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Friday, Adar 24, 5780 / March 20, 2020


I hope and pray that you and your families are all in good health, following doctors’ orders during this difficult time of the covid-19 virus. May G-d watch over us and grant us all only good health.


In light of this situation, this Shabbat will be a personal Shabbat for us all. A Shabbat in which synagogues and places of worship will be closed. It will be a Shabbat in which every home will become a personal house of prayer. This Shabbat we are all united in isolation. An Isolation to help others as well.


This Shabbat we read the last two Parshiot of the book of Exodus, Vayakhel & Pekudei. Vayakhelmeans to gather together. In it the Torah tells us that Moshe gathered the entire congregation of Israeland commanded them about the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle).


The building of the Mishkan was a community project in which everyone was involved. The Mishkan was a dwelling place for G-d through which His glory rested among the Jewish people. Our sages tell us that in order for G-d to rest among us and send us His blessings it is only through peace and unity among us.


This Shabbat at the conclusion of the Torah reading (wherever a minyan is permitted) the entire congregation announces in unison, “Chazak, Chazak, Venischazek” – “Be strong, Be strong and we shall all be strengthened.”


In light of these difficult times the wish of Chazak, Chazak, Venischazek, has so much more significance.  May Hashem indeed bless us all with strength and good health. May all who are sick battling the covid-19 virus have a complete and speedy recovery. Amen.


Our sages tell us that every good or negative deed we perform affects not only us but also the entire world. One of the lessons we can take from this situation is how every deed and action of each individual can affect the entire world. If a negative action can spread throughout the entire world, how much more so the good deeds we perform.


Our rabbis give us the following parable to illustrate this point. A boat full of people was sailing on the ocean. When suddenly one of the passengers decided to bore a hole under his seat.


“STOP! What are you doing?” everyone screamed. “But this is my seat. I paid for it and I can do whatever I feel like it,” he told them. “But what you’re doing will affect not only you. It affects all of us.”


The same is with the world as a whole. All of humanity are in the same boat. Whatever one does affects everyone. Let’s try and do more good deeds and mitzvot and may G-d bless us all with only good health.


“Corona” in Hebrew means “light.” To counter the negative factor of Corona, I suggest that all women and girls light the Shabbat candles this Friday, in order to bring the healing lights of Shabbat into our homes.




Montreal candle lighting time: 6:49 / Shabbat ends: 7:53



In memory of Margaret Zoldan Z'L who left us 13 years ago on Adar 26.

Always remembered and missed for her beautiful ways and words and her devotion to us.

May the Neshamah have an Aliyah.

Andre, Esther, Zachary, Benjamin, Jonah.