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18/08/19 02:09:54 PM


Rabbi Chaim Strauchler

Parshat Vaetchanan - 16 Av 5779 - August 17 2019

Two years ago, our shul hosted Eli Lebowicz – a New York based Jewish comedian – for a Saturday night comedy evening. Yes, Yes… It was during his routine that our crowd got more enjoyment watching me laugh then laughing themselves – prompting Eli to comment – “Rabbi – they’re not getting the minyan jokes – you’ve got some work to do.”

On Thursday night,...

We Are All Survivors

06/06/19 05:13:24 PM


Remarks at Yom Hashoah Community Holocaust Commemoration May 1, 2019

“I used to sing a song to my children, a song that my father sang to me when I was a child. “Hashem is here,” I would sing, using a Hebrew name for God, pointing with my right index finger to the sky. “Hashem is there,” I would sing, pointing to my right and left. “Hashem is truly everywhere.” That finger I would use to point out...Read more...

Aging is Life's Shabbat

06/06/19 09:25:38 AM


Remarks from MEMORY AND AGING BREAKING THE STIGMA 2019 June 4, 2019

Two themes make up tonight’s program. Physicians will address how we can diagnose and treat mental illness associated with aging. Rabbis will address the stigma that surrounds mental illness within our community and what we can do collectively to counter this stigma.

This is the fourth year that we have...

Prepare for Retirement

08/02/19 09:52:20 AM


What do you think about when you hear the question, "Are you preparing for your retirement?" We are conditioned to think about this question in terms of money. I had the opportunity last week to visit a member of our congregation who was recovering from surgery. He told me that he was planning to retire, soon. He spoke about seeking more of the spiritual, as he gave up some of his physical pursuits.

In this week's parsha, we read...

The "You're a Human" Challenge

07/02/19 08:09:45 AM


Chaim Strauchler

We live in an age of frivolous challenges. The latest of these is the "Ten Year Challenge." It follows the "Ice Bucket Challenge," the "Mannequin Challenge," and various "Dance Challenges." I would like to suggest a more meaningful challenge. Call it, "You're a Human Challenge" (or in Torah terms - "the tzelem elokim challenge"). 

Much has been said and written about our inability to speak civilly with those with whom...Read more...

A Torah Teacher and the Ikea Effect

24/01/19 12:00:00 AM


This week is the second yahrzeit for Philip Zuckerz"l - Mr. Zucker served as the Shammash and Baal Koreh for our synagogue for many years, teaching a generation of our young people how to read the Torah. 

Mr. Zucker liked to share short d’vrei torah with me. He would begin with a question that often felt like a riddle or a puzzle? After waiting for me to come up with a solution – he...Read more...

In Praise of Jewish Privilege

17/01/19 12:40:47 PM


Rabbi Chaim Strauchler

CJN January 16, 2019Published in the Canadian Jewish News January 16, 2019

If an unsuspecting time-traveler were to come across...

The Synagogue Archipelego 

18/12/18 12:50:59 PM


Chaim Strauchler

There are things that I do, because I am a Jew. There are things that I do, because I am a rabbi. I daven every day, because I am a Jew; I daven at the front of the Shul, because I am a rabbi. I was heartbroken over the tragic attack at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, because I am a Jew; I travelled to Pittsburgh to represent my shul and the Toronto community, because I am a rabbi.

My plan was to attend funerals and shivas in...

Pre-Experience an Anti-Semitic Tragedy

16/10/18 12:00:00 AM


Chaim Strauchler

The spray painting of anti-Israel graffiti outside one of our local Jewish Day Schools (Leo Baeck) has called attention to anti-Semitism within our city. 

Insurance companies are incentivized to help their clients mitigate risk. They are on the line when tragedy happens. Insurance companies face a great challenge when encouraging people to protect against risk, DENIAL, i.e. the seemingly innate refusal of the human mind to...Read more...

Make More Shaarei Shomayim Jews

04/10/18 12:00:00 AM


Chaim Strauchler

I shared the follwoing remarks on Kol Nidre evening 5779:

A thousand years of Jewish history in Europe added certain words to the human vocabulary: forced conversion, inquisition, expulsion, ghetto, pogrom, Holocaust. Once hate goes unchecked, the road to tragedy is short.

One of the enduring facts of history is that most antisemites do not think of themselves as antisemites. We don’t hate Jews, they said in the Middle Ages,...Read more...

Wisdom of Not Knowing

28/09/18 12:00:00 AM


Chaim Strauchler

This Shabbat, we read the book of Kohelet. The book asks us to think deeply about life, while questioning the value of thinking itself.

Many insights can be drawn from this book. Interestingly, the pursuit of such knowledge has become popular, today. In a recent TED...Read more...

Spite & Joy

28/09/18 12:00:00 AM


Chaim Strauchler

aftselakhisI published an article in this month’s Commentary Magazine with my colleague Rabbi David Wolkenfeld.  It’s a response to author Michael Chabon’s provocative speech at...Read more...

Mon, 16 September 2019 16 Elul 5779