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Join us for: * ShabbaZoom: Friday, June 12, 6 pm Note new zoom instructions below!

* Chanting & Chocolate: Sunday, June 14, 7:30 pm

* Monday Meditation & Middot, Monday 7:30 pm

* Remembering Reb Zalman, Tuesday, June 23, 7:30-9 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 reflects on clouds, from this week’s parasha:


In this week’s parasha, Beha’alotecha, we are told that on the day that the Mishkan – the portable sanctuary in the wilderness - was completed and erected, it was sheltered by a cloud during the day and a fire by night. And whenever the cloud raised itself up, the Israelites would de-camp and set out, following the cloud. When the cloud descended, they would then camp in that place where the cloud rested.


So we have several striking images in this passage: One is the Mishkan, and the other is the cloud by day and fire by night that covers the Mishkan. And in our imagination we can see the movement of the cloud – for it rises up when it is time to move on, and settles down when it is time to rest. As long as the cloud rested, the Israelites would stay put.


Moses studied the cloud for signs, and the students of Moses studied both Moses and the cloud. Like Moses, we can be guided on our journeys by cloud and fire. It is said that the cloud is transformative: its secret is the power of the Divine to transform darkness into light. When cloud lifts, we can discern the path before us with clarity, as if we were led that way and we know it is safe to travel. But when that cloud rests, protecting us and shadowing time and space, it is a time for not travelling, for dwelling and being in that place and dealing with the uncertainty, the daily routines, and the ordinary beauty of our lives. What would it take for us to recognize that there is benefit in the “gray zone,” the shadow time, for it offers a place of refuge, a place of rest, a place of introspection and reflection?


The lesson of this parasha is for all of us who are yearning to learn and to discern when it is time to move on with a plan, project, vision, task, mission, or desire; and when it is time to just stay put, reflect, be in it, and rest. If you are wrestling with making important decisions and setting priorities in your life right now, this is the lesson you can take away from this week’s teaching. My blessing for all of us is that we be able to see and acknowledge the movement of the clouds in our lives, and to know when it is time to stop and listen for the messages that are flowing to us through them.


Shabbat shalom.


Cantor Heather shares a personal reflection about the situation in Minneapolis:


I have been humbled this week.

As many of you know, I am from Minneapolis. My closest family members all live in the heart of the neighborhoods most effected by the rioting that has followed George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police. After the first few nights of rioting my mother and sister told me how they had been kept up all night by the sounds of gunshots, explosions and shouting. While peaceful protestors marched daily, the evenings and nights devolved into arson and destruction. Beyond the looting of stores and businesses, strange unlicensed vehicles cruised the city’s neighborhoods carrying groups of white men looking to terrorize the community. Residents took shifts patrolling their neighborhoods at night and scoured streets and alleys for cachés of flammable materials. The police and fire department were either unable or unwilling to respond to emergency calls.


As you can imagine, I have been beside myself over the past week, helplessly watching as my family and hometown were terrorized by arsonist extremists, as the police absented themselves and the national media seemed unfazed or uninterested. How could this happen in the United States? 


…And then I realized this has happened so many times before: the anonymous white men and their incendiaries, the hostile police, the indifferent media — African-American communities have endured these and many other torments for most of our history. Perhaps now we can finally open our eyes and truly see? Open our hearts and truly feel? Perhaps now we can finally recognize what should have always been obvious — that if humans are created in the image of Hashem, then it is our responsibility to make sure that every person is treated with reverence to the spark of holiness they embody. It should be that much to expect from ourselves, should it?


Cantor Heather shares a link to some new Minneapolis art:


With so many local businesses boarded up, Minneapolis artists have set about beautifying the broken city with their work. Here is a of the mural that have been painted


Rabbi Schachar shares an exciting discovery from the University of Tel Aviv:


Could Atmospheric Water Vapor Be a Renewable Energy Source?


Rabbi Schachar shares a quote from Rabbi Michael Lerner's book, Revolutionary Love:

“Gradually disband police forces and replace them with neighborhood  security committees,  trained in de-escalation  and empathic intervention.  (These committees will be backed up in emergency situations by local community forces (neighbors trained to meet violence effectively).” (page191, published by University of California Press in 2019)


Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --


* ShabbaZoom: A Virtual Warm-UP for Shabbat at home

Friday, June 12, 6-7 pm


Join Montreal Open Shul to welcome in Shabbat online with a virtual pre-Shabbat gathering over Zoom.


To join with video, you must have a password. 

