Welcome our 2017-2018 Shinshinim, Noam Peretz and Ronny Yariv! They are both SO excited to be at Beth Emeth, Beth Tikvah, and Associated Danilack for the next 10 months! 

Right: Ronny Yariv. Left: Noam Peretz

Upcoming Programs

REGISTER HERE for Taste of Israel programs!!!!

D'var Israel

(almost) Every week, Ronny and Noam will be posting their weekly D'var Israel here for everyone to read! They will present their D'var Israel in synagogue every Shabbat morning towards the end of services, but if you cannot make it, you can read it here!

D'var Israel - Rabin (November 11)

Today Canada stops to remember  the men and women who have served, and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace. Last week on November 4th, we remembered the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, the 5th Prime Minister of Israel, who was killed by Yigal Amir, an Israeli Jewish assassin. Here are some words from Yitzhak Rabin’s last speech:
“Violence is undermining the very foundations of Israeli democracy. It must be condemned, denounced, and isolated. This is not the way of the State of Israel. Peace exists first and foremost in our prayers, but not only in prayers. Peace is what the Jewish people aspire to, a true aspiration. Peace entails difficulties, even pain. Israel knows no path devoid of pain. But the path of peace is preferable to the path of war. I say this to you as someone who was a military man for 27 years and the minister of defense, and who saw the pain of the families of I.D.F. soldiers. It is for their sake, and for the sake of our children and grandchildren, that I want this government to exert every effort, exhaust every opportunity, to promote and to reach a comprehensive peace.”

As he spoke the final words above, Rabin was murdered, at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. Rabin’s murder was a shock felt around the Jewish world. Rabin’s murder was only the second time in Jewish history that a Jew killed another Jew with politics at the core; the first murder being the assassination of Gedalia Ben-Achikam who was appointed as the ruler of the Jewish people who remained in the region of Judea. Tzom Gedalia or the fast of Gedalia remains a part of the Jewish calendar in remembrance of his life and murder.  We fast in remembrance of a murder that occurred 2,500 years ago, yet what do we do to remember a murder that occurred only 22 years ago? A survey conducted in 2015 states that 55% out of the religious Zionist community in Israel believe that Yigal Amir didn’t murder Yitzhak Rabin. Just last year, David Bitan, Israel’s Coalition Whip said that Rabin’s murder was not a political assassination. Unfortunately, the answer to the question of what do we do to remember Rabin’s murder today is quite sad. 22 years have passed since Rabin’s assassination, and not much has changed. We haven’t learned from our past mistakes, we won't admit our wrongdoings, and we don’t strive to fix what has happened. Yitzhak Rabin wasn’t murdered only by Yigal Amir. He was murdered by the entire extremist group that incited and wanted him out of office. The murderer couldn’t have acted all by himself- he was the result of the propaganda and violent rallies aimed at Rabin. Photoshopping Rabin’s face into Nazi SS uniforms, burning his picture, yelling statements like “Death to Rabin”, “With blood and fire we will vanish Rabin”- these all made it possible for Yigal Amir to shoot 3 bullets into the back of our Prime Minister.

You definitely do not have to agree with Rabin’s ways, you don’t have to think that what he did was correct for Israel or for the world. But to allow things to go as far as they did, is all of our faults. Since Rabin, politicians don’t dare say the word “peace” anymore. We call it agreements, treaties, a peace-process. Rabin used the word peace as a way of life. His famous quote: “Yes to peace, No to violence” says it all. He placed violence in direct opposition to peace. He didn’t only talk about what land we needed to give back or what decisions we reached, he spoke about being humane, respectful, kind, and peaceful. He was murdered with the song “Shir Lashalom, A Song for Peace” written by Yankale Rotblit, folded in his front pocket. The image of this song, stained with blood, is the irony of his murder. A man who fought for peace was killed in violence. May we all find a way to be peaceful in our lives, and never forget Yitzhak Rabin.  Shalom Chaver.

D'var Israel (November 4)

Shabbat Shalom everyone. As many of you may know, last week at McGill University, three students were denied seats on the undergraduate student union’s highest body because they are pro-Israel or, as many in the Jewish community allege, simply because one of them is Jewish. Outrage over this event has spread throughout Facebook and various news channels such as the Canadian Jewish News, and shocked the entire Jewish-Canadian community. Although this occurrence is not the first of its kind, we are always dismayed to hear about these events.

Perhaps one of the reasons this is such a shock to us as Shinshinim, is that we don’t get to hear about these incidents back in Israel. I’m pretty certain that if you ask most of my friends what BDS means or what it stands for, they would have no idea. As Israelis, our international image and the way we are portrayed to the world is something we take seriously and work hard to improve. We are occupied by solving The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, issues regarding the definition of Israel as a Jewish-Israeli state, the peace process and more. Thankfully we don’t have to fight for our independence and existence anymore, yet unfortunately we still have enough on our plate to worry about. One thing we forget to worry about, that is equally important, is the situation and status of our brothers and sisters, the Jewish community in the Diaspora.

BDS, assimilation, Jewish education and identity- these challenges and many more characterize the lifestyle of the Jewish communities worldwide, but we think this should be a struggle recognized and fought for in Israel as well. The incident that took place recently at McGill was not published, no trace of it was found on any Israeli news channel or platform, nor did it appear in any international news source. Personally we think that this is wrong. This is not your war to fight alone, this is a battle that must be fought as by the entire Jewish nation. Jewish people everywhere must stand together against demonization and the increase of Anti-Semitism around the globe.

Situations like this one, help me to better understand the complexity and importance of the role of a shinshin here in the Diaspora. We are not here just to educate the kids in our schools or here at shul, or deliver our dvar Israel. An equally important part of our job is to bring back the struggles facing the Jewish community in the Diaspora when we return home to Israel after this year of service.

Sadly, the McGill incident is not the first nor will it probably be the last of its kind.

Let’s take this event and learn from it. May it serve as a reminder that just as it is important for the Jewish community in the Diaspora to become informed advocates and ambassadors of Israel; so too is it equally critical that Israelis become aware and actively involved in the struggles facing the Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Kol Israel Arevim Zeh La’Zeh. The Jewish nation is bound to one another, responsible to one another and we are stronger together.

Shabbat Shalom.



Fri, 23 February 2018 8 Adar 5778