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Shabbat Bulletin - November 26, 2016

Highlights of this week's bulletin, “The Jolly Lodzer.”

  • The Doll Doctor

  • Rabbi Sacks on Leonard Cohen’s song “You Want it Darker” and parsha Vayera

  • Sing a song... to make your Shabbat last your whole life long.

  • Upcoming Shul Events: Oneg Shabbat, Chrismukkah and Passover 2nd Seder

  • Arthur's Weight Loss Update

A belated Thank you and Mazel Tov.


Last week’s Shabbat kiddush lunch was also sponsored by Howard Iseman for his birthday on November 24.

To ensure your announcement makes it into the e-bulletin for the coming Shabbat, please book with Sarah no later than Tuesday.

D’VAR TORAH - Where do we draw the line?


Hasid Flips the Bird at Kapparot Protester

Kaporos is a bizarre, frankly embarrassing ritual that rabbis have tried to squelch for centuries. Stripped of rabbinic apologetics, it is witchcraft: A chicken is waved over a person’s head (three times, of course), and the person’s sins are cleansed. This is exactly the magical view of atonement which the prophets Isaiah and Jonah, and two thousand years of Jewish ethical monotheism, seek to uproot.

Smile, say “chicken”...

The hasid is swinging the bird for holiness on the one hand and literally and figuratively flipping the bird at an animal rights protestor with the other hand.
The hasid is so focused on the propriety, on the right way of following the prophets and on establishing a firm right-footed relationship with the Almighty that everything else can go to...

Genius disregards the boundaries of propriety. Genius is permitted to shout if shouting is productive.

(Lois Lowry)

Propriety and single interest divides the people of a land and the whole world into parties and is the cause of all wars and bloodshed and contention everywhere.

(Gerrard Winstanley)

Not our best moment
When a school bus full of children meet a horrific catastrophe some Rabbinic authorities will proclaim that it was the fault of the parents for not being observant and not following the Sabbath.

On the other hand
Pope francis says we should be non judgemental when dealing with people of other walks of life.
(A Pope for All People? -- maybe not.)

It’s always better with butter

The sages decreed that the chicken is not to be eaten with butter.
The torah decrees that you should treat all humans with dignity and respect.

If when at a wedding, you notice that a beautiful chicken dinner included vegetables sautéed in butter.

What do you do?

Do you shut down the whole event and fire the caterer on the spot?

Or do you allow the wedding to continue with the dignity and respect it deserves and voice your concerns privately with those concerned?

Protocol is great when we find comfort in it and it doesn’t hurt anybody and is in everyone's best interest. Problems arise when we rely on one authority to solve our problems and tell us how to live our lives. Respect and flexibility must be built into the system.

Unthinking respect for authority

is the greatest enemy of truth.

(Albert Einstein)

(blind respect does not lead to truth)

Whenever serious and competent people need to get things done in the real world, all considerations of tradition and protocol fly out the window. (Neal Stephenson)

Shavua Tov (RE inspired)

HELP! - A former Lodzer Rabbi Needs Our Help

Rabbi Cahana_w275.jpg

On July 15, 2011, Rabbi Ronnie Cahana suffered a severe brain stem stroke that left him in an incomplete locked-in state.

Through a combination of blinking and mouthing Rabbi Cahana began to communicate weekly divrei torah and other messages, letter by letter, blink by blink. He has since regained his ability to speak and breathe on his own and makes slow but steady progress.

However, he has exhausted his insurance benefits and needs help to pay for his much needed therapy. To contribute to this very important mitzvah, please go to


Though our rabbi's progress is slow, it is steady.  The health care system will only provide for the first year of rehab and we are continuing the intensive protocol with professional physio 5 times/week, as well as occupational and speech therapy. We have an incredible corps of volunteer support, additionally.  It is making  a difference and our team is impressed with the improvement.  We know that without it, there is no hope of increasing function.  
   Thanks to the speech therapy, our rabbi is currently holding two 45 minute Torah classes/ week.  
He is standing supported and able to bend his knees individually, all necessary steps for walking.
He is feeding himself with assistance.  Of course, he has been breathing on his own and eating regular food for a few years---things that the early medical team said would be impossible with a diagnosis of locked-in syndrome.
   So, with gratitude to the Almighty, thank G-d for a supportive community and our rabbi's ability to be simultaneously very ambitious and very patient, we are witnessing miracles every day.
Yesh Nes Gadol Po!!!
  We have a Rehab fund The Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal, because the costs are very high, as you can imagine.  Bryna Hersh (donations coordinator)

