MOS 5-Point Parasha - Haazinu/Sukkot 5780


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 gets inspired by the deep wisdom of Rav Kook, who taught that "the new beginning of Rosh Hashanah and the cleansing of Yom Kippur brings us to the joy of Sukkot. We are now invited to step out of our private perspectives and prisons and celebrate the great miracle and gift of life."

“The realm of mystery tells us - You live in a world full of light and life.

Let us know this great reality, the richness of existence that we always encounter.

Let us contemplate its grandeur, its beauty, its precision and harmony…

In every corner where we turn, we are dealing with realities that have life; we always perform consequential acts, abounding with meaning and with the preciousness of vibrant life.

In everything we do we meet sparks full of life and light, aspiring toward the heights. We help them and they help us…

And everything aspires, longs, yearns, according to a pattern that is adorned with holiness and girded with beauty. For this life of ours is not a meaningless phenomenon.

Continue reading here:

Rabbi Sherril is looking forward to the upcoming holiday of Sukkot by sharing this evocative poem from Reb Simcha Raphael:


Under a fragile thatched roof

Full-breasted mother moon

And a subtle glitter band

Of twinkling stars

Transparently peek through

From the heavenly spheres

To this temporary

Transient human realm

Naked, undefended against the elements

I sit in silent contemplation

In this sukkah of peace

Unprotected and vulnerable

In the face of life's ever-changing transitions

Knowing one turn of the cosmic clock

One subtle stopped heartbeat

An unanticipated wind of change

Death, divorce, destruction

Hurricane, shadow eruptions of hell

Fire, flood, fatality or fanaticism

Or any one of a million other maybes

Can wipe away this moment

This life

This most fragile sukkah

This life story I call my own

And bring in its wake

Who knows what



Or why not.

And all I can do

Is live with the unfolding

Of the blessing and the curse

And choose life

As well as I am able to.

So in this temporary

Sukkah of peace

I am reminded

To harvest in holy humility

A sacred sense

Of how good it is

To be alive

How good it is

For sisters and brothers

To sit, sing and pray

Together as one.

Rabbi Schachar shares his current favourite Sukkot song:

Shir Yaakov's Higale Na הגלה נא "Reveal (to) me and spread over me, Beloved, your shelter (sukka) of peace."

Rabbi Schachar shares a sukkot cartoon:

Rabbi Schachar shares a quote about the sukkot theme of fragility:

“It occurs to me that the peculiarity of most things we think of as fragile is how tough they truly are. There were tricks we did with eggs, as children, to show how they were, in reality, tiny load-bearing marble halls; while the beat of the wings of a butterfly in the right place, we are told, can create a hurricane across an ocean. Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkable difficult to kill.” ― Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --

3rd Friday of the Month Service and Sukka Dinner, Oct. 18 *Sukkot Edition

Celebrate Simchat Torah with Mile End Chavurah and Montreal Open Shul

A little food and drink, a lot of singing and dancing with the Torah, and a renewal of the Torah cycle from end to beginning.

Date: Monday October 21, 2019

Time: TBA, but probably 7 pm

Location: TBA, somewhere in Mile End area


Cantor Heather shares:

Looking for ways to amp up your Jewish spirituality in the new year? In addition to great classes from our MOS clergy coming your way check out some of these great online and retreat learning opportunities:

Hadar’s Rising Song Intensive, Dec. 22-25:

R. Jonathan Slater’s month-long prayer intensive sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality — starting Oct. 27th:

Awakening the Divine: A Pardes and Or HaLev Jewish Spirituality Retreat Dec. 31, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020: