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Join us for: * ShabbaZoom Shavuot Edition: Friday, May 29, 6 pm

* Monday Meditation & Middot, Monday 7:30 pm

(See full announcements below.)

Shalom,

Here is our weekly "5-Point Parasha", a short list of what we are enjoying or pondering, as it relates to life and Torah.


Rabbi Sherril shares some thoughts on Shavuot:


Why Stay Up All Night?


On Shavuot, our tradition is to stay up all night studying Torah and other wisdom texts. It’s true that the other festival holidays each have their own rituals that connect us with meaning of the day. Passover has matzah, the seder symbols, and the seder itself. On Sukkot, we sit in the sukkah and we wave the lulav and etrog. On Chanukah we light the hanukkiah. Originally, however, Shavuot had no such ritual or connection. But what better way is there to recall the receiving of Torah than through a ritual of studying it, thereby ‘receiving’ Torah anew. When we study, we are enlightened, and we are in receipt of some new insight, some new recitation, some new element of Torah itself.


Maybe that helps understand the recitation of Torah, but why in the middle of the night and through the night? After all, wouldn’t it be better to do so during the day, when we are more alert, more awake, when we can actually ‘see’ what we are receiving?


A midrash, Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer (Chap. 41), describes G*d as the groom who is waiting to wed the bride (the Jewish people). Despite the excitement and anticipation a wedding brings, however, the Jewish people was asleep, and Moses had to wake them up to meet G*d at Sinai for this important union. A later text even suggests that it was G*d who had to wake the Jewish people… imagine having to wake the bride on her wedding day!

So, to make sure we don’t fall asleep waiting each year and/or worse yet, that we don’t oversleep, the custom of studying all night was born.


There is another perspective that is spiritually meaningful. The medieval philosopher, physician, and Jewish law authority, Maimonides, says: “Even though it is a mitzvah to learn both during the day and at night, one gains the majority of wisdom at night; therefore, [no one should] lose even one night to sleep, food and drink, conversation, and the like—rather, one should engage in the study of Torah and words of wisdom” (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Talmud Torah Chapter 3:13).


According to this teaching, we acquire most of our wisdom at night. In the wee hours of the morning, a different self emerges, uncovering the secrets we hide. Hidden truths manifest and true insight, change, and Revelation becomes possible. And, with this, we truly receive Torah anew on an annual basis.


So, however you are observing Shavuot this year – reading on your own, studying on Skype with chavruta/partners, or Zooming online with a local or global community - I want to bless you with the capacity to study into the night. And, perhaps by morning, whether you have slept a part of the night or none of the night, the internal alarm clock will sound, reminding you it is time to hear the words of Torah today and every day.


Chag Shavuot Sameach!


Rabbi Sherril shares a Shavuot teaching by Rabbi Gershon Winkler:


Dedicated to Joy


Divine Revelation is huge. It is like the giant we know of as  גלית / Goliath – which happens to be Hebrew for…”Revelation!” Revelation is huge, but don’t let it intimidate you and overwhelm you and overshadow the lover in you. Rather, grab your slingshot, as did דוד / David – Hebrew for “Lover” – and aim straight at the center of the forehead of Revelation, straight at its “Third Eye”, the place from which Revelation springs forth. Then watch it topple to the Earth. Otherwise, it will overshadow you to the point that you will feel little of your own capacity to love. You will serve G*d out of fear and trepidation instead of out of love; out of anxiety and tension instead of out of joy. And Revelation would have been in vain, moot, meaningless, empty. Because you would have missed the whole point of Revelation, which is G*d choosing to become revealed to you, the deepest expression of intimacy.


The Torah herself therefore teaches us that Shavuot is to be celebrated by reveling in joy (Deuteronomy 16:11), joyful celebration dedicated to yourself (Numbers 29:35), and joyful celebration dedicated to G*d (Deuteronomy 16:8). After all, the Torah came to us “in a language of joy, not commandment” (Midrash Tanna D’Bei Eliyahu Rabbah, 14:11), and “divine Inspiration eludes an unhappy heart” (Talmud Yerushalmi, Sukkah 5:1).

