Weekly Newsletter – September 20, 2017

September 20, 2017  / 29 Elul 5777

    Shabbat Begins: 6:52 p.m.   Shabbat Ends: 7:55 p.m.   
Parsha: Haazinu: Deuteronomy 32:1 – 52

Tuesday was the opening hiking and camping trip for this year’s Outdoor Education Program. Eight Grade 11 students were well prepared and warmly dressed as they set out on a two-day trip, which included an overnight stay in the wild. Despite the rain and projected -3 degrees overnight, spirits were high as they set off. 

The expected rain turned into snow, and everyone awoke to white around them! Being well prepared, they were warm throughout the night and after a hearty camp breakfast, they hiked back to the vehicle to return to school.

Ben Abro, Adam Rosengarten, Gabe Israel, Harel Ruhr, Mr. Dichter, Rachel Cantor,
Megan Isserow, Lauren Shore, and Rebecca Laskin are still smiling after
their chilly night camping at Elfin Lakes.


On Saturday evening, moderated by Rabbi Jonathan Infeld, panel members VPD Chief-Constable Adam Palmer, MLA Andrew Wilkinson, BC Court of Appeal Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein, Vancouver Catholic Diocese Archbishop Michael Miller, and our Head of School, Russ Klein, held a lively discussion around the theme: "Our Leaders: Are They Above the Law?" Rabbi Infeld asked the panelists to comment on a 6th century Talmudic text (included below). Each panelist was also asked a question specific to their field relating to their authority and what is just.

There was a certain Rabbi who gained a bad reputation due to rumours about his conduct. Rav Yehuda said: What should be done? To excommunicate him is not an option. The Sages need him, as he is a great Torah authority. Not to excommunicate him is also not an option, as then the name of Heaven would be desecrated.
– Moed Katan 17a

It was a fun and informative evening. Russ shared that the other panelists were very interesting to listen to, and he extended a sincere thank you to Rabbi Infeld and the Beth Israel for inviting him to join with such a group.

The Torah characterizes Rosh Hashanah with just a couple of cryptic words. It calls it a day of "Zichron Teruah" – a day of remembrance of the cry of the Shofar. Which Shofar blast are we supposed to be recalling? We are remembering the cry of the Shofar that the entire nation heard, way back at Sinai. If you read the text of revelation at Sinai you’ll find there was a Shofar blast there. The remembrance of that day is what the Shofar blast is all about.

Remember, we didn’t see anything at Sinai. The mountain was covered in dark clouds and fog. There was no vision, there was "nothing to see". All there was, was Kol (voice) – G-d’s voice – that started as an increasingly loud sound of a shofar. But this was not a physical shofar that was blowing at Sinai. The sound of the Shofar was God’s voice communicating with us even before He actually spoke to us.

Rabbi David Fohrman points out that there is something about voice that stirs up old memories. When you hear a song or a jingle from your childhood that you haven’t heard in 30 years, it transports you back to those earlier moments in your life. At Sinai, God came into our lives, this extraterrestrial being from beyond, the Creator of the universe. It was the strangest, most incredible thing imaginable. When we hear the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah it takes us back, it stirs something in our collective Jewish souls. We know that voice. It was the moment we made contact. It’s the moment that changed everything for us. After that moment, we could never be the same.

We remind ourselves of that moment during the encounter with God. It’s about change. It’s about closeness. It’s about a relationship. It is about reminding us that we have a job to do in this world, despite life being complicated. We have families, we have work, we pursue leisure. Sometimes we forget that God wants us to live that life with Him and not around Him.

We at King David hope that hearing the shofar blasts this year will bring you back and connect you to the original blast, and help you realize that living a life filled with Godliness is not just a responsibility, but an opportunity and a privilege.

Shanah Tovah!
~  Rabbi Stephen Berger

Michael Atkinson 
English and Comparative Civilizations Teacher

Michael is excited by this teaching opportunity at King David, having heard about the school while being a member of the JCC. His son, Charlie, had a wonderful experience at BET preschool there. From 2005-2016, Michael taught Senior English at St. George’s School and coached numerous sports teams that competed against King David in the GVISAA league. Believing that education happens both in and out of the classroom, he is impressed by the community and the growth of King David. He hopes to contribute by utilizing his experience from teaching in various countries and schools, and coaching numerous sports. 
Mazal Tov!

On Sunday evening, the premiere was held of Vancouver Talmud Torah Onward: The 100 Year History, a new documentary film written and directed by VTT And King David alumnus, Adam Bogoch.  
Mazal Tov to VTT, and to David and Adam Bogoch, Redhaired Productions Ltd., for the stellar documentary! The video can be viewed here.

Join King David and the Vancouver Jewish Community Delegation at the Walk for Reconciliation 2017 – a unique opportunity for you to make a personal contribution to the reconciliation movement, building better relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.

What: Walk for Reconciliation 2017
When: Sunday September 24, 2017 | 9:00 a.m.
Where: Vancouver Public Library Square
(corner of Homer St and West Georgia)
360 W. Georgia
Vancouver, BC

Shanah Tovah Umetukah!


High Holidays 
Cemetery Service
30th Anniversary

Sunday, September 24
11:00 a.m.

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March of the Living Info Session

Tuesday, September 26
7:00 p.m.

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ORT Vancouver Gala Luncheon

Wednesday, October 18
11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Two Views from the Sylvia

November 8 – 12

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