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The Virus -- Halves Makes Us Whole #618

03/13/2020 05:00:00 PM

Mar13

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Ki Tissa

"A captive cannot release himself from prison.
He needs help from someone else."
(Talmud)

The Virus: Halves Make Us Whole About three years ago, a mysterious envelope, with no return address, arrived on my desk.   While it is not unusual for rabbis to receive random tracts and messages from enthusiasts of other religions, this envelope and...Read more...

Those WE Leave Behind #617

03/06/2020 04:00:00 PM

Mar6

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Shabbat Zachor: The Sabbath of Remembrance
"Remember what Amalek did to you  on your journey...Do not forget!" 
(Deuteronomy 25:17,19)

Remembering Those We Leave Behind

The Jewish people have become very good at remembering.

We remember the Holocaust, and remain forever vigilant against signs of renewed anti-Semitism. During Passover, we remember our liberation from...Read more...

How Tzedakah Heals The World #616

02/28/2020 05:00:00 PM

Feb28

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

How Tzedakah Heals the World

It was an unusually cold night — even for Edmonton, Canada — when, just after dinner, we heard a knock at our front door.

I squeezed the door handle to find a middle-aged couple standing on our welcome mat, with a series of packets and brochures in their arms.

“We represent the Diabetes Association,” the woman said as a white fog exited her lips. “Could you please support us with a...Read more...

WE Were All Strangers #615

02/21/2020 05:00:00 PM

Feb21

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

We Were All Strangers

A rabbi told me this story when I was a child:

Two men, a pauper and a store owner, were walking toward each other one morning on the main street of a small town.

“Shalom Aleichem,” Shmuel, the pauper, said as he greeted Lazer.

“Aleichem Shalom,” the store owner, Lazer, responded.

“I'm wondering whether you could help me out with a few rubles so I can eat today,” the pauper...Read more...

New Commandments We Sorely Need #614

02/14/2020 05:00:00 PM

Feb14

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

New Commandments We Sorely Need

This past week, one of our Hebrew school students — a brilliant but sometimes mischievous lad— was sent to my office to have a “talk with the rabbi.”

I adore this child for his brilliance, his penchant for asking great questions and his ability to retain information. But this past week, the imp within him rose to the surface.

He placed a tack on his teacher's chair — and well, you can...Read more...

The Torah In One Sentence #613

02/07/2020 05:00:00 PM

Feb7

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Pirkei Avot The Torah in One Sentence

Hardly a day has passed since I became a rabbi that someone has not introduced themselves by saying, “Rabbi, I'm really not that religious.” Frequently, as I meet with a family before eulogizing a mother or father, I hear, “He (or she) didn't believe in religion, still, they...Read more...

Children And Elders Together #612

01/31/2020 05:00:00 PM

Jan31

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Children and Elders Together

About 25 years ago, while attending a public meeting in Fort Chipewyan — a First Nations community in northern Canada — I experienced what it truly means to “honor your elders.”

Seven or eight seniors, each holding the hand of a teenage grandchild, were led to the first two rows of the community hall and were seated.

The section was clearly marked — “for the elders” — and at...Read more...

My Holocaust Oversight #611

01/24/2020 05:00:00 PM

Jan24

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

My Holocaust Oversight

Jewish tradition holds that sometimes God winks at us, but we’re not ready to notice.

One of God’s greatest and persistent winks occurred for me between 1973 and 1974.

It was my first time away from home. While it is customary for American students to “go away to college,” in Canada, high school grads usually attend local universities — living at home, taking advantage of quality, but...Read more...

Antisemitism Then and Now #610

01/17/2020 05:00:00 PM

Jan17

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Rabbi Huberman is currently in Canada presiding at the funeral af a senior family member. Attached is the D'var Torah (Words of Torah) written earlier this week for his Seminary, the Academy for Jewish Religion.

 

A D'var Torah for
Parashat Shemot
by Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Antisemitism Then and Now

There is a gnawing question that has plagued many commentators, as we witness in this week’s Torah portion, what...Read more...

My Dad's Lost Poems #609

01/11/2020 04:30:00 PM

Jan11

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

My Dad’s Lost Poems

It was in my teenage years, while rustling through some boxes, that I discovered a gold covered loose-leaf binder that apparently had been buried in the basement for decades.

As I slowly opened the cover, and began reading the pages, it occurred to me that these were verses put to pen perhaps 20 years earlier by my father. Yes, my father.

I was dumbstruck. This was my dad, who — as a child — I...Read more...

Tue, June 2 2020 10 Sivan 5780