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20160709


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^^^ click on the graphic to read the flyer ^^^


THE LODZER SYNAGOGUE

Shabbat Bulletin - July 9, 2016




Make shul and Judaism an important  part of your lifestyle

Hannah Rosenberg, who, as usual, led the mussaf service beautifully, has graduated from Chat and is going to Israel for a year and then to the University of Waterloo to study engineering. Being on her own is a test of both her abilities and her character - and we are sure she will do well in both respects. We will miss her presence and leadership. We wish her well.



“Where in the world is Rabbi Eli?”

Read all about his adventures in the “Rabbis’ Corner”


Rabbi Eli is once again conducting his tours.

We wish him all the best on this travels, and look forward to his return

for the High Holidays.

(Break a leg -- NOT !!!)



This coming Shabbat Isi Davis and Barbara Lazar,

will present a D’var Torah on:

The importance of documenting Holocaust survivors.


D’var Torah: Jewry in Prewar Poland
Arthur Zins | Shaarei-Beth El Congregation | Oakville | July 2nd, 2016
(Read it at the end of this bulletin - Thanks Arthur.)


Our very own “Wandering Jew” has an update from Poland.

Read Sheldon’s latest in the Members area.

(Sheldon, send us a selfie!)


Memories of the Second Generation - Part 2 - Phil Herman

As told to Susan Yellin

Is now in in our Members area.


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Birthdays


July 1  Barbara Peters

July 3  Sharon Chodirker
July 7  Esther Friedenrich
July 8  Simon Jackson

July 15  Franya Goldberg
July 15  Ruth Goldstein
July 15  Rick Grunberg


Anniversaries

July 3  Chaim Bell & Sharon Chodirker
July 7  Barry & Nancy Corey
July 7  Ben-Zion & Sarah Moshe

July 15  Judy & Charly Hazan

Yahrzeits


July 1   Joseph Klein, father of Harley

July 5  Charles Goldlust, brother of Morris
July 7  Nechemiah Golub,

           brother of Eda Kardonne
July 7  Gil Kardonne,

           son of Rick & Eda Kardonne
July 8  Moshe Birensztok, husband of Sara

July 12  Esther Malet, mother of Dennis
July 12  Rose Stolberg, mother of Esther Steiman
July 14  Max Anidjar, brother of Morris
July 14  Henry Berger, father of Robert
July 14  Nayim Dagan, father of Isaak





Condolences to our members Phyllis Broder, Tamara Broder and Brian Goldman and family,  Eytan Broder and Penny Hung and family on the loss of Gabriel Broder, husband, father and grandfather.


(Yahrzeit morning minyan at the Lodzer, Tuesday thru Thursday.)

BRODER, Gabe - On Friday, July 1st, 2016 at Baycrest Hospital. Beloved husband of Phyllis. Loving father and father-in-law of Davida and Ken Sarson, Tamara Broder and Brian Goldman, Kinneret Broder, and Eytan Broder and Penny Hung. Dear brother and brother-in-law of Menashe (Tashie) and Chana Broder, Gitty and Gabe Glazer, the late Rivka Broder Shaffir and Billy Shaffir, and the late Chaim David. Devoted grandfather of Leah and Michael, Elana, Kaille, Sasha, Imri, Zohar, Carmel, and Alona. A graveside service (was) held at Lodzer Centre Congregation Section of Pardes Shalom Cemetery  

-- listing




Elie Wiesel 1928-2016

The world has lost a giant with Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Peace Prize winner

Eli Wiesel passing away.

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Eli Wiesel, who survived the Holocaust and went on to become an influential author and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has died, Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem said on Saturday.

Born in 1928, Wiesel wrote extensively of his imprisonment in Nazi camps and in 1986 won the Nobel Prize for peace.

Arguably one his most notable literary achievement was his book Night, based on his experience as a prisoner in Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps.

In 1986, Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize for what the Norwegian Nobel Committee called his “practical work in the cause of peace…atonement and human dignity” to humanity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned the passing of Wiesel and released a statement, saying that he “gave expression to the victory of the human spirit over cruelty and evil, through his extraordinary personality and his fascinating books.”

