Rabbi Howard Finkelstein         Chazan Yair Subar         President Howard Nadler

In This Issue

  • From the Rabbi
  • Shul News
  • Calendar
  • Community News
Parashat Emor – May 4 & 5
Mincha and Ma’ariv: 7:00 p.m.
Candle Lighting: 7:55 p.m.

Sefer Torah Sponsors: 
Esther and Irving Kulik

From the Desk of the Rabbi
דברי הרב   Parashat Emor:
The Ottawa Jewish community was fortunate to have had the opportunity to host the Chief Rabbi of Israel, HaRav David Lau, shlita. I had the pleasure of hearing him address important issues on three different occasions here, and I have attended sessions he gave in Israel at rabbinical conferences. While Rabbi Lau gave diplomatic answers to questions posed to him by Rabbi Bulka at the session at Machzike Hadas, he was more forthright in a private meeting with community leaders the next morning.
What struck me most poignantly about Rabbi Lau’s responses to controversial questions was his ability to bridge the gap between two types of communications alluded to in the Torah. The two communications can be labeled as”amirah” and “dibbur.” The former refers to ordinary statements that are verbalized, and the latter refers to curt, direct answers that are not usually accompanied by explanations and qualifications.

In the Torah lexicon, the word Amirah connotes a soft approach to a sensitive topic. The very beginning of Emor reveals G-d’s communication to the kohanim to be careful about their status so as not to defile themselves inadvertently or purposely.  One would imagine that G-d would take a strong approach of admonition and warning to the Kohanim to protect their purity. However, the Or Hachaim writes that the softer approach is taken in order to enlighten and inform the Kohanim of their unique position in Jewish life.

On the other hand, there are times that G-d takes a strong position in dictating the law to Moshe, in order not to allow for divergence and dissension.  The choice of communication is determined by circumstance.

In dealing with the general public, Rabbi Lau utilized the soft approach in answering the controversial questions regarding conversions, the Kotel and other areas of Jewish life. In a private meeting the next morning, he took a harsher approach, albeit charmingly.

How to communicate is a difficult task. Sometimes in communicating with others, we take a harsh approach when we should be taking a softer one.  Sometimes, we are so politically correct in our answers that we fail to realize that a harsher response would be more appropriate.  As the president of Federation stated at the end of the private session Friday morning with the Chief Rabbi, the forthrightness of the Chief Rabbi was appreciated even though it was not expected that all would agree the Chief Rabbi’s statements.

On a personal note, I thank Bram Bregman and his organizing committee, Congregation Machzike Hadas, the Federation, and the JCC for facilitating the Chief Rabbi’s visit to Ottawa. I was also pleased to see the two day schools of our community, the Ottawa Jewish Community School and Torah Day School, come together to greet the Chief Rabbi. Chabad and Rabbi Mendelsohn should be thanked for arranging to have the Chief Rabbi participate in the Lag B’omer parade.

I also thank Rabbi Scher and Rabbi Bulka for joining me bringing our two congregations together for the religious celebration of Yom Haatzmaut that took place at Beit Tikvah recently.

To culminate the message of unity pervading our community, JETâ’s Jewish Unity Live coming up on Sunday clearly conveys the thought that a community that works together flourishes and grows.

How good and how pleasant is the dwelling of our people together in unity. (Psalm 133)

Shul News

Kiddush Committee: Kiddush sponsors must be received by the end of the day on Monday the week of the kiddush, so that  the Committee can plan accordingly.

Community News

CAMP B’NAI BRITH: The Ottawa Jewish historical Society, in partnership with the Soloway JCC, invite you to a retrospective evening of all things CAMP on Thursday May 17 at the Soloway JCC, in the Social Hall at 7:30 pm. Admission is $10. Memories and Mamaloshin, fantastic photos that will make you laugh, and wonderful food (including standard camp fare and Joe Louis) prepared by David Smith, Creative Kosher, will be served in the “Mess Hall”!  To make this evening extra special, Mark Max and Russell Kronick have agreed to lead all of us in a super singsong. This will surely be a night to remember. Don’t miss this magical memory-filled party.  CBB was a place we couldn’t wait to go back to.  On May 17 we can go back for one more brief visit with our old friends. We hope to see all of you there. For more information, and to RSVP please contact the Ottawa Jewish Historical Society Office at  613-798-9818 ext. 264 or by e-mail at ojhsoc@gmail.com.
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES: Client with some mobility issues is looking for a friendly visitor to spend time together working in her garden every week or two.  JFS neighbourhood.  Female preferred.
Newcomer to Ottawa (Alta Vista area) is looking for a female companion to join her at AJA 50+ events and other events/outings.  Companion to provide transportation.  Client uses a walker.
Elderly client who is visually and hearing impaired needs a visitor for about 45 min-1 hr every 2-3 weeks, at his home on Merivale Rd.  Communication will need to be in writing, or by typing on your laptop in large print.   To take on any of these mitzvot, please contact the JFS Volunteer Desk at 613.722.2225, x315.

Rabbi Simes Torah Project – Three Weeks until the Dedication

Donations can be made by Interac eTransfer, cheque, credit card, or PayPal or by calling the Shul office at 613-723-1800.

15 Chartwell Avenue, Nepean, ON K2G 4K3
Phone 613-723-1800 / Fax 613-723-6567
Rabbi Howard Finkelstein rabbihoward.finkelstein@gmail.com
Howard Nadler, President howardnadler@gmail.com
Elisheva Brantz, Office Administrator shul@cbto.org 

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