From the Desk - Shema Twice on Shabbat Morning
Shalom Friends! I hope this letter finds you well! The Week that Was This last week has been an exciting one for Beth Ora. Last Thursday evening, we held our long awaited YidLife Crisis show. There was a wonderful turnout as people from throughout Montreal gathered to hear Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman's comedy, exploring tensions between Jewish tradition and secular society. Well done to all those who worked hard to organize the event. This last Shabbat was truly spectacular. Joining with communities throughout the globe, we observed the Shabbat Project as we appealed to members to make a special effort to keep Shabbat and attend synagogue. There was a wonderful turnout for services throughout Shabbat. On Friday night, we welcomed Shabbat with singing and dancing. Raffle prizes were won by Nosson Benshimon and Simcha Leibu and we ended off the evening with a beautiful cheesecake and hot chocolate Kiddush! So many members came to me to tell me how they loved the Shabbat morning service. We were delighted for our special contributions to the service from Kenny Elbaz, Sarah Dym, Emma Dym, Shirel Petel, Shlomo Petel, Andy Sherman and Steven Caron as well as the adult and children's choirs. The service ended with a wonderful address from Steven Davidovics. On Shabbat afternoon, we joined for Mincha with the family and guests of Bar Mitzvah boy AJ Gluz before enjoying a seuda shlishit meal with wonderful ideas shared by Jackie Harroch, Shelley Sherman, Joe Salem and Ben Alt. We finished off Shabbat with a beautiful Havdallah service. It was an amazing Shabbat! If you missed it, join us this week :-) ! Last night the success continued with great turnout for our Shul for Dummies series on why we do the things we do. Join us same time, same place next week (November 8th) to explore more questions. Many thanks to Jack Dym for organizing. Coming Up This coming Sunday, we invite all 6-12 year olds and their families to join us for supper and a story. I'll be telling a story in the Sanctuary and the kids will be treated to a hot dog supper. We start at 5 pm. And, of course, the bazaar is coming up! Please consider coming to volunteer any night, after 6:30 pm or anytime on Sunday. Last Week in Synagogue In synagogue, I spoke about how Shabbat reminds us of the importance of love and relationships. I told an amazing story, that you can watch here. Wishing you all another wonderful Shabbat, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami
What's the deal with.... saying the Shema twice on Shabbat morning? About 10 minutes into the service on Shabbat morning, I announced that we should say the Shema. About 30 minutes later, we say it again. We say the Shema at the earlier time because there is a mitzvah to say the Shema during the time when people get up, which is assumed to be in the first three hours of daylight. Ricky Shapiro asked what the deal is with this because it gets light quite late at this time of the year. Ricky has a good point here, but first let's clarify a couple of things. Firstly, from what time do we start the three hours? This is a matter of dispute among the rabbis. Some hold that it starts from the first rays of light; others say it begins from sunrise. The first rays of light come much earlier than sunrise. Today, the first rays of light come at about 6:03 but the sun doesn't rise till about 7:32. Secondly, what is an hour? What is an hour?? Don't we know the answer to that question?! Well, no, not necessarily. In halachic literature, an hour doesn't mean the same thing as in our general usage of the word. Some say that an hour is 1/12 of the time from the first rays of light until the stars come out; and the other view says that it is 1/12 of the time from sun rise till sunset. So, there are two views as to when is the latest time for saying the Shema in the morning. This Shabbat, the two times are 9:22 am and 10:08 am. The bottom line of all this is that Ricky is probably right that we don't need to say the Shema twice at this time of the year!