Welcome to the Toronto Board of Rabbis

Hanukkah and COVID-19

Every year, Hanukkah brings much needed light into our long winter days. There is the joy of lighting the Hanukkiyah, playing dreidel, eating Hanukkah foods, and most importantly, celebrating with family and friends. Beyond physical illumination, Hanukkah carries a message of light and hope for the future. This year, we need this light more than ever, having observed so many holidays apart from our loved ones.

The light of Hanukkah increases over each of its eight days. So, too, our hope grows stronger with news of vaccines that will be available in the coming months. This is precisely the time when we must be patient and hold fast to all public health guidelines. Much as we want to gather with families, now is not the time to take chances. We have become adept at virtual celebrations and can do so creatively on Hanukkah this year.

Hanukkah means dedication.  We need to rededicate ourselves to the behaviours that will keep our family and community safe: masking, hand-washing, socially distancing, and refraining from getting together with people outside our household. The best Hanukkah present we can give our loved ones is encouraging them to stay healthy until they can get vaccinated.  

May the lights of Hanukkah help to strengthen our resolve for the months ahead.

 

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)