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Messages from the Head of School

Important messages and announcements, as well as inspiring Divrei Torah from our Head of School.

Morality from the Sewers

Morality from the Sewers

As appeared in The Times of Israel Blog... Visiting the Dachau concentration camp on a trip to Germany this summer, I was drawn to an exhibit on Nazi medical experimentation that illustrated the brutal procedures performed on inmates at Dachau and other camps during...

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Rosh Hashanah Message from the Head of School 2023

Rosh Hashanah Message from the Head of School 2023

Same Time, Next Year We are familiar with the story of Jews and Egyptian oppression:  The suffering slaves flee their bondage and escape to the desert where God speaks to them and makes them a great nation. This story also appears in the Torah reading of Rosh...

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Akiva High Holiday Message 2022

Akiva High Holiday Message 2022

Not by Punishment For our annual Father’s Day outing this June I asked my sons if I could take them to the Kingston Penitentiary.  They agreed, but only after my assurance that they would be returning with me to Montreal afterward, and that the prison has been...

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Message from Rabbi Grossman – Long Live the Queen

Message from Rabbi Grossman – Long Live the Queen

In antiquity, the passing of years was numbered by the reign of the living monarch, thus we find in the Bible, “In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel (1 Kings 15:9),” or “In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia (Ezra 1:1).”  The death of a sovereign meant...

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Elijah and our Children: No Trouble at All

Elijah and our Children: No Trouble at All

Any child who has been called a troublemaker can take comfort in being the victim of the same accusation that was hurled against Elijah the Prophet (Eliyahu HaNavi).  Ahab, the wicked King of Israel, dubbed Elijah the “Troubler of Israel” for opposing his policies of...

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Sanctuary and Sacrifice – Message from the Head of School

Sanctuary and Sacrifice – Message from the Head of School

The Torah contains an odd number of books perhaps in order that one book be in the middle and thus allow us to say: here is the center of God’s message to us.  That book is Leviticus, and its central message is Sanctuary and Sacrifice. Leviticus, which we begin to...

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Chanukkah Message – A Small Glimmer of Light

The world seems to have become very dark.  As we enter the winter months the darkness of night encroaches upon day, stealing increasing minutes of light each week.  Were we not to understand the cycle of the sun, we would fear, like the ancients, that darkness would...

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When They Call On Me, I Will Answer Them

When They Call On Me, I Will Answer Them

There is much to celebrate this week.  As Jews in Quebec, the past days have been filled with bounty and blessing.  COVID cases are at record lows, and vaccination rates are high.  The province and its businesses are opening up, and restrictions are down.  We are...

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The Tragedy in Meron – A Message from Rabbi Grossman

I have set before you today life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19) When given the choice, the Torah tells us to choose life and blessing over death and curse.  While this may seem obvious, the world of ancient Israel was filled with pagan...

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Passover Message – A Time for New Beginnings

In the summer before my first year at Akiva, I called my friend, mentor, and predecessor Cooki Levy, z’’l, to ask her if she knew why our founder, Rabbi David Hartman, z’’l, had chosen to name our school Akiva.  I had known Cooki at that point for over 20 years, and,...

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