The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

השקיפה ממעון קדשך מן השמים...View from Your High Holy Dwelling

Ezra decreed that we read the tocheche before the end of the year ..

שתכלה שנה וקללתיה

it seems the bad is inevitable, we need a way to wash away the accumlation of the bad every year in order to start again ,refreshed, renewed, because .ultimately , that is not what it is all about.Moshe Rabbenu gave us the steady, weekly readings, Monday , Thursday and  Shabbas.Ezra, who had gone through the years of exile and rebuilt the Temple ,taught us this secret of renewal.

I think this is also how to read and understand the reading earlier in the parsha, 'viduy maaser.'After 3 years,erev Pesach,the Yid says viduy maaser.After giving the two maasers and have given to the poor..." I've done all that is incumbent upon me, you too haShem , from your palce high above, look down and bless your people".....

It's kind of incredible.Don't our rabbis teach us not to expect haShem to fulfill our requests? Are we then so deserving?

and Rashi adds that all 'hashkafa ' is for the bad, but charity can change the bad to the good.Why is hashkafa for the bad, and if it so, why do we even mention that attribute?

And finally , as we prepare this Moetze Shabbas to say slichos, we know 'viduy' as the admission (modeh ani )of wrong doing.Why do the chazal call this parsha 'viduy maaser"?Giving a tenth to the Leviim so that all is taken care of properly in the Temple, going to Yerushalayim to imbue ourselves with fear of Heaven, and give the rest to those who live full time in learning , is a necessity.And even though it is a zechus, we really have no merit , because it is a necessity ; this is what we are all about as a people.If we are compassionate, then we are giving of ourselves.

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Tzaddik B'dorosuv Yesh dorshin ligni v'yesh l'shvach

Noah's ArkAfter two months; a month of penitence and a month of closeness to haShem, we try to make a'soft landing', 'mar Cheshvon, the month of 'bitter' Cheshvon is upon us.The World seems to spiral down, down , down, the Flood and a new world.

We ae al familar with the two opinions brought by Rashi.Noah was a tzaddik in his generations. some say l'shvach (praise); he was a tzaddik when the whoel world was wicked.Some say l'gnai(for shame),if he had lived in the times of Abraham he would not have counted as anything.

It is kind of a strange way to think.The whole world was saved by Noah. and did the world truly improve?The mishna in Avos uses he same words -- 10 generations from adom till Noah, all the generations make angry and come , til the flood.Ten enerations from noah til avraham. All the genrations amde angry and come .. till Avrahma ,our father acceped the schar(reward of all.

The Eyberste wants to shower us with blessings ; he can't unless we earn those blessings.The sins till the Flood were destruction of middos. People had descended into living animals בשגם הוא בשר , and were therefore prey to them.This had to end.

The sins till Avraham were those of belief, but the people were no longer animalistic.We could eat animals as they  had been saved by man.Coming out of the ark ,Noah was told that we are created in the image of haShem. There definitely were people who deseved reward, but somehow, they could not hold it.As 'vessels', they were cracked.

The world had matured ,but that maturity was built on the foundation of Noah's righteousness.

We've seen this happen many times in history.The generations leading up to the Nazis ,of cursed memory,were actively destroying our heritage as a holy people. So our people had to suffer a holocaust..As a result , we witness an incredible growth of torah true yidden still in golus and enormous growth in the holy land itself.

The enigma of a gentile with questanable personal morality fighting for our legitimate rights to our land and for the strenthening of traditonlvalues in the USA is a direct result.

Mar Cheshvon has no holidays, but it is atime to quietly rebuild.

gut Shabbas!

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Go to Yourself, for Yourself לן לן

לך לך מארצך וממולדתך ומבית אביך

פירש רש' - להנאתך ולטובתך

The  famous question asked, is what sort of 'Test' is it to Avram to go to the 'Land ' if it is for his good?Furthermore, why is this usually considered the first of the 10 tests whereas that of being thrown into the fire by Nimrod in 'Ur Kasdim' is not even explicitly mentioned in the Torah?

Many answers are given.

This year, I was thinking that the  challenge of growth and success and wealth can often be much more difficult to deal with , than even to fight for one's beliefs. In fact for a religious jew truly connected in service to his Creator, nothing can be more destructive.Fame can change a person.Spiritual growth comes from humilty and simplicity.Through all of history our leaders have shunned the limelight.

Moreover ,being told to cut off all natural ties in order to live a holy life on earth in order to bring blessings to all the people on earth, is a massive  responsibility.We see in Avram and all his descendants the constant fear of sin.And ,indeed being the 'Chosen People" has meant to us , in most of our  history , terrible suffering.

And , yet ,it really is for our good, because fulfilling our oursleves, being what we were meant to be ,is the greatest of satisfactions, in this world and in the next.So, this is the 'Test' the torah tells us of, because here Avram , and ourselves , his children ,are given our 'Mission'  as a people to follow the Ribono shel Olam, even if we don't always understand , to grow and go in his holy ways, and thereby bring  blessings to all of mankind.

This may very well be  the most fundamental 'test' of our times.We, the 'frum' jews have become not only successful, but very much  visible.We have to constantly ask ourselves , are we living truly a 'spiritual life', or is the 'chulent'  on the kiddush plate ,the totality of our committment ? (Maybe , transforming gashmius to spiritual is really our job, but probably there ahs to be a little more than the chulent plate).

Are we sharing our blessings ?

There is a holocaust going on today , not of spilled blood , but of intermarriage.Every Jew today needs to be an ambassador.