This then explains the puzzling teaching by the second-century Rabbi Eliezer, that on Shavuot, one should either spend the day feasting on good food and drink, or sit and study Torah (Talmud Bav’li, Beitzah 15b). In other words, whatever makes you happy. (As long as it’s legal, of course, and you don’t hurt nobody.)

And so the people were told to up and go, so that they would retain a sense of the intent, not the event, of the Revelation at Sinai.


Rabbi Sherril shares a series of videos of Reb Zalman reading the Book of Ruth:


And there she is, along with Terry Rielly, sitting at Reb Zalman's feet!

Dr. Yakov Rabkin shares an article that he recently published:


On the Spectre of a China-centric World.


Rabbi Schachar shares a link to the podcast episode that he recently recorded:


The Montreal Board of Rabbis has recorded a series of podcasts to prepare for the festival of Shavuot. Rabbi Schachar spoke with Rabbi Boris Dolin about the topic of ger toshav, the resurgence of interest in permanent residency status in Judaism.


Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --


Friday night (6:00-7:00 pm): ShabbaZoom goes Shavuot: Music, Learning, Sharing, Caring (and bring a dairy treat to enjoy!) Also featuring non-Montreal based musicians!

Instructions for joining us are below. Feel free to share this invite among your friends and families!


To join ShabbaZoom goes Shavuot (Friday 6-7 pm):


To join with video: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8322418968?pwd=NTB1anBZSllkZ2trQW5MYzFHUGNqUT09 Meeting ID: 832 241 8968 Password: sccrac2020 To join by phone call (no video) via One tap mobile +16473744685,,8322418968# Canada +16475580588,,8322418968# Canada Or dial +1 438 809 7799 Canada Meeting ID: 832 241 8968 * Monday Meditation & Middot with Cantor Heather Batchelor 7:30 pm via Zoom.


Weekly sessions focussing on meditation and mindfulness skills, as well as development of personal virtues ("middot") as defined by the Musar tradition of Jewish ethics.

All are welcome. Suggested donation.


Please register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Initial registration will automatically enable attendance to full series.

Click here for more info.


* Friday Night Service - Every Third Friday of the Month...stay tuned for new dates


* New/Old-school service every fourth Saturday of the month...stay tuned for new dates


Please Note: Due to current health concerns, 3rd Friday Shabbat and New/Old-school service will be temporarily suspended until further notice.


* Are you (or is someone you know) facing a food shortage at this time due to the pandemic? Montreal Open Shul participants may be able to receive help from MOS, thanks to support from the Jewish Community Foundation and FederationCJA. Please get in touch with us by email at montrealopenshul@gmail.com or contact Rabbi Sherril directly at rebsherril@outlook.com.


And, if you are in a position to help, we ask and encourage you to please support FederationCJA's Community Crisis Response effort by donating to the community CrowdFunding campaign. Visit https://fcja.crowdchange.ca/1002.

Finally, FederationCJA has established a "helpline" for anyone in the community to ask for help. Call 514-734-1411.


* Let us know if you have something that you would like us to include in the 5-Point Parasha (by Wednesday of the week)


*Did you know that you can donate to MOS and receive a tax receipt from Aleph Canada? Go to the Aleph Canada page on Canada Helps and us the drop down menu under "APPLY YOUR DONATION TO A SPECIFIC FUND SET UP BY THIS CHARITY" to select Montreal Open Shul.


PLEASE DONATE TO SUSTAIN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR OFFERINGS

Join us for: a) ShabbaZoom: A Virtual Warm-up for Shabbat at Home, Friday, May 22, 6 pm

b) Pre-Shavuot Podcasts

c) Monday Meditation & Middot, Monday 7:30 pm

(See full announcements below.)

Shalom,

Here is our weekly "5-Point Parasha", a short list of what we are enjoying or pondering, as it relates to life and Torah.


