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THE LODZER SYNAGOGUE

Shabbat Bulletin - February 6, 2016






Shabbat Shalom,

The Jews are often referred to as "the People of the Book."  The Spanish-Hebrew poet Moses Ibn Ezra (1055-1135) gave this interesting interpretation of a book.


"A book is the most delightful companion.  An inanimate thing, yet it talks.  There is in the world no friend more faithful and attentive, no teacher more proficient.  It will join you in solitude, accompany you in exile, serve as a candle in the dark, and entertain you in your loneliness.  It will do you good and ask no favor in return.  It gives and does not take."


Have a wonderful, peaceful Shabbat with your family and friends.  (Lorraine Landis)




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!”

email/replyTo: lodzercongregation@gmail.com



Miss a Shabbat, miss a lot -- Judy Hazan’s Dvar Torah

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The concept of Chosen People means both chosen and choosing. Chosen for the responsibility to be a light unto the nations, to be a moral signpost for the nations of the world. Choosing means that the Jewish people accepted on Mt. Sinai to fulfill this mandate and to do the will of God. We are not chosen for special benefits; we are chosen for extra responsibility. -- aish






We will never forget!

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Haymishe Humour by Frank White

David and John, two young boys, were in pre-op, waiting for their surgeries that morning.

"I'm having my tonsils out, and I'm quite worried about it", said David.  "No big deal", answered the second boy.  "I had mine done last year.  they put you to sleep and then you can eat all the ice-cream you want."

"So, what are you here for?", asked David.  "Circumcision", was the reply.  "Whoa, man, That's major!  I had it done shortly after I was born, and I couldn't walk for almost a year!"


Quotes of the Day - Sayings for Prayings

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To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means. 


– Thomas Jefferson, September 20, 1810 




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

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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.

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Office Hours

Monday through Thursday

9 am - 1 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm

Friday

9 am to 1 pm

Executive

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

Memberships

Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s

High Holy Days 2016




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Birthdays, Anniversaries, Yahrzeits

Birthdays

Feb. 6    

Brenda Ladowski

Feb. 7    

Sheryl Goldberg

Feb. 10  

Ben Geisler

Feb. 11  

Rebecca Greenberg


Anniversaries


Yahrzeits

Feb. 10  David Gula, brother of Esther Steiman

Feb. 10  Miriam Shievitz, mother of Alan

Feb. 12  Samuel Goldstein, husband of Ruth

Thank you from Talia Baldor

Talia and her family wish to thank the synagogue members, especially those who attended the funeral and shiva for her mother, Tmima, for their support and understanding.


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removed

Tmima Baldor

BALDOR, Tmima – On Thursday, January 21, 2016 at Hill House Hospice. Tmima Baldor, beloved wife of Alex. Loving mother and mother-in-law of Ehud Baldor and Michelle Powell, Ilan and Alejandra, Talia, and Daniel and Marilyn. Dear sister and sister-in-law of Menachem and Flora Platzker. Cherished Safta of David, Joshua, Sophia, Zackary, Dalia, and Oren.

(Yartzheit Day: Shevat 11)




Events -- one stop shopping

Wednesdays

7:30-8:30 pm

Parsha of The Week

(POW)

with Judy Hazan

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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

Shabbat

after the kiddush

Pirke Avoth

Discussion Group

with Jonathan Usher

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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.



Saturday,

February 6

Kiddush Lunch

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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:

Mishpatim: Exodus: 23:20 - 24:18 (Pg. 315)


Haftorah reading:

Jeremiah:  34:8 - 34:22; 33:25 - 33:26

(Pg.  323)


Candle Lighting: 5:16 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 6:25 p.m. – Saturday

Saturday,

February 13

Kiddush Lunch

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

Sunday,

February 21

2 PM


$10


Beth Tikvah Synagogue

FRIENDS OF YIDDISH

TORONTO


Promoting Mameloshn and Yiddish Culture




Sholem Aleichem Tribute Concert


RSVP

yiddish18@yahoo.ca

or

Lillian at 416-783-3603

“A Tribute to Sholem Aleichem”


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

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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.”


Monday,

February 22

7:30 pm

Shul

Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin


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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.

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For more information contact cathyrzeldin@gmail.com

Wednesday,

March 23


Beth Radom

Megillat Reading

at the Beth Radom


Details to follow

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Megillat Esther, “The Scroll of Esther,” is a firsthand account of the events of Purim, written by the heroes themselves—Esther and Mordechai. The megillah is read twice in the course of the festival: on the eve of Purim, and during Purim day.

credit: chabad

Shabbat,

March 25

(Good Friday)

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Oneg Shabbat Services and Dinner


Details to follow.