 In our times ,it is not possible to hide, in fact that was one reason we built this site, bnoth to be a  'virtual kehilla', and a window 'in' from those still 'outside'

This last Shabbas , Montreal Jewry were treated to two very different examples of torah personalities making a trip of  "Lech Lecha".

The new Rebbe of Viznitz Montreal, left his own beis medrash to join the  'uptown ' crowd, not usually used to a Rebbe's Tisch.Montreal has always been a 'chassidische' community with deep ties to the Jewry in Europe from before the war.So bringing this to the new generation ,is in a sense , for many ,' going to oneself.''

On the other end of the spectrum, the community in Cote St Luc was treated to a visit by the emuna tour of Rabbis

Shalom arush and Lazer Brody ...................

A - Hashem Love us, B - Emuna in The Absolute Oneness, C - Revealed and Hidden Kindness D - Emuna with True Thanks for Endless love Hashem has for us all, E - Emuna in Wisepeople and Torah, F - Key to finding a soul mate and Shalom Bayit, G - Greatest gift in World to talk to King, Matchmaker, Best friend, Wealthiest provider, Thank you Hashem 60 mins a day and live fulfilled Paradised in this world, clean, healthy, and Emuna Innovation Truly..




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The blessings of living in peace with our neighbors in chutz l'aaretz

As we still live in golus, I thought the following article about Montreal's (Canada's) first chassidic politician is worth reveiwing

After 70 years of statehood Israel still has not seen peace, but here,in quiet multi cultural Quebec, Montreal, a young chassidic lady is able to forge bonds and provide benefits to many.

As much as we are personally thrilled when we see how hashgacha has brought the head of the strongest nation on earth to back and legitamize the jewish presence in Israel,yet we often ask ourselves,who is more religious, President Donald Trump or Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu?

I heard in the name of my rebbe a'h, that what the irreligious accomplished in '48, the frum never would have.

But the fact is, still no yarmulkas and no peace.

contrast that with htis article posted about our own Mindy Pollak posted last week.


 'It wasn't my intention to be a trailblazer or a role model'

Canada’s first female Hasidic politician may be bound for parliament

Trilingual Montreal borough councilor Mindy Pollak is courted by at least one federal party as a potential candidate in the next national election

ONTREAL — On a recent Monday evening on Montreal’s east side, some 100 residents gathered in a century-old white building that since 1963 has served as the Council Chamber for the borough of Outremont. They were there to attend the monthly session of the local governing body.

Before the meeting officially began, the atmosphere in the large, high-ceilinged room was more charged than usual. One month prior, tensions soared when some residents were accused of using Holocaust imagery to protest the increasing number of yellow school buses used by the neighborhood’s Hasidic residents.

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Balak Anti semitism love - hate "Pride " The 3 Weeks

A Taanis is a time for intro spection, so I thought to write a few thoughts relating to the parsha and  to recent events.

Reading parshas Balak is difficult for a mind raised in the modern world, even for someone who considers himself religious.What kind of danger and powers did this sorcerer have? And why do we care if he in the end he actually repeatedly blessed us? And at the very end,we read how walls break down, intermariage, incense, and the lowest form of idol worship??

And what lessons must we take away from all this personally in our own service?

This writer, at least, certainly doesn't have the answers.But we do believe that a person was created 'b'zelem E'- in the image of haShem. And the Creator wants us to acknowledge and reflect that Majesty in our lives, and He gives us the capacity to  'commune', supplicate, pray direct with the source of all blessings.And by that acknowledment , we have the capacity to bring the blessings upon ourselves and the whole world.What raises us above earthly needs and desires and even above angels (ie. the coming robotic revolutions?)is the holy Torah .That is what makes us intoa 'holy Nation' , a kingdom of Priests.".

And this is not something that comes to us innately;it is a gift.The world was built in such a manner that prayer helps, but ultimately even that is a  gift.If needed, even the lowest , someone who sleeps with his donkey , could get the gift.

 HaShem created a whole world. Our National purpose is to raise ourselves and the whole world to know haShem.And if there is 'Holy', there is also the opposite.And somehow, we are all (ie humanity), asked to 'connect'.Somehow it is always possible to 'connect', no matter how far away.

Before the torah  was given to Israel, there were tzaddikim and prophets by non jews.The emergence of Israel as a nation is not just a territorial challenge.It means that that possibility of that kind personal connection is no longer with 'them.'We always have recognized jealousy by the goyim.But this is deeper, it is an 'existential' fear hate.And I think this is what is happenning now with the arabs.

After the chet hegel, Moshe prayed 'v'niflenu ani v'amcha'; that there should always be a clear difference between ourselves and the goyim.And the answer given was that there would eb great miracles , never seen.

The parsha of Balak, Bilaam, is prophetic, how all the peoples of the world are to come to praise us and be elevated with our service.But this worldly praise as blessings from on High come into this world, will come only when we all, really ,in our personal, family and communal lives are uplifted together as we look forward to be in  the days of Moshiach.

But till then the praise and adulation is dangerous.on the one hand, Balak was lifted, even if for the wrong reasons to sacrifices to haShem which somehow served for praises of israel, and from him came Ruth and Dovid.But teese blessings turned into curses as we see at the end of the parsha as jewsih boys were attracted to incense and the lowest form of idol worship.

We live in a time when the leader of the most mighty country on earth stands with the modern State of Israel.We see beginings of the 'impossible' as many arab countries are ready to work with us.But as for the State itself ? Tel Aviv is aflame with 'Pride'and the knesset has yet to debate or even accept the primacy of torah to the State of Israel

We must always remember what R' Cahim V'Loshzin writes.The Babylonians and Romans did not destroy the Temples; we had destroyed the Temples long before in our own hearts and souls.



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