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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.

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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An “A” and an “F” for Flexibility

An “A” and an “F” for Flexibility

One would hardly associate religion with flexibility.  Religion is about rules, and rules are, by nature, rigid.  This is by no means an affront to religion.  Rules provide our lives with structure and meaning. Rules keep us safe.  The myriad COVID-related regulations...

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A Year of Forgiveness 

A Year of Forgiveness 

Today is Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of new Hebrew month of Elul.  Elul marks the beginning of the season of forgiveness, leading into Rosh Hashanah, the holiday of repentance, including Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and concluding with Hoshanah Rabbah, the end of...

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The Spirit of Judah

The Spirit of Judah

As I look at our students during the final days of school before the summer, I am reminded of the Israelites standing at the border of the Promised Land.  Behind them are the trials and toils that marked their trek through the desert, the hard work that characterized...

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