Shana Tova– 5773!

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.

Shana Tova!

Oy Vegan!

Here’s a really awe­some vegan cof­fee cake recipe for break­ing the fast tomor­row evening!

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