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THE LODZER SYNAGOGUE

Shabbat Bulletin - March 5, 2016

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Shabbat Shalom,

This Shabbat let us light candles of hope for all of our children, wherever they may live.

Let us light them especially for children in the shadow of poverty, violence, and racism.

May each one of them feel cared for and safe.

As we enter this sacred time of Shabbat, may each child feel the light of your justice, peace, and love.

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credit: Reflection Before the Candle Lighting - childrensdefense




Miss a Shabbat, miss a lot -- And all the people saw and fell on their faces...

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Seriously, we would like to sit away from the window!

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Notice:


This past Wednesday, Judy Hazan, Charly, and their daughter, Jenny, were sitting in the Bagel Plus, now known as a drive-in, when a truck smashed through the front of the building and gently hit them.


Luckily no bones were broken and they were only shaken up with a few bruises.


Judy’s Dvar Torah was sorely missed this past Shabbat.


Stay safe. Be well.






We will never forget! -- Teaching The Holocaust  (part 4 of 6)

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Haymishe Humour -- Wardrobe Malfunction

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Shlomie decided to try out the new Chinese cleaners in town. He brought in his tallit to be cleaned. When the time came to pick it up, he was stunned to see a bill for $105 dollars.


"Why so much?!" Shlomie exclaimed.


"Five dollars to clean the garment," said the man, "and 100 dollars to get out all those knots!"



Quotes of the Day - Sayings for Prayings

“It is better to have strength and not need it than to need it and not have it. America seeks peace, but not a peace that is a choice between slavery and death.”


New York’s Archbishop Francis J. Spellman - 1940

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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


Contributions

Please consider sponsoring a kiddush, or contributing to the building, programming, or any specific interest fund, by phoning the shul office at 416-636-6665


Shabbat Bulletin

Members! We’d love to hear from you. Reply to:

lodzercongregation@gmail.com


Lodzer Office

For all business related e-mail:

lodzercentre@rogers.com

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 Mitzvahs

High Holy Days 2016


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.



Israel -- the only free country in the Middle East

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Israel Apartheid Week, March 7-13, 2016

(From an article back in 2012!)

The Israel Apartheid Week (IAW) website is full of the usual rhetoric about Israel’s “criminal” actions. There is not a word of acknowledgement about how utterly ridiculous it is to run a week-long event vilifying Israel when right next door in Syria, the government has just exterminated more Arabs than were killed in both Intifadas, the 2008 Gaza conflict, and the 2006 Lebanon war combined.  (Carl in Jerusalem)

---

(2014 - Arabs killing Arabs, oh my!)

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Birthdays


Mar. 5  Rayner Brand

Mar. 5  Arnold Yudell

Mar. 6  Leo Zaidman


Anniversaries

Mar. 11 Harley & Cheryl Klein


Yahrzeits


Mar. 5    Wendy Yudell, wife of Arnold

Mar. 7    Henry Wildbaum, father of Jenny Finkelshtain

Mar. 11  Leo Blumenfeld, husband of Bina




Sages and Dreamers: Portraits and Legends from the Jewish Tradition

Sages and Dreamers is a series of highly personal essays on Biblical characters -- Esther being one of them.


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Elie Wiesel is primarily remembered as a symbol of Jewish suffering.


When I read "Sages and Dreamers," I realized that he was also a tremendous repository of Jewish joy – the joy that comes from deep intimacy with our tradition. Reading Sages in my early twenties helped me realize that there are other ways of honoring the memory of the Shoah, which do not involve monuments or plaques or photographs of emaciated figures behind barbed wire. One of them is by experiencing Jewish joy, by coming close enough to Jewish texts to feel some of the warmth and beauty that radiates through Wiesel’s pages. I realized then that Wiesel’s brilliance lay not merely in his ability to convey what Jews endured at Auschwitz but in his ability to convey the riches that they brought with them, riches that future generations must not squander.  

(Peter Beinart - The Tragedy of Elie Wiesel)

Question...

