Being currently in the biblical Book of Numbers, Bamidbar, I was recently reflecting on a well-known Midrashic adage inspired by its tales: shiv’im panim baTorah, “there are seventy faces to expound on Torah” (Bamidbar Rabbah 13:15).
In other words, the ways that Torah, in the broadest sense – wisdom, learning, teaching, relationships, worship, and so on – is manifested in a community, is multi-faceted, because it can unfold in so many different, wonderful ways.
We can extend this to our outlook on Jewish life, as well, as we revel in its joys, it’s complexities, and it’s diversity, at all ages and stages.
If we look within our own sacred community, there is such a variety of ways coming up, even as the summer descends upon us, that we can glean Torah from one another.
Before that, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our spectacular Pride Shabbat this past Friday evening. The phenomenal community spirit of inclusion was deeply meaningful, and a sight to behold. We thank all who made it happen, particularly co-chairs Andrew Cohen and Daniel Penciner, our Director of Development Shira Lester, and Director of Membership and Community Engagement Abigail Nemzer. Check out all the fun postings on our Facebook page
On the horizon, we will be honouring our Shinshinit Ella Payorski, who has taught us so much about Israel and developed close bonds, particularly with our YEC children, over her time with us this past year in Canada. We are celebrating with her a Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat, a symbol of her own Jewish growth and learning, at our Family Service, and look forward to her being with us in the Main Sanctuary on June 24, before she heads to Camp George for part of the summer and returns to Israel to begin her army service in an elite intelligence unit. Truly remarkable.
Speaking of Camp George … we are looking forward to holding a fun Pop-Up Shabbat for our Holy Blossom Camp George families on June 23 before sending them off to Maple Lake.
Finally – our last major Dorot program for the 2022-2023 year, is taking place on June 20 and is a special collaboration with Gillian Helfield’s “What I’m Watching” film group. We’re so excited to explore the multiple iterations of the movie “A Star Is Born”, and to focus on its intergenerational appeal and unique Jewish flavour.
At Holy Blossom, Torah is always being taught, and always being learned, whether it’s from our youngest to our oldest, whether it’s through our relationships with each other and the values we espouse, or through the myriad of creative and dynamic opportunities on offer.
To seventy more faces, and to a wonderful summer!