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Hart Peikoff

 
THE FUTURE OF JUDAISM IN OUR COMMUNITY

by Chaim (Hart) Peikoff, April 8, 2011

I attended the Limmud conference, where Faye Rosenberg Cohen led a conversation about what our community would look like in the future.

Faye Rosenberg Cohen posed questions like, "what will our community look like in another 20 to 30 years?" And Fay Rosenberg Cohen noted that as participation in institutions in the Jewish Community is dropping and intermarriage is over 60%. And more justification such as "This is a North American-wide phenomenon."

Limmud is an excellent concept which engages in education and in and of itself is worthwhile. Awareness, knowledge, education,wisdom and cultural transmission on many levels are foundations our community benefits from and Limmud fills these classifications in the short run. You know the minute we stop learning daily we have not been present that day! And a day gone has vanished until the end of time.

More so this exercise brings the community together in a loving and safe way. The feeling at Limmud as I attended four sessions Sunday was embraced in "Sparkler Love."

Limmud is a small part of seeing a healthy Jewish Community thriving in Winnipeg in 30 years!

The challenge moving forward for our community is to keep this energy moving in a positive way activating energy which elevates us both upward and forward; that is embracing spiritually through prayer, blessings, mitzvah, observance and defining what G-d means to each one of us. Ask this question and many have different views on what and who G-d is and represents. Our mission statement is best understood as doing what each and everyone of us can do using our blessed skill sets to make this a better world for all. As I understand, Judaism is the most wonderful Religion under G-d's sky.

The components of Judaism as I understand them to be are a doctrine concerning G-d, the universe and man [The Torah] ; A morality for the individual and society, A regimen of rite, custom and ceremony; A body of law; sacred literature; institutions through which the foregoing find expression;The People, Israel-central strand out of which and about which the others are spun.

We are living in a Twitter world where many of us want instant answers; strictly the headlines and to complicate matters more so we value our bodily pleasures more than our soul. Hey, I spent most of my life as an undisciplined pleasure seeking human being. Those of you who have read some of my past writings will know this.  I am not judging anyone. For who am I to judge anyone. This is simply the world according to Chaim. I am now using my Hebrew name instead of my Anglo name, Hart.

I personally have read over the last 30 years at least 40 something spiritual and self help books and you know the Torah has the answers to everything we struggle with on this earth and onward. And anything I have read in other readings is in the Torah!  This alone blew me away. This became evident in my journey to learn more about my birth religion. I have been doing this  at the Chabad Lubavitch where I began on Grant Avenue and moved to the new Jewish Learning Centre at 1845 Mathers Avenue upon its opening.

The home in Jewish Life must be one of the holiest places we visit. This alone transmits Jewish values to our children. It is not enough to pass our children off on the "institutions" to do our responsibility for us.  And as far as Synagogue attendance dropping like a plane without an engine this will continue. When our institutions attempt to be "everything to everyone" they end up transmitting a message to the community which ends up becoming nothing to almost everyone. We would all be wise to practice Judaism as it is meant to practice and not engage in transmission of G-d's word in an abbreviated way in order to satisfy those that prefer to TWITTER JUDAISM.

I know I am a child in my Jewish Journey. However as I break through each struggle there are peaceful humble rewards for me. Anything that has ever come easy and quickly to me has disappeared as fast. The analogy can be likened to a candle. It burns brightly for a very short time and then it goes out and darkness remains.

The preservation of Judaism will occur through discipline and genuine observance, prayers and blessings. And you know, KOSHER is Cool. And more so- healthy.

 
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