Tikkun Leil Shavuot: Torah as Personal Narrative

Sunday, May 16, 2021, 8 pm – 12 midnight—Each year at Congregation Emanu-El, we offer deep and relevant spiritual learning on the night of Leil Shavuot. Unlike other years, we will not remain awake all night for Torah this year. However, we will have meaningful learning via Zoom. This year’s theme is Torah as personal narrative. We are asking congregants to participate and share their personal truths as expressions of Torah; to share wisdom that teaches about our relationships with the Creator as a means of reflecting our authentic selves and aspirations.  Through teaching and dialogue, we will generate together a virtual time capsule, documenting life in our congregation through this historic pandemic. 
A core aspect of Shavuot is celebrating and internalizing the Divine Source’s revelation at Mount Sinai—the giving of Torah. Jewish folklore tells that on the morning when our ancestors were to receive Divine Revelation, they accidentally slept in. To enable cosmic repair, there is a custom of staying awake through the night, immersed in Torah study in preparation for receiving God’s Torah.
Presentations/sharing will be short (10 minutes max), with time in between presenters for discussion. If you would like to be a presenter, please send a message to Rabbi Harry at rabbiharry@gmail.com to get on the official roster. We will allow time for spontaneous sharing.
Lastly, what Jewish festival would be complete without food? There will be a slice of the evening to display your favourite dairy delicacy (aka cheesecake) so that others can savour it virtually.

Join online: CLICK HERE
Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
Meeting ID: 864 7428 0604
Passcode: 421268
With blessings for a renewing and meaningful Ḥag Sameaḥ,
Rabbi Harry and Aaron Severs

An Exploration of Heroes

Banksy's Game ChangerAt our Tikkun Leil Shavuot on May 28, 2020 (6 Sivan 5780), Aaron Severs shared his passion for superheroes beginning with an introduction to these comic characters and ending with a remarkable testimonial for our Victoria COVID-19 heroes.

Heroes are made, not born. They are admired by many people for doing something brave. They flash into public view, and dazzle us with courageous and selfless acts. Despite their noble achievements, heroes are not perfect. Continue reading An Exploration of Heroes

Virus as a teacher

Rick Kool (2019_03_13 23_20_58 UTC)

I’ve always felt that one of the basic roles of a teacher is to reveal things that are hidden. My most memorable and influential teachers were those that gave me insight into things that I never saw, never saw about myself or about the world around me.

I was reminded of the Wizard of Oz, who once outed for not being a real wizard, showed he was a good teacher, revealing to the lion his bravery, the straw man his brain, the tin man his heart, and Dorothy a way to go home. His teaching, for those students, would have been profound and transforming. Continue reading Virus as a teacher