Netanyahu said that “in the darkness of the Holocaust, in which our sisters and brothers were killed – six million – Elie Wiesel served as a ray of light and example of humanity who believed in the goodness in people.”

The prime minister gave thanks that he had been blessed to have known Wiesel, and learned from him, personally.




Quotes of the Day

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Vincent Van Gogh (1853 - 1890)


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“It is not enough to identify our core values. We have to put constant reminders in place so that we can retain our integrity in all leadership challenges.”


Erica Brown, referring to the ideas

of Rabbi Nachman


Source: This and many other quotes come from a book called Take your Soul to Work, by Erica Brown. It was kindly referred to me by Cathy Zeldin./ju

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(Check out more Erica Brown in upcoming events)




A Touching Memoir in Tribute to Elie Wiesel, 1928-2016  (thanks Nancy)

When Elie Wiesel Healed a Rwandan Genocide Survivor

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Victims of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda remember meeting Elie Wiesel, after he confronted the Holocaust denial of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN's Durban II racism conference in April 2009.  (Read the full tribute)




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Wednesdays

7:30-8:30 pm

Parsha of The Week

(POW)

with Judy Hazan



POW returns Sept. 7

Enjoy the Summer!


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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


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.


Monday,

TBA

7:30 pm

Shul

Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

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(Suggest possible books to read and we’ll profile them in the ebulletin)

Book Chat will take a break for the summer and return in the fall.  At our first meeting we will discuss "The Immigrant" by Lawrence Hill.  Date TBA.

Wishing you all a great summer!
Cathy


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


For more information or to suggest books to read, please contact cathyrzeldin@gmail.com


Wednesday,

July 6


7:30 PM


Lodzer


$Free


Pursuing Peace in Turbulent Times


Immediate

Action

Required:

Attend!

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Rabbi Yaakov Menken

@ymenken
Director of Project Genesis, home of http://Torah.org

Tweets on Torah, anti-Semitism, and Coffee. #JewishLivesMatter

---

#BDS isn't about Israel the country, but the People of Israel. Follow the @ShofarProject .

Guest speaker, Rabbi Yaakov Menken of torah.org will be discussing the topic: “Pursuing Peace in Turbulent Times” A discussion of Jewish Ethics, Jewish Studies, and Anti-Semitism. As part of the discussion, Rabbi Menken will also be discussing his new “The Shofar Project - a new approach to fighting anti-Semitism.”

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(I’ll bring the rope.)

Thursday,

July 7


1 Tamuz

Rosh Chodesh


(4th Month)


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Put on your shorts and get out there!

Saturday,

July 9

3 Tamuz


Birkot

ha-Shachar

9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman



Yishtabach

9:30 AM

Kiddush Lunch


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This week’s kiddush is

sponsored by:

The Lodzer Congregation


Torah Times

Torah Reading: Triennial Year 3

Parashat Korach

1: 17:25-18:7
2: 18:8-10
3: 18:11-13
4: 18:14-20
5: 18:21-24
6: 18:25-29
7: 18:30-32

mafir: 18:30-32


Haftarah:

Samuel 11:14 - 12:22


Candle Lighting: 8:42 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 9:50 p.m. – Saturday

Saturday,

July 16

10 Tamuz


Birkot

ha-Shachar

9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman


Yishtabach

9:30 AM

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To sponsor a Kiddush

please call the office

416-636-6665



My Journey into Judaism

I took to religion at about age 12; it was very hard for me to be Sabbath observant as a kid in a home which was not Sabbath observant. I think my parents thought the whole Jewish thing was a phase.

I would advise anyone who is at the start of a rest ritual like the Sabbath, to take it slowly and grow incrementally into it. Recognize that it will be hard at first. It's a discipline but then it is a true and deep joy.

I love lighting Shabbat candles at the onset of Shabbat. It helps me create a strong and firm demarcation of time.

In fact, because I am very time conscious and want to make the most of every moment, I make it a practice to remove my watch before I light the candles as if to suggest that for this brief period, my life must transcend time.