I invite you to listen to the following one hour and twenty minute audio from Elie Wiesel’s lecture series back in 1981.

In the Bible - Esther, a Jewish Queen


Here's another suggestion for the bulletin in time for Purim:


Elie Wiesel: Sages and Dreamers

Chapter entitled ESTHER.  pages 133 -151


A different take on the Purim Story/The Esther Story

(not sure all audiences will like this version!)

Regards, Marilyn R.


Listen to Elie Wiesel’s audio and come out to our Megillat Reading

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Everything!



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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 PM 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,

March 5


Kiddush Lunch



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This week's kiddush

is sponsored by

Arnold Yudell for the yahrzeit of his wife Wendy.


Torah Times

Shabbat Services: 9:30 am.

Torah Reading: Triennial Year 3

Vayyakhel  (Exodus  (Pg. 377)

1:  36:20-30

2:  36:31-38

3:  37:1-16

4:  37:17-24

5: 37:25-29

6: 38:1-8

7: 38:9-20

maf: 38:18-20


Haftorah reading:

1 Kings 7:40 - 7:53 (Pg.382)


Candle Lighting: 5:44 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 7:02 p.m. – Saturday

Tuesday,

March 8


Novotel

North York


Toronto Spring Aliyah Fair

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Check-in & Registration Times:

Retirees: 5:30pm

General Programming: 6:30pm

www.nbn.org.il/toronto

Living in Israel

can be more than a dream


Hear from professionals about employment, communities, education, taxes, budgeting and retirement in Israel at the premier Aliyah event of the year.


The Aliyah Fair will feature Israeli vendors and Service providers to give you a head-start on your preparations.

This is your opportunity to meet and network with other people planning Aliyah and get the tools and information for Success.


If Israel is your dream, let's make it home.

Shabbat,

March 11


1 ADAR II

Shabbat Rosh Chodesh dawns on this first day of the month of Adar II


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Adar is the happiest, most joyous month of the Hebrew calendar. In fact, its motto is “When Adar comes, joy is increased.”


The abundance of joy in Adar is primarily due to the presence within the month of Purim. That holiday commemorates the salvation of the Jewish People from a genocidal plot by the wicked Haman…


Our last picture of Haman and his ten sons are of them dangling from the very gallows which he had prepared for Mordechai, a leader of the Jews.


Pirkei Avot: “When your enemy falls, do not be happy, and when he stumbles, let your heart not rejoice,” an exception is made in the case of Haman. He represents the spirit of absolute evil…  (Orthodox Union)

Saturday,

March 12

Kiddush Lunch

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

Wednesday,

March 23


Beth Radom

18 Reiner Rd.


6:30 PM

mincha/maariv


7 PM

Megillat Reading

Megillat Reading

at the Beth Radom


We are invited to the Megillat Reading Wednesday, at the Beth Radom.

---

Come celebrate Purim @ Beth Radom's Annual Purim Party.


Megillah reading will begin at 7pm followed by dessert and a DJ dance party.


Come dressed up.


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Looking Good, Kenya!

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Bring a box of Wacky Mac to use as a greggor and to donate to the food bank!


Thursday,

March 24

9 AM

Lodzer

The Whole Megillah

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The Lodzer will be having services for Purim on Thursday,  March 24, 2016,

at 9 a.m. -- including Megillah reading.

Shabbat,

March 25

(Good Friday)

6 PM

Lodzer

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Adult Menu:

Butternut Squash Soup

Caesar Salad

Honey Garlic Chicken

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Baby Carrots & Snow Peas

Apple Strudel w/ Vanilla Sauce

Purim Oneg Shabbat Program

 

Services at  6.00 PM with a special dinner to follow.


Our Oneg Shabbats always feature prayer, friendship and good food.   

This is in conjunction with our Purim activities. Bring your family, children friends, grandchildren and let's make this the largest Oneg Shabbat we have ever had.  


$35 for members, $20 for children,

$40 for non-members.


