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Shabbat Bulletin - April 23, 2016

Unveiling: Ignac (Ike) Davis

The unveiling for Isi’s father Ignac (Ike) Davis is on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Pardes Shalom Cemetery,  Maramoresher Section

Haymishe Humour -- Special Passover Collection this Friday Morning

Dear Friends,

Please be advised that once again a special Passover collection of organic/green bin materials and recycling by the City of Toronto has been arranged for Friday, April 22, 2016 from 8am to 10:30am at the corner of McGillivray Ave. and Falkirk St.

Chag Sameach,

James Pasternak

Councillor, Ward 10

Shabbat Shalom -- Where in the world is Rabbi Eli?

Trapani is the far western corner of the triangular island of Sicily. In a month time, I'll be bringing here one group after another, but at the moment, it's just legwork.

Here's more common ground yet to a rabbi and a tour operator; not only do both lead people, feed people, teach people, and entertain them, but also in both professions, your work must be pretty much done before the first customer shows through the door.

Palazzo della Giudecca, the "Jewish Palace", reminds us of the happy days for Sicily before the Spanish rule, the Inquisition, and of course the eventual expulsion of the Jews, as was the case throughout the lands of the Crown, in 1492.

Built originally in 1300's by a Jewish banking family, after the expulsion it fell into the hands of a Spanish noble family (they were the ones to add the tower with diamond-shaped stones behind my back).

You have to give it to those Spanish of the old; whichever colonies they managed to acquire, nobody knew better how to bring cultural, economic, and social stagnation for many years to come.

(Interestingly, when Ferdinand, together with queen Isabella, expelled the Jews, Sultan Beyazid II sent him a mocking letter of gratitude for impoverishing his own empire to enrich the Ottomans by sending over all the Jews.)

In a month time,  our determined groups will be looking for the few rare Hebrew inscriptions remaining in spite of the Spanish attempts to purge the facade. Meanwhile, all you see here is the name "Jewish Street" behind me.

The Alhambra Decree was issued on March 31, 1492. Mere weeks before Pesach. We can only imagine what that year's Seder looked like. From being forced to stay as slaves to being forced to flee as refugees and outcasts, our people seldom left others passively impartial.

Have a wonderful, blessed and abundant Pesach. Part of recognizing our fortunes, our freedom and access to all the vast resources we have, lies in remembering those who haven't. In realizing and contemplating the "what could have been".
Which is why we start our Seder with "Kol dikhfin", an invitation to all those hungry for food or warmth, to come and join our festive table.

As for me, I still have to get to our yontef group at the hotel in... well, talk to you next week.

Happy Pesach!
Rabbi Eli


                Via Giudecca, Trapani & Palazzo della Giudecca, Trapani

Quote of the Day

"I don't speak because I have the power to speak; I speak because I don't have the power to remain silent" – Rabbi A.Y. Kook



April 23  Ronald Csillag
April 24  Leon Pasternak
April 26  Deborah Epstein
April 26  Jonathan Usher
April 27  Elliott Drewnowsky


April 23  Maurice Landis, father of Lorraine
April 24  Pinchas & Masha Osland,

             grandparents of Josef Ber
April 25  Goldie Chaner, stepmother of Barry Corey
April 25  Harvey Malet, father of Dennis



(Beth Radom’s stained glass windows)



7:30-8:30 pm

Parsha of The Week


with Judy Hazan


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

Please join us for a special Passover study session this Wednesday night, (April 20,) at The Lodzer from 7:30 to 8:30. The class will talk about the symbolism inherent in the Passover Seder as well as a detailed study of The Four Sons/Daughters. This is an informal program - free of charge and open to all. Hope to see you there - I guarantee you'll have some new material for your upcoming seders!


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.


April 23

15 Nisan

Kiddush Lunch


This week’s kiddush is sponsored by the

Lodzer Congregation.

Torah Times

Shabbat Services: 9:00 am.