We think of our friends at the Lodzer very often with such fondness and pray that everyone is thriving.  Those were very significant years for us and for our children and we have wonderful memories.  Ronnie joins me in sending our warmest regards,
    Karen Cahana

The Lodzer Music Festival - Sundays at 7

Hope to see you all this week on Sunday, November 27 at 7 PM.

Jewish Music of Eastern Europe presented by Raisa Orshansky & Viktor Kotov

Russian-style Klezmer_w600.jpg

Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations.

The term klezmer comes from a combination of Hebrew words: kli, meaning "tool, or utensil" and zemer, meaning "to make music"

Klezmer is easily identifiable by its characteristic expressive melodies, reminiscent of the human voice, complete with laughing and weeping.

Klezmorim based much of their secular instrumental music upon the devotional vocal music of the synagogue, in particular cantorial music. Even so, klezmorim — along with other entertainers — were typically looked down on by Rabbis because of their secular traveling lifestyle.

Many believe Gershwin was influenced by the Yiddish of his youth, and that the opening of "Rhapsody in Blue" was a nod to klezmer clarinetting. Some clarinet stylings of swing jazz bandleaders Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw can be interpreted as having been derived from klezmer, as can the "freilach swing" playing of other Jewish artists of the period such as trumpeter Ziggy Elman.


Check out the videos from our “Sundays at 7” series on YouTube

  1. The History of Klezmer Music - Raisa Orshansky and Viktor Kotov

  1. Where Does that Tune Come From? - Charles Heller

  1. The Songs of the Yiddish Theatre - Faye Kellerstein

  1. Jewish Music of North Africa - Cantor Aaron Bensoussan

  1. Jewish Role in Jazz/Israeli Jazz Scene - Reuven Grajner

  1. The Golden Age of Cantorial Music - Cantor David Nemtzov

  • (When it becomes available.)

  1. Jewish Music of The Middle East (part one) - Cantor Aaron Bensoussan

  • (When it becomes available.)

Donated Links - looking for a home

Truth Before Solutions: A New Path To Peace

  • Everyone knows the answer, except Israel of course. (sarcasm)

  • Your truth is old news. Sorry, you can’t sell reconstituted truth. It’s easier to sell misinformation.

A Dream Come True

  • Killed IDF soldier Erez Deri comes to his mother in a dream and makes a heartfelt request.

‘Write On’ Students Dedicate Torah In Israel

  • In an Israeli cemetery where parents bury children, a group of American high school students prove that family is forever.

Zemirot - Jewish songs for the Shabbat table

  • “Zemirot” is the term for the table hymns sung during or immediately after Sabbath meals. These medieval songs represent a unique blend of the holy and the secular, the serious and the playful, and allow family and friends to enhance the Sabbath experience.

SHALOM ALEICHEM with English translation

  • Peace be upon you

  • Traditionally sung as the family gathers around the table on Friday night to welcome the “angels of peace.”

  • “Two ministering angels–one good, one evil–accompany every Jew from the synagogue to his home on the Sabbath eve. If they find the candles burning, the table set, and the bed covered with a spread, the good angel exclaims, ‘May it be God’s will that it also be so on the next Sabbath,’ and the evil angel is compelled to respond ‘amen.’ But if everything is disorderly and gloomy, the evil angel exclaims, ‘May it be God’s will that it also be so on the next Sabbath,’ and the good angel is forced to say ‘amen.'”


  • This day is for Israel

  • According to kabbalists, life one day will become one great Sabbath.

Yah Ribom Olam

  • G-d, Master of the universe

  • The song praises the glorious and powerful “King who reigns over kings” whose “powerful and wonderful deeds it is beautiful to declare.”