Reserve by Monday, March 21st

Monday,

April 4

7:30 pm

Shul

Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

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"It’s something extraordinary," she told him, gesturing toward his bowl. "Drink it."

"Drink it?" Miguel squinted into the blackness. "It looks like the devil’s piss, which would certainly be extraordinary, but I’ve no desire to know what it tastes like."

Geertruid leaned toward him, almost brushing up against his arm. "Take a sip and then I’ll tell you everything. This devil’s piss is going to make both our fortunes."

Thanks to everyone who came out for the last book chat.  We had a large, lively and engaged group to discuss Mitch Albom's "Have a Little Faith".


Our next book is "The Coffee Trader" by David Liss.  

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A historical novel set in 17th century Amsterdam. The story revolves around the activities of commodity trader Miguel Lienzo, a Jew who is a refugee from the Portuguese Inquisition.

On the world’s first commodities exchange, wealth is won and lost in an instant.


We'll meet on Monday, April 4, at 7:30 pm at the shul. Please join us.

 

For more information contact cathyrzeldin@gmail.com



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The Torah Portion -  Vayyakhel


It is easy to feel disconnected from those who are most unlike us.

By Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels



Our parashah, Vayakhel, describes not only Moses call for donations to the construction of the Tabernacle, the mishkan, but also the communitys generous response. What is the role of the mishkan in the lives of the Israelites that caused them to respond so generously?

The mishkan, literally dwelling-place,is the place where God and Israel meet. It is here that Gods divine presence, the Shekhinah (from the same root as mishkan), dwells in the midst of Israel. It is the means by which God becomes present in the very center of the Israelite community and in the hearts of the Israelites.


God instructs (Exodus 25:8): let them make me a mishkan and I will dwell (shakhanti) within them (betokham).The Sefat Emet, a Polish Hasidic master, reads this as within them truly(betokham mamash). That is, God will dwell within the very essence of each Israelite.

Prior to the mishkan, the Israelitesrelationship with the divine was with the transcendent, miraculous God of the splitting of the Red Sea and the revelation at Sinai. At Sinai, the people trembled in fear at the awesome revelation of the divine and retreated from a direct personal encounter (Exodus 19:16, 20:15-18).

Intimacy & Eroticism

It is only through the mishkan, the earthly dwelling-place of God, that a more intimate encounter becomes possible. Indeed, the mishkan is not just any meeting place, but, as both the midrash and Kabbalistic literature make clear, a place of great intimacy, the bridal chamber of God and Israel, where the truest level of intimacy can manifest after the marriage at Mount. Sinai (See the opening of Pesikta de-Rav Kahana and Zohar II 179b, I 239a).

The intimate erotic nature of the mishkan can be seen in the beautiful fabrics and the fine metals which are the adornments of the Shekhinah, the divine bride, and the hangings of Her wedding chamber (Exodus 35:5-8). Similarly, the cherubim in the mishkan, who face each other with outspread wings, are, we are told in the Talmud, in fact intertwined in an erotic embrace (Yoma 54a), and erotic significance is given to other verses and gifts.


Finally, following the midrash, we can see the similarity between the word for completing(vayakhel or kalot) the mishkan and the word for bride(kalah), an indication that the completion of the mishkan was also the consummation of this divine-human marriage. 


The Generous of Heart

In the process of constructing the mishkan, then, God is transformed from the awesome divine Other, unapproachable and incomprehensible, to the intimate divine Beloved, present in the midst of Israel. It is the act of generosity, the very process of giving, that actualizes the opening of the heart that in turn makes intimacy possible. 



Again and again in the parashah we are told of the generous of heart and noble of

spirit who contributed to the mishkan. This is a generosity not only of possessions,

but one that reaches even deeper, as we are told, take from yourselves an offering to God, all the generous of heart (Exodus 35:5).

That is, a literal taking from yourselves, your experience, your wisdom and particularity, and offering it to the Beloved. Before, alienated by Gods distance at the peak of Mount Sinai, the people could only express their generosity to the illusion of divinity in the Golden Calf (Exodus 32:3). Now, inviting God into their midst, the natural generosity of intimacy is properly expressed.


