The Story Of Passover (Told Only In Emojis)

by | Mar 19, 2018 | Entertainment, Hillel Ontario, Jewish Holiday | 0 comments

 

โ˜ฅโ›ฐ๏ธ๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒด๐Ÿœ๏ธโ›ฐ๏ธโ˜ฅ
โœก๏ธ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
โœก๏ธโœก๏ธ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
โœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
โœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ 
โœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ก
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ’ฌโ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘ฎโœก๏ธโ™‚๐Ÿ‘ถ๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ‘ผ
โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ’พโœก๏ธโ™‚๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ถ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅโ“๐Ÿคท๐Ÿคท
โœก๏ธ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถโ€๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿ”’๐Ÿ‘ทโš’๏ธ๐Ÿ”จ๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿ”ฆ๐Ÿ”ฉ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™โ–ฒฮ”โ–ฒฮ”โ–ฒฮ”๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ
โœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธโœก๏ธ

 

โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘ซ๐Ÿ‘ช๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ€๐ŸŒŠ
โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘ถ
โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐Ÿ’ฌโœก๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผ๊žŠ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ‘
๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ ž๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ ž๐Ÿ•ด
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘€โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’ฅโœก๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ด
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ’ข๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿ’ฅโ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿ’€
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘€โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿ’ฅ
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ’ฌโœ‹
โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘‘โ“
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿœ๏ธ

 

๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿšฐ
๐Ÿ‘น๐Ÿ‘บ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ’ข๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ‘น๐Ÿ‘บ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿ™‹
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿ ž๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿ‘ช
โ›ฐ๏ธ๐ŸŒด๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŽช๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐ŸŒด๐Ÿ—ป
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ”ฅ
๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿด
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ™‡
๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ‘‚โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿ”™โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ‘Ž
๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿ”™โ˜ฅ
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ‘Ž
๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿ”™โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘ด
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘Œ
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿšถโ˜ฅ
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ˜ƒ

 

๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ 
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ ž๐ŸฅŒ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ–•๐Ÿ’ฌโœก๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ ž๐Ÿ
โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ’‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ ž๐Ÿ
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ๐Ÿดโ˜ฅ๐Ÿ
๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ ž๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ…ฐ๏ธ๐Ÿ†Ž ๐Ÿ…ฑ๏ธ ๐Ÿ…พ๏ธ๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ’€๐ŸŸ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ’€
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ–•
๐Ÿธ๐Ÿธ
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ–•
แจž๐Ÿœแจž
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ–•
๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿป๐Ÿบ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ‰๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ„
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ‘Ž
๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿด๐Ÿซ๐Ÿช๐Ÿ’€
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ‘Ž
๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿฅ
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ‘Ž
โšก๐ŸŒจ๏ธ๐ŸฅŒ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ๐ŸฅŒ๐ŸŒจ๏ธโšก
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Ž
โ›†๐Ÿฆ—๐Ÿฆ—โ›†
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Ž
๐ŸŒš
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ”“โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘Ž
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ’€
๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘‹
โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ช๐Ÿ—ก๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿ…ฐ๏ธ๐Ÿ†Ž ๐Ÿ…ฑ๏ธ ๐Ÿ…พ๏ธ๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿšชโ˜‚โœก๏ธ๐Ÿด๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘
๐Ÿ•›๐ŸŒƒ๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ’€
๐Ÿ’€โ˜ฅ๐ŸงŸ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜ญ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‘

 

โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ชโฉ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ’๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿด๐Ÿช๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿž๐Ÿฅ–
โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ช๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿœ๏ธ
๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ’ฌโœก๏ธ๐Ÿ”™
โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡
โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐ŸŒƒโ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡โ›”๐Ÿ”ฅโœก๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ”ฅโ›”โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐ŸŒƒ๐Ÿœ๏ธ
๐Ÿœ๏ธ๐ŸŒžโ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡โ›”๐Ÿšฌโœก๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿšฌโ›”โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ‡๐ŸŒž๐Ÿœ๏ธ

 

โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ฒ
๐Ÿ’ฌ๐Ÿ•ด๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ ™
๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒŠ
๐ŸŒŠ_๐ŸŒŠ
๐ŸŒŠ_____๐ŸŒŠ
โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ™‹
๐Ÿฌ๐ŸŒŠโœก๏ธ๐Ÿšถโ€๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถโ€๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿป๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿผโ€๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿ„โ€๐ŸŽฃ๐Ÿšถ๐ŸŒŠโ›ต๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ 
๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ‘‘โ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ‡๐ŸŒŠ
๐ŸŒŠโ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ‡๐ŸŒŠ
๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ‡๐ŸŒŠ
๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ˜จ๐ŸŒŠ
๐ŸŒŠโœ‹๐ŸŒŠ
๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒŠ
๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽ‡๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽต๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ•บ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽก๐ŸŽข๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽน๐ŸŽบ๐ŸŽป๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽค๐Ÿ–๏ธ
๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฅ

