Rabbi Howard Finkelstein   ●   Chazan Yair Subar    ●   President Howard Nadler

In This Issue

  • From the Rabbi
  • Shul News
  • Thank you
  • Calendar
  • Community News
Parashat Shmini – April 13 & 14
Mincha and Ma’ariv: 7:00 p.m.
Candle Lighting: 7:28 p.m.

From the Desk of the Rabbi
   Parashat Shmini:

The account of the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, who offer a strange fire before G-d, has been analyzed intensively by Biblical commentators, the majority of who seek an understanding as to what sin they commit to warrant such a punishment.  The most fascinating insight is given by Rabbi Hertz, who relates the idea that no one, because of position or ranking, can flout the law, and must instead apply the moral standard demanded of that person by Jewish law and by Jewish mores.

The leader stands in a political way above the masses, not in a haughty way, but in terms of responsibility and accountability. It is not the sin so much that concerns the reader of this week’s Torah portion in understanding the dynamics underlying the untoward action taken by the sons of Aaron on this otherwise celebratory day marking the inauguration of the Kohanim into service and the dedication of the altar. Rather, their premature demise results from Nadav and Avihu’s failure to appreciate the, moral imperative that as leaders, they owe their allegiance to G-d and the people of Israel.

As Rashi indicates, the actions of Nadav and Avihu are not surprising considering that previously, as recorded in Exodus 24, they nonchalantly consider their divine encounter to be minimally important, as they ‘eat and drink’ while perceiving G-d   Rather than to be struck in awe at a scene not normally experienced by others, they feel that they are deserving of such Divine contact and lineage. On the day of dedication of the altar and the consecration of the Kohanim into service, they bring a strange fire, symbolic of their disregard for the law and commands of G-d substituting their own set of rules of how G-d, shall be served.

While their action on that important day seems trivial, the underlying notion behind it is of no minor consequence. Do leaders lead by the letter of the law, or by whim? This question invariably is asked too often, and for good reason.  Corruption among the powerful is a violation of power. In the vagaries of day to day living, societies rise and fall on the integrity of their leadership.  In Biblical times, the honour of G-d rests on the proper application of power demonstrated by its leadership. It is with that thought that Moshe quotes G-d saying, “I will be sanctified by those who are near me (Nadav and Avihu), and will be glorified and honoured before the people.”

Shul News

Thank you

Thank you to Rivka Finkelstein for her many years of regularly welcoming Shul guests to her house,
for her outstanding Kiddush following services this past Shabbat Pesach and
for her Pseudot Mashiah (seudat mashiach) reception for teens and young adults.

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 

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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