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Shabbat Bulletin - January 30, 2016

Shabbat Shalom,

The Lodzer is here to build a strong Jewish community. We strive to be the place where we can all come together to help our fellow Jews and to try to achieve our stated vision of building a “Thriving, Vibrant and Engaged Jewish Community”.  Let’s make sure we always focus on that ultimate goal. Shabbat Shalom and please let there be Shalom.  (Borrowed, with thanks.)

MEMBERS! We’d love to hear from you.

Submissions for the following would be appreciated:

  • “Shabbat Shalom”

  • Miss a Shabbat, miss a lot.”

  • “We will never forget!”


Miss a Shabbat, miss a lot -- Master of Disguise.

ABC = Aron Binyomin Cohen


What happens when you combine free time and a sense of humor and an auntie's costumes?

1. Venice Carnival

2. Elvis Presley

3. French Artist

4. Math Genius

My sister-in-law, Abby, is very creative and while I was out vegetable shopping during our winter vacation in Brooklyn she dressed up Aaron like a dress-up doll.

It was amazing what a good sport Aaron was throughout! /Marcel

We will never forget!


Anne Frank (1929-1945) was an aspiring writer who was a victim of the Holocaust. The diary she kept while in hiding with her family was published two years after her death and became an international bestseller. This quotation is from the entry 3 May 1944.

from: bigthink

Haymishe Humour by Frank White

After many costly delays, the Retirement Home for Observant Jewish Seniors was ready for tomorrow's Grand opening.  Kosher kitchens, lights on timers, a Shabbat elevator were all completed.  But where were the Mezuzahs for the many doorways?  A special crew was selected to install them overnight.  Early the next morning, the foreman proudly announced the job was done as directed.  Not a doorway was missed.  After inspection, the foreman handed the building director a small duffle bag.  "What's this?" the director asked.   "There should be no mezuzahs leftover."  "None left,", replied the foreman.  "We were just careful to remove and save all the warranties inside them.”

Quotes of the Day - Sayings for Prayings

Gretchen Rubin says:

The days are long, but the years are short;


One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.

One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

Daily Minyan

7 days a week at 9:00 am

Sunday – Friday: includes Breakfast following

Saturdays: Shabbat Service begins at 9:30 am and includes Kiddush Luncheon

Cemetery plots for sale to members in good standing (three years minimum).

If you are a member (3 years or more) and want to buy a plot, the cost per plot is $2500.

If you know anyone wanting a plot - the person can pay three years' membership dues and then be entitled to buy a plot.

This is an opportunity to purchase before prices increase.

Please call Sarah Senior, Lodzer Office Administrator,

for more information and to order:  416 636-6665

Lodzer committee members needed!

Help is always needed at the shul. Volunteer for a committee – you’ll be appreciated! Just call the office – 416-636-6665 and put your name in. The committee Chairperson will contact you. Membership Fundraising Education Social Programming House Minyan Religious Holocaust Future Planning Music Cemetery

Lodzer Sisterhood Cookbooks

Great Gifts – just $20 each

Contact the Office at 416- 636- 6665


Tree of Life or Seat Plaques

Remember family and friends by purchasing a leaf on our tree of life or a sanctuary seat plaque. Call the office at 416 636-6665.

Chesed Committee

Please call the shul office if you need support or if you know of one of our members who may need support. It remains confidential.


Office Hours

Monday through Thursday

9 am - 1 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm


9 am to 1 pm


Jeff Shabes, Pres.

Harvey Storm, 1st Vice Pres.

Jonathan Usher, 2nd Vice Pres.

Morry Nosak, Treasurer

Marilyn Richmond, Secretary                                              

Board Members

Joe Ber

Roz Greene

Henry Epstein

Rafi Remez

Frank Steiman

Arnie Yudell

Honourary Member

Leon Pasternak

Cantor: Marcel Cohen

B’aal Koreh: Harvey Bitterman

Gabbai: Arnie Yudell

Bulletin Editor: Jonathan Usher

Office Manager

Sarah Senior

More Info:

Who we are -- Contact Info


Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s

High Holy Days 2016

Petition to Ban the Donald


“The signatories believe Donald J Trump should be banned from UK entry for his continued, unrepentant hate speech and unacceptable behaviour. His unacceptable behaviour is well documented, and we feel it foments racial, religious and nationalistic intolerance which should not be welcome in the UK.

The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. This same principle should apply to Donald J Trump. We cannot see how the United Kingdom can condone his entry to the country when many people have been barred for less.”