Jews all over the world experiencing one complete Shabbat together. Join In!

Let's move the world together.



Parsha of the Week - Mishpatim

Mishpatim Sermon


Following the revelation at Mount Sinai we move to a detailed listing of laws.  Here are a few of the many laws and mitzvot listed in this week’s parsha.  Some make sense and others appear outdates.  There are the logical and the mysterious.  Most of the laws fall into the category of mishpatim, laws whose reasons are obvious as opposed to hukkim, laws whose reasons are mysterious.


The portion begins with laws concerning the treatment of slaves.  We begin with the outdated.  Then there are laws about manslaughter and murder.  The Torah establishes asylum for a person who accidentally kills another so as to prevent the seeking of vengeance.  The death penalty is prescribed if you hit or insult your parents.  Perhaps the parent of a teenager wrote this one.  We also find here some of the basis for our own contemporary laws.  For example if you cause injury to a person Jewish law states that you are responsible for five types of restitution: for injury, for pain, for medical expenses, for absence from work, and for humiliation and mental anguish.  How progressive!  If you cause a miscarriage then you are required to make restitution as well.  This is the context for an eye and for an eye which mandates fair and equitable restitution not as commonly understood vengeance.


My favorite is the law of the goring ox.  The owner must make restitution only if the ox is in the habit of goring and he did not guard against this happening.  Similarly you are liable if you leave a pit uncovered and an animal or person falls in.  There is a fundamental tenet here of our responsibility to others.  You must make restitution if you start a fire or steal a neighbor’s livestock.  If you lose something that someone asked you to keep, even if it was stolen, you are responsible for it.  You shall not wrong the stranger, orphan or widow.  You must not take bribes.  Many of these laws were constructed to help build a just society.  The Torah is not just worried about how we approach God but also about building a community that cares for one another.


There are laws regarding the lending of money and charging interest.  Another one of my favorites, you have to stop and help your enemy’s ox—if it is lost or if it is struggling under its burden.  Observe Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.  Leave the gleanings of the field for the poor.   Let the field lie fallow on the seventh year.  And now to some that are more difficult to understand.  Get rid of all the Hivites, Hittites, Canaanites, Amorites, Perizzites and Jebusites.  Don’t offer the blood of the sacrifice with anything leavened.


And finally, you shall not a boil a kid in its mother’s milk.  This is one of the classic examples of those laws called hukkim, laws whose reasons are mysterious.  There are many attempts to explain this law.  Most likely it was an ancient Canaanite practice that the Israelites found abhorrent.  If you have to get rid of all these peoples then you also have to get rid of all their abhorrent practices.


This verse is obviously the basis for the prohibition regarding the mixing of milk and meat.  The most common explanation for this observance is that we must not mix what gives life with the life that was taken.  Not mixing milk and meat is a discipline that brings Jewish consciousness to the everyday.  It makes you think about your Jewishness even when you are preparing food.


The early Reform rabbis rejected kashrut because they found such practices that regulated dress and diet to be for a different age.  But what was really going on was that the early Reform rabbis had great faith in reason.  If the reason was mysterious and did not fit with their modern sensibilities then they rejected the practice.  But post Holocaust and now because of post-modernism we have come to doubt reason.  And if we don’t doubt it we should.  We should not have complete faith in reason.  The Holocaust not only destroyed six million Jews and millions more it also destroyed our faith in reason.  Here was a country, namely Germany, at the height of culture, science and philosophy that used all of these and reason to evil ends.  


So it can’t all be about what our minds are capable of. It can’t all be what our heads can explain or reason can fathom.  Dr. Micah Goodman in his new book talks about redemptive perplexity.  I like this notion that there is a redemptive quality to not having it all figured out.  That is what he argues is the point of Maimonides’ "Guide of the Perplexed.”


And so I have come to think that we must recover mystery.  That is what not mixing milk and meat is about.  It is a daily affirmation of the fact that sometimes we must do things that cannot be adequately explained. Mystery must be a part of our lives—just as much as reason.  Wondering why must always be a part of our Jewish lives.


I am not suggesting that everyone must practice as I do.  Or that everyone should even keep kosher.  But I do believe that we must recover mystery.  Not every Jewish thing that we do can be explained by reason.


