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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.

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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Vaccinating Teachers: The Moral Imperative

Vaccinating Teachers: The Moral Imperative

It is difficult for some to understand the outcry of teachers in Quebec asking to be vaccinated against Covid-19.  Prioritizing one guild over another grates against our societal sense of equity. We do understand that preference may go to those most vulnerable, such...

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New Beginnings

New Beginnings

This week we begin the annual Torah reading cycle, starting with the creation of the world in the first chapter of Genesis.  Standard English translations, based primarily on non-Jewish sources, render the first words of our parasha, “In the beginning, God created the...

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The Call to God

The Call to God

The Content of our Character The most ancient of all of the prayers for the High Holidays has a special connection to The Akiva School.  Avinu Malkeinu is almost 2,000 years old, yet its central words have remained unchanged.  Akiva’s founder, Rabbi David Hartman,...

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Acheinu Kol Beit Yisrael

Acheinu Kol Beit Yisrael

On Thursday mornings in synagogue, we recite a prayer that begins with the words, “Acheinu kol beit yisrael—Our brethren, all the House of Israel.”  The tefillah offers the image of all Jews living as siblings in the same home, caring for each other as brothers and...

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