 

โœก๏ธ๐Ÿด๐Ÿช
๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿž๐Ÿฅ–๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿป๐ŸŽ‚
๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿป๐ŸŽ‚โ›”๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿป๐ŸŽ‚
โœก๏ธ๐Ÿ’ญ๐Ÿ‘ชโฉ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ”“
๐Ÿ”š

Weekly D’var: Shabbat Shuva

Weekly D’var: Shabbat Shuva

One of the primary themes throughout the past month of Elul and into this season of renewal, is the idea ofย teshuvah.ย ย Teshuvahย is one of those Jewish concepts that we talk about a lot and often assume we all understand.ย ย We may have been told that, in order to merit atonement with Yom Kippur, we must โ€œmakeโ€ or โ€œdoโ€ย teshuvah.ย ย We are encouraged to spend time looking back on the year, acknowledging where we have missed the mark and resolving to do better moving forward, and to make amends with those we have harmed.ย ย But while we tend to hear aboutย teshuvahย most leading up to and throughout the High Holidays, it is a practice, and indeed a mindset, that we would do well to carry with us throughout the year.

Teshuvahย is not simple.ย ย It can be difficult to look upon our behaviours and the times that we may not have lived up to our values and ideals and hold ourselves accountable for those failings, possibly harder still to recognize where we might be heading down the wrong path in the moment and correct course.ย ย Similarly, the wordย teshuvahย itself is no easy thing to understand.

Many of us understandย teshuvahย to mean repentance, an understanding reinforced by some of ourย mahzorimย or holiday prayerbooks.ย ย There will be those who know that, at its root, the word translates as โ€˜turningโ€™ or โ€˜returnโ€™; in fact, this Shabbat that falls in the midst of the Days of Awe, the High Holidays, is known in our tradition asย Shabbat Shuvah, the Sabbath of Return.ย ย Teshuvahย does mean all of these things, both individually and simultaneously.ย ย The layers of meaning in the word can help us to better understand its role in both the holidays and in our lives: in order to make some sort of repentance, we must turn away from certain behaviours and attitudes in order to make a return to our core values, in order to return to our true selves.

These are not the only ways to translate this important and enigmatic word.ย ย There are so many shades of meaning in both the word itself and in the act ofย teshuvahย that, each year, they can be found filling new sermons and articles and books, and here I am, offering yet another.

For me, what has become an important and powerful way to understandย teshuvah, the way that I am able to carry it with me and to make it a real part of my life, is held in another traditional understanding of the word, that of โ€˜responseโ€™.ย ย In Jewish legal matters aย teshuvahย is a response to a question.ย ย Thinking of it in this way, when I look back on my behaviour, when I find myself reacting in a given situation, I can ask myself how I can respond differently and return to my true self.

These holidays are laden with rules and rituals, with expectation and obligation, but at their core, like so much of our tradition, they are calling on us to connectโ€”to connect with ourselves, with our community and our tradition, and, of course, to connect with the divine.ย ย How will we respond?

Shabbat Shalom.ย ย Gโ€™mar hatima tova!

Rabbi Danny A Lutz,
Senior Jewish Educator, Guelph Hillel

Rosh Hashanah 5783 Day II – Beth Israel Sermon

Rosh Hashanah 5783 Day II – Beth Israel Sermon

ย 

ื‘ึผึธืจื•ึผืšึฐ ืึทืชึผึธื”, ื™ึฐื™ึธ ืึฑืœึนื”ึตื™ื ื•ึผ, ืžึถืœึถืšึฐ ื”ึธืขื•ึนืœึธื, ืฉืึถื”ึถื—ึฑื™ึธื ื•ึผ ื•ึฐืงึดื™ึผึฐืžึธื ื•ึผ ื•ึฐื”ึดื’ึผึดื™ืขึธื ื•ึผ ืœึทื–ึผึฐืžึทืŸ ื”ึทื–ึผึถื”.

Blessed are You, HaShem our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

When I was thinking about what I would talk to you all about today, one thing I kept coming back to was a sense of both familiarity but also of โ€œnewnessโ€.

These feelings permeate everything at this time of year in generalโ€ฆ Rosh Hashanah always feels both familiar and new. Who knows what the year will bring? Yet the same melodies each year remind us that weโ€™ve been here before.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realisedโ€ฆ that this year in particular Iโ€™m seeing familiarity and also newness everywhere I turn.