Torah Reading: Triennial Year 3

1st day of Passover

Exodus 12

1: v, 21-24

2: v. 25-28

3: v. 29-32

4: v. 33-36

5: v. 37-42

6: v. 43-47

7: v. 48-51

maf: Numbers pg.695

ch. 28 v.16-26

Haftorah reading:

Joshua ch. 5 v. 2-15,  pg. 1009

Candle Lighting: 7:52 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 9:01 p.m. – Saturday


April 24

16 Nisan


Torah Times

2nd day of Passover

Leviticus ch.22 v.26 - ch.23 v.3

1: v.  4-14

2: v.15-22

3: v. 23-32

4: v. 33-44

maf: Numbers pg.695

ch. 28 v.16-26

Haftorah reading:

2 Kings ch. 23 v. 1-9; and v. 21-25,

 pg. 1012


April 30

22 Nisan

Kiddush Lunch


It’s the 8th day of Passover.

Attack the Challah after sundown. (thanks Marilyn)


To sponsor a Kiddush

please call the office




May 1


Pardes Shalom


11 AM


Ignac (Ike) Davis
Itzik Ben Yisroel Ve Faige

(Isi’s dad)

Yahrzeit: 19 Sivan 5775

Pardes Shalom Cemetery

Maramoresher Society


May 5

War Museum

1 Vimy Pl,

Ottawa, ON



There may be some seats available on the bus.

Call the office for details.

International Holocaust Remembrance


Canadian National Yom Hashoah Commemoration Event, led on behalf of the Canadian Government, at the War Museum in Ottawa. This event occurs annually on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, as defined in the Israeli calendar. The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem organizes and runs this event in conjunction with other Jewish Holocaust commemoration Organizations as part of the “Zachor Coalition”.
Attended annually by more than 500 dignitaries, Holocaust survivors, students and members of the communities from across Canada

Israel is “the only possible memorial standing” for the victims of the Holocaust.

Israeli President Shimon Peres


May 9

1 Iyar








May 16

7:30 pm


Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Our current book is "The Marriage of Opposites" by Alice Hoffman, the author of the beautiful book

"The  Dovekeepers".


Alice Hoffman digs up a little piece of history and imagines an amazing love story about the parents of Jacobo Camille Pissarro, one of the greatest painters of all time.



The last book read was "The Coffee Trader".  Even though some didn't enjoy the book, We can't deny that it's full of fascinating history and culture regarding Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews living in Amsterdam in the time when coffee trading hit the commodities market.


"The Coffee Trader" was rated

4 out of 5 stars by those that

read the book to the end.

We'll meet next on Monday, May 16, at 7:30 pm at the shul. Please join us.


The book following “The Marriage of Opposites” is this year's winner of Canada Reads, "The Illegal" by Lawrence Hill.  It is a timely, relevant story given the refugee situation in the world today.

Thanks to everyone who supports our Book Chat group.  It's lots of fun.

For more information contact

Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman_w250.jpgMarch 16, 1952 to “alive and well”

“My father told us that our people had been slaves in the desert and because G-d had seen fit to set us free, none among us should ever own another man. It had been written that every man belonged to G-d and no one else. But did women belong to G-d or to the men of their family? They could not own property or businesses; only their husbands could have that honor.”
― Alice Hoffman


May 29

9 am

rain or shine!

Coronation Park

8 km route



As always the walk is most enjoyable, especially with the Lodzer group to schmooze with; is for a very good cause; and shows the strength of our community.
The walk begins at Coronation Park, 711 Lakeshore Blvd. W., registration begins at 9:00 am and the walk at 10:00 am.  

Register, or just come walk with us. Let Dora or Cathy know if you'll be joining them.



Dora and Cathy invite you to join them

on the “Walk With Israel” this year.

It’s best to register online for the walk. Select “Fundraise as a Team” under “Fundraising Options” and join us as “Team Lodzer”
Contact: Dora and/or Cathy for further information.


June 10

Oneg Shabbat



Baruch Hu U'Varuch Shemo

Rafi is certainly correct, the phrase is Baruch Hu uVaruch Shemo, literally "Blessed is He, and Blessed is His Name".