Birthdays, Anniversaries, Yahrzeits


Jan. 31  Esther Bloch

Feb. 3   Anna Brand

Feb. 3   Rafael Moshe

Feb. 5   Sam Nadler

Feb. 5   Fay Rotstein

Feb. 5   Ester Weisman



Jan. 30  Barry Walton, husband of Frieda

Jan. 31   Mary Goldwater, sister of Frank Steiman

Jan. 31  Rabbi Menachen Pasternak, father of Leon

Feb. 1   Ruth Martin, mother of Sonny

Feb. 2  Chaim Spitzen, father of Irving

Feb. 2  Pesia Zimerman, wife of Issac

Feb. 4  Jacob Macklis, father of Sylvia White

Feb. 5  Samuel Richmond, brother of Sheldon

Events -- one stop shopping


7:30-8:30 pm

Parsha of The Week


with Judy Hazan


Join this lively group every Wednesday night at 7:30 at The Lodzer where we study the week’s sedra together. Classes are informal and no prior knowledge or preparation is required. The purpose of the class is to learn the story of the parsha, determine its most important elements and tie its morals and lessons into our daily lives. This is open to the public and there is no cost.

For more information contact Judy Hazan 416-704-1693


after the kiddush

Pirke Avoth

Discussion Group

with Jonathan Usher


Every shabbat, after the kiddush there is a vibrant discussion of

one Mishnah of Pirke Avoth.

Read Jonathan’s Pirke Avoth Discussion Points for the week  at the end of this Shabbat Bulletin.


January 27

7:30 p.m.

Holy Blossom Temple

Three Minutes in Poland:

Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film



When Glenn Kurtz stumbles upon an old family film in his parents' closet in Florida, he has no inkling of its historical significance or of the impact it will have on his life.

Please RSVP to


January 30, 2016

Kiddush Lunch


This week's Kiddish is co-sponsored by the Lodzer Congregation.

To sponsor a kiddush please call the office 416-636-6665

Torah Times

Shabbat Services: 9:30 am.

Based on a Triennial Year

Torah Reading:

Yitro: (Exodus 18:1 - 20:23 - (Pg. 288)

Haftorah reading:

Isaiah: 6:1 - 7:6,; 9:5 - 9:6 (Pg. 302)

Candle Lighting: 5:06 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 6:16 p.m. – Saturday


February 6

Kiddush Lunch

To sponsor a Kiddush please call the office 416-636-6665


February 21

2 PM


Beth Tikvah Synagogue



Promoting Mameloshn and Yiddish Culture

Sholem Aleichem Tribute Concert



Lillian at 416-783-3603

“A Tribute to Sholem Aleichem”

featuring McGill University’s delightful lecturer and tuneful Yiddishist, Janie Respitz .


She describes Sholem Aleichem’s wonderfully nostalgic stories set in our grandparents’ old Yiddish shtetls.

She interprets and sings many folkloric tales that evoke the lives of Tevye and the colourful characters of the author’s Anatevka as dramatized in “Fiddler on the Roof.”


February 22

7:30 pm


Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin


Our next book is " Have a Little Faith" by the ever popular author, Mitch Albom.  This book, recommended by one of our regular Book Chat members, is a lighter read than our last book, "As a Driven Leaf", which provided much for discussion.  We'll meet on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm at the shul.  Please join us.


For more information contact

Parsha of the Week

The Torah Portion - Yitro

Extract from D’var Torah of Rabbi Rachel Barenblat who blogs the  Velveteen Rabbi.

But before the commandments, before that mystical Sinai moment, God says:

If you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant, you will be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine, but you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:5-6)


וְעַתָּה, אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּקֹלִי, וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם, אֶת-בְּרִיתִי-וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים, כִּי-לִי כָּל-הָאָרֶץ וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים וְגוֹי קָדוֹשׁ


The earth and all its inhabitants are God's, but Torah says that we are something special. If we live in covenant with God, then we are God's סְגֻלָּה / segulah -- precious possession or treasure; we are מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים וְגוֹי קָדוֹ / mamlechet kohanim v'goy kadosh -- a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

What can we make of this, and how does this relate to the story of Yitro with which the parsha began?

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of what would become the state of Israel, interprets these verses to mean that our community has two communal missions.

For Rav Kook, the phrase mamlechet kohanim (nation of priests) refers to the aspiration to uplift the entire world. It's our job, says Rav Kook, to act in a way which will help all the peoples of the world to fulfill their purpose and to live out their highest selves. Of course, in his paradigm, that meant: it's our job to teach the world God's ways. To ensure that everyone cares for the widow and the orphan, shows compassion to the stranger, acts justly and righteously as Torah describes.

But Torah also tells us that we're meant to be a goy kadosh, a holy nation. Rav Kook interprets this as the flipside of the coin: on the one hand we're meant to teach the whole world how to be righteous, and on the other hand we're meant to focus inwardly, to live out holiness in our own lives. Being a holy people means tending to our own spiritual growth.

Yitro is a Midianite priest, an outsider to the Israelite community. But when he shares his wisdom and his management insights with Moshe, Moshe takes them to heart. Given the Torah's generally negative stance toward the other nations of the Ancient Near East, I've always found it remarkable that Yitro is so obviously respected and trusted despite being a foreign priest. But this year, I see a connection between the Yitro story and this verse which asserts that we are God's treasure, a nation of priests, and holy.