Yom Zeh Mechubad

  • This day is honored

  • “The Holy One, Blessed be He, said unto Israel: ‘My children, borrow on My account and celebrate the holiness of the day and trust in Me, and I will repay'”

Tzur Mishelo

  • Rock from whose store [we have eaten]

  • the invitation to recite Grace after meals, praising God for providing food, giving thanks for the “good land” bequeathed to Israel, and asking God to have mercy on the Jewish people and to restore the Temple and the kingdom of David.


Happy Birthdays to:

Nov. 21  David Peters
Nov. 23  Nicole Anidjar
Nov. 24  Howard Iseman

Nov. 30  Marcel Mozes
Dec. 1     Mary Goldlust


(please call Sarah)


Nov. 19  Jack Shievitz, father of Alan
Nov. 20  Abraham Ikka, father of Leon
Nov. 22  Genia Giskina, mother of Mary Gelman
Nov. 24  Chaya Gula, grandmother of Morry Nosak
Nov. 25  Chaim Senior, husband of Sarah

Dec. 1  Moishe Katz, father of Reisa Grunberg
Dec. 2  Sam Brand, husband of Anna
Dec. 2  Leibish Gula, grandfather of Morry Nosak
Dec. 2  Roz Spivak, sister of Frank Steiman




November 23

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


November 26

25 Heshvan



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM

Kiddush Lunch


This week’s kiddush

is sponsored by

Fay Ingber & family

for the yahrzeit of


Torah Times

Torah Reading: Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Chayye Sarah:

Genesis 18:1 - 22:24

1: 23:1-4 (pg. 80)
2: 23:5-7
3: 23:8-12
4: 23:13-16
5: 23:17-20
6: 24:1-4
7: 24:5-9
maftir: 24:5-9


I Kings 1:1 - 1:31 (pg. 90)

Candle Lighting: 4:26 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 5:33 p.m. – Saturday



November 27

7 PM




12 Heaton St.


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


Jewish Music of Eastern Europe.

Presentation by:

Raisa Orshansky & Viktor Kotov



December 1

1 Kislev

Rosh Chodesh




December 3

3 Kislev



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM


Prayer is meant to be a powerful, relevant and meaningful experience.

Read through the prayers and slowly think about what you’re saying and don’t be overly concerned about being behind. Look, the worst that could happen is that you will fall behind, but don’t worry, they’ll probably announce the pages so you can always catch up.

If a particular sentence or paragraph touches you–linger a while. Say the words over and over to yourself. Softly but audible to your ear. Allow those words to touch you. Feel them. And, if you’re really brave, then close your eyes and say those words over and over for a couple of moments.


December 3

7:30 PM

Beth Radom




Hosted by Neil Naftolin

Featured Guests

Cantor Lauren Phillips

Cantor Deborah Staiman

Cantor Marcel Cohen

Cantor Mitch Smolkin

Cantor Alex Stein

Order online or 416-636-3451


Cantor Jeremy and Friends

2nd Annual


“Best of the Borscht Belt”


December 4

7 PM




12 Heaton St.




Jewish Music of The Middle East:

Part Two.

Presentation by:

Cantor Aaron Bensoussan


December 7

Early bird




the Baltic States

With Rabbi Eli

August 7-16, 2017

Full details at


Seize the opportunity!

Early bird discount

ends today.



December 8

7:30 PM


Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Black Widow-Daniel Silva_w200.jpg

A network of terror.
A web of deceit.
A deadly game of vengeance.

Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon is poised to become the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. But on the eve of his promotion, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation. ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again.


December 16

Services start

6:15 PM

Dinner following



Chicken Noodle Soup

Garden Salad

Honey Garlic Chicken

Chinese Fried Rice

Stir Fry Vegetables


Reserve by

Monday, December 12


Members $35

Member’s Children $15

(Under 5 $5)

Non-Members $45

Non-Member’s Children $20

(under 5 $5)

Bring Your Own Kosher Wine (unopened bottles only)


December 18

7 PM




12 Heaton St.




Israeli Music.

Presentation by:

Cantor David Edwards


December 25

5 PM

$$$ TBA


“We’re Cool with Yule!”