The thought behind the practice is to enable those who respond to join in the blessing with the person saying it (considered to be slightly different with a simple Amen, which can be a form of acknowledgement).

That's why we say it in some situations, like an individual reciting blessing over the Torah, but not others, like HaMotzi over the bread, when those who listen and respond Amen are already included in the mitzvah, and the one person saying the Brachah is merely an agent acting on behalf of everyone around formally performing it.

This abbreviated excerpt from Rabbinic scholasticism may shed a little light on the proportion of lawyers to people of other trades in Jewish population. :)

In the most Orthodox communities, you will find people calculating very carefully and learning precisely in what situations it should, and where it should not be said. Also, there are significant difference in that respect between the customs of the Hassidim, Misnagdim, and definitely Sephardim (as though you would expect us to totally agree on anything).

In our congregation, it is used not only as joining in the blessing but also, and even more importantly, as a way of appreciation and encouragement for the person having an Aliyah. Then, of course, on Shabbat morning you can also use it by way of statement, in an "I am awake!" fashion.

Rabbi Eli

Beth Radom’s pre-Pesach Singalong and Kabbalat Shabbat Dinner


On Friday, April 15, we were invited to join Beth Radom for their pre-Passover Oneg Shabbat. Everyone enjoyed the music, the services, the food, and the warm welcome we received.


Parsha of the Week - Note - given by Judy Hazan, APRIL 5, 2014

D’var Metzorah, April 5, 2014 (Rabbi David Fohrman)

Last week in Parsha Tazria, we talked about of one of the strangest sets of laws in all of Torah – the affliction of Tzara’at. And we talked about the connection between the purification process of the Metzorah – the person afflicted with Tzarat and the sacrifice of the Korban Pesach. We saw that the purification process of the Metzorah is a miniature version – a personal version of the Pesach offering.

For those who weren’t here last week – I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version: The tzarat purification process involves a little piece of cedar wood that gets dipped in blood from a bird. Wood with blood on it represents what? The doorways of the Jewish homes painted with blood to protect the firstborn of Israel on that night of the tenth plague – the death of the first born. Painted with what? The same hyssop plant that is used in the metzorah purification process! And the 7 day waiting period? The 7 days the metzorah must wait before returning to his house. After the Pesach seder, there is a 7 day waiting period too – when hametz is banished from the house and can come back in after the 7th day.

Last week I asked the question – what is the Torah trying to teach us by echoing the laws of the Pesach sacrifice – the Korban Pesach, with the purification process of the Metzorah – the person afflicted with Tzarat.  I think that in order to understand this, we need to look a little more carefully at the Laws of the Metzorah as we’ve seen in this morning’s Parsha. In the Talmud, the Gemarrah devotes several full folios to a discussion of various different aspects of the laws of Tzarat – of how it is that the Metzorah should conduct himself while he is afflicted. Now here is the interesting thing: the Gemarrah throughout its discussion compares three different kinds of people. The Metzorah on the one hand – the person afflicted with Tzarat, a mourner – someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one and a Menudah – someone who is excommunicated. Over and over again the Gemmarah poses questions regarding each of these three individuals. Can an excommunicated person wear shoes? What about a metzorah? What about a mourner? A Menudah can wear teffilin. What about a metzorah? How about saying hello? We know that we’re not supposed to say hello to a mourner. What about a metzorah? What about a Menudah? Over and over the Gemmara compares these three different kinds of people – the question is why? How are they essentially connected? To see the Metzorah as connected with the Menudah – someone who was excommunicated, makes a lot of sense – the Metzorah is excommunicated in a way - he is outside the camp – but why would we see him in the same boat as a mourner – an avel?

Well as we talked about last week, a Metzorah shares a lot of the characteristics of a person who has died– he has a contamination status – a tumeh status, as if he has passed away even though he is alive. But it is very confusing – because a mourner is mourning for someone else who has passed. The mourner is not himself passed away, the laws of tzarat on the other hand seem to imply that the Metzorah is treated in some way as if he has died, so it wouldn’t make sense to compare a Metzorah to a Mourner – you’d have to compare the Metzorah to the person who is being mourned, the person who has died. Why would you compare him to the mourner – ah – in that very question lies to key to what tzarat really is.