I love going to synagogue (Saturday morning) and being swept in the melodies. Everyone seems more friendly and unburdened by the week and ready to be taken elsewhere. (originally: on Friday night)

If we are indeed created in God's image, then we, too, must create and then we, too, must rest.

Erica Brown

Sunday,

August 21

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

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The History of Klezmer Music.


Presentation by:

Raisa and Viktor Orshansky




Sunday,

August 28

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

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"Where Does that Tune

Come From?"


The Musical Origin of Popular Jewish Melodies.


Presentation by:

Charles Heller

Sunday,

September 11

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

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The Yiddish Theatre.


Presentation by:

Faye Kellerstein



Sunday,

September 18

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

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Jewish Music of North Africa.


Presentation by:

Cantor Aaron Bensoussan



Sunday,

October 30

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

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The Jewish Role in Jazz

and the

Israeli Jazz Scene.


Presentation by:

Reuven Grajner



Sunday,

November 6

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

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The Golden Age of Cantorial Music.


Presentation by:

Cantor David Nemtzov



Sunday,

November 20

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

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Jewish Music of The Middle East:

Part One.


Presentation by:

Cantor Aaron Bensoussan



Sunday,

November 27

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

SundaysAt7PM_w250.jpg


Jewish Music of Eastern Europe.


Presentation by:

Raisa and Viktor Orshansky



Sunday,

December 4

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

SundaysAt7PM_w250.jpg


Jewish Music of The Middle East:

Part Two.


Presentation by:

Cantor Aaron Bensoussan

Sunday,

December 18

7 PM

Lodzer

Centre

Congregation


12 Heaton St.

416-636-6665

All classes are on Sunday at 7 pm:

Free of charge.

Donations are welcome.

Refreshments will be served following

each presentation.


This project is funded

In part by the

Government of Canada

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Israeli Music.


Presentation by:

Cantor David Edwards






This Past Week

Sylvia White continues to get better - physically, and I am sure in all other ways!!

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Shul ended happily with a rousing discussion of Rabbi Eli’s proposed trip, Hanna Rosenberg’s plans for the next few years, the use of the word “settler”, and the difference in personalities between a person who saves road signs and one who saves carved turtles.

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The Original Two-State Solution

The Jewish people are owners, not occupiers of Israel—including Judea and Samaria—by virtue of a ‘land title deed’ from the 1922 League of Nations Mandate For Palestine which created the ‘Original Two-State Solution.’ (‘West Bank’ was the name given to Judea and Samaria by Jordan during her illegal occupation of the area beginning in 1948 that ended with Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six Day War).


‘Palestine’ was promised to the Jewish people via unanimous approval by the 52 countries of the League of Nations of the Mandate For Palestine. Its terms were agreed upon on July 24, 1922, came into effect Sept 29, 1923, and ended at midnight on May 14, 1948, the day before Israel declared independence. The Mandate codified decisions made under international law by the Principal Allied Powers at the San Remo Conference which were set out in the San Remo Resolution of April 25, 1920. British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon referred to this resolution as ‘the Magna Carta of the Zionists.’

To the Palestinian settlers,

Who are occupying Israel:

“Behave!”




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http://shofarproject.org/


onFacebook



Don’t miss the opportunity to hear Rabbi Menken speak at the Lodzer.

Wed. July 6 @ 7:30 PM


Please support our efforts

to bring interesting speakers

to the Lodzer, by attending.


Our Mission:
The best way to fight

anti-Semitism is with Jewish

values and education.

By informing Jewish students of the true roots and underlying reason for this pernicious hatred, we can give them moral clarity, pride in their Jewish identity and firmness in their defense of Israel – and also inspire them to learn more.


We are Proud to be Hated

by the Haters of Israel.


The underlying root of anti-Jewish hostility is and has always been hatred for the Jewish mission and impact upon civilization: Divine Ideals of morality and conscience.


(I had to look up those 2 words as they relate to divine ideals.)

---

Actions are morally right in virtue of their motives, which must derive more from duty than from inclination. (www)

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Conscience is the capacity to discern how G-d’s law applies in concrete situations. (www)



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א ליגן טאר מען נישט זאגן, דעמ אמת מוז מען נישט זאגן.


