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Shabbat Bulletin - December 24, 2016

If you haven’t paid your High Holy Day Pledge please call the office, in order to get your 2016 tax receipt for your donation. Thanks...

Thank You to Dora and Jonathan Usher for their donation to improving our sound systems.

It’s winter here in Canada! And the gentle breezes blow, seventy kilometers an hour, at thirty-five below.

Oh, how I love Canada, when the snow’s up to your butt. You take a breath of winter, and your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather is wonderful, so I guess I’ll hang around. I could never leave Canada, my pants are frozen to the bloody ground!


Minnesota prankster uses cold weather to freeze pants in odd places.

Chanukah cheer to all, and to all a good night...

Some of our members remarked that Chanukah is late this year. There must be some misunderstanding. Chanukah will be right on time. However, it is true that December may have come a little earlier than we expected.

I love Chanukah. Who doesn’t?

I’m a quarter-latke myself. Apparently, my Zeideh was one. Or a great-great-Zeideh. Someone in the family, at any rate. A little sweet, a little spicy, sizzling hot with passion, and as Jewish as… actually, how Jewish are the latkes, really?

The earliest known potato pancakes became popular in the northern regions of Prussia and Poland, particularly in peasant homes in the cold of the winter, and the monasteries during lent. The word ‘latke’ itself came into Yiddish from Russian and means ‘a patch’. Yes, latkes in their origin were as pronouncedly non-Jewish as dreidel or Maoz Tzur…

Wait. WHAT?

Oh, didn’t you know? - Dreidel was born in the 16th century Germany, and it's maiden name was trundel. The tune to which we all sing ‘Maoz Tzur’ is an adaptation of a medieval German folk song. It was most famously utilized by Luther for church chorals. (Not the words, though.)

None of the above is there, to rain on our parade. Before crying foul play and bemoaning violated purity of our own and original tradition, consider a simple truth of life: the one way a small nation without a country of its own, dispersed between others, can survive without assimilating and vanishing, is by making the best of the situation and utilizing whatever vehicles present themselves. Borrowing all the most beautiful customs and meaningful traditions from other nations and cultures enriched us -- it did not impoverish us.

My neighbours, a couple in their 60-s, have lovingly set up a “Chanukah bush” in their window. Some of my guests commented disparagingly. Yes, I can understand their frustration, their desire to see all Jews behaving Jewishly - by common and accepted standards. And - no, I do not have a burning bush of my own, it is not part of my rites or cultural values, but neither do I hasten to lambaste it. After all, God spoke to Moses from one.

If we are to have a fit of purism, and root for cleansing our tradition from anything of even remotely ‘strange’ origin (immensely impoverishing ourselves in the process), we should cast away such entities as:

  • Choral Synagogues (borrowed from the Christian services, once the abolishment of song and music with the destruction of our Temple has been laid aside. The traditional garment worn by the cantor has, too, been borrowed from the Christians)

  • Having weddings at the Synagogue

  • Rabbinical sermon during the service

  • Recitation of a memorial prayer (El Malei Rachamim) on yahrzeit

  • Decorating the Sanctuary with green branches over Shavuot

  • Wearing Halloween-ish (God forbid!) costumes for Purim

Even some of our most prominent symbols, such as the kippah or Magen David, are not ‘Jewish by birth’.

And still, we are lucky to have them. Whatever wealth of symbols, rituals and practices we garner, they all do have to come from somewhere. And the more sources we find to feed our solace and inspiration, the greater harmony we acquire with the marvelous world that has been gifted to us.


The Lodzer Music Festival - Sundays at 7

Our ten music concerts - Sundays at 7 pm - were completed this week. They were a total success with large turnouts from the Jewish community. They have taken us from being the best kept secret in the Jewish community to being a well known synagogue.

The last concert was particularly memorable as the audience was introduced to our rabbi, and the warmth and camaraderie in the clergy’s interaction with each other and with Rafi was out for everyone to see and appreciate.

On behalf of the Board and all congregants we thank Marcel not only for the tremendous effort that went into the concert series, but for its total success in spreading the Lodzer name and bringing knowledge and joy to our community.