Each time I set foot in this building I feel the sense of familiarity and also newness and Iโ€™m sure many of you do too. Familiarity because I was privileged to grow up in a wonderful community in London that inspired much of my initial commitment to my Jewish practice and while Beth Israel is not that shul, it exudes the same values that have made both this shul and that shul second homes to me.

More familiarity and newness.

Iโ€™m moving into a new house next week! So thatโ€™s new! But itโ€™s literally next doorโ€ฆ and thatโ€™s familiar!

I donโ€™t know about you but Iโ€™m still getting used to being fully in person again. My work as the Hillel Director in Kingston is similar to that which I did prior to the pandemic but it is also new and different. Iโ€™m sure many of you feel as I doโ€ฆ we must get used to the fact that some things simply will never go back to how they were before.

One area of my work that I encounter more frequently than I would like is something that will be familiar to us all but never fails to feel like a brand new punch in the gut.

The late Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Lord Jonathan Sacks, of blessed memory, famously described Antisemitism as being like a virus. Itโ€™s โ€œhow it has survived for so longโ€, he said, โ€œby mutatingโ€.

So in the Middle Ages, Jews were persecuted because of our religion. In the 19th and 20th centuries we were reviled because of our supposed racial identity. Today, Jews are attacked because of the existence of our nation state, Israel. And denying Israelโ€™s right to exist is undoubtedly a new antisemitism.

And just as antisemitism has mutated, so has its legitimisation. Each time, as the persecution descended into barbarity, the persecutors reached for the highest form of justification available.

In the Middle Ages, it was religion. In post-Enlightenment Europe it was science: the so called scientific study of race and this is still where we see the most violent forms of antisemitism on the right coming from.

Today’s day and age has given us the emergence of a new antisemitism from the far left, where the politics of inclusion are perniciously inverted to intentionally exclude Jews.

The noted academic and current US Special Envoy for Countering Antisemitism, Deborah Lipstadt said in her book โ€œDenial: Holocaust History on Trialโ€ that โ€œin an Internet age it is, at first glance, democratic to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That is surely true. It is however a fatal step to then claim that all opinions are equal. Some opinions are backed by fact. Others are not. And those which are not backed by fact are worth considerably less than those which are.โ€

On campus itโ€™s probably fair to say that I work at one of the coal fires of antisemitism. In the past few years, at Queenโ€™s, weโ€™ve seen white-supremacist graffiti including swastikas daubed on campus and also repeatedly seen groups on campus wade into middle eastern politics in ways that clearly cross the line into antisemitism.

But while Antisemitism is coming at us from both the extreme right and left, it is that from the extreme left which is routinely excused, ignored and justified by those who claim to value equity. And this seems to happen time and time againโ€ฆ especially on campus.

Now itโ€™s always important for me to note that we are lucky at Queenโ€™s. But for a few rare though particularly egregious examples, compared to some other campuses in Canada and around the world, we have it pretty good, most of the time.

Of course the real reason that antisemitism, in particular, on campus concerns us so greatly is because we generally understand campus to be a microcosm of wider society. A university is meant to be a true melting pot, bringing the best and brightest together to think deeply, learn and raise the collective consciousness of humanity; where weโ€™re supposed to learn the things we need to create the lives we want for ourselves. The conversations that happen on campus often feel like a litmus test for where society is headed.

And if the best and brightest canโ€™t seem to get a handle of the rampant Jew-hatred that seems to be everywhere right now in the academyโ€ฆ how can we expect the rest of the world to understand it?

What I want to talk about today is how I’m approaching this challenge, as a Hillel professional,,, and maybe this will be helpful in your own thinking as wellโ€ฆ

One of the first questions Jewish students ask us when they encounter Hillel is โ€œwhat is โ€˜Hillelโ€™? what does the word mean?โ€. Hillel bears the name of the noted talmudist, Hillel the Elder, who lived approximately 2000 years ago in both Babylon and Eretz Yisrael. Hillel was noted for his maxims and proverbs that still inspire us to this day.

One of his most famous sayings was:

โ€œIf I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself alone, what am I?
And if not now, when?โ€
โ€• Hillel the Elder

I view this quote, which comes from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Ancestors) Chapter 1, as the imperative of our time. Here we have Hillel providing us a blueprint for the continued strength of the Jewish people. A simple roadmap for how we can ensure our continued perseverance in the face of those who would seek to harm us. The whole quote can really be summed up in three principles:

Pride. Accompliceship. Action.

โ€œIf I am not for myself, who will be for me?โ€

Pride.