Let’s talk about a mourner for a moment – and today – because of this special Shabbat honouring the people in our community who passed away last month – we have many mourners with us here today.

I heard a Rabbi talk about a close relationship he had with a person who was dying. The Rabbi talked about a conversation he had with this friend. The friend said, you know all the Jewish laws of mourning – when a mourner laments the loss of someone he goes through all of this pain, all of this suffering, all of this mourning because he is losing someone he loves. But, you know who really should be mourning? The person who is dying. Because the mourner is only losing one person that he loves – but what about the person who is dying? How many people is he losing? He is losing everyone. He is going to be cut off from all friends and family. He is the REAL mourner. Except he is dead and he can’t mourn.

What I want to suggest to you is that the metzorah is a kind of dead person – there is an aspect of him that is dead – except that he is biologically alive. He experiences all facets of death except for biological death – and as such he IS like a mourner. But who is he mourning? He is mourning himself. He is mourning his own loss of connection to everyone. What is the fundamental experience of death? It is that – it is loss of connection – it is radical separateness.

Why do we mourn? If we know that the person is going to heaven aren’t they in a better place? Yes! But they are not with ME – I am separated from them – the mourning is a function of separation.

The Metzorah mourns for himself. He is radically separated outside the camp. Indeed if you look at the language of Miriam when she was afflicted with Tzarat when she came back into the camp the language was “Ad haya safe Miriam” until she was gathered back in to her people – that phrase “to be gathered into your people” actually is a phrase which is used to describe death – the death of righteous people – they are gathered into their people. Where are their people? Where is everybody? Religious people believe that this refers to the afterlife – to the world to come. You are gathered in to the next world.

A metzorah is neither here nor there. Neither dead nor alive. Not yet gathered in to the next world. But cut off from the people in this world. Until the people in this world gather the metzorah back in.

We’ve established that although the Metzorah is biologically alive, that in some ways he is dead; that he experiences that essential quality of death – of being cut off from others. When you think about this you can see that in one sense the Metzorah is fully alive and in another sense he has died – and I think the Korban Pesach helps us understand this.

Last Shabbat we talked about how the purification process for the metzorah mimics the procedure of the Korban Pesach –the Pesach offering. Let’s come back to those ideas now.

What happened the night that we slaughtered the Pesach offering? Jews gathered in their homes with their families and families slaughtered the Pesach offering. But once they put the blood on the door, and once they went through that door something new was created! A national entity that transcended families – a nation was created! Until then there was no nation. The greatest sense of community with the Jewish people was groups of families – so the groups of families got together and they slaughtered this offering but then a GRAND COMMUNITY – Nationhood was created. When we slaughtered that sacrifice and went free – this was our national birthday – this is when we were born as a people, as a community. The Pesach offering is the birth of community.

The Metzorah is dead because the communal part of him has been caused to wither away. Cut off. And for that they mourn.

What I am suggesting is that all of us, are really 2 beings at the same time. We are an individual being and we are a communal being. Both of them are real. Both of them co-exist. We live in both realms.

Our community was born the night of Korban Pesach. We all went through that bloody door. And we emerged part of something larger. That’s what the Metzorah needs. The Metzorah has engaged in some sort of failing that has caused him to be inflicted with a spiritual kind of malady. A malady that does not express itself as biological death but is a kind of death – the communal part of the person has withered.

It’s interesting that the Midrash speaks of Lashon hara – evil speech –slander and haughtiness as the kinds of things that perpetuate tzarat. They are anti-social sins, sins that attack our communal sense of belonging. They set us apart. They focus on the individual at the expense of other individuals. They force us to see ourselves in a false light as only individuals and when we see ourselves that way the communal part of ourselves withers. The Metzorah needs to rebuild his communal identity; he needs to partake in his own little Pesach offering – he needs to go through that door to rejoin the community; to re-do the procedure by which we all joined the community. We started off in our little family houses in Egypt, slaughtered a Pesach offering, and became part of a nation. And now there’s someone who’s outside, who’s cut off – taken away from the community. Now we need to gather him in. He has to come in through this mini Pesach offering – first into the community, then wait 7 days to come into his house. And then he can really be home.

