As we deal with the covid 19 threat, services at our shul are suspended until further notice. However, we are streaming services online through zoom allowing participants to daven simultaneously. See our schedule for service times. Email us in advance to get the zoom meeting number.

 

Kehillat Chaverim is a Traditional congregation that began operating on July 1, 2016. Since then we have held almost 3400 twice-daily minyanim – weekdays, Shabbat, Yom Tov and High Holidays. Even now, while we have our services on zoom, there is a great feeling of friendliness and informality as we daven together. We are a community of friends who  care deeply about preserving a twice daily minyan in the German Mills area. We send our weekly bulletin to almost 200 families.

 

Our minyanim are habit-forming – we have several men and women who come regularly to our services who, previously, were never regular shul-goers. We have proven to be a convenient, warm, and welcoming location for people commemorating Yahrzeit or saying Kaddish for a loved one. We extend an invitation to you to observe these important moments with us whether you are a member or not.

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This morning Jo-Ann Slack presented a Dvar Torah for the upcoming month of Av

Dvar Torah:  July 09,  2021

 

I’ll begin on a personal note …

10+ years have passed since my dear sister, Maxa, of blessed memory, passed on.  As her family was not inclined to do so, I found myself attending Morning services and reciting Kaddish in her memory.  11 months came and went … and I continued on …

 No one was more surprised than I …

 Perhaps it was the sincere welcome and support David Sefton extended … Perhaps …

 There were many times, I questioned my presence at Morning services … repeating the same prayers, day following day.  Wasn’t I supposed to find it boring?

 As time passed, first words (my favourite … lovingkindness), followed by a turn of a phrase, and finally certain prayers, in entirety,  provided not only comfort and solace but, meaningful direction to my day.

 So, 10 years have passed, and I am still drawn to Morning prayers.

 Each morning, I search out my favourite prayers …

-worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness …

-our lives we trust into thy loving hand …

-grant us this day, and every day, grace, kindness, and mercy, both in Thy sight and in the sight of all men …

-cause a new light to shine upon Zion, and may we all be worthy to delight in its 

splendor …

 And, for my 2 sisters that have passed …

-refusing to acknowledge death as triumphant … permitting the withered blossom, fallen from the tree of mankind, to flower and develop again in the human heart ...

 

And truly, these personally meaningful lines of prayer would have sustained my attendance …

 But, then … Covid happened!  And, like the rest of you, I searched the web for programs to fill my day.

Chabad Thornhill was one of my answers.

Over the past 6 months or so, a ½ h on Monday mornings was reserved for studying Morning prayers. 

 And so, this morning, I want to share a few insights that I have added to my understanding of Morning Prayer thanks to Esther Gitlin … who I must say, for me, is a truly inspirational speaker.

Esther Gitlin suggested that Morning prayers be likened to ‘steps of a ladder’ …   as we complete each step on the ladder, we prepare for and allow ourselves, to emotionally climb to a heightened level of devotion.

She addressed the ‘how to’ …  how to use Morning Prayer to elevate ones intent of devotion.

The steps are as follows:  1) Introductory morning prayers, 2) the Ashrei, 3) the Shema and 4) the Amidah.  Fortunate for you, … I have only covered Step 1 and Step 2 …

Baruch Atah Adoni … Blessed art Thou … those 3 words set the stage for ones initial engagement to Morning prayers.  The use of  ‘Atah’ … a deliberate choice of the personal pronoun when addressing G-d.  How very powerful … that we pray to a G-d who truly cares about us … on a personal level.  

The first Baruch Atah Adonai …

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our G-d, King of the Universe, who removest sleep from mine eyes and slumber from mine eyelids.  Research tells us that during our sleeping hours, our body slows down … so when we return to our waking hours … and read the words … ‘brought my soul up from the grave’ … we have much to be grateful for … another day!

Chabad orders the 15 Blessings in the chronological order of our greeting a new day … from our very waking to our actively participating in daily life.

