Rabbi’s Message

The Yamim Nora’im (Days of Awe) give us an opportunity to reflect upon our lives and see ourselves as a work in progress.  In addition, we experience the collective memory of the Jewish people; we are a link that connects past and future generations of a nation rich in history and enduring wisdom.  These reflective moments inspire us to Teshuva (return to God).

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President’s Message

As President of Zichron Yisroel Congregation of Associated Hebrew Schools, I welcome you and your family to our community. It is an honour for me to represent our Kehilla.
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Rabbi Dr. Charles Grysman

Rabbi Dr. Charles Grysman is the spiritual leader of the Zichron Yisroel Congregation of Associated Hebrew Schools and the rabbinic consultant for Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto. 

He also has a private practice in counseling and therapy.  He received his rabbinic ordination from Ner Israel Yeshiva and Rabbi Gedalia Felder Zts”l.  He received his Doctorate in education from the Azrieli School of Graduate Jewish Education of Yeshiva University, his MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University, a CSW from the State University of New York and is a registered social worker in the Province of Ontario.  He completed the Senior Educators Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, received his teacher’s license from the University of Manitoba as well as teacher and principal licenses from the National Board of License for Teacher and Supervisory Personnel in American Jewish Schools. 

He is the author of The Diversity of the Divine, a two-volume book based on the weekly Torah reading that explores rabbinic wisdom and its capacity to address compelling questions from a variety of perspectives.  He is currently working on his next book.  He is married to Lori Grysman and has 4 married children and 9 grandchildren.

 

Rabbi’s Message

The Yamim Nora’im (Days of Awe) give us an opportunity to reflect upon our lives and see ourselves as a work in progress.  In addition, we experience the collective memory of the Jewish people; we are a link that connects past and future generations of a nation rich in history and enduring wisdom.  These reflective moments inspire us to Teshuva (return to God).
 
The prayers and tone of the Yamim Nora’im enhance our Teshuva. They give us an opportunity to share our deepest feelings with God, and to experience how He can encounter us in the depth of our souls. 

Rav Amital suggests that these peak moments of spiritual intimacy are embodied in the sounding of the shofar.  The simple voice of the shofar reflects our ability to discover our spiritual essence and let it shine forth at a time when God remembers us. Rav Amital says,
 
הבקשה על הזיכרון מגבירה את הקשר שלנו עם הקב"ה ... ואז הנשמה הפנימית מקרינה קדושה וטהרה לכל שכבות הנפש במודע ושלא במודע ... באותה מידה נדרשים אף אנו לזכור את הקב"ה-
"אשרי איש שלא ישכחך ובן אדם יתאמץ בך"(זכרונות).

The request to have God remember us (through the call of the shofar) strengthens our connection with God…and then the depth of the soul radiates holiness and purity throughout the conscious and unconscious aspects of the soul…we are similarly asked to remember God. (As we say in the Rosh Hashannah Musaf) “Praiseworthy is the man who does not forget You, the human being who takes strength in You.”
        
We have the opportunity to become more attuned to ourselves and to be reverentially aware of God’s presence in our lives.  This awareness is highlighted by the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, and the introspective nature of Yom Kippur.
 
Let us look forward to experiencing and appreciating the intimate relationship we have with God.  This relationship can serve as a stepping stone to help us value the uniqueness of friends, family, community and the privilege of being a part of the Jewish people.
        
 Best wishes for a happy and rewarding New Year,
 כתיבה וחתימה טובה,
 
Rabbi Charles Grysman


     
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