D'var Torah: 7th Day of Passover

Seven days ago, we sat around our tables, telling the story, as we do each year, of our forebears’ deliverance from slavery in Mitzrayim. More than that, though. We were invited to live the story – to experience it, as though we ourselves were slaves in Egypt, and as though we ourselves witnessed the miracles of which the Haggadah tells. No matter what our opinion of the theophany of the Exodus narrative, we are asked to embody this formative moment of our people. Beyond the seder nights, this has at least one very palpable implication for our observance of Pesach, which I would like to take a moment to remind us of.

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On Passing and Not Trying to Pass

I am black, and I am Jewish.

I’ve always found comfort in the and of my identity — that simple part of speech that joins together two disparate things: two families, two histories, two cultures, two heritages, two skin colors, two lineages of trauma, two pathways to North America. As the offspring of both, I am equally neither.

Read the full post on My Jewish Learning's Jewish&.

Whose/Who's Kosher Soul?

A few weeks ago, I was browsing through my Facebook newsfeed when I stumbled upon a trailer for a new TV show, Kosher Soul, from the Lifetime Network. The preview for this “docu-sitcom” begins with the two stars of the show sitting on the couch, talking to the camera. “You can’t help who you fall in love with,” the man says. There’s a fast cut to a foot breaking a glass under the wedding chuppah, to the sound of a crowd cheering “Mazal tov”. The stars, Miriam Sternoff and O’Neal McKnight, met working as stylists for Sean “Puffy” Combs, (aka Puff Daddy, P Diddy, Diddy, etc.). Sternoff is described as “the epitome of the nice Jewish girl” and McKnight as African-American from the South.

Read the full post on Congregation Darchei Noam's blog

Rosh Hashanah: A Time for Welcoming the Newcomer

I can't believe the new year arrives tonight! Shana tova! The High Holy Days are a magical time – both a time for reflection and connection. I think of the festive meals many of us have together with family and friends, and that palpable feeling of a reunion that many of us feel when we come to synagogue for services and see people who perhaps we have not seen since last year!

Read the full post on Congregation Darchei Noam's blog

Exploiting the Holocaust has become all too acceptable in Canada

In a 2011 lecture delivered to the National Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, Professor Michael Marrus, one of Canada’s foremost experts on the history of the Holocaust, made a statement that could be interpreted as a caution: “However the Holocaust is remembered . . . there is nothing more important than that memory be consistent with the truth about the Holocaust . . . its course, its character and its place in the history of its time.”

Read the full op-ed online at the Globe and Mail

Originally posted March 9, 2013