This is a very appropriate parsha for our special community Shabbat today. The importance of being part of a community, the building of our nation through the Korban Pesach- teaches us to value and appreciate the contributions that every individual can make to a community. Our community has lost four vital and important members. These four members were all community builders – and without their efforts our community would likely not be here today. Luba Drewnowsky and Yadja Waigensberg founding members who built this community. Issac Peters a long time member who’s participation in the community as gabai for many years was vital. And Wendy Yudell. A woman who’s energy and creativity helped to bring our community into the new century. We also mourn the loss of the mother of our dear member Joseph Rosenberg; a woman who’s contribution to her own community in Winnipeg was exemplary.

As my d’var torah explains, we are all part of something larger than ourselves – At The Lodzer we are part of a community of Jews who survived the Holocaust and came to Canada and built a shul; built a community. This is who we are.

As we take a moment today to mourn our dear friends and family who have passed, we embrace their memories for the gifts they have given us and for creating this community that we love so dearly. May we always remember them, be inspired by their goodness and lead lives that will always bring honour to our community.

Shabbat Shalom.



Pirke Avoth  Perek 2  Mishnah 1 - Part 2

Note: The 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. The Questions and Note are my own. All relate to Perek 2, Mishnah 1

Be as careful with a minor mitzvah as with an important, weighty one, for you do not know the rewards given for mitzvoth. Reckon the loss that a mitzvah entails, against its reward: and the benefit gained from a sin, against the loss it brings. Contemplate three things and you will not come into the hands, the clutches of sin: Know what is above you: an eye sees, an ear hears, and all your deeds are written, recorded in a Book.

Ethics from Sinai

“ …every mitzvah between man and man is, at the same time, a mitzvah between man and God. The almighty commands you to be good to your fellow man.” “Then the path that you choose through life should be such that will reflect distinction upon you in the sight of Heaven and in the eyes of man.This double theme, to act for the sake of Heaven and for the sake of our fellow men, echoes throughout Judaism. The Ten Commandments, the very heart and core of the Covenant between the Almighty and Israel, are equally divided between commands which regulate man’s relationship to his Creator and commands which regulate his relationship to his fellow man.”

“Every Jew is, of course, obliged to observe all the mitzvoth insofar as they apply to him. However over and above this basic requirement, our sages have always advocated that each Jew ‘specialize’ in some particular area of mitzvoth. .. choose one that you know you can do well, in a creditable, honourable, distinguished manner, so that you yourself will feel a glow of satisfaction at good deeds well done; and make sure that what you do will be valuable and praiseworthy in the eyes of others, too.  This means that the mitzvah which you make especially yours, should be one that suits your personality and  temperament, your interests and abilities. Be realistic in your appraisal of your capacities, and your choice will be an effective one.

Question: Are these latter paragraphs ideal directions for choosing a career or              any other life choice?

The next paragraph is from Visions of the Fathers.

“The function of the neshamah in this mundane world is to reach a stage of tikun or fulfilment which is achieved by the performance of mitzvos.”

“We cannot determine the importance of a mitzvah by estimating how hard or easy it is to do. In the case of sin and transgression, though, we need not have any doubts. The Torah is clear about the proper punishment for every transgression. Obviously, the greater the punishment, the more heinous the offence. The punishments of the Torah range from formalities to execution, and on to spiritual extinction in the next world as well.”

“Tradition notes that the 248 positive mitzvoth (things that we are required to do) that correspond to the 248 major organs, limbs and parts of the body: while the 365 negative mitzvoth (things we are forbidden to do) correspond to the body’s 365 major arteries…. Each and every mitzvah has a specific purpose and function for the spiritual well being and development of the Jew.” The mitzvoth are like a circulatory system with each mitzvah affecting all the others. Another benefit of doing mitzvoth is that doing one mitzvah leads to doing another. …there are  no unimportant mitzvoth…. They are the stepping stones to eternal life…. How fortunate we are that this unique Divine word is in our midst, within the reach of everyone ….”

