2015 On November 5, 2015 6:15 PM, Rabbi Adam Scheier wrote: Dear Rav Adam, The recent conversation about Orthodox women's ordination and titles has recently dominated my inbox and Facebook wall. As I read the many articles, posts and rabbinic proclamations, one aspect strikes me as significant: it seems that a disproportionate...
Rabbi2Rabbi - an email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Sheier (October 2015)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Oct 19th 2015
Rabbi2Rabbi  Episode SIXTEEN –October 2015 On October-14-15 2:24 PM, Rabbi Adam Cutler wrote: Dear Rav Adam, In the last week, two incidences stand out in my mind. The first: As a follow-up to an earlier conversation, a congregant emailed me Maimonides' Thirteen Principles of Faith. He asked if I agreed with all of them. I replied in one word, "no". The second: I met...