MOS 5-Point Parasha - Vayelech Shabbat Shuva 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.

What Reb Sherril wrote about our sweet Rosh Hashana morning service:

Our hearts are so full this morning! What an awesome Rosh Hashanah experience we had yesterday! A room filled to capacity with over 100 beautiful souls, joyful voices singing, meaningful prayers prayed, ample and delicious bagel breakfast and vegan lunch (thanks Chef Veganessa!) enJOYed. During the Torah service, many of those present came up for intentional group aliyot for renewal/rebirth, laughter and joy, and healing - some coming to Torah for the first time. So precious to see whole families attending services together. Our musical sisters Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Fran Avni, and R' Schachar's daughter Chana Alper-Orenstein took us on the sweetest heart journeys. Our Ba'al Tekiah Guillermo Glujovsky touched us in the deepest places as he blew the shofar for us. Our precious volunteers Deena Schrier and Irina Guilman grounded us in so many ways. From all the laughter, tears, hugs, learning, sharing, communing, praying, and singing, we found the deepest nourishment for which this holy season makes space. So much joy, so much gratitude for this community. Shana tova umetukah - wishing all of us the sweetest Rosh Hashanah!

Rabbi Sherril shares Rabbi Jill Hammer's shofar inspiration:

All year I have been writing about Sefer Yetzirah with its three mother elements of air, water, and fire. When I heard the shofar this year on Rosh haShanah, with its blasts of one, three, and nine (tekiah, shevarim, teruah), I heard the single blast of the Creator separating into the three mothers and then into their nine manifestations in space, time, and soul: sky, middle world, and earth; summer, winter and in between; head, chest and belly. In this reading, the sounding of the shofar is unity becoming multiplicity and then cycling back to unity. Remaking the universe by sending the breath through a hollow channel. The moment of creation.

Rabbi Sherril shares a poem by Rabbi Schachar's kindergarten teacher, Carol Rose:

(alternative) yom kippur chant by:carol rose {for neal}

every year it's the same scramble... search for new poems ... discover new melodies... find the right words ... abracadabra ... open the heart (god knows we try) as we close our eyes retreat under prayer shawls, listen for echoes we dress in white (like priestly shrouds or angel gauze) bare our feet ... a costume for a part in an ancient play we've almost forgotten only the children remember ... they bow, face east, fall korim* touch the earth, return to their roots ... our children (those precious ones) closest to beginnings, they return to purity while we watch we all play dead; no food or drink, no sex or talk of everyday, only chants sung in minor tones, those words we never understood (alone) we sing together we sacrifice our dailiness; leave reasoning behind raise clouds of song, (a new incense for Jerusalem) this alternative service 'alters' our 'native' selves, we offer only what we have sighs (from those deeply hidden places) roused by the shofar's broken call; our tears flow in a cleansing rite that heals our splintered souls *a complete bow, the entire body touches the ground

Rabbi Schachar shares his Judaism & Ecology interview, en francais, featured in the current edition of La Voix Sepharade:

It mentions Montreal Open Shul and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who will be joining us with Rabbi Phyllis Berman, this coming Shabbat, Shabbat Shuva, at the Y (see below). Click for page 1, page 2.

Rabbi Schachar shares a quote about Rabbi Arthur Waskow by one of the most devoted and respected Christian leaders doing work for social justice:

"I am always searching for ways to inspire our work with religious language and spiritual passion, not secular words alone. You just gave me more of the language that I seek.” 

Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --

Yom Kippur is coming up on Tuesday evening...Gmar chatima tova!

Tickets and more info now available on our website.

Click to make a donation or to sponsor the event


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: