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11/03/2020 08:54:52 PM

Mar11

Words of the Spirit, by Rabbi Liz Bolton, Or Haneshamah's rabbi and spiritual leader

BRESLAV and PEACE

02/03/2022 12:36:06 PM

Mar2


In our Kol Haneshamah Shabbat and Festival prayerbook, the prayer for peace comes from Ukraine.

In a way, this declaration somewhat condenses the geo-history of the place, specifically the Jewish peoples’ place in that place. Yet there is no doubt that the figure...Read more...

"FOR SHE TOO IS LIKE A TREE"

06/01/2022 05:48:39 PM

Jan6

Looking back on some previous reflections on Tu Bishvat, I found this message, one that feels keenly relevant to this year:

We find ourselves, deep in winter, in the month of the Jewish New Year of the Trees, Tu Bishvat. At this time of the year the trees seem to the eye to be life-less. Where do we...Read more...

Whose Christmas Is It? Some Of Ours, Too!

21/12/2021 07:13:51 PM

Dec21

Rabbi Liz


Whose Christmas Is It? Some Of Ours, Too!

Is this you? You have a “Christmas Family.” They are your in-laws, your grandparents, or your cousins. It could be the beautiful kinship network that is your family-of-choice, or your partner. May your children celebrate with their half-siblings. Maybe, in those years when you go home for the Holidays, your childhood home is...Read more...

Human Rights As a Jewish Concept

07/12/2021 08:40:52 AM

Dec7

Human Rights As a Jewish Concept

How is human rights a Jewish concept? Is it even possible or appropriate to shoehorn an apparently secular construct into a specific religious or cultural context?

Two thoughts arise...Read more...

THIS SEASON OF TESHUVAH AND TOMATOES

14/09/2021 06:18:13 PM

Sep14

Our household is enjoying a second season of pandemic gardening. Last summer, like many others with the blessing of a yard, we dug up a modest rectangle and planted a vegetable garden.

This summer’s crop is almost at an end, but the bounty of tomatoes is dotting my diet with red, orange and green deliciousness. My neighbours, too, are reaping the benefits, especially the happy profusion of sweet little...Read more...

In the Middle

15/06/2021 02:20:17 PM

Jun15

When the Torah begins, it seems as if there was nothing, and then there was something. At the start, when elohim created the celestial and earthly realms, on earth was utter nothingness, with blank darkness hovering over the depths… and then, everything emerges from it.
 
It’s a strange, haunting vision, provoking many ways of understanding it – scientific, mathematical, spiritual, ethical, and more. We can also challenge...Read more...

Watching Israel-Palestine: A Difference Kind of Screen Time

18/05/2021 07:31:11 AM

May18

There was a time when we all gathered around a single screen to watch a live event during the school day. Some of those times occurred at history-making moments, not all of them bearing the same weight. The first one I can recall involved a hockey game, sometime in the early 1970, but I...Read more...

Time to Look Up

20/04/2021 08:03:00 PM

Apr20

Last year at this time, it made perfect sense that I would write about time and counting. Then, as now, we were in the Omer period, the 49 days between the second night of Passover and the eve of Shavuot, which celebrates the gift of Torah. Then, as now, we were grappling with the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. Now, though, there is a different weightiness to the sentiment from the psalm I quoted in last year’s blog...Read more...

Four Letters for Passover 5781

23/03/2021 04:14:00 PM

Mar23

Dear OrH Family,
 
It’s only a few days before Passover, so I won’t take up too much of your time with a long missive. In the spirit of the four questions and the four cups, I did however, want to share with you four letters, including this one, which I hope you will make time to read.
 
You see, while some of you are busy preparing for Passover in the ways that you always do, or in the ways you are discovering,...Read more...

Change and Liberation - Passover Version, Spring 5781

16/03/2021 03:04:45 PM

Mar16

Spring and Passover. The entire Jewish calendar hinges on the confluence of season with festival. Though we experience what feel like inconsistent shifts in our holiday dates from year to year (when is Passover this year??), it’s the anchoring of pesah in aviv/spring that keeps everything else in the year cycle in its season.
 
What a gift it is, to have the opportunity to focus our attention not only on the inevitability of...Read more...

Sat, 1 October 2022