Email Rabbi Sherril for the password at rebsherril@outlook.com

1) Log into Zoom (www.zoom.us)

2) Click on Join meeting

3) Enter Meeting ID: 514 489 7121 4) Enter password that you received by email


To join by phone:

One tap mobile +17789072071,,5144897121# Canada +14388097799,,5144897121# Canada

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: 514 489 7121


* Chanting & Chocolate

(Chocolate when we're together again)


You are invited to join in the weekly Cross-Canada Chanting & Chocolate* from 7:30-8:30 EDT Sunday, June 14 with chant leaders from Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. R' Schachar will be leading a chant this week. We hope to see you there.  This is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88004176254 Meeting ID: 880 0417 6254 One tap mobile +15873281099,,88004176254# Canada +16473744685,,88004176254# Canada Dial by your location: +1 587 328 1099 Canada +1 647 374 4685 Canada +1 647 558 0588 Canada


Organized by Lorne Malin * 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.


* Remembering Reb Zalman... our beloved teacher, scholar, friend and visionary. Come and learn! An inspiring evening of classic Reb Zalman teachings, songs and stories. Tuesday, June 23, 7:30-9 pm.


Register in advance for this special gathering honouring Reb Zalman's yarzheit:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting


* Israeli Film Festival by the CSUQ runs till June 21. Facebook info here.


* 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: * ShabbaZoom Shavuot Edition: Friday, June 5, 6 pm

* Chanting & Chocolate: Sunday, June 7, 7:30 pm

* Monday Meditation & Middot, Monday 7:30 pm

and Moishe House for: * Jews of Colour, Tuesday, June 9, 8:15 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 Schachar shares Rabbi Marc Angel's dvar torah:


On wholeness and the birkat kohanim (priestly benediction) found in this week's parasha.


Rabbi Schachar shares a statement from the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, prepared by Rabbi Hayyim and Maxine Angel:


We issue this response to the murder of George Floyd. An American life was lost in a heinous act, and the perpetrator has been charged with murder. George Floyd was a father, a brother, a son. He was part of a community and his brutal death represents yet another in an immeasurable string of injustices which cannot be tolerated. We as an organization that promotes openness and tolerance, will not remain silent on the subject of injustice.


As we learned with the spread of Covid, we are each responsible for one another, possibly more than we ever realized. The act of one can help or harm countless others. We are each responsible to stop the spread of hatred. We are each responsible to promote unmitigated respect for our fellow human beings. We are each created in the image of the Divine. 

The voices and messages of peaceful protestors should not be drowned or profaned by the cowardly violence of rioting individuals and looters. 


Cantor Heather shares an article about citizens banding together in her home town, Minneapolis/St. Paul in the wake of the riots:


Imagine Sherbrooke from Parc La Fontaine to the Loyola Campus -- every storefront smashed in and many of the buildings burnt down. That's Lake St in Minneapolis right now. See also these reports shared by Rabbi Arthur Waskow. For many other articles of interest on this, see the Jewish Journal.


Rabbi Schachar shares a link to the song that he sang at last week's ShabbaZoom:


This is Nava Tehila's "Create a pure heart in me, Great Spirit And renew a true soul within me" (Based on Psalm 51:12).


Rabbi Sherril shares a quote:

"What's the problem with being 'not racist'? It is a claim that signifies neutrality: 'I am not a racist, but neither am I aggressively against racism.' But there is no neutrality in the racism struggle...One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of 'not racist.' The claim of 'not racist' neutrality is a mask for racism." -Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be an Antiracist


Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --


* ShabbaZoom: A Virtual Warm-UP for Shabbat at home

Friday, June 7, 6-7 pm


Join Montreal Open Shul to welcome in Shabbat online with a virtual pre-Shabbat gathering over Zoom.

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


* Chanting & Chocolate

(Chocolate when we're together again)


You are invited to join in the weekly Cross-Canada Chanting & Chocolate* from 7:30-8:30 EDT Sunday, June 7 with chant leaders from Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. R' Sherril and R' Schachar will be leading chants this week. We hope to see you there.  This is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88004176254 Meeting ID: 880 0417 6254 One tap mobile +15873281099,,88004176254# Canada +16473744685,,88004176254# Canada Dial by your location: +1 587 328 1099 Canada +1 647 374 4685 Canada +1 647 558 0588 Canada


Organized by Lorne Malin * 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.


* How Many Canadian Jews of Colour Are There? A Question to Rethink

Sapira of Moishe House is organizing for next Wednesday a session about Jews of Colour. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/256287329025474/permalink/256287342358806/


* 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: * 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

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