Rav Kook, the first chief rabbi of mandatory Palestine, used to say โ€œFor the Eternal People, itโ€™s never a long journey, and the important thing is not to be afraid!โ€ We are the inheritors of 3500 years of Jewish memory. Our people have faced down hate, discrimination, displacement, expulsion, genocide and so much more. Every single person who is Jewish today, is Jewish either because someone who came before them made the decision to live, or they themselves chose to be Jewish and to live a proud Jewish life. To say no to assimilation. To proclaim โ€œAm Yisrael Chaiโ€!

If we are not the loudest champions of our rights, who can we expect to stand up for us?! The first principle we focus on is the amplification of Jewish pride. Just last week Queenโ€™s Hillel held Jewish Experience Week (JEW) on campus. A campaign all about sharing how incredible the Jewish community is at Queenโ€™s and beyond. These sorts of initiatives are designed to help Jewish students feel more comfortable expressing their Jewishness publicly. One of the results of antisemitism is that we often seek to conceal ourselves and hide ourselves away for protection. I strongly believe that this is the wrong approach. Itโ€™s time to turn up the volume on Jewish lifeโ€ฆ to be loud AND proud about our Jewishness in the public square!

โ€œAnd if I am only for myself, what am I?โ€

Accompliceship.

Antisemitism doesnโ€™t exist in a vacuum and those who discriminate against one group rarely limit themselves to that one group.

We need accomplices to work with us to fight antisemitism and we need to partner with others. Relational Advocacy is a model of activism pioneered by The David Project – which eventually morphed into Hillel Internationalโ€™s Israel Action Center, which has now become the Hillel U Center for Community Outreach.

Relational Advocacy empowers student leaders to build mutually beneficial and enduring partnerships with diverse organisations so that the Jewish community is integrated and valued on campus. Much of the decisions made on campuses that affect the Jewish community take place within the democratic structures of student government and due to the current campus climate it is impossible for Jewish advocacy to happen successfully without allies.

When we build broad coalitions with student government, clubs and communities, we are better positioned to respond when the wellbeing of Jewish students is threatened on campus.

Being an ally is considered one of the first steps in equity and social justice work. The term โ€˜accompliceโ€™ encompasses allyship but goes beyond advocacy. An accomplice uses their privilege to challenge existing conditions at the risk of their own comfort and well-being. This is why we at Hillel cultivate relationships with student leaders on campus who can become both allies and accomplices to the fight against antisemitism.

The same principle applies beyond campus. Living in Kingston I imagine many of us have predominantly non-Jewish social networks. How many of us have actually spoken to our non-Jewish friends about the alarming rise in Antisemitism?

โ€œAnd if not now, when?โ€

Action.

And if you havenโ€™t spoken about this issue publicly beforeโ€ฆ maybe itโ€™s time to?

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak outโ€”
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak outโ€”
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak outโ€”
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for meโ€”and there was no one left to speak for me.

Antisemitism has always been a problem, thatโ€™s why itโ€™s familiar remember! But it also consistently re-invents itselfโ€ฆ the newness!

Now is the time for us to stand up and act. We may think it canโ€™t get much worse but history has shown us time and time again that temporary comfort doesnโ€™t guarantee safety in the long run. It is up to us. We canโ€™t wait. The risk is too great for us not to!

At Rosh Hashanah we have an annual opportunity for new beginnings. Itโ€™s a time for growth, reflection and fresh starts.

Our sages teach us that we live in a broken world and this is one reason why Judaism is far more concerned with this world than the next. We donโ€™t know what the world to come will be like but we do know how we experience this one.

The principle of Tikun Olam – healing the world – is one that all of us are obligated to. Each of us doing our own bit to bring the fractured pieces of the world back together to form a new, beautiful mosaic.

May we all merit to experience only good things this year.
May we have the courage to have pride in our identities.
May we have the humility to both know when to ask for help and to show up for others when they need us.
And may we have the strength to persevere, even when the task seems great.

Rabbi Tarfon โ€œYou are not expected to complete the task, but neither are you free to avoid it.โ€
ื”ื•ึผื ื”ึธื™ึธื” ืื•ึนืžึตืจ, ืœึนื ืขึธืœึถื™ืšึธ ื”ึทืžึผึฐืœึธืื›ึธื” ืœึดื’ึฐืžึนืจ, ื•ึฐืœึนื ืึทืชึผึธื” ื‘ึถืŸ ื—ื•ึนืจึดื™ืŸ ืœึดื‘ึผึธื˜ึตืœ ืžึดืžึผึถื ึผึธื”

Wishing you all Lโ€™Shana Tova uโ€™Metukah, a happy and sweet new year!

Watch the full congregation livestream here.ย 

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Yos Tarshish
Director, Queen’s Hillel

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