Writings from the Rabbis

Welcoming Words: A Tribute for Elizabeth Comper at the Holocaust Education Week Closing Ceremony ~ November 9, 2014
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Nov 19th 2014
Welcome to Beth Tzedec. We are honoured to again host the closing event of Holocaust Education Week. It is a sombre night, as we recall the recent killings on Canadian soil of two soldiers, note the 100th anniversary of the “war to end all wars”, anticipate Remembrance Day and mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht 1938. The gathering and program this evening is sponsored by ScotiaBank;...
Remarks by Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl at Sukkahville at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Wednesday, October 15/14
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Oct 21st 2014
Sukkahville 2014 ~ 5775 Good afternoon. Welcome to Sukkahville. Our thanks to Kehillah Residential Program, which gave this sukkah design competition a home and a mission—to make people more aware about the need for affordable housing and sustainable development. We thank Nancy Singer, the Board and staff of Kehillah, our volunteers and sponsors who enabled Sukkahville to go forward. We...
Kiddush Hahayyim - The Sanctification of Life: In Memory of "Our Boys"
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Aug 21st 2014
Memorial Service Congregation Shaarei Shomayim 7 July 2014 ~ 9 Tammuz 5774 With the reshut—authorization of Rabbi Strauchler and this community: Take a moment to remember where you were when you first heard of the kidnapping of the three boys.  Now try to recall what you were doing when you heard of their deaths. Bila hamavet lanetzah: “May God destroy death forever, and...
Remarks at Yom Hazikaron 5774
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Aug 21st 2014
Uri Grossman was on active duty as his father was writing אשה בורחת מבשורה, published in English as “To the End of the Land.” Uri was killed in combat in July 2006. As a representative of the IDF came to the family home in the middle of the night, the author told himself, “That’s it, our life is over”. But that was not so. Later, David Grossman said, “We...
From Disputation to Dialogue ~ Post-Trip Reflection
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Aug 21st 2014
May 2014Six hundred years ago, the Disputation of Tortosa pitted a team of Jewish scholars against leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, including the anti-pope, Benedict XIII. The intent of that encounter, and there were many others, was to compel the Jews to accept the arguments of their adversaries. We have come a long way in the relationship between the Jewish people and the...
Rabbi 2 Rabbi - An email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Ari Isenberg (July 2014)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Aug 8th 2014
On Jul 1, 2014, at 1:20 PM, Adam Cutler ravadam@beth-tzedec.org wrote:Dear Ari,I write to you from Jerusalem.Today three teenagers were buried and a country is in mourning. The television broadcasts nothing but coverage of the tragedy. Though the markets still bustle and the swimming pools remain crowded, there is an inescapable sadness in peoples' eyes. Today the collective Jewish heart is...
Rabbi2Rabbi: An email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (August 2014)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Aug 8th 2014
Episode FIVE – August 2014On Aug 5, 2014, at 11:12 PM, Adam Cutler <ravadam@beth-tzedec.org> wrote: Dear Rav Adam,No sooner do we blast the shofar signifying the end of Yom Kippur than I begin to think of topics for the next year's high holiday sermons. You ask about my method. For me choosing sermon topics is what is most fraught with difficulties. My method involves a small amount...
Solidarity Rally in Jerusalem
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Jul 28th 2014
In the midst of this challenging time, we all want to know how we can help Israel.I'll be travelling to Israel on Monday with a number of Canadian Parliamentarians for special briefings and visits to affected areas in the south of Israel. The mission is organized by CIJA. I am pleased to join with our congregant, former Senator Jerry Grafstein, who has worked with CIJA and JNF to organize a...
Beth Tzedec Rejoins USCJ
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Jul 17th 2014
The values of Beth Tzedec have always been congruent with the culture of Conservative Judaism. Rejoining United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is a reaffirmation of our commitment to the institutional structure of our Movement and a recognition that USCJ has made significant improvements to its operation. We are confident that USCJ now brings value to our synagogue. From our beginnings...
Community Memorial: The Sanctification of Life in Memory of "Our Boys"
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Jul 10th 2014
Kiddush Hahayyim – The Sanctification of Life Congregation Shaarei Shomayim7 July 2014 ~ 9 Tammuz 5774 With the reshut- authorization of Rabbi Strauchler and this community: Take a moment to remember where you were when you first heard of the kidnapping of the three boys. Now try to recall what you were doing when you heard of their deaths. Bila hamavet lanetzah: "May God...
Rabbi 2 Rabbi: An email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Ari Isenberg (June 2014)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Jun 12th 2014
On Jun 2, 2014, at 9:00 PM, Adam Cutler <ravadam@beth-tzedec.org> wrote: Dear Reb Ari, Recently, as my Facebook news stream has been lighting up with pictures of our friends at their ordination ceremonies, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own rabbinic education, which concluded five years ago. A few years apart, we are both graduates of the Rabbinical School of the...
Rabbi 2 Rabbi: an email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (May 2014)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Jun 12th 2014
On May 5, 2014 at 2:42 PM, Adam Cutler <ravadam@beth-tzedec.org> wrote: Dear Rav Adam, At any given time, I am blessed with mentoring about 10 individuals who are in the process of converting to Judaism. I provide a rubric that helps them grow in their Jewish observance. Over the course of twelve months they take the necessary steps to begin a lifetime of keeping kosher, observing...
Rabbi 2 Rabbi: An email dialogue between Rabbi Adam Cutler and Rabbi Adam Scheier (April 2014)
By: Rabbi Adam Cutler
Jun 12th 2014
On Mar 21, 2014, at 4:59 PM, "Rabbi Adam Scheier"ras@theshaar.org wrote: Shalom, R' Adam, I'm looking forward to engaging in this conversation with you! When I first came to the Shaar Hashomayim community, ten years ago, I was given two challenges by the lay leaders. The first was, "Change nothing." The second was, "Change everything." As a 160-year-old congregation, our history...
Rav Baruch's 'Path of Abraham' Tour Blog - Day 8 (March 12)
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Mar 25th 2014
Our last day. My morning prayers were in my hotel room facing the Old City and the Temple Mount, overlooking the street scene of East Jerusalem. For me, it is strange to be in a non-kosher hotel in Israel. I find some yogurt to eat. The food products here and in Bethlehem are overwhelmingly Israeli. No boycott of food from the Territories. There is much more of an integrated economy than...
Rav Baruch's 'Path of Abraham' Tour Blog - Day 6 (March 10)
By: Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl
Mar 25th 2014
I began the day with morning prayers on a balcony overlooking Kibbutz Lavi. It was damp, lush and inspiring. After a quick breakfast, we headed to Nazareth, the largest Arab city in the Galilee, with a population of 60,000, once split nearly evenly between Christians and Muslims, but now nearly two-thirds Muslim. The place of Israeli Arab Christians is complex. They are...