A liggen tor men nisht zoggen, dem emes muz men nisht zoggen.


You must not tell a lie, the truth you need not tell.


Our Sages say: He who spreads gossip commits a sin, although it may be the truth.

( Chafetz Chaim ).

                                                      ...............................


א האלבער אמת איז א גאנצער ליגן.


A halber emes iz a gantzer liggen.


A half-truth is a whole lie.


Our Sages say: A lie cannot endure unless it begins with some truth. (Rashi.)

The Spies said " we came to the land and indeed it flowed with milk and honey.......however..." ( Bemidbar 13:27 ).




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Of Mice and Men


Parshas Korach

Posted on June 30, 2005 (5765) by Rabbi Label Lam


The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all the people who were with Korach, and their entire wealth. They and all that was theirs descended alive to the pit; the earth covered them over and they were lost from among the congregation. (Bamidbar 16:32-33),


I only open my mouth to change my feet! (My Uncle Al)

Why is said that the earth opened its “mouth” and then it “swallowed”? Is this some poetic personification or does the earth really have a mouth that swallows?

I still recoil in disgust when recalling a scene I witnessed as a child. A friend of mine showed me his new pet snake. “Neat!” I thought. It was OK but then came feeding time and I lost my appetite. A poor little mouse was dropped into the glass cage. He tried to hide but there was no place to go. The snake snatched him alive! The cruelty continued all the while struggling lump was swallowed whole. Ugh!

Sorry for the crude and unappetizing description. But- is the Torah any less delicate in describing Korach and his family being swallowed alive and whole into the earth?! They didn’t just fall into a pit. No! It was deliberate and sudden- like the mouse. We should feel sorry for Korach, perhaps! But the greater purpose in giving color to this ugly episode is to learn “not to be like Korach and his followers.” So why did the earth open its mouth and swallow him alive?

The Chovos HaLevavos in the Section called Cheshbon HaNefesh- “Personal Accounting”, there are listed not less than thirty matters one might meditate about. Number nine he suggests that one should imagine that a prince is sent by his father the king on a dangerous mission into hostile territory with a huge entourage to care for his every need. The prince should reckon for himself how his servants and attendants would behave if they become aware that the prince himself is not strictly following the rules of the king. If he stays up late and drinks they too will take his queue.

We similarly find ourselves vulnerable and delicately positioned. We are surrounded by attendants, including 60 trillion cells. If one rebels, G-d forbid, the whole system could crash. There are huge hospitals struggling to tame clusters of unpredictable erratic cells. The oceans, the earth, and all things are part of the friendly support system- that is, as long as the prince behaves accordingly.

Someone once asked Rabbi Avigdor Miller ztl., “Why did the earth open its mouth and swallow Korach? What are we to learn?” In typical fashion he gave the most direct and clear answer possible. “Korach had opened his big mouth and so the earth opened its mouth to swallow him alive.” Wow! Korach had everything in life! He was wealthy and wise and enviable in every way. He had it all! When he opened his mouth, though, he dug his own grave. Such is the fragile state of our existence and so go the best laid plans of mice and men.

Text Copyright & copy 2005 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org


Editor’s Note: Why does this remind me of Donald Trump?




We Follow Dry Bones  (We don’t live in a vacuum.)

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BETTER LEARN TO RECITE QU’RAN,

IT MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE


The ISIS terrorists who slaughtered 20 foreign hostages inside a Bangladeshi café spared those who could recite passages from the Koran — and the gunmen even made sure their pious prisoners were well fed during the tense, 10-hour standoff.

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Islamism is the violent political movement that seeks world domination and which justifies its goals on the religion of Islam, the idea of Jihad, and the imposition of Sharia law.


FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:


Moderate Muslims living and born in Canada have as much to fear as we do.


Or


Placing yourself “in someone else’s shoes”

is not the best way to form an opinion.


A little self control would go a long way to making

this world a better place.


Behave!