To Dwell Among Us

Just as God is ultimately both foreign and intimate, both self and other, so this is true of our fellow human beings. We can experience our fellow humans as alienated, even antagonistic, others, or as intimate beloved companions.

Like the Israelites in the wilderness, alienated by Gods otherness, it is often easy to feel disconnected and not responsible for those who are most other, most unlike us. This disconnection is apparent between us and our neighbors in the developing world, who are separated from us by distance, wealth, culture, and politics.

The challenge and promise of the mishkan is that we can bridge those gaps and give our fellow humans, reflections of the divine image, a place to dwell in our hearts, minds, and souls and literally ve-shakhanti betokham‘–the I, the personhood of every individual, will dwell within us. 


It is this almost mystical moment of connection, the enactment of the mishkan in our own lives, that should be the foundation for our ethical responsibility and action. Through realizing our essential intimacy with all humans, our natural generosity flows forth, allowing us to give both from our possessions and from our very selves, from the depths of our being and from the skills and experiences that we have to contribute. 

Like the Israelites in the wilderness, we too can offer our sacrifices, our money, and our generosity to enable the other to dwell within us and to give the other, like the divine, a secure dwelling-place on earth.

Once we had the Tabernacle (mishkan) and the Temple (mikdash). Now we have only our heartshearts that can be a dwelling place for all those who are suffering, if we open them wide enough. We can build the mishkan of our hearts, making space for every human to dwell there, and so become filled with the generosity that comes from transforming the other into the beloved.



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If you always assume that the stranger sitting next to you is the messiah, just waiting for some simple human kindness --


You will soon come to weigh your words, watch your hands and attend to your responsibilities --


And, if he so chooses not to reveal himself in your time --

It will not matter.


edit: A Rebbi’s Proverb - web





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Pirke Avoth Perek 1 Mishnah 13


Note: The commentary is taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M.Bunim and Visions of he Fathers by Abraham Twerski. Some sentences of the commentaries have been taken verbatim ( in quotes) and others have been summarized. All late to Mishnah 13. The Questions and Notes are my own.


He used to say: The one who aggrandized his name destroys his name; one who does not increase [his Torah knowledge] decimates it; and one who does not study [Torah at all] deserves death; and if anyone makes personal use of the crown [of Torah learning, for selfish ends], he shall soon  be gone.


Ethics from Sinai


He who makes a career of aggrandizement and sees only popularity is doomed to disappointment. The masses are notoriously fickle; the peoples choice changes and shifts like mercury.” “Honour pursues those who flee it. Be self-effacing, humble and modest. If you represent something of value, you will be discovered. After his passing on, a persons worldly goods become the property of his heirs, his good name, however, remains his, even after death.


Question: After death does anyone remember the ordinary person? Does our

            influence live, on and is it significant?


When we do not reinforce our appreciation of Torah, there are negative forces constantly impinging on us which undermine our loyalty. Secondly, there is the mental erosion of forgetfulness which weakens that we already have. We are, in effect, moving away from our Torah heritage while the Torah we have already acquired tends to fade away from us.


Our Torah tells us that there is a purpose in this world. The goal of man is to study and observe the Torah and in this way to grow in spirituality. This is the purpose for which he was created. Should he, therefore, cease to learn, he forfeits his right to exist - his raison d’être.


Question:  Do we therefore need daily studies? Is weekly etc. enough?


Many of our early thinkers tended to see the universe as structured in a sort of hierarchy.- from the inanimate to vegetation to animals with humankind at the top. The relationship between each form and the one above it, is one of service. The proper being of each level of existence consists of fulfilling its function in the total scheme of creation. By serving the rung above, by participatingin the life of the higher form,  each level of existence, as it were, elevates its own nature and thus realizes its full potentiality.


Question: Is this how the world works?


Now, man too has a life-purpose to serve a higher level of existence: to perform the will of the Almighty through learning and doing.” “Being an unlettered boor, he does not fulfill the higher purpose for which he was created ; he has therefore forfeited the privilege to be served the the lower forms of life.