-who openest the eyes of the blind … truly seeing and taking note of our surroundings …

-who releasest the bound … literally, the blessing of being able to move …

-who raisest up them that are bowed down … having the strength to undertake whatever emotional burdens we might face that very day …

-who clothest the naked … just as we dress the Torah, because it is holy … so we dress ourselves, sometimes, specifically taking that extra effort … for example, for the Shabbat, for the Yom Tovim … we are compelled to understand that our body, too, is 

holy …

-who provided for all my needs … nothing to do with material needs.  G-d has graced you with all the wisdom and understanding you will need, so that you journey through your day … you perform at your optimum … no one can expect more … G-d does not ask for more …

-who girdest Israel with strength … donning those articles of clothing that are sanctified.  As you put on your teffilin … do so, not out of habit, but with sincere intent …

Moving on to the next passage of interest …

Were it not that we are Thy people, children of Thy Covenant, descendants, of Abraham … seed of Isaac his only son, who was bound upon the altar, the congregation of 

Jacob …

Early on in our Morning prayers, we enumerate our Ancestors … calling on G-d … trusting that on their merit … G-d will be our Redeemer, too.  We include mention of the Akkadah (The Sacrifice) … as we repeat these words, we are promising that we will meet the day’s challenges with the same piety as did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

When we reach the prayer … Baruch She’amar …

Praised be He who spoke and the world rose … praised be He.  How infinitely wonderful it is to acknowledge … each day … the creation of something from nothing. 

During morning prayers, we include the concept of the Wandering Jew.  O gather from the four corners of the earth those that hope in Thee.  Perhaps, because as a Nation, we have travelled far and wide to the 4 corners of the globe, we can now pray to be redeemed and returned to Zion.

The 2nd level of Devotion is ushered in as be begin the Ashrei …

For this is the duty of all creatures towards Thee, O Lord our G-d and G-d of our fathers, to give thanks unto Thee, to laud, adore and praise Thee, even beyond all the words of song and praise uttered by David, the son of Jesse, Thine anointed servant.

 

Well … the Rabbis thought better of leaving it in the hands of the supplicant … who might not find words of such magnitude to do the ‘job’ right.

And, so, King David’s Psalms  … songs of praise … were chosen to give reverence to 

G-d …

As a prayer, the Ashrei is held in such high esteem … it is repeated 3 times in the course of our day … twice during Shacharit … and once more at Mincha/Maariv.

You probably knew, but I didn’t, that Psalm 145 is written acrostically … but, coming to the letter  ‘Nun’ … an exception is made.  ‘Nun’ does not get to begin its poetic line … slipped into the line beginning with its following letter, the ‘sof.  In so doing … David was able to circumvent the negativity of the letter ‘Nun’ itself  … or so, I have been told!

6 Psalms in which we acknowledge and praise G-d …

So, how many times have you read the line …

And Thou givest them their food in due season.

‘Food’ … our most basic of needs … a need that must be satisfied each and every day.   When we pray … Thou givest them food …  we acknowledge G-d’s presence in our most finite being.

As we approach the conclusion of the Psalms of Praise we recite:  

Amen, Amen.Rabbi Yhudah haLevi … 1040 … Spain … poetically wrote:  Through prayer the heart wants to soar … to leave the body for that moment … and join the Eternal G-d. And how do we show that … how do we make that shift … we pray ‘Amen, Amen’ … and, then, we stand!

In honour of Rosh Chodesh, I will conclude with these words of prayer.

Then sang Moses and the Children of Israel this song unto the Lord.

I sing unto the Lord, for He is highly exalted …

The Lord is my strength and song.

And He hath become my salvation.

This is The Song of Redemption … the very song that Miriam sings in the Song of the Sea.  Moses has borrowed her words … let it not be mistaken … they are Miriam’s words. Miriam knew, as women of all ages have known … to look forward during hard times … to look to the future.