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Pirke Avoth, Perek 2 Mishnah 12

Note: This commentary is taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim and Visions of the Fathers by Abraham Twersky. Some sentences of  have been taken verbatim (in quotes) and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 12. The Questions are my own.

He used to say: If all the sages of Israel were in one scale of the  balance, and Eliezer ben Hyrcanus in the other, he would outweigh them all. But Abba Saul said in his name [quoted him as saying]: If all the sages of Israel, together even with Eliezer ben Hyrcanus were in one scale of the balance, and Elazar ben Arach were in the other scale, he would outweigh them all.


Ethics from Sinai

“There is one type of scholar whose chief attribute is his memory. He is the faithful transmitter of the tradition, of all he has learned. He remembers accurately and precisely all the laws and tradition that he learns and he transmits everything faithfully: no more and no less. Rabbinic tradition call him sinai because through him the entire Torah is transmitted, as it was on Mont Sinai; and tradition also calls him baki, the expert with clear encyclopedic knowledge, thoroughly versed and familiar with Torah. Such a man was Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus.

Then there is the scholar with a keen, analytic mind and sharp perception who can quickly see distinctions, similarities and logical consequences. Taking known, familiar material, he can find and derive from it startling new developments and conclusions, merely by bringing a brilliant, creative, intellect to bear on it.  Him the rabbinic tradition calls oker harim, “the uprooter of mountains,” describing his mental prowess metaphorically; or it calls him harif, the sharp keen-witted one. These terms would undoubtedly apply to Rabbi Elazar ben Arach.

In the Talmud the question arises: which type is greater? And it ranks the encyclopedicsinai the higher of the two, for his is essential to preserve the Oral Torah and authoritative teachings among his people. Actually though, as the Talmud itself recognizes, both types are very necessary. At certain periods in our history, during turbulent times when there is danger the Torah may be forgotten, the man with the faultless memory is of the greatest importance, to transmit the Torah entirely and accurately. At other times, when the written and oral Torah are generally well known, the keen creative intellect may contribute far more than his colleague of the fabulous memory, for he will advance the development of Torah, applying it brilliantly to new problems and new areas of human thought and activity.”


Question 1: Does our religion’s emphasis on questioning       everything result in many excellent scholars, but a lack of unity between ourselves in times of turbulence when it is needed?

Question 2: Do the Orthodox follow the scholar with the prodigious memory;  the Reform follow the scholar who can better interpret and perhaps change the traditions; and are Conservatives take a half way in-between position?

Question 3: Can we accept that the Torah was written by God and still demand change or re-interpretation?

Question 4: Is it the culture of Israel or the diaspora rather than the ideas of scholars that effect the majority of changes?


Visions of the Fathers

“The Talmud states that R’Elazar ben Arach left the academy of Yavhneh and settled in a place where he felt that the purity of the water and the tranquillity of the environment would permit him to think more clearly. He expected that his students would soon follow him, and when they remained in Yavneh, he too, wished to return. However, his wife persuaded him otherwise. … R’Elazar’s seclusion resulted in his forgetting his enormous amount of knowledge. The Talmud states that it was only due to the intense prayers of his colleagues that he regained his vast store of wisdom. … This episode teaches us that regardless of one’s proficiency in Torah, one is in danger of losing it if one is lax in diligently pursing its study with students and peers, and constantly reviewing it.”




Rabbi Eli spoke of the “Bystander Effect”

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Earl Bales Park - Let’s Go Fly A Kite

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Tamuz - get out there! Share some fun/artistic shots with the eBulletin. Write a few words and it might show up here or in the members area of our website.

Check out Sheldon’s story and pictures from Poland.

Reminder: Send content to  lodzercongregation@gmail.com




Daily Minyan

Sunday – Friday: 9:00 am

We alternate with Beth Radom

on Sunday - check the schedule

posted on the side door.

Run by Arthur Zins

includes Breakfast following.


Come Daven, Fress & Schmooze,

then join in on a walk.


Saturdays: Shabbat Service

Birkot ha-Shachar 9:12 AM

 - (Led by Frank Steiman)
Yishtabach 9:30 AM

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


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.

