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Mendel Kaplan

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Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is the Spiritual Leader and Executive Director of Chabad Flamingo in Thornhill, Ontario, serving one of Canada’s most dynamic Jewish communities. He also serves as Chaplain of the York Regional Police Service. He is an active member of Toronto’s Vaad HaRabbanim (Council of Orthodox Rabbis), and a voting member of the COR Kashruth Council of Canada’s executive rabbinical board. Rabbi Kaplan is featured regularly on many local television and radio shows. He is a sought after speaker, with hundreds of lectures are on Chabad.org. He and his wife, Faygie, are blessed with eight children. Artistically endowed, the rabbi enjoys drawing, sketching and creating charcoal portraits.

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Though not the majority opinion, there is an important school of thought that perceives the five days following Shavuot as an organic continuation of the holiday – a curious prolongation of hallowed time not found anywhere else in our Jewish calendar. The...
The custom of “going green” on Shavuot with displays of organic flowers and greenery is widespread and seems entirely natural, yet its oldest historic documentation is far more recent than most imagine. Tracing earliest written sources through to the Code...
Associating dairy-delicacies with the annual celebratory observance of Matan Torah (giving of the Torah) seems as natural as blintzes and sour cream; yet the origins of this near ubiquitous custom appear artificial and even contradictory to the mandated h...
Traditions around the celebratory observance of the 33rd day of the Omer are atypical of the normative Yiddishkeit experience; especially the blazing bonfires that burn in Meron and across Israel. The remarkable volume of non-sectarian participation, and ...
The Torah’s instructions about Sefirat HaOmer are precise; it must be an intact and perfect endeavour. Straightforwardly; this means each day must be counted from the night prior, thereby including the full range of each segment. An additional idea is int...
Delving into Sefirat HaOmer – ritual counting from Pesach to Shavuot – the slightly disparate narrative of biblical verses lead into unique understandings of this Torah mandate, and how it might be performed in the post-temple exilic era, as separate scho...
The mitzvah of Sefirat HaOmer is individually performed each year as we reckon the opening days of Israel's harvest; counting up from Pesach to Shavuot. Curiously, a time-honored and sacred tradition emphasizes that this “counting” must be performed when ...
The Talmud on the Pesach Seder, Lesson 9
Opening statement: three words enable fulfillment at the Passover Seder. But what does this mean? Are these “magic” words, or do they represent the ideals in which we frame this “magical” nights narrative? Does the absence of this syntax rob us of fulfilm...
Of the six Seder Plate items, the proverbial Passover dip of pulverized fruit, nuts, seasoning and wine is perhaps least understood. In tracing the earliest documented sources we encounter a range of opinions and rationale, initially creating confusion; b...
The fourth and final seasonal Torah Reading highlights our first foundational and recurring, national ritual endeavor – the proverbial Paschal Offering. Yet, as a voice from Jerusalem suggests, there seems to be more than roasted lamb on the menu. This le...
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