The Jewish Lens

Several years ago, I felt the urge to write about the Jewish holidays as they came up, to share what went on inside a Jewish home, satisfy the curiosity of non-Jews, and correct misunderstandings. As much as we know about each other, we still have a lot to learn.

Recent Posts
  • The joyful experience of Rosh Hashanah

    Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year holiday is customarily a 4-hour service in the synagogue, punctuated by the blowing of the shofar. and a repeat the following day. If you are not Jewish, it’s difficult to explain why and

  • Korach's Rebellion and the BLM Movement

    A couple of days ago in synagogues, Jews studied the Torah portion on Korach’s rebellion  (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32) about Korach who led 250 of the Israelites’ leaders against the authority of Moses and Aaron in the desert. In this

  • Rabbi Lew Comparing Buddhism and Judaism

    In his lecture at Hillel House, Rabbi Lew, Zichrono livracha, may his memory be a blessing, compared Judaism and Buddhism by comparing how each tradition deals with suffering.

  • Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

    During R. Steinmetz’ time in Montreal, I filmed short 5-min. sermons. I share them here along with nine of his written sermons on the (KJ) website. all amazing!

  • Yom Yerusahalayim 2020

    On this day, almost 1900 years after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, the Jews regained sovereignty over the temple mount and the entire city of Jerusalem. What does this mean?

  • Principles to Live By New Year 2020

    Today is the 8th day of Chanukah and the 30th of December 2019 – a good time to take stock of the last year and think about the one to come.

  • Shofar

    At this time of year you are probably getting used to hearing Happy New Year, Shana tova, and the words Rosh Hashanah bandied about and wondering what is this exactly. Rosh Hashana is a combination of penance and joy.

  • Why does Israel Continue to Observe Tisha b'Av

    Why does the State of Israel and the Jewish people all over the world, continue to observe the National Day of Mourning Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the two temples and the Jewish peoples’ two previous exiles

  • Observations of Passover in Israel

    Since there is so much attention being paid to Jews and Israel and so much misinformation, I would like to share my own reflections regarding the Jewish message to the world, in the present day, that is personified in

  • Photo of candles

    Whether you believe in the G-d of Israel or not, something has enabled the Jewish people to survive every attempt at destruction and to continue to thrive for the last three thousand years.

  • Baltimore

    I never considered myself right wing or left wing but the lies and calumnies of the Israel/apartheid BDS gang that has proliferated on campuses need to be exposed. Jews and non Jews need to come to grips with the

  • History and Antisemitism in Islam

    Dr. Mordechai Kedar spoke at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) in McGill. He spoke on Antisemitism in Modern Islamic and Arab Discourse. Mordechai Kedar, born in Tel Aviv, is a Religious Zionist and

  • Hitler et la fillette

    At the tender age of fifteen, Catherine Shvets wrote about the Shoah through the memories of her survivor grandmother. She addressed the critical actions of nameless rescuers who saved a little girl, the theme of Shvets’s recent oeuvre, «

  • Klez Kanada

    Klez Kanada is Quebec’s largest annual festival of Jewish/Yiddish culture and arts. Every year, musicians, Yiddishists, Jews, and non-Jews gather in the Laurentian Mountains at camp B’nai Brith for a week of inter-generational song, dance, and culture. This year,

  • Rosh Hashanah Angst

    Rosh Hashana is the season of Jewish angst. It is the Jewish New Year, a time when Jews are supposed to grapple with their demons.

  • Joel Yan, a Jewish lay spiritual leader and myself, were on our way home from a week-long retreat of classes and singing at the biannual Aleph Kallah at Franklin Pierce College. It was Sunday, and both our families were

  • Happy Passover, Happy Easter, and Happy Spring to all. As many of you know, Passover – the celebration of freedom and the seminal holiday of Jewish continuity – invites us to reflect on the past and present. In that

  • This year, Purim and the Academy awards happened to fall on the same day. I thought the show was classy and the most fun in a long time. Seth McFarlane can sing and dance and deliver a joke. I

  • Israel

    What is Purim? Purim is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated precisely four weeks before Passover. It is based on the story told in the Book of Esther. 3:8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain

