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Daily Minyan & Minyanaires

Minyan: a “spiritual workout”. To those who attend our daily minyan, this gathering has become like a small welcoming family. Our minyan family is made up of dedicated individuals who have made the commitment to attend minyan so that others have the opportunity to pray, to gather, and to grieve. We like to think of the daily minyan as a “spiritual gym”. Sure, it takes a little bit of extra effort, it takes some time out of the day but we feel that the rewards of attending minyan far exceed the small sacrifice. Our daily minyanim give you the opportunity to be quiet, to reflect, and to engage in a “spiritual workout”. We invite you to join us, to exercise your own spiritual skills, and to be present for those in the community who need a minyan. We are also proud to share that our minyan has taken on the commitment to share the names of children who were murdered in the Shoah. Though many of us use the minyan as a way to honor the memory of our own loved ones, we also live with the sad knowledge that millions of Jews who died during the Holocaust have names that have been largely forgotten. On each day of the year, we will read the name of a child whose yartzheit corresponds with that day. We have made this commitment in partnership with the One More Candle organization. We also encourage you to “adopt” a child victim of the Shoah, by going to onemorecandle.org. When you share your synagogue affiliation with One More Candle, they will report the information to us, and we will add this new yartzheit to your observances. We invite you to join us for any of our monthly Minyan programs. It’s not just about praying! Guest speakers host lectures and programs which always include a delicious dinner and are always very insightful and informative. To learn more about our various upcoming minyan programs, including our favourite Minyan and BBQ Under the Stars, contact Vered in the synagogue office. We encourage you to join us at Minyan once a month. Meet the amazing individuals that keep the heartbeat of the synagogue alive... and maybe even become a regular yourself!

 At our daily minyan Torah is read on Monday, Thursday and Festival mornings. Breakfast is hosted in the Banquet Hall following minyans on weekday mornings. Schmooze with our Minyananires over coffee and a light breakfast and get to know our growing Beth Sholom Family.


Sponsor a Breakfast

After our regular weekday morning services, we invite everyone to a light breakfast following services. Breakfast can be sponsored in memory or to celebrate an event. Breakfast can also be enhanced in memory or honour of your event. Contact our office at (416) 783-6103 or info@bethsholom.net.


Will Someone Say Kaddish With Me? 

My mother no longer comprehends what is going on around her. She is almost 100 years old. Until recently, she was a vibrant, bustling individual who not only enjoyed life but managed to gladden the hearts of the many who knew her. I can say without question that she has been a wonderful mother — in my eyes the best — but now, she is as helpless as a baby. 

I doubt if she knows that I feed her lunch every day, but I do know at some deep level she understands I will perform the ultimate mitzvah for her. After she has gone on to the next world, I will say Kaddish for her. But I have to qualify that wish – because it would be more accurate to say, I hope I will be able to say Kaddish for her, because it might not be possible.

It is getting harder and harder to find a minyan. Without a bar or bat mitzvah celebrated, our synagogues are never full on Shabbat. What is heartbreaking is struggling to find a minyan for mincha or ma'ariv in the winter. Too many Jewish men no longer make it a practice to go to shul on a regular basis, or to make it part of their schedules to drop in to be part of a minyan.

In order for Kaddish to be said it requires a minyan, a group of ten adult males. It is recited on behalf of all of the Jewish people, emphasizing our common responsibility and our interlinked fates. By saying Kaddish you are first honouring God, and then you are also honouring your father and your mother.

 Over the years, I have often been part of a minyan so this sacred duty can be performed for a friend, a relative, a stranger. It has never been an imposition or a hardship. Rather, it has helped to strengthen me and to assist in my understanding of who I really am – a Jew.

Our synagogues have wonderful members who have fulfilled their responsibilities and have said Kaddish for their parents. But sadly, they now see their own children not fulfilling this obligation and having their children, the grandchildren, witness this lapse.

 What this problem says to me is that somewhere along the way, we may have lost our sense of responsibility for one another. I know we have busy lives. Work demands a lot from us. Most of us consider our families more important than strangers. But in perspective, the Jewish people form such a miniscule percentage of the 6 billion people on this planet, in one way or another, we are all interconnected and are not really “strangers” after all.

