Welcome to the Toronto Board of Rabbis

COVID-19 and Communal Responsibility

“Take utmost care and guard your nefesh (life) scrupulously.” Deut. 4:9

With the approach of Purim and Pesach, and despite the sorrow that not being able to gather causes, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to follow all laws and regulations to help stop the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, and limiting gatherings. We must remain insistent upon data-driven decision making and support the public leadership who make the difficult decisions that save lives – including those decisions that are challenging to Jewish family life, such as the closing of schools and the closing of borders.

The members of the Toronto Board of Rabbis understand the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on family and religious life. We see the pain when children cannot travel to attend a parent’s funeral. We understand grandparents’ sadness when they can only watch the family wedding on Zoom.

This pandemic has stripped our community of the ability to worship, learn, celebrate, and mourn in the ways to which we are accustomed. Nonetheless, shmirat nefesh (safeguarding life) dictates that we continue to make the necessary adjustments as mandated by public health officials and government bodies.

Statement on Racism 

As Canadians, we are proud of our multicultural society, though we recognize that within it also exists unresolved issues of hatred, racism and inequality.

As Jews, we are committed to the notion that all people are created in the “image and likeness of God” (Genesis 1:27) and are fashioned from a single human being so that no one may say, “My ancestor is greater than yours” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5).

We stand, therefore, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Black community including Black Jews and Jews of Colour in our own communities, and in all communities experiencing inequality, denouncing racism and prejudice and calling for justice and peace.

We call upon all people of faith and good conscience to deepen our commitment to these ideals and work together to eliminate systemic racism and advocate for a more just and peaceful society.

חֶֽסֶד־וֶאֱמֶ֥ת נִפְגָּ֑שׁוּ צֶ֖דֶק וְשָׁל֣וֹם נָשָֽׁקוּ׃

Love and Truth shall embrace.  Justice and peace shall kiss. (Psalm 85:11)