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Message from our Cantor

31/03/2023 01:12:08 PM


Cantor Leslie Emery

Dear Friends,

As the seasons shift here in Winnipeg, we begin our preparations for Pesach, planning meaningful opportunities for our community to observe the holiday. This year presented some unique challenges, however despite the obstacles we have been able to put together a variety of opportunities to celebrate! Our Catering Staff, led by Chef Joel Lafond is able to provide Kosher for Passover take out orders to the community. Rabbi Anibal will be livestreaming his home Seder, so anyone is welcome to pop in online and participate. Dr Rena Secter Elbaze pulled together a dynamic community wide Mimouna Celebration that will take place at the Asper Jewish Community Campus to close the holiday. Rabbi Anibal and I will miss leading the congregational Seder this year, however we are excited to experience the sold out Family Passover Seder that will take place at Congregation Etz Chayim along with all those attending! 

Between the Seders and Mimouna, the Festival of Matzot takes place. Often we think of Passover as being primarily the gathering of family and friends for the Seder. This is one of my favourite Jewish experiences of the year. The Torah refers to this time period as Chag HaMatzot, though we often don’t hear that term out and about. Each morning following the first Seder, we will read Torah in the morning and recite the Hallel Service, an extra service of Praise for the holiday. Tali and I are working hard, studying the readings and preparing to celebrate the holiday. With the help of our congregation, we look forward to celebrating the festival of Matzot with intention throughout the holiday. On the eighth day we recite Yizkor, an opportunity to take a pause and make space for the memories of our loved ones who are no longer with us, but who often fill our thoughts during the Chaggim. Memories abound during the holidays and though Yizkor can be difficult, it can also be healing and extremely moving. 

However you and those you love celebrate Passover this year, I hope you build many beautiful memories. Wishing you a Chag Pesach Sameach and an enjoyable Festival of Matzot!  

Cantor Leslie Emery,

Congregation Shaarey Zedek
1077 Grant Avenue, c/o Temple Shalom
Winnipeg MB R3M 1Y6

Sat, 13 April 2024 5 Nisan 5784