Rafi’s Annual


Chinese Food and a Movie

I eat Chinese food on Christmas
Go to the movie theater, too
'Cause there just ain’t much else to do on Christmas...
When you’re a Jew'

Movie, to be determined.


January 1




January 19

7:30 PM


Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Telling the tale

of a gay,




This book was shortlisted for the recently awarded Giller Prize, so you may want to put it on hold at the library now as it is very popular.


April 11

Time TBA



Passover Seder
2nd Seder

Full Kosher Dinner
Full Seder Service
$75 per person

Limited Seats Available.

Reserve NOW. 416-636-6665

Memories of our survivors - Freda Kon - As told to Susan Yellin

  • Just in case you missed it last week, it is now in our Members Area


1930s SHIRLEY TEMPLE DOLL_w600.jpg

The famous dolly everywhere

named Glory was without compare.

True to her careful chosen name

her beauty earned her love and fame.

She wasn’t just another toy

but dolly mother’s greatest joy.

To groom and brush her dark brown curls

was the envy of all girls.

With tender care and greatest pleasure

the caring mum laid down her treasure.

This miracle could shut her eyes

and say “mama” when she cries.

One afternoon at 3 o’clock

mum found the little lacy frock

just torn to pieces on the chair,

and next to it some bits of hair.

When to her horror on the bed

she saw the ripped off neck and head.

In shreds the purple satin bows.

The right foot missing its three toes.


Who did this crime? Who? Dog or cat?

I’ll beat the little brother yet!

He’s the culprit he’s a brat!

A punishment is due, you bet.

One creature carries on its nose

the evidence of satin bows.

“Come, Lucifer you nasty pet.

When I find you I’ll split your head!”

The grandma’s soft consoling voice

suggests still another choice.

A charming neighbour, quite well known,

the dolly doctor, Isra Cohen.

She mentions he lives just next door,

does magic practice in his store.
A tinkerer, handyman,
but also called the Candyman.

He gives the children down the street

tarts and candies as a treat.

Most anything he can repair,

from toy train to teddy bear.


Said to the girl who begged and wept,

sat up all the night and never slept:

“To this poor thing I will restore

her utmost glory as before.

Just leave her overnight with me,

forget those tears. Sleep well,” said he.
Then in the night some voices loud shout:

“Move it, quickly!” – and – “Get out!”

“You will not need that beat up toy

where you are going old Jew boy!”

In this darkest night of shame

Someone said a transport came

and took this much beloved man

who vanished, never seen again.


Irene Tandon

The Poetry Group | Baycrest | Wed. 3 PM

(ROMEO’s better half)

Finding Truth and Meaning in...

You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen

If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

There's a lover in the story
But the story's still the same
There's a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it's written in the scriptures
And it's not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

They're lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle class and tame
I didn't know I had permission to murder and to maim
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

If you are the dealer, let me out of the game
If you are the healer, I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord

Hineni, hineni

Both videos are linked above -

Parsha Vayera - Rabbi Sacks

Sitting in his hotel room in New York, Rabbi Sacks suddenly had a thought about a connection between the late Leonard Cohen's song "You Want It Darker", the current state of the world and Parsha Vayera.

The State of the world

  • A very divisive American election

  • Similarly, Britain had it’s BREXIT vote

  • The middle-East is in Turmoil

  • The far right is on the rise in Europe

The World has suddenly got darker

  • A song for our time

You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen

  • One of Leonard’s more Jewish songs

  • Contains the prayer for the dead

  • The chorus, here I am, repeated 3 times

  • Also a precise commentary on Parsha Vayera - the darkest episode in the whole bible - G-d asks Abraham to offer up and saccrifise his son, Isaac.

  • Abraham says, “Here I am,” and Isaac says that he is ready.

  • Abraham ultimate rose up in protest, conflicted by the very mixed message.

G-d, I love you dearly, but look at the world you created.

  • How can people, out of love for you, kill their fellow human beings?

  • You’re the G-d of life, not death

There’s a lullaby for suffering

  • Abraham loves his son, and G-d has asked Abraham to saccrifise Isaac.