Cantor Heather shares a poem she wrote:


Walking with My Mind

Sitting perfectly still on my pillow I am walking with my mind Come. Let’s walk simply, And simply walk: One step at a time One breath at a time. My mind is a toddler Bright and curious “Here, here! Look what I found here!” a flower, a bee, yesterday’s meeting, tomorrow’s dinner plans, Something sharp and shiny, hurtful and fascinating. Impatient with my mind, I may grab her little arm: "Don’t touch that, we have someplace to go. We are walking now!" I jerk her forward and yank she digs in her heels throws her body to the ground  kicking and crying As toddlers do. But when I stop,  And notice gently “Yes darling, That is a flower, A bee, What fascinating things you have found!” Then she lets the sharp and hurtful thing drop And places her little hand in mine. Yes, we are simply walking Walking simple together.


Rabbi Schachar shares more Rabbi Jack Gabriel:


Rabbi Jack Gabriel made a sweet and beautiful guest appearance at our Open-Mic Zoom Havdala last Saturday night. For those who would like to here more of his music, listen/hear this Reggae "Ki L'olam Chasdo / Your love lasts forever".

Rabbi Schachar shares a Montreal Board of Rabbis pre-Shavuot podcast:


On the first episode Rabbi Lisa Grushcow (Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom) and Rabi Mark Fishman (Congregation Beth Tikvah) discuss Maimonides' Laws of Torah Story. My episode with Rabbi Boris Dolin (Dorshei Emet) will be released on Sunday.

Rabbi Schachar shares a link to great work of Rabbi Yonatan Neril:


Rabbi Yonatan Neril founded the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) which has been doing some great work and has wonderful web-resources.


Rabbi Schachar shares a link to an article about the upcoming month of Sivan:


Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, begins this Saturday night till Sunday night. Rebbetzn Tziporah Heller provides mystically entry points into the month.


Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --


Friday night (6:00-7:00 pm): ShabbaZoom with Montreal Open Shul: A sweet, nourishing, inspiring gathering to get us in the mood for Shabbat. Join us for song, learning, ritual, kiddush and kaddish. Bring your own candles, kiddush cup and bread if you wish.

Instructions for joining us are below. Note that Zoom links are different for each night. Feel free to share this invite among your friends and families!


To join ShabbaZoom (Friday 6-7 pm):


To join with video: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8322418968?pwd=NTB1anBZSllkZ2trQW5MYzFHUGNqUT09 Meeting ID: 832 241 8968 Password: sccrac2020 To join by phone call (no video) via One tap mobile +16473744685,,8322418968# Canada +16475580588,,8322418968# Canada Or dial +1 438 809 7799 Canada Meeting ID: 832 241 8968 * Monday Meditation & Middot with Cantor Heather Batchelor 7:30 pm via Zoom.


Weekly sessions focussing on meditation and mindfulness skills, as well as development of personal virtues ("middot") as defined by the Musar tradition of Jewish ethics.

All are welcome. Suggested donation.


Please register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Initial registration will automatically enable attendance to full series.

Click here for more info.


* Friday Night Service - Every Third Friday of the Month...stay tuned for new dates


* New/Old-school service every fourth Saturday of the month...stay tuned for new dates


Please Note: Due to current health concerns, 3rd Friday Shabbat and New/Old-school service will be temporarily suspended until further notice.


* Chanting & Chocolate

Cross-Canada, Sunday 8:30 PM EST

Weekly Cross-Canada Chanting & Chocolate led by Lorne Mallin in Vancouver, and others. The Zoom link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89112749889?pwd=MXVzK2gzZnk0d2hwWjBSaGZvaFI4UT09

Meeting ID: 891 1274 9889 Password: 172190


* Shavuot Podcasts: The Montreal Board of Rabbis has recorded a series of podcasts. Join us on a daily study journey, May 22-28, to prepare for the festival of Shavuot. Rabbi Schachar is featured in a study conversation with Rabbi Boris Dolin. See the promo video.


* Are you (or is someone you know) facing a food shortage at this time due to the pandemic? Montreal Open Shul participants may be able to receive help from MOS, thanks to support from the Jewish Community Foundation and FederationCJA. Please get in touch with us by email at montrealopenshul@gmail.com or contact Rabbi Sherril directly at rebsherril@outlook.com.


