Tag Archive for religion

Christian missions proselytized Jews in ‘the Ward’

From the Canadian Jewish News, April 2015 Having recently marked its 25th anniversary, the organization Jews for Judaism continues to counter the activities of missionary groups in Toronto that deceptively target Jews for conversion. However, Christian missions to the Jews are certainly nothing new in this city. In the era before the First World War, a…

Review: Alison Pick’s Between Gods

Seven years ago, as Toronto author Alison Pick began researching and writing what would become her prize-winning novel Far to Go, she realized that the seeds of two different projects — one a fictional manuscript, the other a closely allied memoir — were struggling for dominance within her mind. Giving priority to the novel, she…

Author Joshua Max Feldman on ‘Book of Jonah’

From Canadian Jewish News, May 2014 Jonah Jacobson is a young Manhattan lawyer immersed in an important legal deal that could make him a partner, and in relationships with two beautiful women each in love with him, when the heavens open up and he has a bizarre and unexpected Biblical vision at a party. Suddenly…

TORONTO SAGES: Prominent rabbis of blessed memory

TORONTO SAGES is a booklet compiled and published in 2004 by Mayer S. Abramowitz, a grandson of Toronto cantor Nosson Stolnitz. Its full title is “Chachmei Yisrael of Toronto — Toronto’s Sages.” The booklet presents information about 35 Toronto rabbis from their tombstones, translated into English; some Yiddish and English obituaries are also included. The contents…

The Man Who Would Be Messiah (1999)

From the Globe and Mail, 1999   ◊ I wrote this article for the Globe’s Ideas & Beliefs column in 1999, a mere six years after Rabbi Schneerson’s death, when the Lubavitch world seemed to be pulling apart over the issue of his messianic status and who would be his successor. Don’t know what’s happened…

Festival of Sukkot — McCaul Street style, 1952

From the Globe and Mail, Toronto, Oct. 4, 1952 This photo appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail on October 4, 1952 at the start of the Festival of Sukkot. The photo shows Rene Slonim, daughter of Rabbi Reuben Slonim of the McCaul Street Synagogue, guiding six-year-old Seymour Epstein through the ceremony of the blessing…

Scandal: ‘kosher’ sausage is really treif (1919)

From the Canadian Jewish Chronicle, September 5, 1919 A very interesting decision was handed down last Sunday in the Jewish Court of Arbitration. The case was that of the S. Karsch Co., kosher sausage manufacturers. The company consists of two partners, Sam Karsh and Joseph Peverman. One of the partners accused the other of misappropriating…

Yom Kippur on University Avenue (1912)

From the Toronto Evening Telegram, September 12, 1912 Special Service conducted by Cantor Wladowsky With impressive ceremonial, with colour and light, and music of clear yet deep toned voices, special services for the Jewish New Year were celebrated in the University avenue synagogue this morning. Through windows within the vestibule you saw an audience of…

Review: Joseph Anton, A Memoir, by Salman Rushdie

From the Canadian Jewish News, January 2013 London-based writer Salman Rushdie was happy to sell his novel The Satanic Verses to Viking Penguin in February 1988. But six months after the novel appeared, the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him for his blasphemous insult “against Islam, the Prophet and the Qur’an.” Instantly he became…

Capernaum is rich in Christian history

In the ancient fishing village of Capernaum, above the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, visitors may examine a partially reconstructed 2nd- or 3rd-century synagogue and glimpse portions of the underlying remains of an earlier synagogue in which Jesus is said to have preached. The town’s name derives from the Hebrew name K’far Nachum,…