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.

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TESTIMONIAL—

“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-May 18, 2024

The holiness code

Greetings friends

How was Mother’s Day?  Your mother is always with you – if not in body, then spirit.  Mothers are special. They are often your first exposure to unconditional love. They are your cheering section, your support – mother is love.

She doesn’t have to be with you for you to honor her; think of her, give a nod to her.

And for Memorial and Independence Day, did you light that candle and drive away the injustice from the present world? 

Did you honor the safety-net nation dedicated to the preservation and sanctuary of Judaism and home for Jews everywhere—no matter what, no matter when, no matter where—to know there is a home is a special feeling.

The Jewish nation has been driven from every country they have lived in, having brought prosperity, innovation, and education everywhere they have been.

And let us continue to pray for the release of the latest victims of hatred and antisemitism – the innocent hostages taken and used as pawns by a terror organization mindlessly kowtowed to.

We have reached a section of the Torah known as the Holiness Code because the word kadosh – holy – is used over and over again, and we are at a part where we are invited to delve deeper into the basic meaning of what is there.

This great organic book we read has more than its simple meaning. In fact,  there is a belief that the Torah can, and should, and is to be interpreted on four levels and sometimes five.

The first four levels are called PaRDeS, which is an acronym – for Pshat, Remez, Drush, and Sod. 

Pshat is the most basic literal meaning of the Torah text.  It is not necessarily identical to the plain meaning of the text but is an explanation of the text based on the tradition as it has been handed down in the Oral Torah (Mishnah and Talmud).  Most traditional Jewish editions of the Torah are published together with Rashi’s commentary, which is the classic example of Pshat exegesis. If you go to synagogue and listen to the Rabbi, you get this.

The second level, called Remez, departs from the literal meaning of the text in search of hints and allusions.  Much of Torah is taught by allusion and parable.  Linguistic analysis of the text and gematria (numerology)  are basic techniques of the Remez exegesis.  It suggests that words with similar meanings or numeric values are connected, and the study of this is extensive.

The third level, Drush, is the homiletic or moral or preachy exposition of the text.  It includes moralistic homilies as well as derivation of legal rulings based on the text.  It is typically found in aggadic (story)  and halakhic (legal)  midrashim (explanations).

The fourth level, Sod, literally means secret.  It involves esoteric interpretation of the scripture and is the subject of Kabbalah.

This reading also emphasizes the condition of the priest—he is to be perfect, like the sacrifices he oversees, and he is to be married, like the sabbath—often described as the marriage between G0d and the people. We get a reminder of the appointed or fixed times—the holiday times and the holy day times when we honor G0d and express our gratitude.

Enjoy this week’s readingand keep practicing forgiveness, kindness, and acceptance. Use this time to continue to forgive those you need to forgive and ask forgiveness from those you need to seek forgiveness from. Give thanks and celebrate your freedom and joy; do not succumb to fear – and please feel free to share this audio and video with anyone you think might enjoy it, and, of course, enjoy all of our past audio and video episodes available on our YouTube channel. This episode will be posted on our channel – click here to watch the Rabbi David Gellman Show in the 2024 cycle.

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, electronic devices, and hearts—as you are all with me in mine.

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 that is so prevalent. Enjoy the peace that comes from acceptance. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions or just want to say “hi,” please send me an email.  I love hearing from you.

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

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

Continue celebrating love and freedom, and 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. 

Blessings

RD
www.rabbidavidgellman.com
Respecting our past.  Putting faith in your future

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