The Paradox

  • Out of love for G-d, we sometimes kill in his name

  • it's written in the scriptures -  it's not some idle claim

Leonard’s final message to us

  • G-d, I love you, but I don’t love the world you created

  • G-d, I love you dearly, but I don’t love the human beings that you made in your image

  • I love the love that you have for us, but I don’t like the hate, that so often that love gives rise to.

If you’re the dealer, then I’m out of the game

If you’re the healer, I’m broken and lame

Rest assured Rabbi Sacks’ dvar doesn’t end on a sour note - Watch the video!


Pirke Avoth Perek 3 Mishnah 9

Note: The ‘Commentary” sections in italics are taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim and Visions of the Fathers by Twerski.  Some sentences of the text have been taken verbatim (in quotes) and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 9.  The questions are my own.


Rabbi Jacob said: If one is travelling on the road and is reviewing the Torah that he has learned, and he breaks off his study and says, “How lovely is that tree; how lovely is that field.” Scripture regards him as though he has incurred guilt to pay with his life

Note about Rabbi Jacob

“Rabbi Jacob ben Korsah , or Korshai (both of which most likely mean ‘of Korsha’) was a mid-second century tanna of the fourth generation,  a contemporary of Rabbai Gamaliel 2 , whom he once befriended against opposing colleagues. On his mother’s side he was a grandson of Elisa ben Abuyah (Aher) . Like his maternal grandfather, this sage once noticed that a dutiful son obeying his father climbed a tree to acquire some your birds, fledglings. In accordance with Scripture’s command, he first sent the mother bird away. Thus he fulfilled the two mizvoth for which the Torah explicitly promises ‘long life’:  respect for parents, and sending off the mother bird. And yet  as the son began to climb down, he fell to his death. Rabbi Jacob’s faith was undisturbed: “In this world” he said, ; there is no reward for good deeds; the promised reward are given in the world which is all good and immeasurably long’. Many decades later, a babylonian Zamora commented: ‘had Aher interpreted those promises [of scripture] as his daughter’s son did, he would not have become a sinner. In a later chapter of Avoth, Rabbi Jacob has more to say about the supreme importance of the hereafter, the world-to-come.

At Usha, where rabbi Jacob was a member of the Sanhedrin (great court) , Rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel chose him as tutor for his son, the future Rabbi Judah haNasi, From what we know of Rabbi Judah haNasi, this would be a clear indication of Rabbi Jacob’s mastery of Oral Torah, for he must have laid the groundwork on which Rabbi Judah later relied in redacting the Mishnah.

Another striking maxim of the Sage is: ‘Whoever has no wife, lives without goodness, without help, without joy, blessing, or atonement.’

Ethics from Sinai

 “…travelling was considered to be in a state of danger, and he required the special protection of meaningful activity or purposeful goals in order to ensure safety.  … Thus a person journeying to perform a mitzvah or studying the Torah on his travels will merit Divine protection.”

Questions:  Do we believe that studying or performing a mitzvah is a way to  obtain protection – or that it is simply superstition?

                   “ … if someone interrupts his Torah study for trivial reasons, he leaves himself without protection. “To admire the beauties of nature and extol the wonder of creation is to gratefully thank a munificent Creator. Nevertheless as a distraction from sacred thought, and an interruption in the study of Torah such a sentiment is considered seriously wrong.  This is the wrong time and the wrong place for aesthetic appreciation and delight. It is in opposition to Torah study at this time. But too many of us appreciate nature merely as nature, as something separate and apart, out of any larger context. We fail to see in nature’s great beauty, in its wonder and mystery, the hand of a Creator, the Master of the universe.”

Question 1:  Is our studying so intense that a temporary break from it is a serious wrongdoing?

Question 2: Similarly is our praying on Shabbat services so intense that the noise that the children make is seriously disturbing?

The beauty of the world “is just the last of a long series of many steps that is involved in an entire organization… “The physical phenomena that we experience are the palpable results of an infinite organization, a universal intelligence of creation, a Divine purpose and process amid which we live. … the universe is filled with ways and means by which we can acquire insight, awareness and knowledge of G-d.”

Question: When we look at nature to try to understand G-d, are we looking at an end result to try to figure out its origins? Is it like looking at a clock to figure out the nature of the clockmaker or like fish trying to figure out what is happening on dry land?

