The Burning Bush: A Call to Action

This Saturday morning, join Rabbi Hannah Dresner and Rabbi Carey Brown for a Shabbat gathering of prayer before the Women’s March in Vancouver.

January 21st, 9:30-10:00am at the fountain outside Tap Shack in Harbour Green Park.

A message from Rabbi Hannah:

Parashat Shemot contains the image of the Burning Bush, representing divine presence, even in the lowliest scrub of the wilderness. And the Burning Bush has become a symbol of our deployment to sacred activism, the call to speak out against injustice, however inadequate to the task we may feel. The Burning Bush calls us to “pray with our feet,” as Dr. Abraham Heschel taught. And, indeed, many Or Shalom-niks will march as our expression of religious activity this Shabbat morning.

The Sfat Emet teaches that if only humankind would open to the divine presence in our world, our galut, our sense of exile and isolation, would transform to hitgalut, the revelation that glory can be encountered everywhere, in everything and in every creature.

Toward the end of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King lamented that even as he was fighting for integration, he feared that he was inviting his people to integrate into a burning house. When asked what could be done about it, Dr. King responded: Become the firemen! He sensed the coming of a flame that consumes, and don’t we feel it now!

Surely it is our job to transform the flame that is consuming to a flame that does not consume, to overwhelm the forces of destruction with passion for the good. Surely it is ours to shine a light on the beauty of our world, to call attention to the God-light burning in even the most marginalized corners of our communities and our world.

Whether at Or Shalom or at the site of the Vancouver Women’s March, I hope we find the opportunity to hug, sing, pray and march or stand in silence together this Shabbat. Let’s remember that our connection to God emboldens and shields us as we reach into the flames of rampant xenophobia and greed, and let’s renew connection to the source of the flame that does not consume.

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Upcoming Events in 2017

Don’t miss the exciting Or Shalom programs and events coming your way soon!


On January 21st we have Colouring & Cocktails, a relaxing adult-oriented evening of colouring, board games and drinks. Please RSVP to programs@orshalom.ca

On January 22nd, post-b'nei mitzvah teens are invited to come to Graffiti Night and bring your friends. Together we'll enjoy thought-provoking conversation, spray paint and pizza! Please RSVP to programs@orshalom.ca

On January 29th, Or Shalom members are welcomed into a safe space to discuss inclusion and egalitarianism at the first session of our Dialogue Project. Register HERE.

On February 24, 25, 26 and March 3, 4, 5, be a part of Come On Over 2017. Or Shalomniks will entertain you at their homes with delicious food and great company! Register HERE.
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Jelly & Jam – Don’t Let the Light Go Out!

Nothing combats the uncanny Vancouver cold we’ve been having like the warmth of the Or Shalom community celebrating together! We basked in the light of our 5th night candles as we sang, collaged, decorated candles and ate jelly doughnuts to our hearts content. Thank you to all who joined us!

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Jelly and Jam Chanukah Event

Join us for our Jelly & Jam Chanukah Celebration!

Starting at 6pm, we’ll have family-oriented artistic candle decorating and a communal menorah collage. Along with a Chanukah sing-along, we’ll have delicious doughnuts and other yummy snacks!

At 7pm, we’ll join together with the whole community to light candles. We invite you to bring your favourite chanukiah from home (candles will be provided)!

From 7:30pm onward, Or Shalom’s “late night” crowd will continue the festivities with snacks, beers, and a fabulous musical jam! Potluck snacks are welcome.

Entrance will be by donation to Or Shalom’s Tzedaka Fund to support:

Battered Women’s Support Services, Women of the Wall, and Education of Abayudaya orphans in Uganda.

All contributions are appreciated!

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