We here at Oy Vegan want to wish everyone an easy fast and a sweet new year! As I stood in shul on Rosh Hashona and heard the shofar’s resonant call, I was deeply moved. My heart opened. I thought about the potential for compassion. I was reminded of the possibility of a healthier and kinder way of living. The days of awe are a magical time full of hope and renewal but are also in the same breath made somber when we reflect on how we didn’t live up to our ideals, morals and values. As I look to the future, I wish that this year bring kindness and compassion to all sentient beings on this earth.
Yom Kippur– Day of Atonement
As Jews we have always taken pride in showing compassion and kindness towards our fellow human beings as well as to animals. Ethical discussion is central in Judaism. So, let’s talk about our country and our city. What does it mean to be Canadian when our government condones the slaughter of baby seals in Newfoundland and Labrador. As a Torontonian, I am appalled that at 677 Wellington St. W. Quality Meat Packers violently takes the lives of 7,000 4–6 month old pigs daily. The conditions for these piglets in Quality Meat Packers slaughterhouse and during transport are abysmal. Pigs are intelligent beings. Recent studies show that pigs have better memory and cognitive problem solving skills than a three year-old human. Read more about Toronto slaughterhouses– visit Toronto Pig Save.
Jeffrey Cohan, Executive Director of JVNA said it well, ” As Jews, we should be expanding our circle of compassion, not narrowing it. We should be setting an example, not following the lead of a decadent society. As Rabbi Danny Schiff, Pittsburgh’s former community scholar, likes to say, Judaism is a countercultural movement.
Precisely because God and our sages recognized the human tendency to oppress the weak, they liberally sprinkled the Torah — writ large — with commandments to treat animals with kindness. Indeed, animals are even to be given a day of rest on the Sabbath.
Modern factory farming — which is where more than 90 percent of kosher meat comes from — makes a mockery of these mitzvot.“
Read more here: The Jewish Chronicle — Choose veganism honor Judaism and kvell
During these days of awe, we think about our lives and how we can become better versions of ourselves in the coming year. This Yom Kippur, I’m going to meditate on the idea of interconnectedness. My actions affect those around me. I will ask myself how my words, my mood, and my actions affect those I share this planet with. To be given another year to live is a great blessing. Let’s not waste it!
In the year 5773, let us be people who better this earth and the conditions for all those who dwell upon it.
Here’s a really awesome vegan coffee cake recipe for breaking the fast tomorrow evening!