All rights reserved © 2017​ Susan Shamash  l  Vancouver, BC

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October 2, 2019

In her “Crash Talk”, Rabbi Benay Lappe, the groundbreaking talmud teacher Or Shalom brought to study with us a year and a half ago, teaches that the Judaism of 100 years from now will be unrecognizable to us.  Judaism is a living tradition that continually evolves and changes in response to time and place.  We are co-creators in that process.


I can’t identify the exact moment I decided to dev...

October 4, 2016

It’s been two years since I last was a darshanit during the High Holidays.  This is the third time I’ve given a dvar Torah to you and each time it has been on the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah, when we read the Akeida, the Binding of Isaac.  This is truly hafoch ba vehafoch ba dekula ba, as Ben Bag Bag said in Pirkei Avot:  Turn the Torah over and over again, for everything is in it.  Look into it,...

September 26, 2014

Those of you who were here last year may recall that I gave the dvar Torah on the second day of Rosh Hashanah then.  I focused on Avraham Avinu, our Patriarch Abraham, and the theme of hineini, emotional and spiritual presence.  I talked about what it means to say hineini when we are called, as Avraham was in the Akeida, not once, but three times.  I talked about how I hoped to live a hineini life...

September 6, 2013

Hineini. 

In the Akeida, the binding of Isaac, which was just chanted so beautifully, we heard the word, “hineini”, three times –first before testing Avraham, (in Genesis 22:1) Elohim says to him “Avraham” and he answers “hineini”; (in 22:7) next, when Avraham takes the firestone and the knife, puts the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac, on Yitzchak, and the two walk off together without a ram,...

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Words of Torah

September 26, 2018

February 2, 2016

December 26, 2015

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