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

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

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

  4. Jewish Music of Eastern Europe - Raisa Orshansky and Viktor Kotov

  5. Jewish Music of The Middle East (part two) - Cantor Aaron Bensoussan

  6. Israeli Music - Cantor David Edwards

This project was funded in part by the Government of Canada,

and spearheaded by our very own Cantor Marcel Cohen.


Happy Birthdays to:

Dec. 20  Gloria Riesel
Dec. 21  Carrie Manley
Dec. 22  Marilyn Richmond’s 70th
Dec. 22  Gerald Lew
Dec. 23  Michael Spigelman

Dec. 26  Israel Koplowitz

Dec. 29  Faye Kellerstein 70th


Dec. 20  Reuben & Jenny

Dec. 21  Brian Goldman &

             Tamara Broder

Dec. 24  Frank & Sylvia White


Dec. 18  David Kaufman, husband of Esther
Dec. 19  Max Lew, brother of Sidney
Dec. 21  Salima Dagan, mother of Isaak
Dec. 21  Isaac Daniels, father of Dina Wolfe
Dec. 21  Sam Fischer, father of Nina Rubin &

             Gloria Riesel
Dec. 22  Ralph Zweig, father of Warren

Dec. 24  Margaret Remez, mother of Rafael
Dec. 25  Pearl Golden, mother of Bluma Nemirov
Dec. 29  Rivka Super, mother of Dora Usher
Dec. 30  George Biro, father of Peter
Dec. 30  Morris Weisman, husband of Ester




December 21

7:30-8:30 pm

Shul Kiddush



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


December 24

1st Night of


24 Kislev



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM


Torah Times

Torah Reading: Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Genesis 37:1 - 40:23

1: 37:1-3
2: 37:4-7
3: 37:8-11
4: 37:12-17
5: 37:18-22
6: 37:23-28
7: 37:29-36
maftir: 37:34-36

Haftarah: Amos 2:6 - 3:8

Candle Lighting: 4:27 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 5:35 p.m. – Saturday



December 25

On the

2nd Night of


5 PM


Shul Kiddush



“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'

DOUGH (2015)



December 30

1 Tevet, 5777

Rosh Chodesh

7th Night of




On the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tevet, in the year 3336 from Creation (425 BCE), the armies of the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. Thirty months later—on 9 Tammuz 3338—the city walls were breached, and on 9 Av of that year the Holy Temple was destroyed. The Jewish people were exiled to Babylonia for 70 years.  chabad


December 31

8th Night of




Celebrate every night of Chanukah
with song, hot latkes and
gifts for the children.


January 1




January 2

(last day)

Dec 3 to Jan 2

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

Gallery Hours

M-F 9a-9p

Sa-Su 9a-7p


In our Gallery:
I have placed my bow in the clouds: paintings by Marla Powers.
Colourful gouache paintings using the Hebrew letters of the Torah, Siddur, and Psalms.

Marla is Zeesy Powers' mother. Zeesy is the artist who painted the hangings in our elevator. We’ve been friends for a long time. Jonathan


Located in the Jacobs Lounge on the main floor of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, the Gallery provides a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their talent, share their stories and connect with the community through visual art.

Our exhibitions draw the viewer's attention to corners of everyday life, often challenging pre-existing opinions of culture, religious identity and social issues. Celebrate the powerful world of images and painting at The Gallery at the JCC.


January 7

9 Tevet

Kiddush Lunch


This week’s kiddish

is sponsored by

Faye Kellerstein

for her 70th birthday

This day in Tevet:

9 Tevet 5700 - December 21, 1939:
Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich name Adolf Eichmann leader of “Referat IV B” (in charge of transport of Jews for Final Solution).

9 Tevet 5752 - December 16, 1991:
The United Nations repeals the Zionism is Racism proclamation

9 Tevet 5767 - December 30, 2006:
Deposed Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, was executed by hanging.

On the brighter side of life:

9 Tevet 5777 - January 7, 2016:
We daven, schmooze and fress bagels with lox and cream cheese.

Nicht gefährlich.