Life, we like to say, is “demanding” and “hard” but in the last 60 years life on the whole has been good for those of us fortunate to live in the Western World. We haven’t had to worry about pogroms or closed doors, except for the odd private club. Even that isn’t such a big deal because we have our own. So many times, we don’t feel a need or an urgency to do all the little things that define us Jews. For those of us who are not Orthodox, we don’t look identifiably Jewish. We no longer carry out the 613 commandments, let alone the big 10.

But you have to stop and ask yourself, how many commandments can we violate or not carry out before we are no longer Jews? Can we pick and choose? Maybe yes, maybe no. It seems to me that those commandments associated with the ‘life cycle’ – birth to death – most importantly remind us of who we are: we hold a bris for our baby boys, we help our sons prepare for their bar mitzvahs, we get married under a chuppah and when our parents die, we say Kaddish.

It is a sad day when a parent dies. But if a mourner cannot say Kaddish, imagine how this only adds, unnecessarily, to his distress. It doesn’t have to be like this. To be part of a minyan only takes about 30 minutes out of your day. If you make a commitment to come to shul only one day a month – 1 day – it would make a big difference to your shul. First you would be doing a mitzvah by giving comfort to those who have to say Kaddish. Second you would be teaching your children, by example, the importance of fulfilling the mitzvah. And third, it’s like insurance – you will be increasing the likelihood of someone saying Kaddish for you.

Surely this is a mitzvah you can live with: 30 minutes one day a month, twelve times a year. Or maybe our synagogues will make it a part of your commitment , once becominga member, you must perform ‘’JEWRY DUTY‘’ one week every year.

So help a fellow Jew perform his obligation. He can’t do it alone.

   -  Avron Shore Z"L passed away on July 13th 2012. May his memory serve as a blessing


Pray

We all know someone (and by someone, perhaps we mean ourselves) for whom Saturday is needed to fulfill the week’s obligations, or whose weekdays are so packed with activities that their calendars resemble the arrivals screen at Pearson. Yet those of us who have found a way to join in the Daily Minyan, or even just put a little Shabbat in their Saturday, have come to appreciate the rhythm of a life punctuated by prayer, and to experience the gift of God’s commandment that we do so. 

The English word, “pray” is an imprecise translation for the original Hebrew word, hitpallel. The former stems from a root which means to beg or entreat, whereas the latter is the reflexive of the root verb which means to judge or inspect. Thus, we come together to look in to ourselves and find a deeper meaning to our lives. Across time we grow in mindfulness and compassion, and we see that to daven is to become more aware of our blessings and to have more of our blessings revealed. With understanding and perspective, we discover that everything is not as it seems and nothing need stay as it is. Indeed, as we become more fully ourselves, our lives become more as we pray they may be. 

Give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of your life in the big city and come inside to the warmth of a community service — if only on the off chance that a practice that has survived the ages might have something to offer you. Think. Feel. Sing. And then join us for a nosh. 


To our shul community,

 

Back on March 21st, when the province lifted the mask mandate after two long years of Covid restrictions, we made the decision as a shul that it was time to reunite our minyan together in person. While we are fortunate enough to live in a time where we were able to continue offering services virtually, over Zoom and Youtube, now was the time to come back together, and support each other in person.

 

We did this with some trepidation over how successful a daily minyan would be, after being online for so long. Would people still want to get up in the morning? Would people show up in the evening? We also knew not everybody was ready to come out and participate in a live minyan, due to being more compromised than others. Even so we pushed forward, and the response from the community was overwhelming. During the first three months, we missed only one minyan. While any missed minyan is a tragedy for those who show up, if we’re being honest, on March 21st we would have called that an overwhelming success.

 

Sadly, as the calendar has turned to the summer months, we have been challenged in forming a minyan twice a day. Our evenings have been especially tough. Having to turn people away and say “Unfortunately, we cannot meet your needs tonight” is one of the hardest things to do, and casts a pall over the rest of that evening. It leads to thoughts of what can we do better, what can we do differently so that we do not have to send people home. How can we make sure the mourners coming out to say kaddish don’t go home heartbroken?

 

We have had meetings, and there are multiple strategies we intend on putting in place to help. Before we roll those out, however, we’d like to reach out to you, our community at large. We ask for your assistance in helping us make minyan. If you’re in the city, and have an evening free, consider coming to shul to count among us. If you wake up early, what better way to start a day than to be amongst a warm community. Yes, the minyan is prayer, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the people, the connections, the warmth.

 

Please, if you can, keep us in your thoughts and come join us.

 

The Daily Minyan

Wed, October 5 2022 10 Tishrei 5783