From the Desk - Praying and Working for a Better World
Updated: Jun 11
I hope this letter finds you well and that you have been able to enjoy our good weather (even though, at the time of writing, the weather doesn’t look so great anymore!).
1. Praying and Working for a Better World
These have been difficult times for the world. As I wrote in my Facebook message last week, the death of George Floyd, now declared a homicide, was a racist, shocking, and despicable act. We stand in solidarity with black communities in America, Canada and around the world. Racism has no place in society, and we should be at the forefront of confronting it.
It is also deeply saddening that many peaceful protests have been hijacked by provocateurs, leading to riots, violence, and looting.
The pandemic has highlighted our common vulnerability and has elicited incredible chesed, lovingkindness. Each of us must do his or her part to continue to respond to what has happened over these past months with kindness and civility, as we yearn for and work towards a world of peace and love.
2. Prayer Services at Congregation Beth Ora
A number of people have contacted me with questions regarding the resumption of services at Congregation Beth Ora. It is heartwarming to know that our prayer services are cherished by so many members.
We are currently considering how best to proceed in a way which is both legal and safe. We pray and hope that we will be able to resume some outdoor services in the not too distant future.
This is a good opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of preserving our own safety and the safety of others. We must always follow the law of the land, but even if the law permits certain activities, our primary concern is whether those activities are safe in the current situation. Above all, please continue to exercise social distancing to prevent the transmission of this dangerous virus.
3. Upcoming events
We are delighted that Beth Ora has continued to roll out some excellent online programs! Last night, well over 30 members attended our first Mythbuster session, in which we refuted five myths about Judaism.
We are particularly excited to announce that we will welcome guest speaker, Rabbi Dr. Jason Weiner next Sunday (June 14th) at 8 PM. Rabbi Weiner is an expert in Jewish medical ethics and a leading chaplain, offering care and support to people during times of sickness. He will be tackling the topic “When the Patient Doesn’t Recover: Is Prayer Futile?” I think this is a question that interests many of us and I hope you can join us next Sunday.
Please also join us for our events this week:
- Mincha/Maariv – Tonight at 8:30 PM
- Class for Women with Mrs. Esther Hochstadter: Understanding True Jewish Humility – this Thursday at 2:00 PM
Some of you may also be interested in a program run by an organisation called CaringKind. They are presenting a session on Understanding Dementia on Thursday from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM. This will include a brief overview of signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's, as well as addressing dementia in the Holocaust survivor and caregiving support. You can register by clicking here.
Wishing you all of the best!
Rabbi Anthony Knopf