Parashat Tzav: The value of empathy

Parashat Tzav: The value of empathy

Everyone can probably think of a person in their life whom they turn to in difficult times. What is it about these people that make us willing to open up to them, that lifts our mood and helps us move forward? Upon reflection, most of us would probably say that he or...
Parashat Vayikra: Listening to our inner wisdom

Parashat Vayikra: Listening to our inner wisdom

My mother would often call out to my sister and me to “turn off the stupid box”. For those of you who may be wondering, this is parent-speak of the eighties meaning “turn off the television”. I often wonder what she would say if I were a child of the 2020s. Today, our...
Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei: We cannot compromise on education

Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei: We cannot compromise on education

The word “cherub” conjures up the image of a pudgy little baby with wings and a bow and arrow; an image perpetuated by the greeting card industry to the point that it has become the iconic symbol for Valentine’s Day. In the Torah, cherubs, or kruvim, are first...
Parashat Ki Tisa: Taking ownership of our actions

Parashat Ki Tisa: Taking ownership of our actions

One of the most commonly heard phrases in a school principal’s office is, “I didn’t do it”, second only to, “It wasn’t me”. Teaching children to take ownership of their actions so that they can take the steps necessary to make amends is no easy feat. We are asking...
Parashat Tetzaveh – The ability to sanctify the mundane

Parashat Tetzaveh – The ability to sanctify the mundane

The act of smiling requires a minimum of ten muscles, apparently much less than are required to frown. Furthermore, when you smile, these muscle contractions stimulate the nervous system to release neurotransmitters and endorphins that help fight stress, relieve pain...
Parashat Mishpatim – Change demands ownership

Parashat Mishpatim – Change demands ownership

Most of us choose January 1st as a good day to make changes. We resolve to lose weight, quite smoking, exercise more or spend less. Of course, this is the year that we will stick with it and make a real change. That said, statistics show that by the second week of...
Parashat Yitro – Appreciating what we have

Parashat Yitro – Appreciating what we have

We are currently in lockdown in Montreal and the pandemic does not seem anywhere near being over. Many are angry and frustrated by the limitations imposed upon us, by all that we cannot do or have, by where we cannot go and who we cannot see. Mental illness,...
Parashat Beshalach – We have the power to pray

Parashat Beshalach – We have the power to pray

There are times in our lives when we are thrown a curveball. All seems fine, days rolling one into the other, routines well in place, when a call or a piece of news will stop us in our tracks. Our innate need for some sense of control pushes us towards action. We want...
Parashat Bo – Connecting through storytelling

Parashat Bo – Connecting through storytelling

This past week I had the privilege of spending some time with our grade 5 class at lunchtime. Though I was truthfully filling in as a lunch monitor to help out, it was an opportunity to get to know the kids that I did not want to pass up. It was an enjoyable half...
Parashat Beshalach – We can always pray

Parashat Beshalach – We can always pray

There are times in our lives when we are thrown a curveball. All seems fine, days rolling one into the other, routines well in place, when a call or a piece of news will stop us in our tracks. Our innate need for some sense of control pushes us towards action. We want...