guest, Hannah Pick, almost 85, is a former German Jew whose parents left for
England and then, unfortunately, believed that Holland would be safe. In
Amsterdam she became the childhood friend of a slightly younger girl, Anne
Frank. Her story was published as Memories of Anne Frank: Reflections
of a Childhood Friend.
Mrs. Pick, now a grandmother of eleven and a...
While most of our people slept in, our
Muslims colleagues arose early to pray at the Haram a Sherif. Others used the
morning to visit the Israel Museum or to walk in the neighborhood. I joined an
early Sefardic prayer service at the hotel and then a led a group to Congregation Moreshet Yisrael, a
Conservative/Masorti synagogue, a walk of
about 40 minutes from the hotel.
Thursday was an early day, but
instead of awakening at 5.30 a.m., I had mistakenly set my alarm for 5.30 p.m.
Thankfully, we had last-minute wake up calls. I quickly said my morning
prayers, ate a few bites and boarded the bus. Imam Patel had returned from
early prayers at the Haram al-Sharif, but was not on the bus. I
descended near the Damascus Gate, grabbed a taxi and returned to the...
We traveled from Ben Gurion airport and plunged directly into some of the critical and conflictual issues of contemporary Israel.In Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, we had an introduction to civic issues that animate Israeli life. Rabin Square was the site of the famous rally for peace at which Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in October, 1995. Ophir Yarden of the Interreligious...
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I am waiting in Ben Gurion airport for the flight from Toronto to arrive and am reflecting on the past few days in Israel. I arrived ahead of the Path of Abraham group so that I could visit my son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. My flight from Toronto began with a security discussion–perhaps more extended than usual after I told the security agent that I was...
The winter snow in Jerusalem and the ice storm in Toronto made me yearn for Tu B’Shevat (15 Shevat= טבשב ו”ט), the holiday that is the harbinger of spring. As it approaches, I am reminded of the song familiar to Jewish children around the world: The almond tree is blooming and the golden sun is shining, birds...
recently released Pew Report on Jewish Identity described a statistical
disaster engulfing America Jewry like the waters of Noah. Canadian Jewry faces
comparable challenges; looking at American trends gives us a lens to see what
is ahead. In reflecting on the Flood, it is important to recall that Abraham
was a source of hope, despite demography.
Pew Report suggests that...
As we approach the Days of Awe, we are more conscious of the
din of daily and the omperative to screen out noise.
As i watch my granddaughter move from babble to speech, I am
again entranced by the way we humans acquire language. What begins as goo and
ga, moo and ma will become more developed sounds, distinct words,short sentences
and full conversations. Linguistic research indicates that...
Universities are not usually interested in the future of religious institutions, and large synagogues are not usually the places where conversations about transformative change for religious communities take place. Yet the two largest congregations in Canada, Beth Tzedec and Holy Blossom, joined with the Centre for Jewish Studies of the University of Toronto to present a two-part series to...
Tefillah, classical Jewish prayer, is one of the most challenging acts of our tradition for Jews of our century. To speak the traditional words of the siddur, to direct the heart to God and to feel some sense of attunement or response has become increasingly difficult. Our amazement has atrophied. We are inhibited by intellectual doubts, haunted by the Holocaust, and limited in our linguistic...
This Passover, when we say “Mah nishtanah halaylah hazeh” (best translated as “Wow! This night is different!”), we know that the four questions that follow are not only about the organization of the Seder. They are challenges that come to us from life, from events that we see on You Tube and read in the newspaper. As we watch the revolutions that are rupturing, restructuring and...
Lecture delivered on Sukkahville Award Night Sukkot is a holiday when Jews step outside ourselves. We go from fast to feast, from people unsure about how to use a hammer to spiritual Home Depot experts. We tell jokes about our lack of expertise. Jackie Mason jokes about Jews who use butter knives as screwdrivers. Some of you know that Rashi is a great medieval French...