Our Congregation

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Our Beth Ruach congregation is built on the values of the Torah and the Talmud, and we are united in our faith in Judaism and our support of Israel.

We support our congregation through Torah learning, Shabbat dinners, Jewish holidays, celebrations, and life-long learning of our Jewish education to all ages.

Our congregation is made up of primarily interfaith families due to the rise in Jewish people marrying outside of their faith. As such, while grounded in Judaism, our congregation welcomes their spouses of all faiths and those with no faith to join us in creating a diverse, vibrant spiritual community of individuals and families.

Through our teachings, work, and embrace, we aspire to keep the Jewish faith and traditions alive within these interfaith unions and be cherished by their extended families so that it may remain vibrant and alive into future generations.

We are affiliated with the Universal Oneness United Faith Canada. 

Universal Oneness United Faith Canada (“UOUFC”) is a spiritual center that welcomes people from‎ all faiths and those of no faith. The UOUFC works to break down the barriers of religious intolerance. Congregation Beth Ruach is the Jewish interfaith branch of the UOUFC and is the ‎community that Rabbi David Gellman serves.


“I’ve known David practically my whole life, and he knew my mom and my family, so he was the obvious choice to provide the funeral service for my mother, Miriam Stein. He did a very, very nice job, was very personal, and made sure everyone was included—as I knew he would. Thank you, David.”

Helen B.

The Rabbi’s Weekly Commentary-June 3, 2023

Bless you

Greetings friends
You lit candles for the martyrs of life and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and those in your hearts and minds.  You elevated the souls of those you love, and you are only two weeks away from honoring Dad, but like with Mom – any day is a good day to think of Dad.  Call him.  You know he wants to hear from you, talk to you.

The great commodity we pay little attention to is not money – we worry about it to no end; it is not health; we worry about it, yet both come and go.  It is time.  It only goes and never is renewed.  We do not spend enough with family – parents and children.  We spend most with ourselves but not with an awareness of the time we have or the legacy we want to leave.

We have entered the beginning of June and said farewell to May – for many, the true herald of spring.  But it is something more – it is Jewish History Month.  You say you didn’t know – no, you didn’t – it is not covered; it is not promoted; maybe we’re not seen as enough of a downtrodden minority, but I can’t think of one more so.

This week there are some fascinating things we read about – we discover the only trial by ordeal in the entire Torah – hard to believe there was such a thing – and yet there are no recorded incidents of it occurring.  It could be one of those odd laws never enforced with workarounds in place to ensure it did not happen.
We read about the nazirite vow – the mechanism which allowed the non-Levite to take the role of priest – distinguished from those born into the class by the ability of women to join and by three abstentions that mirrored the high priest except in one instance – no consumption of alcohol; no proximity to the dead; and not cutting their hair.  The first two mirror the high priest, while the third is the opposite.  The high priest had short hair; the nazirite – had long hair in order to distinguish them from the high priest.

The two most famous biblical nazirites are Samson and Jesus.  The Jesus story is by far the more widely known, and Jesus of Nazareth might really have been Jesus the nazirite.
For those who have forgotten – Samson was a judge from the tribe of dan, and he was a Nazirite from birth – his mother having dedicated him to the lord.  He was most well-known for his long hair – the sign of the Nazirite and his great strength – which we find out was connected to his long hair – at one point, we are told that he killed a lion with his bare hands.  And he fell in love with Delilah – a name meaning “delicate” –and she was anything but.

She found out the root of his strength, took that knowledge, cut his hair, and his strength disappeared.  He was captured by the philistines, who tormented him, gouged out his eyes, and made him grind grain in a mill.  His hair ultimately grows back, and he destroys the temple of Baal and dies in the process.
It is an amazing tale of faith, belief, karma, deception, love, and dedication – in just a few pages in the book of Judges is a short story with all the elements of life you can imagine woven into these two characters.

But there is something else here this week also – and it is connected to every holiday and every ability to be mindful with our approach to life. It is something you see in any movie that has religion or spirituality in it, and that is our concept of blessings.

We have, each of us, been somewhere and have been asked to do a blessing at a meal – and we freeze.  We don’t know what to say, and even Jewish clerics often fail terribly to their Christian counterparts.

Christian clergy offer creative and spontaneous blessings, often tailored to a particular concern or hope – world peace, end of disease – you name it – they can do it pretty quickly.
It is taught, whereas Jews have been taught the three basic blessings they do at the sabbath – that for the light, the wine, and the bread.

Think of it – Barukh . . . atah . . . Adonai . . . Eloheinu . . . melekh . . . ha-olam . . . hamotzi . . . lehem . . . min . . . ha-aretz.’

The blessing over the bread – but the blessings are in the delivery – in the meaning of what it is and why it is said – slowly say the words and follow it in your mind with the appropriate translation; its real meaning takes form: ‘Barukh’ . . . (blessed) . . . ‘atah’ . . . (are you), adonai eloheinu – (my lord our god), melekh (king) ha’olam (of the universe) ….. chamotzi lechem (who brings forth bread)…..min ha’aretz (from the earth).

It is about giving thanks for the gift of nature that keeps us alive.  We praise G0d and give thanks.  Often just slowing things down allows new and deeper understanding.

Do this and elevate the learned phrase into a meditative ritual instead of a rote recitation.  Stop memorizing; start understanding and appreciating, and do it in your language.  You can learn the Hebrew if you want to say it in its original but learn its meaning in the language of your life.

And one of the most powerful of all blessings is found in this reading and may be the first actual expression of prayer – not just the depiction of people praying, but the exact wording of a prayer recited for over 3,500 years now – the three-fold blessing of the priest – the divine hug we receive each yom kippur during the service – and again – read it slowly to yourself and know what you are saying –




Delivered to the masses but delivered in the second person singular, like the ten commandments – therefore to you, and you alone.

In three brief lines, the priests wish each individual divine blessing, protection, favor, grace, attention, and peace.  The culminating wish of peace is particularly poignant because Numbers is the first book of the Bible to concentrate on war but wish for peace.

This episode will be posted on our channel – click here to watch the Rabbi David Gellman Show in the 2023 cycle.  And if you are one of the people this was sent to by a friend and want to receive it yourself, let me know, and I will add you to my mailing list.

Thank you all for allowing me into your homes, into your electronic devices, into your hearts – as you are all with me in mine – and I will be traveling for the next week or so and may or may not have the ability to do or post an audio or video show, but I will do my best to send a message.

Be well, be happy, be healthy, be free, be kind, be forgiving, be compassionate, be independent of mind and deed, be mindful of your intentions, and be good to yourself.  Continue to celebrate freedom of choice in your life and do not give in to the fear which is so prevalent, and enjoy the peace that comes from acceptance – and as always – if you have any questions or suggestions or want to say “hi,” please send me an email.  I love hearing from you.

And remember, anytime you do not want to receive these anymore, please send me an email so I can remove you.  And know – that I truly appreciate your sharing your sacred time with me.

Enjoy and celebrate your life and the lives of others, and in doing, be safe, my friends, be happy, and may you all sow the seeds of and reap the rewards of peace and love and miracles and make sure you also celebrate your unique individuality and your incredible awesomeness.

Continue celebrating love; continue celebrating freedom; send renewal and goodwill out to everyone in the world – it is an energy that cannot be stopped – and remember – your world is what you make it.  Just wish upon a star, continue to be a miracle in someone’s life, and light the light of love.



Respecting our past.  Putting faith in your future


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Respecting our past; Putting faith in your future

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