Canada’s Rally for the Jewish People
Despite the chill and early hour, spirits were high. Nearly 50 Holy Blossom Temple members had signed up to travel together to Ottawa as part of Canada’s Rally for the Jewish People. This did not include all the other Holy Blossomites who were going independently! Those who had flown in the day before or were flying that morning, the ones taking the train, or driving themselves. Nor our youth, who were in the parking lot with their schools or our dedicated members who had signed up with community organizations!
We had a box of snacks. We had custom-made signs, the Holy Blossom banner, warm boots, and snug jackets for what we knew was going to be a cold afternoon on Parliament Hill. In my hands was a copy of Tefillat haDerech, the travellers’ prayer, to chant as we left Toronto and loaded up on my phone was the brand new song from the Maccabeats “We’re Still Here (Am Yisrael Chai)” to play as we pulled into Ottawa.
All we needed was a bus.
By now you must have heard that 17 buses never arrived that morning. The Holy Blossom Bus, Bus 32, was one of them.
And yet, I am so proud to say, that not a single person from our synagogue turned around and said… “Oh well… I guess it’s not meant to be!” When we hit a bump in the road, our good people found rides on other buses, in quickly hired one-way trips in Black SUVs, and behind the wheel of their cars for the 900 KM round trip one-day journey.
Below you’ll find some wonderful pictures from the rally, a video of our Senior Rabbi addressing the crowd of more than 15,000, and reflections from those who made the trip.
Am Yisrael Chai!
Rabbi Samuel Kaye