Amen

 

 

Mark Richler has kindly granted permission to reprint his essay below commemorating Yom HaSho'ah
           

I’ve seen pictures, and I’ve watched movies.  I’ve heard stories, and I’ve read poems.  I know names, and I know numbers.  If someone asked me, “How many Jewish people lost their lives in the holocaust?” I would tell them, “Six million.”  If someone asked me, “Where did Anne Frank hide from the Nazis?”  I would tell them, “In a secret attic built by her father.”  If someone asked me, “Which factory owner that was a member of the Nazi party, saved hundreds of Jewish lives?”  I would tell them, “Oskar Schindler.”  These questions, I can answer, and I want to be able to answer these questions.  I need to be able to answer these questions.  However, if someone asked me, “What do the walls in Auschwitz feel like?”  I would tell them, “I don’t know.”  If someone asked me, “What does it smell like in Treblinka?”  I would tell them, “I don’t know.”  If someone asked me, “How does it feel to march proudly with thousands of other Jewish teenagers, to show Hitler, and to show the Nazis, that they failed and we lived?”  I would tell them, “I don’t know.”  These questions, I cannot answer, and I want to be able to answer these questions.  I need to be able to answer these questions.


I have been to Israel before.  I went in the summer of 1996.  At the time, I was only 11 years old, but there are few things I remember as well as I do that trip.  I had been at Camp Kadimah in Nova Scotia for 3 weeks prior, and was incredibly excited to be going to Israel.  In my mind I thought I was going to the Promised Land.  This is a great feeling to have, but it doesn’t equal the feeling of going home.  The feeling of going home is what I wish to have as I enter Israel, because that’s what it is; it’s home.  I can’t expect to get that feeling simply by going to a land that we love, but I believe that by going to lands and places we dreaded and hated before, it will make the land that we love seem a lot more sacred.  By seeing where and how my people were forced to live, it can give me a better glimpse as to what it must have felt like to be able to go to Israel, and be able to call it home. 


By the time the March of the Living is over, I want to know what it feels like to go home.  I want to know what the walls in Auschwitz feel like.  I want to know what it smells like in Treblinka.  I want to learn things I can’t learn, by watching a movie, or seeing a picture.  I want to feel things I can’t feel by hearing a story, or reading a poem.  I want to answer the questions I could not answer.  But most of all, I want to know what it feels like, to march proudly with thousands of other Jewish teenagers, and without saying a word, scream the message that they failed.  Scream the message that we lived and we’re marching on.  Scream the message that we’re the march of the living.

 

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We have been holding our services (other than High Holiday services) at the German Mills Community Centre, a heritage one-room schoolhouse at 80 German Mills Road. Our services have been streamed on Zoom since March 2020.

Rabbi Howard Morrison of Beth Emeth is our Mara d’Atra. Ian Schlifer  is our Torah reader.

We study Talmud every Wednesday morning after services - leading to stimulating discussion over coffee.

We initially established ourselves as the German Mills Minyan. In January, 2017, we were incorporated as Kehillat Chaverim. In early November, 2017 our application for charitable status was approved by the Canada Revenue Agency.

We can provide burial rights to members in the Kehillat Chaverim section at Pardes Chaim Cemetery.

We are Kehillat Chaverim – our community of friends.

Schedule

 

Services at shul suspended until further notice - times below are streamed services via Zoom

Email shalom@kehillat-chaverim.org for zoom meeting link
 

                Shacharit   Mincha/Maariv  
  Friday December 3           8:30 AM   3:45 PM *
  Saturday December 4             &   #
  Sunday December 5           9:00 AM   3:45 PM ^
  Monday December 6           8:30 AM   7:00 PM  
  Tuesday December 7           8:30 AM   7:00 PM  
  Wednesday December 8           8:30 AM   7:00 PM  
  Thursday December 9           8:30 AM   7:00 PM  
  Friday December 10           8:30 AM   3:30 PM **
                   
 

*  candle lighting time 4:23 PM

**  candle lighting time 4:22 PM

            #

Shabbat ends 5:28PM

 
 

HAPPY CHANUKAH

^ Light eighth Chanukah candle

           

 

 

 

 

  &  At Ma'ariv, begin reciting "V'ten tal umattar livrachah" until Pesach              
             

 

Announcements

                   OUR POLICY RE THE COVID19  THREAT 

Reluctantly, we have suspended our services in person, at shul until further notice. During this very unusual time, we are streaming services via zoom. We are doing so for the sake of safety, not convenience. We will discontinue zoom services when it is safe for us to return to having our services at shul. Please email shalom@kehillat-chaverim and watch our Shabbat Bulletin for information on how you can connect and participate. We are also staying in touch by email, phone etc. Stay tuned and, most importantly, take every precaution to avoid getting sick.

