ReformJudaism.org Blog

An American Reflects on Independence Day from Israel July 4th in Israel is a day sandwiched between July 3rd and July 5th. Nonetheless, after work we’ll heat the grill and invite other Americans to celebrate with us....
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Countdown to Tishah B'Av: A Primer on the Three Weeks If you use a Jewish calendar, you may have noticed this notation on June 30: “Tzom Tammuz,” the Fast of Tammuz. Read on to learn about the fast and...
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What a Mock Knesset Program Taught Us About Israeli Politics I thought our Mock Knesset was very successful. We learned so much and had fun learning all about Israel’s government...
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How to "Restring Your Beads" When Your Narrative Changes When I first learned about stringing and restringing our beads based on life experiences, I began to see my relationship with Torah as an ongoing, nonlinear process....
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Why I Won't Allow My Voice to Be Silenced This week’s Torah portion reminds me of the many times I’ve been told to be quiet – especially when it was because our society has left little room for women’s...
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The Wine Was Good: Another Look at the Trefa Banquet There is no question that treif was served at the Highland House banquet, but 135 years later there are still a number of historical questions that need to be...
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Why Did You Deceive Me, Distant Lights? Visiting Kuchinate, I experienced overwhelming kindness from the women, Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers who had escaped horrible torture and persecution in Africa....
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How a Parkland-Area Rabbi Found Space to Heal and Reflect My renewed strength will fuel me as I return to Parkland this week to serve my congregants and community, and for that I cannot thank Kutz enough....
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Just Keep Marching, Even When the News is Disappointing and the Road Ahead is Tough Despite discouraging news out of Washington this summer, I implore those fighting for justice across this country to not back down. ...
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Food on a Stick: 5 Tasty Recipes for Kebab Day Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, is reported to have once said, "There will not be peace until access to the kebab is universal." Amen!...
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Worship

Count me in!
Torah at TempleI have been told that our founding rabbi, Jordan Pearlson z"l, used to say, “Jews invented the support group. It’s called the minyan.” Every day members stop at Temple Sinai to attend an early morning Shacharit or an evening Ma’ariv service. Each person has their own personal reason: some are saying kaddish for a loved one, others come for the community or for a moment of quiet meditation.

Imagine starting off each day with a group of people who will say hello as you walk through the door, pray with you and even share an early morning discussion. Or, after a long day at work stopping for a few minutes to reflect on a busy day, share a laugh with friends and leave feeling a sense of peace.

Our Shacharit (7.30 a.m.) and Ma’ariv (6.30 p.m.) prayer services provide each of us with the opportunity to lend support to one another and are led by wonderfully committed Temple lay leaders. We are truly fortunate that as a large congregation, we have the ability to easily support 10 adults required for a minyan.

Having been actively involved in Temple life over the past number of years, I have been asked to chair a Temple task force with respect to our Shacharit and Ma’ariv prayer services with the view to continuing to increase their attendance.

I have been told by many of our members who, while recognizing the importance of these services, assume that minyan attendance is being met on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this is not the case. As a result, our members must say Kaddish or celebrate important life cycle events without the support of a minyan .

What can we do together to help?
1. Each of us can set aside a couple of days a month to attend minyan services, in support of our fellow Temple members.
2. If you are saying kaddish for a loved one, bring a family member or friend for an even more meaningful experience.
3. Share the contents of this article with your family and friends, in case they did not have the opportunity to read it.

If you would like more information about including a life cycle (births, engagements, prayers for healing, yahrzeits) at a morning minyan, please contact the Temple office at 416.487.4161.

We hope to see you soon! — Jeff Nightingale

Shabbat
Shabbat is the heartbeat of the Jewish people, the most sacred moment in the life of every Jewish community. The atmosphere we experience at Temple on Shabbat is a basic expression of the identity of our congregation. Shabbat is a time when individuals come to pray and be part of the community. It is also a time when Temple families share in profound and personal celebrations in our second home. On Shabbat, mourners become part of our public life even during shivah. Whenever someone experiences Shabbat at Temple Sinai for the first time, we hope they will feel welcome and included and will choose to come again. Each time someone makes Temple Sinai part of his or her Shabbat observance, that individual experience helps to define our community.

Shabbat is a time when community is essential. Many of our practices are founded on our desire to express our belief that Shabbat belongs to all. Simultaneously, we wish to provide our members the opportunity to celebrate in ways meaningful to them in their communal home.

Gender Equality
Temple Sinai is a gender equal religious institution. We honour the absolute equality of men and women before God, and we reject those aspects of our tradition that would needlessly limit full participation in Jewish life and practice, based on gender distinctions. Torah honours are extended equally.