“But man’s soul, his life-spirit, is itself a bridge between the spiritual world of G-d and the material world of concrete reality. Man is a microcosm of interaction between the spiritual and the physical world. In him must live a knowledge of both, and an awareness of the relation between the two.”

Question 1: Do you believe in a soul?

Question 2: In what way is the soul “ a bridge” between the spiritual and physical world?

“ …the Talmud tells us that you cannot compare the person who reviews his Torah many times with the one who reviews his studies and merges with them an awareness of the Almighty. The knowledge of G-d must be at the core of all our studies, all our thinking, pondering and cogitation, whether secular or religious. … Wherever we go, wherever we walk, we must enthrone the Almighty as the keystone of our thoughts.”

Question: 1. Do we do this by being mindful?

Do we need symbols like a mezuzah or A Star of David or a daily set of prayers to remind us?

Question  2: If we use symbols, do they quickly become good-luck charms?

Visions of the Fathers

“A song of David

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse of the sky tells of His handiwork.

Day following day brings expression of praise, and night following night bespeaks wisdom.

There is no speech and there are no words; their sound is unheard.

Their line goes forth throughout the earth, and their words reach the farthest ends of the land.

In their midst He has set up a tent for the sun.

The sun is like a groom coming forth from his bridal chamber, rejoicing like a warrior to run the course.

The end of the heavens is its source, and its circuit is to their other) end; nothing hidden from its heat.”

“We have here an illustrious ode, a praise to God and an appreciation of Him through the grandeur of nature . But let us look at what immediately follows: The Torah of God is perfect, it restores the soul. The testimony of God is trustworthy, making the simple one wise.”

“Once we were given Torah, we are not to learn middos from nature alone, but also and primarily from Torah teachings. … One can look at a leaf through a microscope and have a breathtaking experience in noting its exquisite structure and metabolism. However, now that we have the Torah, we are supposed to look at the macrocosm and the microcosm through the perspective of Torah rather than with our unaided intellect.”

“Without Torah, we had to use whatever tools we had, like the person without eyesight. Once we were given the Torah, it provides the vision and perspective whereby we adjust to reality. Failure to use this gift of vision, and to try to function with our unaided intellect, is indeed … putting our very lives at great risk.”

Question: Can we compare this to a painting specialist and a person without technical painting experience. Both look at the same picture, but the specialist appreciates the   technicalities and other difficulties of production as well as the beauty of the picture.

“We cannot rely on our unaided intellect to reach the truth, because our emotions may distort our thinking. Yes, our intellect may indeed enable us to realize that there is a God, but this realization may not be able to withstand intense emotional stress. This is why we must make our intellect subject to the truth of Torah”

Question: Does looking at a sunset through the vision of the Torah bring an intellectual  aspect to it that lessens the emotional response to its beauty?

Quotes of the Week

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
(Kurt Vonnegut)

Haimishe Humour - Ski Gate Humor

As you may know, in a slalom race the skier must pass through about 20 "gates" in as little time as possible.

Well, it happened that Israel had the fastest slalom-skier in the world, and the country had great expectations for an Olympic gold medal.

The day of the final came, and the crowd waited in anticipation. The French champion sped down the course in 38 seconds. The Swiss was clocked at 38.7 seconds, the German at 37.8 seconds, and the Italian at 38.1 seconds.

Then came the turn of the Israeli. The crowd waited, and waited...SIX MINUTES!

"What happened to you?" screamed his trainer when the Israeli finally arrived.

Replied the exhausted Israeli: "Who fixed a mezuzah to each gate?"


Reasonable Repetition
Parshas Chayei Sarah
Posted on June 7, 2002 (5758) By Rabbi Yaakov Menken

Sometimes, the Torah strikes us as repetitive. We are forced to wonder why the Torah felt it necessary to tell us the same thing twice, and to attempt to determine what changes and nuances can be learned from the retelling.

