Rings of Peace
On Friday, February 3, members of the Jewish community formed “Rings of Peace” around seven mosques in the GTA, to show that we believe everyone should be permitted to pray in peace, safety and security. This event was the initiative of our member, Holy Blossom Temple’s Rabbi Yael Splansky. The Toronto Board of Rabbis is proud to have played an active role in making this event a reality. Thank you to our partners: VeAhavta, our synagogues, churches in the GTA, interfaith councils of Halton and Peel, and all people of good-will who stood together on a chilly Friday afternoon to offer comfort and hope to our Muslim neighbors. To find out more, click on the links below.
- CBC: GTA mosques surrounded by ‘rings of peace’ from members of all faiths
- Huffington Post: ‘Rings Of Peace’ Surround Canada’s Mosques In Wake Of Deadly Attack
- The Guardian: Canadians form ‘rings of peace’ around mosques after Quebec shooting
- The Star: In wake of Quebec mosque attack comes amazing gesture with rings of peace: Paradkar
- The Times of Israel: After massacre, Canadian Jews form ‘rings of peace’ around mosques
- CTV: Interfaith groups to form ‘rings of peace’ around mosques in Canada today
- The Algemeiner: Canadian Rabbi Leads ‘Ring of Peace’ Around Toronto Mosques to Express Solidarity With Quebec Shooting Victims
TBR Statement on Quebec Mosque Shooting
Last night the Canadian Citizens and residents of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec, were attacked and a number were brutally murdered. We as a community condemn this heinous deed.
Our tradition emphasizes the sanctity of human life, reminding us that the taking of one life is akin to destroying an entire world.
Such violence is intended to instill fear and to sunder the bonds that bind the people of this country. Standing arm-in-arm with all Canadians of goodwill, let us resolve to redouble our commitment to our shared life in Canada, through small acts of decency bringing succor to the afflicted; let us insist that life here will not be overturned through the spilling of blood.
We express our condolences to the families of those murdered, and we pray for a complete healing for the numerous individuals injured in this attack. To the members of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec and to our Muslim neighbors throughout Canada we offer our deepest sympathy and support.
Rabbi Debra Landsberg
Toronto Board of Rabbis
TBR urges the members of the Jewish community to participate in the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh (saving a life) by becoming organ donors. The members of TBR are proud supporters of the Trillium Gift of Life Network. You can also download our organ donor brochure.
Statement on Physician Assisted Dying
The recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada has significantly shifted the discussion about appropriate end-of-life treatment for individuals facing painful terminal illnesses. As rabbis, we represent a tradition that places great stress on human dignity and the sanctity of life. We recognize that individuals and their families face challenging personal situations when dealing with extremely debilitating illnesses with little or no possibility of cure or comfort. Many of us have been with families at these trying times. We remain committed to the provision of Hesed, acts of lovingkindness, to support and sustain individuals and families facing these real situations.
We are concerned that the Supreme Court decision, while responding to the pain of individuals, may blur the distinctive protection that we give to human life and perhaps influence persons who are vulnerable as a result of progressive and terminal illness. We call upon Jews and all people to provide active support and comfort to those who are dying, so that no one, because of loneliness, vulnerability, loss of decision-making ability, or fear of pain and suffering, will feel a desperate need to actively end life.
We call upon the various legislative bodies that will be developing laws, policies and procedures in response to the ruling of the Supreme Court to first act to provide adequate funding for high quality palliative and hospice care and excellent social support for the weak, the ill, the elderly, the disabled and those who are socially isolated. We further ask that these various governmental bodies interpret the recent judgment in narrow terms providing safeguards to deter abuse and allowing for freedom of conscience for health-care workers who do not accept assisted dying as a medical response to pain and suffering.
TBR has also endorsed the Vulnerable Persons Standard