Torah reminds us that all the earth is God's, but asserts that our community has a special role. In Rav Kook's interpretation, our community's task is both outward-facing and inward-facing. It's our job to help everyone in the world live up to their best and most righteous self, and it's also our job to care for our own souls.

As a "nation of priests," we're obligated to tend to the entire world. As a "holy nation," we're obligated to tend to our own selves. The Torah balances these two callings within the same verse. If we only tend to our own selves, we're falling down on the job of caring for all creation; but if we don't tend to our own selves, we can't heal the world.

This is, I think, part of what Yitro taught Moshe when he urged him to find righteous men who could serve as magistrates. If Moshe tried to adjudicate every single disagreement and dispute in the entire community, he would burn out! But once he'd appointed judges, he was able to tend to his own spiritual needs, which in turn allowed him to continue tending to the community.

Yitro is an outsider, not part of our covenant with God, and yet he still clearly has spiritual wisdom. Not only that: it's spiritual wisdom which Moshe really needs. We, too, may find valuable spiritual wisdom outside of our own gates. Our task is to integrate that wisdom-from-outside with our spiritual tradition and our spiritual path, so that we can truly be a mamlechet kohanim and a goy kadosh.

What does it mean to you to imagine us as a nation of priests? If a priest's job, in those days, was to connect the people with God, how can we live out that responsibility now?

What does it mean to you to imagine us as a holy nation? Not "the" holy nation, not the only holy nation, but a community which is collectively holy. If, as Rav Kook says, this means that we are a nation which tends to its own spiritual sustenance, then how might we live that out in our own day?


(He’s obviously not Jewish.)

Jonathan’s Pirke Avoth for the week

Pirke Avoth, Perek 1 Mishnah 8

Note: This commentary is taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim and Visions of the Fathers by Abraham Twerski. Some sentences of the commentaries have been taken verbatim (in quotes) and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 8. The Questions are my own.


“ Judah ben Tabbai and Simeon ben Shatah received the tradition from them [the above sages]. Judah ben Tabbai said: [When sitting as a judge] do not act as a lawyer; and when the parties to a lawsuit are standing before you, regard them both as wicked, in the wrong; but when they have departed from your presence, regard them both as innocent, as they have submitted to the judgment.”


Despite the wording, this Mishnah is not only about lawyers and judges. It is also about impartiality and  relationships.

Ethics from Sinai

Judges must not “ inadvertently act as lawyers for either of the litigants;” or  “assist them even unwittingly by the type of questioning which they employ or in the reformulation of their claims.”

Question: Does this apply to helping others formulate or organize their ideas,

                for example if  a simple or poor  person is acting as his own


“… those who mete out justice … should not consider themselves ‘arch-justices.’ They are not omniscient or infallible. Let them not become arrogant or carried away with a sense of their own power. Those who pass judgment are partners with the Almighty and exercise their prerogatives solely with His grace and aid.”

Question: Do doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals tend think

                 that they have special wisdom outside of their chosen field?

The judge should initially adopt a skeptical attitude toward all claims, maintaining his suspicion. … Should he rather be soft-minded and impressionable, he will end up by believing everybody and endorsing conflicting claims.” Once the trial is over, however, and the decision is accepted, then regard them both a righteous.” “ Both have now placed themselves under the law. Both are righteous.” If, after t he judgment the

litigants continue to argue then consider them both as wicked.

Question: Do you agree?

Another reason to consider them both wicked at the beginning of the trial is

that there is a certain impropriety about a lawsuit, and that if they were

genuinely pious they would have reached a compromise without the lawsuit.

“Neither would insist on the letter of the law; they would rather each forego some of his own rights.

Question: Is this realistic?

We all hear one-sided complaints or stories from time to time. If we are informally acting in the capacity of a judge or an arbitrator we should be fair and not support our friends because they are our friends.  We must act wisely, honestly, and with humility. Although difficult, we must recognize our own prejudices and deal with them.  In other situations we can react by being supportive, critical, or by just nodding that we hear and understand. All are appropriate reactions depending on the circumstances.  

Question: When we are acting as judges, perhaps between arguing children  or

                friends or on a Board decision, how often do we consider the source

                of an argument or idea, rather than its merit?


“It takes  real integrity for a judge to maintain strict impartiality before a litigant who has the power to depose him.”

Visions of the Fathers

“What the mishnah is really saying is not to think of anyone as guilty, but rather to assume that both litigants are ‘wrong’. There is a sound psychological basis for this. We should  not suspect a person to be willfully and maliciously lying. However , someone who has a personal interest at stake, such as a litigant in a trial, is likely to have distorted perception.”

“Once a verdict has been delivered and the litigants have accepted it, you should think of them both as being fine, upright people….give the person the benefit of the doubt…. he may have thought he was telling the truth, or may have had other rationalizations whereby he justified his position.”

The importance of this concept is that it extends far beyond the courtroom. We should always be ready to give another person the benefit of the doubt. Let us just reflect how many times we may have been in a similar position, and later regretted our behaviour. Just as we would wish others to judge us favourably, and consider that we have done techuvah, we should accord this courtesy to them as well.


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