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
  • Sunset

    G-d does not consider forgiveness unless we have done the work of Elul – forgiving each other in the flesh.

  • CNN

    CNN series on Jerusalem is missing the viewpoint of traditional Jewish texts, Torah and Talmud, which also cover the history of Jewish Kings of Israel.

  • Media Technology

    I ask myself why the most successful movies are fantasies of disaster etc…And then I recall the course on “Aggadata”, fantastic allegories in the Talmud

  • Antisemitism

    The recent Gaza/Israel conflict has exposed misinformation about Israel originating not only in Arab Islamism but also in Russian/Soviet antisemitic propaganda that has infected many media outlets and a large part of academia over the past fifty years.  

  • How to deal with antisemitism

    The Jewish people have suffered greatly throughout history, but nevertheless, have not succumbed to hatred of the other.

  • Why Shavuot Matter

    Everyone knows about Passover but fewer of us appreciate Shavuot especially in modern times.

  • The book of Esther

    Purim presents us with the first paradigm for what antisemitism/racism/persecution of a minority within a majority looks like. 

  • The Holocaust/shoah was something I had been aware of and struggled to comprehend from a very young age.

  • Jewish Calendar

    Jews don’t have a double identity, but they live with two calendars – the secular, solar or Julian calendar, and the Jewish calendar based on the moon’s cycles. The Julian calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BCE recognized

  • The Power of Words and Story

    The gift of language is the “Gesher tzar meod”– the very narrow bridge – that crosses the abyss between finite humanity and the infinity of God

  • The Cantor

    Can you and I communicate with G-d in the present?

  • Music

    Because of its deep connections with the brain, music is intrinsically meaningful to humanity as a race. Music, sound, is life. Music, adds emotion, nuance, and meaning.

  • History-Zachor Al Tishkach

    there is no word for “history” in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew word that comes closest to the notion of history in Hebrew is the word “zachor” – the injunction “to remember.”

  • News and Knowledge during Covid-19

    We all know the problem, excess options and information coming at us from all sides. How to process it!

  • To Honour One’s Par

    The Rabbis of the Talmud believe that this fifth commandment, “Honour thy father and mother” is the most difficult to fulfill properly.

  • Yom Kippur

    “atonement” is one of those concepts that nobody understands – least of all me. And what is the meaning of forgiveness?

  • RBG_How Jewish Was She

    RBG embodied that unique Jewish characteristic that began with Abraham, of sparring,  even with  G-d, when “justice” was the issue. 

  • 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