Nowhere is this more striking than in our parsha, in the story of Eliezer going to find a wife for Yitzchak. First of all, the story is told in great detail. Furthermore, we are given a complete record of Eliezer’s conversation with Besuel and Lavan, in which he repeats the story nearly in full – who Avraham was (as if we didn’t know), how he wanted to find a wife for his son, how he sent Eliezer, and how Eliezer found Rivka. And finally, one of the most crucial elements of the tale, the “test” which Eliezer devises in order to determine which woman G-d has sent for Yitzchak, is told not twice, but four times: first, when Eliezer prays to G-d that the sign should come to pass, second, when Rivka emerges and immediately proceeds to do exactly what he said, third, when Eliezer tells Besuel and Lavan about his test, and fourth, when he describes for them how Rivka fulfilled his prayer!

Let the Torah say, “and it came to pass, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rivka came out… and she did according to all that found in the prayer of Eliezer to G-d…” And then, “and I prayed that G-d would show me a sign… and Rivka came out and did all in accordance with that sign…” and that’s it! We’ve just saved at least a paragraph and a half – any editor would obviously have cut the same sections.

But G-d’s Torah is hardly obvious. There are layers beneath layers of meaning, waiting for us to find them. The possible editing is so obvious that we should know to look for more.

There is an interesting Medrash related to this, which Rashi [Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki] quotes at the point where Eliezer is telling Besuel and Lavan about the test he made. “Rabbi Acha said, ‘the simple conversations of the servants of the forefathers is more pleasing before the Omnipresent than the Torah of the children, for the parsha of Eliezer is repeated in the Torah, whereas many laws which are part of Torah itself are given only as hints.'” The Rabbis tell us many detailed laws which are part of Torah, and yet can only be found in the written document by using the various methodologies for comparing and analyzing the verses.

Concerning the stories of our forefathers, the Kanfei Nesharim elaborates: “when we concentrate and delve more deeply, we find within them many other lessons, intentions, and hints towards holy and great things, as we find in the books of early and later authorities who have written about them.” If these stories are worthy of being told in full – and even repeated numerous times – it must be that many great lessons may be learned. And indeed, this is what we find.

I found one brief example offered by the Bais HaLevi, Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik of Brisk. Eliezer comes to Besuel and Lavan and tells them that Avraham had instructed him to go “and take a wife for my son.” [24:38] But if we look earlier, we see that Avraham told him to go “and take a wife for my son, for Yitzchak.” [24:4] Why did Eliezer omit Yitzchak’s name?

For an answer, the Bais HaLevi looked at the behavior of many wealthy people in his day (which, unfortunately, remains true in some cases today). They would routinely offer large dowries in order to marry off their daughters to the sons of outstanding scholars. But if someone would offer a young man who was himself an outstanding student, likely to be a leading scholar in the next generation, they wouldn’t be interested. They didn’t want their daughter to be a Rabbanis (Rebetzin), they wanted her to enjoy life! So they valued Torah and scholarship, but from a distance. They wanted the honor of marrying off their daughter to the son of a leading scholar, but they weren’t interested in having their daughter leading a life of relative deprivation, married to a leading scholar.

When Avraham instructed Eliezer to find a young woman, Avraham said she should be “for my son,” meaning, appropriate as a daughter-in-law for someone of his nature and Divine service, but still more important, “for Yitzchak,” in accordance with Yitzchak’s own great characteristics and potential. But when Eliezer went to Rivka’s family, he recognized immediately that discussing Yitzchak’s character in any detail might blow the whole match. So instead, he merely discussed the fact that Avraham was seeking a wife for his son.

Thus we learn to contrast the attitude of Besuel and Lavan, who were interested in the honor of having their daughter and sister married to the son of Avraham, with that of Avraham himself, who was more interested in finding a match which was inherently good. Are we ourselves more interested in doing that which is right, or doing that which merely makes us look good? This is just one of the lessons to be learned from one single word of the “repetitious” stories of our forefathers!

Historic Photos of the Jews (to be presented over the next number of weeks)

A few minutes of history so we never forget the hardships and ENJOY every moment of life.


For some reason, we don’t usually hear about American Jewry during World War II, so you may be heartened to know that in 1933, American Jews organized a nationwide boycott of Nazi-Germany.
Such a show of support, in so united a way, is displayed beautifully in this picture from a rally in 1937.  (Author unknown - currently making the e-mail rounds as a ppt.)

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.


