Course: Introduction to Torah (note new dates!)

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In October 2013, we welcomed home our two heritage Torah scrolls in an inspiring ceremony. For 2014, how about taking the next step and making it personal. That is, have you ever thought of learning to chant from our holy book? If so, this course may be for you!

The beginner course unlocks many of the mysteries surrounding chanting or “leyning” Torah. It presents both the theoretical foundation, plus practical hands-on sessions designed to learn the musical notes (“trop”) essential to singing from the Torah.

The course is designed for beginners – or those who’d like a refresher – and who have a basic level of fluency in reading Hebrew.

New Dates:  Mondays, January 27 – June 2, 2014

  • Time:  7:00 – 8:15 p.m.
  • Sessions:  15
  • Location:  Social Hall, Fisher Educational Centre, Congregation Emanu-El
  • Cost:   $99  synagogue members
  • $118 non-members

Resource (extra):  Chanting the Hebrew Bible (Student Edition) by Joshua R. Jacobson

Teacher:  Aaron Severs

For questions or more information:  please email Aaron, or tel. 250-475-0686.

Folkshul: “Letters from the Lost”/Helen Waldstein, Dec 1, 2-4pm

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As part of the Folkshul: Community Learning at Emanu-El series, award-winning author, Helen Waldstein, talks about her fascinating book: Letters from the Lost, onSunday, December 1, 2-4pm. 

On March 15, 1939, Helen Waldstein’s father snatched his stamped exit visa from a distracted clerk to escape from Prague with his wife and child. As the Nazis closed in on war-torn Czechoslovakia, only letters could reach Canada through the barriers of conflict.

The Waldstein family received these letters as they made their lives on a southern Ontario farm where they learned to be Canadian and  forget their Jewish roots. When Helen first read these letters as a mature adult, it changed everything. As her past refused to keep silent, she followed the trail of the letters back to Europe where she discovered living witnesses who could attest to the letters’ contents. In the book, she has interwoven their stories with her own into a compelling narrative of suffering, survivor guilt, and overcoming inter-generational obstacles when exploring a traumatic past. Letters from the Lost has already been nominated for five book awards. As author, Helen Waldstein Wilkes has given numerous presentations to audiences ranging from book clubs to large auditoriums filled people. Her powerful impact as a public speaker along with the relevance of the book’s subject matter is garnering rave reviews.

Winner:

Nominated for:

  • 2011 Book Publishers of Alberta Association Award
  • 2011 George Ryga Award (British Columbia)
  • 2011 Marsha and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award (National)

For more information, and to read Chapter 1, go to: www.lettersfromthelost.com/

Partners in Light – December 4, 5:30pm

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Join with Congregation Emanu-El’s Avodah Social Action Committee and friends in a public Ḥanukkiah Lighting in Centennial Square. We will be joined by Mayor Fortin & Council, our local MLAs and representatives of the various social service agencies and advocates that partner with Avodah. The Victoria High School R&B Band will perform, and there will be some light refreshments.

Note: Half-tonne truck needed to transport tables & chairs to the event. If you can help please contact Aaron Severs.

Partners in Light – a public lighting of a Ḥanukkah Menorah on the last night of Ḥanukkah December 4, 2013 5:30pm at Centennial Square. The word Ḥanukkah literally means “dedication,”  referring to the rededication of the Holy Temple by the Maccabees. The intention of this lighting is for those of us who are working towards eradicating and alleviating poverty can connect with one another and rededicate ourselves and our agencies to this integral work.

A pickup truck is needed to transport tables & chairs to Ḥanukkah event. If you can help please email Aaron Severs.

We welcome and will gratefully accept your donations of warm coats, blankets, sleeping bags and non-perishable food (such as peanut butter) at the menorah lighting.

Butternut Squash Soup

by Frances Aknai

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. curry powder
  • Pepper to taste

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove all seeds. Place cut side down on baking sheet with sides. Bake until skins are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour OR cook in microwave oven approximately 9 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove skin and cut into chunks. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in large soup pan over medium heat until hot. Add onion, celery, carrots, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and curry powder and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add broth, water and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Add squash and simmer until all vegetables are tender.
  • Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Lemon Chicken

by Sharon Fitch 

A favourite for Shabbat dinner.
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp seasoned salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 chicken cut in eighths
  • 4 tbsp. veg oil
  • ½  can (355 ml) frozen lemonade
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 lemon, sliced
 
Method
  • Combine flour & seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake chicken to coat. 
  • Brown chicken in hot oil. Arrange pieces side by side in a baking dish. 
  • Combine lemon juice, sugar & vinegar. 
  • Pour over chicken. 
  • Bake at 350°  F for 45 minutes. 
  • Baste & place lemon slices over 
  • chicken. 
  • Bake another 15 minutes.

Organic Apples for Sale

Jill and Mike Goldstein are again offering exquisite apple juice from their Pardes orchards, made from organically raised Gravenstein, Macintosh, Spartan, Delicious, Mutsu and Granny Smith apples.  The juice is filtered and passed through through a UV process to ensure both a healthy and safe product.  The juice remains fresh for about two weeks or can be frozen for year-round consumption.  Profits will be donated to Congregation Emanu-El.  

The cost is $6 per 2 litre jug, or 3 jugs for $15.  The juice may be picked up at the Shul on November 6th or 13th, or you can email Mike at for possible delivery.

Hakhnasat Torah and Siyyum HaTorah a Resounding Success

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Aaron Severs writes: “At 10 a.m. on October 20, the crowd gathered at the corner of Pandora and Vancouver. Undeterred by grey skies above, participants had already begun to dance to the music of Avram Yuval & Friends. The restored Sifrei Torah were placed under the brand-new chuppah canopy. Proceeding west on Pandora towards the shul, we danced, sang and strolled with purpose. 

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"Children and adults alike, we accompanied and danced about our heritage Torah scrolls, carried by Sharon and Ed Fitch.

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"At the parking lot behind the shul, an impromptu Hora broke out:

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"Eventually we all entered via the sanctuary doors, and the newcomers (i.e. heritage scrolls) were greeted into the synagogue by our resident Torah scrolls, held by Leah and Uri Levi.

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"Rabbi Harry welcomed the masses and explained that today’s simḥah was similar to a wedding ceremony. Torah is the covenant in our relationship with Hashem. A short drash by Marc Michaels, one of the sofrim or ritual scribes followed (Avielah Barclay taught later on).

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"The last 12 letters of Deuteronomy were next to be filled in. All eyes in the room (about 150 participants) seemed transfixed on the front of the sanctuary. A big screen showed the programme, while the Torah to be completed lay open on a table, next to the sofrim and their Jewish scribal materials.

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"The excitement mounted. One by one, groups of leaders/volunteers in our kehillah joined the sofrim in the completion of one letter each. Hebrew School teachers and kids went first, then Bnei Mitzvah teachers/tutors and USY/Kadima, then our Elders, Avodah Social Action and so on. Each leadership group stood next to the scribes and were encouraged to lay hands on the scribes. The energy in the room was palpable. Awhile later, once all the letters were filled in, the scribes declared the Torah scrolls to be kosher.

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"The last portion in the Torah was chanted, then a t’kiah g’dolah was sounded and more dancing ensued. A specially written prayer for the kehillah was read aloud. More music was performed by the Jewish Community Choir, and a delicious Kiddush lunch followed.

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"For many of us, participating in the Siyyum was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There was joy and pride and a renewed commitment to Torah.”

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