Rabbi Howard Finkelstein   ●   Chazan Yair Subar   President Howard Nadler

In This Issue

  • From the Rabbi
  • Shul News
  • Calendar
  • Community News
Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
May 11 & 12
Mincha and Ma’ariv: 7:00 p.m.
Candle Lighting: 8:04 p.m.

Sefer Torah Sponsors: 
Marcia and Barry Cantor
Janet and Jonathan Isserlin

From the Desk of the Rabbi
דברי הרב    Parashat Behar-Bechukotai:
Perhaps the most humiliating action a Jew could take according to this week’s Torah reading is to sell himself as a slave to a heathen.  The Jew had come on sore times, and could no longer afford to live on his own. Therefore, he had to sell himself in order to have room and board.
The rabbis of the Talmud describe this individual as one who had violated the laws of shmitta, the sabbatical year, by engaging in selling his produce at a time that the land was considered open to all. Consequently, for violating the laws of the Torah, he suffered financial losses to the point where he had to sell his home to pay off debts, and eventually had to sell himself.

Nevertheless, the Torah considered It the duty of every Jew to find a way to redeem this hapless individual because of the fear Rashi, citing rabbinic sources, describes. This slave, in ‘gratitude’ to his non-Jewish owner, eventually abandons Jewish practice, emulating the ways and observances of his master. He is lost to Judaism.

In a modern-day context, we can think of the young children hidden by Christian families during the Holocaust who adopted their hosts’ religion abandoning Judaism. In previous years, the young children in Russia who were forced to join the military and remain there for twenty-five years were probably forcibly converted to Russian Orthodoxy by their commanding officers and priests.

One can take the above examples, connecting to the situation involving the Jew sold to a non-Jew, and come to the realization that even in our day and age, many Jews are captured by the spirit of the times and engage in behaviour which violates Halachic norms. The disturbing number of Jews, from politicians to movie moguls, involved in sexual exploitation demonstrates a clear chasm that exists between the values that Torah represent and the way of life that modern society has accepted, and even tolerated for many years.

We have a responsibility to reach out to our lost brothers and sisters who are in the throes of their gilded enslavement, obsequiously seeking out lifestyles and actions that violate our faith and value system. The warning of the end of Behar and the beginning of Bechukotai to observe the mitzvoth or face extinction is a palpable one, especially today.

Shul News

Shabbat in the Park: Shabbat afternoon, May 12 at Charing Park 3:00 -5:00 pm.

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 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.

Rabbi Simes Torah Project – Two 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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