Please consider sponsoring a kiddush, or contributing to the building, programming, or any specific interest fund.

If anyone has tickets for any event that they would like to donate to the shul please let the office know. It is a simple way to raise money for our synagogue so please donate spare tickets and bid generously.

As you know, we now use the new-new siddur. For the low-low price of $18 per book these may be dedicated to your loved ones, yourself, family members and as gifts, or simply to support the shul.

Please call Sarah to purchase a book dedication.

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Great Gifts – just $20 each

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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.


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.


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

Shabbat Handout:

Judy Hazen


Charles Greene

Office Manager:

Sarah Senior


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Arthur's Weight Loss Update : Not for Everyone

Here's an update to my 'ad hoc' weight loss strategy which has resulted in a loss of more than 50 pounds in 11 months, from 216 lbs down to 162 lbs !

Mazel Tov and Siman Tov

Upfront I must say that the original motivation 12 months ago, was my doctor saying (maybe
exaggerating), that my generous pot belly was a fairly reliable and universal predictor of an
early death by 10 - 15 years.

Don’t confuse fat loss with weight loss.

Your body will happily convert heart muscle into energy.

For the last 12th month, I am not trying to lose any more weight, but rather 'maintaining' my weight level at 166 lbs or less.  

One of my key motivators that I have been using successfully to lose and maintain my weight is to weigh myself every morning on my digital scale, which absolutely and exclusively dictates how much I will eat every day and how much I will walk each day.

It’s better to become more internally directed.

Mindful eating - eating when you’re hungry

Essentially, my diet regimen has included, eating low to medium calorie foods, including adequate portions of meat, fish, fruit, green veggies, cereal, boiled sweet potatoes and turnip, prunes, chestnuts, and even delicious miami ribs, brisket, chicken wings, hard candy, jelly bellies, ice cream and even marshmallows.

It’s generally accepted that sugar is at the root of all evil.

Sugar is addictive. The more you eat the more you crave.

I have been very successful in avoiding pastries, bread, cakes, pizza, and bagels (and yes, I miss those bagels and also hamantashen, greatly !).

Bah, Humbug! - have a hamantashen - it’s the Jewish thing to do.

I have also been mostly successful in not eating between the hours of 6 pm to 6 am, although steady social invitations seem to occur as much as 3 times weekly, where after 6 pm, I am often called upon to indulge generously of a full plate of hummus with pita bread, rice, and baked chicken or fish, and sometimes even lasagna, and delicious fried potatoes, (how can I resist?)

Moderation - know your triggers.

I also have developed a steady regimen of intermediate level walking, where currently I seem to be walking an average of 3 miles most days, including up and down challenging hills and outdoor terrain, as well as an indoor community track, thanks to the motivation of a few walking 'buddies' from the Lodzer who are very good company.

Most will incorporate exercise into an active lifestyle,

which in turn promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Now comes the pièce de résistance, where admittedly, I have an unfair advantage over most dieters.

That is, I have a strong predisposition to 'intermittent fasting'.  So in order to offset those '3 weekly festive meals', I frequently fast (water only), from 24 to 36 hours, an average of 4 times monthly.  My predisposition to fasting comes from the fact that over the past 30 years, I have fasted on Yom Kippur, Tishab'av as well as all the minor fast days during each year - so it's easier for me to fast to shed pounds, than it is for most others.

Eat… Fast… Voracious Appetite… more Fasting… (rinse/repeat)

To the understandable dismay of many, I retain 'exclusive bragging rights' to the fact that just 4 weeks ago, I fasted 104 hours straight (no, I won't do that again, as it is totally unnecessary), where in those 4.3 days of no food, my digital scale indicated that I had lost exactly 10.0 pounds, not to mention that I immediately regained at least 6 of those pounds due to some yummy dinner invitations over the next 3 days.

I'm wondering if these kind dinner invitations are really a secret plot to test my fortitude, in maintaining my weight loss ?

It’s time to get off of the emotional rollercoaster.

Eat to Live rather than Live to Eat

Develop a healthy relationship with food.

It's been a slice !!!

Thx for listening (again and again), Arthur 😊

Keep walking


Take time to smell the roses.