  • Yiddish Book Center

    The Yiddish Book Centre in Amherst, Massachusetts, embodies the miracle of Yiddish in our time. The center was initially founded by Aaron Lansky in 1980 when he saw the need to save Yiddish books that would have otherwise ended

  • Jerusalem

    After attending the Jerusalem Post Conference, I reviewed the footage and have highlighted below statements of Gilad Erdan, Israeli Minister of the Environment, and Danny Ayalon, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister – as they relate to the two most serious

  • Desert

    Today, I attended the CIJR Colloquium on the Iranian question. Three professors, Prof. Frederick Krantz, Chair (Concordia University), Prof. Harold Waller (McGill University), and Prof. Norrin Ripsman (Concordia University) all spoke on the topic of Syria, Egypt and the

  • Last week, I attended a class on antisemitism and the media, given by prof. Fred Krantz offered by the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research in Montreal (CIJR). Prof. Krantz started by defining antisemitism. I share with you here two

  • Pelech Yiddish Class Performs Itzik Manger Megillah

    Pelech Yiddish Class Performs Itzik Manger’s Megillah While on a recent trip to Israel, I had the pleasure of recording a High-School Yiddish class performance of the Yiddish musical, Itzik Manger Megillah. The students at Pelech High School put

  • Sky

    This morning, a Mormon friend shared a post by Rabbi Shmuely Boteach, Are Mormons any weirder than the rest of us? The article artfully analyzes all religions and how to evaluate them. Hence, our concern need not be with a person’s

  • Natan Anatoly Sharansky

    A few days ago, Natan Anatoly Sharansky spoke to students at Hillel House and the Jewish community in Montreal. He is an activist for Jewish and Soviet human rights and was a former Gulag prisoner. Through the activism of

  • Canada

    Earlier this week, I was out with my nephew, who is visiting from Israel. He saw a group of Veterans selling poppies and pinning them to people’s lapels. He asked me the meaning of the poppies. I was a

  • Israel Efraim Karsh pointed out the attempt to deny Jewish claims to the land of Israel. Asaf Ramirowsky analyzed the history of the “refugee problem” and UNRWA. Sally Zerker pointed out the anti-semitism seminal to the God of the

  • Jewish Public Library in Montreal

    In Argentina, the capture of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann, chief architect and commander in charge of the Nazi death camps, his transportation to Israel, and videotape coverage of his trial in 1961, in an Israeli court, in Jerusalem,

  • Israel

    On November 6th, CIJR Canadian Institute of Jewish Research at Concordia University hosts a conference that will bring international activists and scholars to Montreal. The morning will be devoted to defining and analyzing the “delegitimization strategy” and scholarship. The

  • Fondation Senegal Sante Mobile is having a fundraiser on October 29th. The Foundation was established by a friend of mine, Shara Rosen, to provide healthcare to Senegal’s most disadvantaged populations. Her medical background has made her well aware of

  • Israel

    I have been mulling over several articles regarding morality that I have read in the last few days before the great day in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is all about personal stock-taking. It is a calling

  • I am a citizen-observor who has been following the news regarding Israel, the West Bank, Iran, and the Middle East in general. Everyone knows about the bid by Mahmoud Abbas for “Palestinian Statehood”. Recently I received the following e-mail…

  • UN is an NGO that observes and comments on UN issues. First if you have never heard about Durban UN conference for Human rights 1 in South Africa and Durban 2 in Geneva. Let me tell you about it:

  • Segal Center for Performing Arts

    Lynda Thalie at the Segal Center for Performing Arts was part of a panel discussion on “Peace Making and Community Building through the Arts”. The discussion was moderated by Patricia Rimok, former president of the Quebec government’s Conseil des

  • Rosh Hashana

    Rosh Hashana is an unusual holiday since it is both communal and personal.

  • Montreal

    Psst… you’re invited to share a secret. Signed, Anonymous is a community art project inspired by Frank Warren’s PostSecret. It encourages participants to anonymously reveal their Jewish secrets on one side of a homemade postcard. Postcards will be showcased

  • Montreal

    we understand now that Jews don’t get together to plot world conspiracies and financial domination in their synagogue, but can you tell us what do Jews do in synagogue? Do Jews pray?