And, if you are in a position to help, we ask and encourage you to please support FederationCJA's Community Crisis Response effort by donating to the community CrowdFunding campaign. Visit https://fcja.crowdchange.ca/1002.

Finally, FederationCJA has established a "helpline" for anyone in the community to ask for help. Call 514-734-1411.


* Let us know if you have something that you would like us to include in the 5-Point Parasha (by Wednesday of the week)


*Did you know that you can donate to MOS and receive a tax receipt from Aleph Canada? Go to the Aleph Canada page on Canada Helps and us the drop down menu under "APPLY YOUR DONATION TO A SPECIFIC FUND SET UP BY THIS CHARITY" to select Montreal Open Shul.


PLEASE DONATE TO SUSTAIN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR OFFERINGS

Join us for: a) ShabbaZoom: A Virtual Warm-up for Shabbat at Home, Friday, May 15, 6 pm

b) Havdala Late Night Open Mic, Saturday, May 16, 9:15 pm c) Omer Counting & Meditation, Mondays 7:30 pm

(See full announcements below.)


Shalom,

Here is our weekly "5-Point Parasha", a short list of what we are enjoying or pondering, as it relates to life and Torah.


Rabbi Sherril riffs on the heart, as another book of Torah comes to a close:

This Shabbat we complete our annual reading of the Book of Leviticus. Prayer communities usually rise when the last words of the book are read, and then we declare: Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek! Let’s be strong, strong, and strengthen one another! Think about this: even as we acknowledge our immersion in a book of Torah, a channel for connecting with the Divine, we still turn to one another. We turn to one another, inviting and affirming our individual and communal capacity for caring. The capacity of the heart is astonishing. If you know me at all, you know that I regularly speak about the heart and the importance of knowing intimately its character and nature. Recently I came across a very old Midrash that compiled the breathtaking range of capabilities of the heart as reported in Torah (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 1:36). Here they are: “The heart speaks, sees, hears, walks, falls, stands, rejoices, cries, is comforted, is troubled, becomes hardened, grows faint, grieves, fears, can be broken, becomes proud, rebels, invents, cavils, overflows, devises, desires, goes astray, lusts, is refreshed, can be stolen, is enticed, errs, trembles, is awakened, loves, hates, envies, is searched, is rent, meditates, is like a fire, is like a stone, turns in repentance, becomes hot, dies, melts, takes in words, is susceptible to fear, gives thanks, covets, becomes hard, makes merry, acts deceitfully, speaks from out of itself, loves bribes, writes words, plans, receives commandments, acts with pride, makes arrangements, and aggrandizes itself.” Over the past three months, since the beginning of the pandemic and sheltering in place, we have had plenty of opportunity to experience and reflect on many of these qualities of the heart. Some of us have kept our hearts hidden and hard to protect ourselves, and some of us have felt the deepest grief and despair that broke open our hearts. Our hearts have led some of us to respond to calls for help, and some of us have also been the callers. These confusing and uncertain times require strength and courage, dear ones. It is not surprise that the word “courage” is derived from the French word, coeur, heart. I think the capacity of the heart is exactly where our strength as human beings lies: in our ability to have compassion and empathy and respond to the needs of other living beings. I learned from one of our teachers, Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein: Devarim ha-yotzim min-ha-lev nichnasim el ha-lev/Things that come from the heart go to the heart.[1] Our Torah chronicles the challenging journey of life, made more perilous in the epidemiological, environmental, civic, and leadership choices of our time. Claiming the path of love is at the heart of our shared sacred journey. Remembering the sources of our strength helps. Chazak, chazak, v’nit’chazeik — let us be strong, strong, and strengthen each other. [1] This phrase may be rooted in the teaching from Talmud Berachot 6b: Kol mi sheyesh bo yirat shamayim devarav nishmaim – whoever has fear/awe of heaven, those words are heard.


