MOS 5-Point Parasha - Mishpatim 5780

* Friday Night Service, Feb 21st, with special guest Rabbi Jan Salzman

* New/Old-school service, Feb 22nd


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 the timely question, "Does the world need more love or more justice?"

All in all, there are 53 separate mishpatim, “rules,” to be followed in this week’s Torah portion, comprising a little bit of just about everything. Yet there is one rule that stands out, one that is repeated twice in this particular Torah portion and ... 36 times in the Torah overall, making it the most often mentioned commandment in all of Torah: “You shall not wrong or oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 22:20).

In Leviticus (19:34), it is written slightly differently. There we are told: “You shall love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Yet, of the 36 times this commandment appears in the Torah, love is only mentioned this once.

Keep reading here:

Rabbi Sherril shares "How We Built This" – Montreal Open Shul:

Montreal Open Shul is psyched to be participating in the Kenissa National Consultation (, taking place in two weeks in Connecticut. We were invited as an organization that “has taken leadership in starting or leading an effort to engage Jews in an interesting and novel way.” We were asked the question, “What are the one or two most important elements that has made the organization compelling to its members? In other words, what is your ‘secret sauce’?”

We thought we would share some of the ingredients in our “secret sauce:”

One of the ingredients that we believe makes MOS compelling is that our clergy team emerged from three distinct denominations in Judaism to build a post-denominational spiritual community. Our participants have said that they appreciate the diversity of Jewish clergy presence and gender, and enjoy the experience of praying, learning, celebrating and doing ritual in different ways. Many participants also appreciate not having to identify with one denomination over another in order to practice and live a Judaism with depth and meaning.

Another core ingredient that is central to our success is that, in all our programs, we build in multiple opportunities for one-on-one, small-group and large-group experiences so that participants can learn from one another; share abilities, talent and expertise; and create meaningful interpersonal connections. We have seen that participants get the most out of the programs when they are involved and engaged, and so we have made accessibility a core value which lowers or removes barriers to participation and helps participants become and remain involved.

What would you say are some other ingredients in the MOS "secret sauce" that makes it compelling for you?

Rabbi Sherril shares a statement by the Anglican Church on the Conflict on Wet’suwet’en Unceded Territory.

Cantor Heather Batchelor shares some sweets:

Shir Hashirim / Song of Songs sweetheart candies are now available. "Your spouse will swoon upon reading that her teeth are like a flock of sheep or that her nose is like a giant tower," said the CEO of Solomonhearts, David Meyers.

Rabbi Schachar shares a quote that he recently heard from Rabbi Amichai Lau of the Lab/Shul:

"Before yitsiat mitsrayim (coming out of the Narrows/Egypt) you have to have mitsiat mitsrayim (find/accept/become aware of the Narrows/Egypt)"

Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --

* Friday Night Service - Every Third Friday of the Month. Next is Feb 21st - Special Guest: Rabbi Jan Salzman from Burlington, Vermont. Potluck supper follows program - please bring veggie side dishes, & beverages. We provide the mains, challah, juice & wine. Suggested donation: $8-$18. @Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA on 5400 Westbury.

* New/Old-school service every fourth Saturday of the month. Next is Feb 22

Un service novateur traditionnel du matin avec la percussion Shabbosdik. Chaque quatrième chabbat du mois à 10h Potluck végétarien: 12h30, suivi de musaf Tout le monde est bienvenu! Don suggéré: 18$ (10$ les abonnés de MOS) RSVP & paiement: Montreal Open Shul INFO:


An innovatively traditional morning service with Shabbosdik percussion. Every 4th Saturday of the month 10am Shacharit 12:30 Vegetarian potluck kiddish followed by Musaf For all ages; all are welcome! Suggested donation: $18 ($10 for MOS subscribers) RSVP & payment: Info:

@Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA on 5400 Westbury.

Interested in reading Torah or Haftarah for our next New/Old-school services on Feb. 22? Contact

* Restorative Shabbat, March 6, 7-10 pm - Shabbat is an opportunity to rest deeply and receive. We will do some deep restorative yoga which will allow you to let go of tension. Followed by a tasty vegan dinner.

$40 offering includes provided Shabbat dinner.

Space is limited. Reservations required via website by Wednesday, March 4.

Contact Rabbi Schachar for more info,

* Purim Comedy Improv, March 10, 6:30 pm, also featuring a potluck seuda, crafty cocktails and magnificent mocktails (cash bar), @5215 Grand Boulevard, Tickets: $18, subsidies available, limited space, reservations via MOS website required by March 6.

* Dr. Devin Naar from the University of Washington will be speaking about "From Morocco to Greece, Turkey, and Beyond: The Intertwining of Sephardi Jewish Experiences across the Mediterranean World", Thursday, February 20, 2020, McGill University, Leacock 232 at 5 pm. It is the 2020 Levites Lecture from McGill's Department of Jewish Studies.

* Cantor Heather will be raising money for Auberge Shalom by reading Megillah this Purim. Here is a link to pledge your support:

*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.