Help us get the word out

Share the bulletin!

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, President

Harvey Storm

Jonathan Usher

Morry Nosak

Marilyn Richmond                                

Board Members

Joe Ber

Henry Epstein

Roz Greene

Judy Hazen

Rafi Remez

Frank Steiman

Arnie Yudell


Honourary Member

Leon Pasternak


Rabbi Eli Courante

Cantor Marcel Cohen

B’aal Koreh:

Harvey Bitterman

Gabbai: Arnie Yudell

Bulletin Editor:

Jonathan Usher

e-Bulletin:

Charles Greene

Office Manager:

Sarah Senior


Website:

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Memberships

Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

High Holy Days 2016

Rabbi’s Corner


Shabbat Bulletin

For submissions/feedback:

lodzercongregation@gmail.com


Lodzer Office

For all business related e-mail:

lodzercentre@rogers.com




D’var Torah given by Arthur Zins at the Shaarei-Beth El Congregation in Oakville on July 2nd, 2016

Two weeks ago, I attended a phenomenal lecture by Curator Dorion Liebgott on the Jews of Poland. Extensive information on pre-war Jewish life in Poland  is available in the magnificent POLIN Museum of the History of the Polish Jews which is located on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto.
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In recent decades, the image of a proverbial Polish Jew was that of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, typically a pedlar, tailor or farmer. This is a skewed picture of most Jewish life in Poland before the war.

The intent of this short thesis is to modify the proverbial 'shtetl' image.

For 1000 years prior to 1939, the country with the most Jews was Poland and the majority of the world’s Jews lived in Poland. From 1600 A.D. to 1700 A.D., 3 out of every 4 Jews in the world, lived in Poland.

For that 1,000 years, until 1939, Poland was arguably the seat of the very best Jewish life in the history of the world, with its many centres of Jewish learning, yeshivas, Talmudic advances, rabbinic dynasties and followers, as well as secular achievements in all areas of commerce, the arts, and sciences.

In the years 1700 - 1939, anti-Semitism in Poland increased, and so there was significant emigration of Jews out of Poland and into other countries. However by 1939, 3.4 million Jews still lived in Poland.

Tragically 90% of Polish Jews perished in the holocaust, leaving some 300,000 Polish Jewish survivors after World War II.

Prior to WW11 the vast majority of Polish Jews lived in the bigger cities, such as Lvov, Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow.Only 23% lived in rural villages or shtetls, so we can definitely say that ‘not all Polish Jews were pedlars, tailors or farmers’. In Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow, 1 out every 3 people was Jewish (a much higher percentage than New York City).


Comprehensive history of Jews in Poland

What did the big-city Jews do?

Prior to world war II, the Polish records indicate that there were some 107 Jewish Polish parliamentarians, not including many Jewish mayors and town councillors.

Virtually all retail booksellers in Poland were Jewish owned. Textile mills and distilleries, as well as restaurants and taverns were often owned by Jews. In the professions, 56% of doctors, 43% of teachers and 33% of lawyers, were Jewish.

One textile magnate from Lodz, Poznanski, owned a professional soccer team, the first goal of the Polish National soccer team being scored by a Polish Jew, and this same magnate, Poznanski, established the first 'reform' synagogue in Poland in 1883.

The inventor of the international language, Esperanto, was a Polish Jew.

Starting in 1800, and for more than the next 100 years, Jews were involved in the oil boom as chronicled by Valerie Schatzker in her book - 'The Jewish Oil Magnates of Galicia’.  

In our congregation the grandfather of our Harvey Bitterman, owned and operated a kosher ski resort in southeast Poland; founder David Rybowski’s father operated a modern dance studio in prewar Lodz; and my grandfather, whom I am named after, was a director at the world renowned salt mines in Wielizka, southeast Poland.

In conclusion, I hope that the thrust of this thesis adequately indicates that Polish Jews participated in Polish affairs as business leaders, artists, musicians, writers, leading Zionists, professional athletes, and actors and that 'not all Jews in prewar Poland were pedlars, tailors or farmers’.


Arthur Zins



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