Esther Hayehudiah

By Rabbi Shawn Zell Living at a time when political correctness knows no bounds, it would be totally unacceptable for someone to say, “I decided to choose Davis the Jew, to serve as my accountant”. No one seems to utter a peep, much less whirl the gragger, however, upon coming across the phrase “Mordechai the Jew” while reading the Megillah. […]

Toasting and Tasting by Rabbi Zell

In all likelihood, New Year’s Eve will be celebrated differently this year, if at all, given the importance of social distancing. For Jews, New Year’s Eve being celebrated differently, should not in any way be linked to a pandemic, but rather should be viewed as a perennial issue. There are those among us, who are adamantly opposed to Jews celebrating […]


By Rabbi Shawn Zell Calendar confluence aside, with the Fast of the Tenth of Tevet coinciding with the 25th of December, one would do well to ponder how very differently Jews and Christians mark significant events in the history of their religion. Jews fast, Christians feast. Name a Jewish holiday where Jews celebrate the birth of any individual, who had […]

Never on a Tuesday

By Rabbi Shawn Zell Betcha didn’t know that Chanukah can never begin on a Monday evening. It then follows that Tuesday can never be the first day of the Festival of Lights. Even though definitive explanations are sorely lacking for this phenomenon, I should like to attempt to provide an answer. Tuesday was the only day of creation where we […]


As one who tends to see things through Jewish eyes, I could not help but notice that the person who delivers my early morning newspapers, was once again dropping a hint for Chanukah gelt. How else could I explain his good wishes for a happy holiday season, replete with his name and address? Only an Ebenezer Scrooge would toss such […]


BY Rabbi Shawn Zell In a typical year, come Thanksgiving, a good many Americans would do to develop an appetite for leftovers. Just as Americans are fed reams of recipes of how to prepare turkey prior to proffering thanks, so too are Americans saturated with creative ideas of how to do justice to their November feast, once they have been […]


As one who believes that clergy should not weigh in on the partial government shut-down, I was intrigued by a news article that I came across last week concerning the current situation or crises, depending on your political views. Canadian Air Traffic Controllers have been sending hundreds of Pizzas to their American counterparts, who have been working without pay for […]