Cantor Heather shares a link to the song/psalm/prayer that she will be offering this Friday at Shabbazoom:


Tov Lehodot (Tehillim/Psalms 92:2-3) by the Nava Tehila community in Jerusalem

Rabbi Schachar shares the Shalom Alechem melody that he will be sharing this Friday at Shabbazoom:


Rabbi Shawn Zevit's Shalom Alechem


Rabbi Sherril recommends 1 of her favourite 7 books (for all 7 of her recommendations find her on facebook):


Radical Judaism: Rethinking God & Tradition by Rabbi Dr Arthur Green


Rabbi Sherril shares a quote from Dr. Lindsay Jernigan:


"Try this perspective: Instead of seeing 'social distancing' and travel bans as panic, try seeing them as acts of mass cooperation intended to protect the collective whole. This plan is not about individuals going into hiding. It's a global deep breath, an agreement between humans around the planet to be still. Be still in hopes that the biggest wave can pass, without engulfing too many of the most vulnerable amongst us."


Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --


Friday night (6:00-7:00 pm): ShabbaZoom with Montreal Open Shul: A sweet, nourishing, inspiring gathering to get us in the mood for Shabbat. Join us for song, learning, ritual, kiddush and kaddish. Bring your own candles, kiddush cup and bread if you wish.

Saturday night (9:15-10:30 pm): Havdalah Late Night with Montreal Open Shul & Mile End Chavurah: Mix yourself a drink and join us for relaxing Saturday evening with havdalah, an open mic, and schmoozing!


Instructions for joining us are below. Note that Zoom links are different for each night. Feel free to share this invite among your friends and families!


To join ShabbaZoom (Friday 6-7 pm):


To join with video: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8322418968?pwd=NTB1anBZSllkZ2trQW5MYzFHUGNqUT09 Meeting ID: 832 241 8968 Password: sccrac2020 To join by phone call (no video) via One tap mobile +16473744685,,8322418968# Canada +16475580588,,8322418968# Canada Or dial +1 438 809 7799 Canada Meeting ID: 832 241 8968 To join Havdalah Late Night (Saturday 9:15-10:30 pm):

To join with video: https://zoom.us/j/659343816 Meeting ID: 659 343 816

To join via phonecall (no video) by One tap mobile:

+17789072071,,659343816# Canada +14388097799,,659343816# Canada Or dial by your location +1 778 907 2071 Canada +1 438 809 7799 Canada +1 587 328 1099 Canada +1 647 374 4685 Canada +1 647 558 0588 Canada Meeting ID: 659 343 816 * Omer Counting & Meditation with Cantor Heather Batchelor, Mondays, May 11, 18, 25, 7:30 pm via Zoom.


A simple gathering to share space, meditate and mark the spiritual passage from the Passover holiday towards Shavuot.


Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


* Friday Night Service - Every Third Friday of the Month...stay tuned for new dates


* New/Old-school service every fourth Saturday of the month...stay tuned for new dates


Please Note: Due to current health concerns, 3rd Friday Shabbat and New/Old-school service will be temporarily suspended until further notice.


* Are you (or is someone you know) facing a food shortage at this time due to the pandemic? Montreal Open Shul participants may be able to receive help from MOS, thanks to support from the Jewish Community Foundation and FederationCJA. Please get in touch with us by email at montrealopenshul@gmail.com or contact Rabbi Sherril directly at rebsherril@outlook.com.


And, if you are in a position to help, we ask and encourage you to please support FederationCJA's Community Crisis Response effort by donating to the community CrowdFunding campaign. Visit https://fcja.crowdchange.ca/1002.

Finally, FederationCJA has established a "helpline" for anyone in the community to ask for help. Call 514-734-1411.


* Let us know if you have something that you would like us to include in the 5-Point Parasha (by Wednesday of the week)


*Did you know that you can donate to MOS and receive a tax receipt from Aleph Canada? Go to the Aleph Canada page on Canada Helps and us the drop down menu under "APPLY YOUR DONATION TO A SPECIFIC FUND SET UP BY THIS CHARITY" to select Montreal Open Shul.


PLEASE DONATE TO SUSTAIN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR OFFERINGS

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