Rabbi Howard Finkelstein    Chazan Yair Subar   ●   President Howard Nadler

In This Issue

  • From the Rabbi
  • Shul News
  • Calendar
  • Community News

Parashat Naso

May 25 & 26
Mincha and Ma’ariv: 7:00 p.m.
Candle Lighting: 8:19 p.m.

Sefer Torah Sponsors: 
Lucian and Jackie Sitwell

From the Desk of the Rabbi
דברי הרב Parashat Naso:
It was Yom Yerushalayim 2017 and I went to the Kotel that morning to pray. Obviously, there was barely any room for anyone to walk in the area, as it was so crowded. When it came to the recitation of the Birkat Kohanim, the sounds of the Ba’al Tefillah and the Kohanim resounded right through the entire plaza. Standing next to me was a Kohen who could not penetrate the crowds and ended up giving me a private rendition of the Birkat Kohanim. I felt doubly blessed.
I contrast this wonderful scene and experience with a somewhat different type of encounter with a gabbai of a congregation in San Antonio, Texas, who, for some unknown reason, was convinced I was a Kohen and called me for that Aliyah which of course I rejected, being an Israelite. Despite my protestations to the contrary, he continued to believe I was a Kohen.While the circumstances I described above are indeed rare, it is not that unusual a situation for rabbis under certain conditions to have to determine the lineage of an individual identifying himself or herself as Jewish, and more specifically as to the claim of Kohanic background. Many years ago, a Christian woman came to see me claiming Jewish ancestry and, more specifically, Kohanic background, by showing me a picture of her grandfather’s monument with an engraving of hands at the top, a representative symbol that the deceased was indeed a Kohen.Jewish law deals with the improbable scenario of a wannabee Kohen who ascends the Bimah in order to bless the people with Birkat Kohanim.  The Talmud in Ketubot 24B struggles with the question regarding the possibility of an unknown person who performs Birkat Kohanim. Should he be accepted as a Kohen, or should he have to prove his ancestry? The Talmud assumes that no one would dare bless the congregation if he were not a Kohen. Interestingly, the Talmud asserts that a charlatan, while having no problem consuming Terumah (Kohanic sanctified food), would not commit the bigger fraud of pretending to be a Kohen in order to bless the people of Israel.

While the issue of questionable Kohanic identity is not usually a burning one on the Jewish agenda today, Jewish identity is definitely a vexing one, and of great concern to many. In a different generation, the statement and affirmation of Jewish identification would have sufficed under the rubric of the Halachic concept of Hazaka. Today, the issue of Yichus (ancestry) is a predominant one, and one that requires wisdom, sensitivity and sensibility. Our discussion on Shavuot night which involved several dozen of our congregants gave a small glimpse into this issue which has implications for all Jewish families, regardless of their levels of observance.

This coming Sunday we will celebrate the Hachansat Sefer Torah in memory of Rabbi Yehuda Simes,zt”l, who was loved by all as a righteous individual and as a superlative teacher to many. I wish to personally thank all who have been involved in the planning of this wonderful event in our shul’s history, and to Rabbi Zischa Shaps, who spearheaded the drive with the Simes family and many others in our community and elsewhere to bring the new Sefer Torah to Beit Tikvah. This is an important project for the future of our congregation and for the community at large.

On Shabbat, between Mincha and Maariv, I will give a special shiur on the “Mitzvah of Writing a Sefer Torah” in memory of Rabbi Simes, zt”l, and in honour of all who have been involved in the Sefer Torah project. May Hashem bless them and their families.

Shul News

Shabbat in the Park: Shabbat, May 26th at Charing Park from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, walking club will meet at 4:00 pm (weather permitting).

Save the Date!
Annual General Meeting will be Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Nominations for the new Board of Directors and President will be closing on May 31, 2018. If you are interested or
would like to nominate someone please contact Marsha Kaiserman
marsha.kaiserman@rogers.com or Katherine Moss katherine.moss@sympatico.ca.Volunteer of the Year Award 
At our AGM we will be announcing the winner of our first annual volunteer of the year award.  This award will be given to a person that has committed their time and energy to volunteering to help make our shul better.  Please submit your nomination for an individual who you believe has gone above and beyond in volunteering their time.  Nominations should include a brief description of why you think this person deserves to be recognized. Please submit your nominations to Bobby Wollock at robertwollock@rogers.com.

Rabbi Simes Torah Dedication –

LAST CHANCE to donate to the Rabbi Simes Sefer Torah Project before the Dedication Ceremony this Sunday

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

Community News

JEWISH WAR VETERANS SCHOLARSHIP: The Jewish War Veterans of Canada, Ottawa Post, is offering two (2) $ 1000.00 scholarships to deserving Jewish students who are graduating in 2018 from secondary school and are entering university in 2018.
Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 19 years on or before the 31st of May 2018 and be residents of the National Capital Region.
In the letter of application, candidates will provide evidence of superior qualities of leadership, good citizenship, complete school mark records including the final year,  and sportsmanship at school, within the Jewish Community and community-at-large. All applicants should provide a letter stating why they think they are eligible. Enclose any supporting material that you may think relevant.  All documentation must be received no later than July 13, 2018. Send Submissions to : Ruth Aaron  877 Maplecrest Avenue Ottawa, Ontario K2A 2Z7.
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.

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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