Contribute to our upkeep... We are now in the fifth year of our Kehilla and we thank members for their ongoing generous support.  We are holding our annual membership contribution unchanged at $1,080 per household ($540 per single). Please click on the DONATE tab for instructions how to donate with either a single payment or with 2 cheques dated January 1 andJuly 1. Our goal is to operate prudently and fairly. We are all dependent on each other.

Talmud study ... We are studying daf 48 in Chapter 5 of Bava Kamma, now via zoom. Join us to learn together after Wednesday morning services.

Do we have the Yahrzeit information for your loved ones? If you have not already done so, we invite you to provide us with the relevant information: the Hebrew calendar date, your name and your Hebrew name (including the patronymic), your relationship to the person whose yahrzeit it is, and the name and Hebrew name (including the patronymic) of that person. We will keep a record  and remind you not only about your upcoming yahrzeiten but also about the days, in advance, when you can have Kel Maleh recited at services to honour loved ones.

Publicity...we appreciate publicity to increase awareness of our activities, but we request that you notify the executive in advance at shalom@kehillat-chaverim.org

AGM...Kehillat Chaverim will be conducting its Annual General Meeting on Sunday, November 14, 2021 after 9:00 AM morning services (meeting should start ~9:45 AM). Due to the continuing pandenic, the meeting will again be on Zoom. Our Zoom link is always in our Shabbat Bulletin at the bottom of our weekly service schedule. You can be added to our enail list to receive the Bulletin by clicking here. Notice has been sent to members. Members and non-members, we look forward to your participation in this important event.

 

Contact

 

      Main contact: shalom@kehillat-chaverim.org

 

      Snail mail:  5863 Leslie Street

                            Unit 340

                            Toronto, ON M2H 1J8

 

      To sponsor breakfast, kiddush, or seudah: sponsor@kehillat-chaverim.org

 

      Donations: donate@kehillat-chaverim.org

 

      Chesed: chesed@kehillat-chaverim.org

 

      Our location:

How to donate to Kehillat Chaverim

 

1. Credit Card or PayPal:

By clicking on button above, you will be taken to the secure encrypted PayPal web site and your donation can be made to Kehillat Chaverim through your PayPal account or your credit card account.

 

There you can specify the details of your donation, the amount, whether through PayPal or through your credit card, and your credit card information.

 

2. Interac Email Money Transfer:

 

Donations may be sent directly through your on-line banking web site as follows:

 

  1. Log into your personal online internet banking web site and select "Transfers". Under transfers select "Interac e-Transfer" and select "Manage Contacts".

  2. If you have previously set up Kehillat Chaverim as a recipient, skip to step 3. If you have not previously set up Kehillat Chaverim as a recipient, select "Add Contact". When you are asked for the Contact Name and Email Address insert: Kehillat Chaverim and the email address donate@kehillat-chaverim.org. Don't forget the hyphen.

  3. Next select "Send Money" and your bank will walk you through the procedure to send your donation to your preloaded recipient (Kehillat Chaverim). 

  4. As part of the procedure, you will be asked to insert a security question. Make up a question with a one word answer and indicate the answer in the space provided. You will need to email us separately (to donate@kehillat-chaverim.org) to advise us the answer to your question, so we can receive your donation.

 

This method of making donations is safe & easy and 100% of your donation comes to Kehillat Chaverim. You will receive an acknowledgment from your bank when the transfer is complete and the donation has been received.

 

3. By cheque:

 

Donations may be made by cheque payable to "Kehillat Chaverim". Please bring cheques to the shul or send them to our mailing address which you will find at the CONTACT tab of this website.

 

 

Note: Donations made through PayPal or your credit card are subject to a handling charge paid by Kehillat Chaverim.

 

You will receive a receipt for Income Tax purposes for all donations to Kehillat Chaverim.