“We cannot deny that observing mitzvoth does involve an initial cost. But weigh this against the gain beyond price, the infinite reward that will surely come.” Similarly when tempted by a transgression there will be an initial gain, but an ultimate loss. “To control the yetzer hara, the evil inclination, this is the key: make a reckoning of what you gain and what you lose by everything, good or bad, that you do. For a mitzvah, the cost, the loss is temporary; the reward is everlasting. For an averah,  a transgression, the pleasure and the gain are transient; the harm, though it may  not come at once, is devastating and permanent.”   

Note: I was in a grocery store last week buying flowers. The clerk, who was an attractive young woman, was rushed and unsmiling. When she was tying the flowers, I reached out to hold the flowers steady because she was having difficulty making the knot. The result was a beautiful warm thank-you smile. I am sure her day was much better, as was mine. That mitzvah was not difficult, but it was effective. Like an apple a day, will small acts of kindness keep us spiritually healthy?

You should make an accounting of the mitzvoth and the transgressions and balance them at the end of the day. This applies not only to individuals but to the world. Consider that both for you and the world the mitzvoth are in balance and your mitzvah or transgression will tip the balance to the good side or the evil side.

We naturally avoid some of the major sins. However  like becoming used to handling hot or cold, this can start slowly in the beginning and lead us into more and greater sins. It is a slippery slope.  Stay away from the small sins and it will help to keep you away from the major ones.

Question 1: Would it change our lives for the better to consciously seek out and do          mitzvoth?

Consider how will your action be viewed “in  the ‘home office’ of heaven.”

And all your deeds are written in a book

This phrase could mean that all your deeds you do are written in a book or  “All the deeds you ought to do are already prescribed in a book.” “All your deeds, your tasks, your assignments, are written in our Book of Revelation.  “But not only in Heaven is there a permanent record; our deeds our indelibly recorded on our own minds and hearts. It is an axiom of psychological analysis that the human unconscious forgets nothing. …“ every deed and act of a person’s life is recorded and remembered somewhere within him. “A man’s own soul,” say the Sages, “will testify against him.”

There is the story about the truck driver who picked up a yeshiva student and on the way decided to steal some hay from a field. The truck driver stopped, and started to cut the hay, when the yeshiva student started yelling “we’re seen, we’re seen”. The truck driver dropped the hay, ran to his truck, and drove away. Seeing no one he asked the yeshiva student “Who saw us?” The Yeshiva student replied, “The Almighty.”

Moral: You never know who or Who will be watching you.


ייִדיש קערס


ער זאָל זיין Transformed זיך אַ טשאַנדעליער, צו הענגען דורך טאָג און צו פאַרברענען דורך נאַכט.

er zol zeyn Transformed zikh a tshandelyer, tsu hengen durkh tog aun tsu farbrenen durkh nakht.

Version 2

Migulgl zol er vern in a henglayhter, by tog zol er hengen, un bay nakht zol er brenen.

(see below for translation)



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Join in on a walk after the Daily Morning Prayers -- (If not now, when?)


20160414_LodzerPenguins-walkingFit  (Betel Centre to G Ross Lord Park)


(3.5km in 45 min. - brisk pace: Arthur, Jonathan, Arnold, Charles + 2 Betel volunteers + 1 other)


Frank gets honourable mention. It was a pleasant surprise to find him relaxing in the Betel cafeteria when we got back.

Betel has organized walks Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am.  Meet up with Maria, (Betel Volunteer,) in the cafeteria. It’s a little tight for time getting there from the Lodzer after morning prayers -- lox and run.  All are welcome. (You don’t have to be a Lodzer Penguin.)

Daily Minyan

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includes Breakfast following.

Come Daven, Fress & Schmooze,

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Yiddish Curse:

He should be transformed into a chandelier, to hang by day and to burn by night.