MOS 5-Point Parasha - Vayakhel-Pekudei 5780

Join us for ShabbaZoom: A Virtual Warm-up for Shabbat at Home, Friday, March 20, 6-6:30 pm (see announcements below)


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 Shabbat, from Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei:

Vayak’heyl Moshe / And Moses gathered the children of Israel and said to them, "these are the things that G!d has commanded:

sheshet yamim ta’aseh melachah / for six days work shall be done,

uva-yom hash’vi-i yih’yeh lakhem kodesh / but the seventh day must be holy to you,

Shabbat Shabbaton l’Adoshem / it is a Shabbat Shabbaton to Hashem...".

This is from the Torah reading for this week, in which Moses assembles the community to give them their final instructions for building the Sanctuary. But before he does that, he first tells them that there must be a holy rhythm to their lives, and that rhythm is Shabbat.

For six days we work at building the Mishkan, and on the seventh day we are invited enter into that holy dwelling and simply receive the Divine flow.

We are blessed with the knowledge and the wisdom that rest and reflection are absolutely necessary for the success of this project.

With the introduction and progression of the novel Coronavirus in the world, some of us are overwhelmed with new or expanded responsibilities for ourselves and our families – such as ensuring we have income and necessary supplies, and ensuring our loved ones stay safe and occupied. Others of us find ourselves with new possibilities, with more time to use creatively. Our world has changed, and it is impacting each of us in different ways.

But one thing we know for sure, and that is that Shabbat will come. Shabbat waits for us every seven days, whether or not we notice. That’s not going to change. Our teacher, Rabbi Marcia Prager, says that when we experience Shabbat, we are actually turning on or opening a faucet of blessing, which, once open, then flows down to irrigate the whole thirsty world.

Think of all the sorrow, fractures, overwhelm, emptiness, uncertainty, and spiritual and emotional thirst in the world. And then recognize that when we open ourselves to Shabbat, and allow it to work in and through us, we become channels for the shefa, the flow of blessing, that can quench that thirst.

Shabbat is restorative. In these challenging times, I wonder if you are able to make space in your life to pause for a little while, and just be in the sweet energy of Shabbat eve? This is an invitation to slow down, to breathe, to notice and appreciate the blessings you already have. Can you do that?

And if you find that challenging in some way, this is an invitation to be in touch with your clergy team. We are here to listen, and to support you.

With love and blessings from

Rabbi Sherril, Rabbi Schachar, and Cantor Heather

Cantor Heather’s resource list for staying healthy and sane:

With the generous support of the Shaare Zion Sisterhood, I have moved my Meditation and Middot class to a free online format for the rest of March. Here is a link to the invite:

The Institute for Jewish Spirituality has a number of wonderful online resources for Torah Study and mindfulness, including a wonderful daily meditation session at 12:30pm.

Back in February the NY Times website produce a series of “6 minute work-outs” — bonus the accompanying video feature models with adorably normal body types):

Modo Yoga in NDG is offering free online classes. Check them out on Instagram

Cantor Heather shares a pro-tip:

Covid 19 is not transmittable by eye contact, smiling, causal waves or friendly nods.

Cantor Heather shares a quote:

Caution is the balancing point between panic and recklessness.

Reb Sherril shares a quote:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --

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

Friday March 20, 6-630 pm

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

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

* 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

Ways to help others at this time via Federation.

* 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.