One more example.  I have been thinking about snow lately.  I am sure it is clear why this has been on my mind.  It is hard to see beauty in 18 inches of snow and the piles that tower over my head.  But you have to admit if you don’t have to get anywhere the snow is beautiful.  Moreover snow has a teaching in its accumulation.


All plans come to a crashing halt.  You can plan and schedule all you want.  But we don’t control everything.  We don’t understand everything.  Some things are just beyond our control.


Jewish tradition suggests that the highest reason for doing a mitzvah is not for a promise of reward or even because you find its reasons compelling, but instead because it is God given.  Because the reason is beyond our understanding we do the mitzvah for its own sake.


We do things for the sake of mystery.   On this Shabbat I would like us to work to restore mystery to our lives. The search for answers and reasons must always continue.  But unresolved questions do not mean giving up the quest.   It means instead affirming the mystery of our lives.  It means praising the mystery in our lives.


Amidst all of these laws in this week’s portion we find of course the quest for a just society but also this affirmation of mystery.  And with such mystery comes peace and contentment.


Posted by Rabbi Steven Moskowitz at 2/01/2011



Rosh Chodesh Adar I  -- Feb. 9-10

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This month, Adar l, is an added month in the Jewish leap year. This year is ashanah meuberet (lit., “a pregnant year”), more commonly known as a leap year, on the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish leap year, which occurs seven times in a 19-year cycle, has 13 months instead of the regular year’s 12. This is so that the lunar-based Jewish year (which is 354.37 days) should remain aligned with the solar year (365.25 days) and seasons.

It is important to keep the calendars aligned in order for the festivals to retain their positions relative to the seasons as prescribed by the Torah. The added month is called Adar I, and is inserted before the month of Adar (termed Adar II in leap years).

Adar is the official “happy month,” as is written: “As soon as Adar begins, increase in joy!” In a leap year, we have two months of extra happiness!

The festival of Purim, celebrated on Adar 14, is in Adar II in leap years, while the 14th of Adar I is marked symbolically as Purim Katan—Minor Purim.

credit: chabad.org


Jonathan’s Pirke Avoth for the week

Pirke Avoth, Perek 1 Mishnah 9


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 9. The Questions are my own.


“Simeon ben Shatah said: Be increasing thorough in examining the witnesses; and be careful of your words, lest through them they [the witnesses] learn to lie.”


“One of the more reliable signs of true testimony is the ability of the witness to ‘stick to his story’. Should a witness be giving a false account there is the tendency to vary his report with each telling. Effective cross-examination, therefore, requires that the witness be approached repeatedly with seemingly different questions which actually cover the same ground form different angles.…  Be extremely careful with your questions, however, lest from your words they learn to falsify. There is an almost unconscious tendency to phrase our sentences in a leading manner, which might indicate to the discerning the answer we would like to receive.”  


“The Talmud warns: ‘Should the evil inclination urge you, ‘Sin, and the Holy One will forgive you’, do not believe it….Perhaps you might wonder, “who would testify against me?’” At the final judgment, a person’s house will testify whether they had a m’zuzah on their doorpost, whether they observed Kashruth, whether they welcomed the poor, and whether they studied. The ministering angels will testify  whether they were devout, attended synagogue and whether they ‘serve(d) the Lord in happiness’. A person’s soul will disclose their aspirations, ideas and goals. “Continuously evaluate your behaviour in business and in the community. Be conscious of your ‘witnesses’.”


Questions:  The last paragraph is based on the supposition that there is  a

                  final judgement and an afterlife, angels exist, and people have a

                  soul. Do you agree?



Visions of the Fathers


The western symbol of justice is the blindfolded person holding the scales of justice. “ Halachah is much more stringent.” For example,  if one litigant is poor and dressed poorly, the other must dress the same or buy the first a new suit so the judge will not be subtly prejudiced. “Not even the slightest hint of favouritism may be shown , even in the most subtle way.” “Halachah does not permit the tactics and dramatic maneuvers that are standard fare in the American courtroom as a means to manipulate the sympathies of the judge and jury.”


This mishnah cautions the judge to weigh his words most carefully because a remark may be misinterpreted by witnesses. Even an inflection of the voice may betray the judge’s feeling, and both the witnesses and the litigants may be improperly influenced.”  


“Be cautious about how you speak, because others may learn from you how to lie. … If parents are careful not to tell even ‘white lies’ , the children are more likely to be truthful.”


Question:  This section seems most important as a warning to be careful   

                 with our words, as even an unintended and subtle inflection may

                 be misinterpreted or act as a leading statement. Is this a problem  

                 that you frequently recognize?  




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