Question: Could this be expanded to mean that wasting time is wasting our life? Is someone who works hard to produce something and therefore has no time for study, wasting his life?


The passage could mean that he who does not teach deserves to die. And to deprive others of Torah is to deprive them of life itself... Hence, to be capable of teaching and yet to refuse to do so is, in a sense, to commit murder.


A man who misuses the Torah for his own personal ends is changing spiritual values into worldly vanities;  he is transforming the stuff of which the world-to-come is made, into the transient currency of ephemeral gains. The Rabbis attribute the destruction of Jerusalem to this kind of abuse.The positions of scholar, spiritual servitor and community leader are public trusts, sacred responsibilities. These positions, however are accompanied by prestige, honour and influence. Hillel warns us: Let a person use any of these for his own personal interests, and he will soon pass away.


Question: Do our leaders act with humility and awareness of their responsibility?

                 Do they act with mindfulness based on Torah?


Visions of the Fathers


‘“He was accustomed to say’  … was not just that the sage said something once or even several times, but that he did so regularly. It meant that this was the way he lived and the way he behaved. Anyone who observed Hillel could learn the principles whereby Hillel conducted his life and could then try to emulate him. Hillel himself was the message.


Question 1: Are we good models for others or at least for our children?

Question 2: Do we act mindfully?


The difference between Moses and Aaron was not one of innate character traits. Rather, because Moses was the official ruler and leader, he had to exercise the authority of his position, and at various times did so with an iron hand.Moses could not afford to the be the peacemaker, flexible and lenient to all, because this would have resulted in anarchy. Aaron, on the other hand, was at liberty to be kind to all and quick to forgive, setting an example for others to follow in pursuit of peace and harmony.” “Once Hillel was appointed to the official leadership, although his character traits remained unchanged, his responsibilities and obligations underwent a radical change,Paradoxically, increased fame may even lead to loss of fame, as one is unable to maintain ones level of learning. Finally, Hillel summed it up in a dire warning, that if one exploits his position of leadership for personal glory, one will be utterly destroyed.


Question 1: Must leadership change the actions and outlook of people?

Question 2: Is this why many politicians appear to be dishonest?


There is a story about a soldier who was ordered to go from place to place with a servant who was really the king in disguise. The soldier was honoured wherever he went while the king in disguise was ignored. That is what happens to the tzaddik who is honoured wherever he goes, but his real master, God, is ignored.


Question: Do we ignore God when praising our local heroes?


Although the tzaddik seems to be giving in to vanity in accepting the honours, in truth he is only doing so to please the populace.  


Question: Is this also so for our local heroes?


There are three categories of living beings: animals, angels and humans. Animals are completely physical beings, and angels are completely spiritual beings. Man is a unique creation, being a synthesis of body and spirit. This uniqueness of man is what defines him and gives him identity as a human being. If a person stops growing spiritually, he fails to exercise that singular trait that is his identity. . his identity as a full human being has come to an end.” “Hillel therefore said, And he who does not increase, i.e. progress , decreases, i.e. comes to an end.


Question: Is spiritual growth or something else the distinguishing mark   of humankind?



The Last Word -- I just started reading “The Coffee Trader” -- David Liss

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Love your coffee?

Renato Bialetti invented and was buried in his Moka coffee maker.

At Open Culture HQ you will find two Bialetti espresso makers on the stove–one small, the other large–and together they power us through the day. Invented by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, the octagonal, Art Deco-designed coffee maker eventually became a staple in Italian homes (90% of them), thanks to his son Renato, who died Feb. 11, 2016 at the age of 93. A savvy marketer to the end, Bialetti went to the grave with his product, buried, as he was, in an espresso maker that doubled as an urn. All in all, I can’t think of much better ways to spend eternity.  (credit: Open Culture)


(The Coffee Trader, by the way, is steeped in the Jewish Culture of the time -- which is Interesting in its own right.)





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