Rabbi Howard Finkelstein   ●   Chazan Yair Subar    ●   President Bobby Wollock

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  • From the Rabbi
  • Shul News
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Parashat Balak
June 29 & 30
Mincha and Ma’ariv: 7:00 p.m.
Candle Lighting: 8:37p.m.

Sefer Torah Sponsors: 
Elaine and Marten Brodsky

From the Desk of the Rabbi
דברי הרב   Parashat Balak:

What do Bilaam, Bar Kamtza and Sarah Huckabee Sanders have in common?  All three are involved in either depriving or being deprived of hospitality, be it in someone’s home, reception or restaurant. In all three cases there is a lack of civility.

In the case of Bilaam, the Or Hachayim comments that Bilaam is desirous of cursing the Israelite population at the behest of the king of Moab, Balak, but has to be cajoled and bribed in order to do so. Bilaam rejects the overtures of low ranked   officers sent by the king to persuade him to come to Balak and curse the people of Israel, delaying an answer to them pending permission given him by G-d to be able to do so. When he is denied that permission, he wakes up early in the morning and sends away the king’s officers without giving them any food.  He is hoping that Balak sends him important dignitaries to beseech him to agree to curse the Hebrew population encamped on the borders of Moab.

Bar Kamtza, as many of us  know, is mistakenly invited to a party hosted by a sworn enemy of his. Having been expelled by the party in the presence of rabbis and other dignitaries, he avenges his humiliation at the hands of his host by relating to the Roman authorities in Judea that the Jews are rebelling against them.  Through duplicity and conspiratorial behavior, he is able to convince the Roman procurator that indeed the Jews are disloyal, prompting military action against the latter, and the eventual destruction of the Second Temple.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is asked to leave a restaurant because she works for the President of the United State whose views and statements are repugnant in the eyes of many.  Unlike Bilaam and Bar Kamtza, she reacts civilly to her embarrassment at the hands of the owner of that Virginia enterprise.

At present, there is a growing trend of uncivil behavior that is marking social interaction south of our border.  Racism, anti-Semitism derision and denigration are on the rise, fomented by an attitude of American leadership beginning with the President of the United States that demonstrates a lack of respect for those whose views are not in sync with those in the White House.

Derech Eretz, or proper behavior , is not only a Jewish concept. It is universal. Unfortunately, denigration eventually leads to the dehumanization of the other, whose views differ from the individual who feels the need to humiliate those with whom he does not agree. In the case of Bar Kamtza, the breakdown of relations among Jews leads to the destruction of the Second Temple.

On Sunday, we mark the Fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz, even though the actual date is on Shabbat. This fast, which begins the period of the Three Weeks culminating with Tisha B’Av, is connected to the Second Temple’s destruction. When we engage in the recitation of Selichot on Sunday morning, we not only recount the events connected to this fast day  and our hope for atonement, but we must keep in the back of our minds the need for civil discourse and behavior in how we relate to those around us.

Shul News

Please note the office will be closed Monday, July 2nd.
Rabbi Finkelstein will be away July 3rd – 12th. In case of an emergency, please contact Rabbi Tuvia Hoffman at
Shabbat in the Park: Shabbat, June 30th at Charing Park from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, walking club will meet at 4:00 pm. (weather permitting).

Community News

JET: JET: Don’t Miss the JET Yarchei Kallah: Jewish Educational Extravaganza, a week of engaging classes and lunch and learns.  July 2-7.  Morning Classes at Hillel Lodge.  Evening Classes at the SJCC, culminating with a fabulous Shabbaton at Beit Tikvah.  Special guest speakers include Shaindel Simes and Rabbi Michael Skobac, expert on Missionaries and Cults.  For more information or to register:  www.jetottawa.com.  Early Bird Discount until June 26th.  Bring a first time friend and receive 10% off on that class or program.

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: Friendly Visitors urgently needed for JFS clients!
Active senior looking for a female volunteer with a car to take her on outings like bowling, JCC Library, AJA 50+ programs, coffee dates, etc. Carling/Preston area. Senior with mobility issues is looking for a visitor who can help with her gardening.  Every 2 weeks or so.  JFS neighbourhood.
Man with mental health challenges needs transportation only for groceries/ banking/ errands every second week, during morning hours.  1-2 hours maximum commitment.  Very flexible on dates.  Vanier area. To help, please contact: 613.722.2225, ext.315

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

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