January 8

11am - 12 noon






Shul Kiddush


Georganne Burke


Georganne Burke is a seasoned veteran of political activities in the United States and Canada. She has spent the past ten years in a variety of roles with the Conservative Party of Canada, and in the offices of ministers and MPs. Her special area of expertise was in outreach to cultural communities.


Advocacy Training Workshop

We are very fortunate to have political consultant, Georganne Burke, as the facilitator of this training.

Georganne is an experienced political organizer with a special expertise in outreach to ethnic, cultural and religious communities.

For those who would like to learn how to be most effective when approaching their MPs or MPPs on behalf of the Yazidi cause, this training has been set up for you.


January 11

7:30 PM



Public welcome

Free Admission



CIJR Toronto is hosting an accomplished Israeli speaker

Shachar Liran-Hanan







Shachar is the CEO of My Truth, a grassroots, non-profit organization comprised of IDF reserve soldiers who seek to share the values and experiences of Israeli soldiers and show the high moral standards they strive to meet.


Judy’s POW group welcome!


January 19

7:30 PM

Shul Kiddush


Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin


a saga inspired by true events of a Holocaust survivor's quest to return to Poland and fulfill a promise

Great Book Chat this past Dec. 8th.  Nine people braved the cold to discuss  Daniel Silvia's Black Widow.  We all agreed that he is a prolific and popular author who has been translated into many languages.  I look forward to his next book.

We made a date change and a book switch.  We will next meet on Thursday February 9, 2017 to discuss Karolina's Twins by Ronald Balson.  This is a slightly fictionalized  true story of two childhood friends one of whom, as young women during the Holocaust, makes a promise to the other.  We meet her as an elderly woman determined to fulfill this promise.  An excellent book, in my humble opinion.

At the following meeting on March 23 we'll discuss Yiddish for Pirates.  We are all on library waiting lists and unlikely to receive this book any earlier.  It has become wildly popular since being shortlisted for the Giller Prize.


January 22

7:00 PM

Shul Kiddush


Public welcome

Free Admission

Donations welcome



Sponsored by

Arthur Zins

Joe Warner




Come and hear how Jewish Canadian War Vet and antitank gunner, Joe Warner, volunteered to fight against the Arabs with 700 other Canadian Vets to secure the 1948 borders of Israel.

“The first time you see a dead body, you are shaken up terribly and it scares the hell out of you… but then it gets to the point when it is an everyday occurrence.  When we were taking Hill 113, we had a supply truck come up to us and some of the guys were leaning up against dead bodies for support – you become hardened… but you are always scared.  Anyone who is not scared needs to be in an insane asylum.  And when someone near you gets hit, you wonder, why him and not me?”


February 12

1 - 3 PM




Shul Kiddush


Come meet with Yazidis



Project Abraham, the initiative of the Mozuud Freedom Foundation to help save Yazidis from genocide, is…

(Details when they become available)

All are welcome to join us to hear about the latest updates in Yazidi news, Project Abraham developments, planned events, and how concerned people can help.


March 23

7:30 PM


Shul Kiddush


Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin


Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for Pirates tells the story of Moishe, a young man who, enchanted by maps and seeking adventure, leaves the shtetl to join a ship’s crew. There he meets Aaron, our ribald yet philosophical parrot narrator who becomes his near-constant companion. With a beakful of Yiddish jokes, this wisecracking bird guides us through a swashbuckling world of pirate ships and exploits on the high seas.

Telling the tale of a gay,

Yiddish-speaking parrot.

But the Inquisition is a dangerous time to be Jewish, and once he makes landfall Moishe falls in with a band of hidden Jews trying to preserve forbidden books. When all Jews are expelled from Spain, he travels to the Caribbean with the ambitious Christopher Columbus, a self-made man who loves his creator. Driven by circumstance but also by a thirst for gold, Moishe becomes a pirate and seeks revenge on the Spanish while searching


April 6


Payment in full is due.


the Baltic States

With Rabbi Eli

August 7-16, 2017

Full details at


Seize the opportunity!



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

The Miracle Of The Middle East - Talk about before and after

All the before pictures show the great progress the Arabs made with the land.

The after pictures show how the Jews destroyed the same land in the last 60 years.

Just imagine how well off the surrounding countries would have become if they didn't spend their time concentrating on destroying Israel. (source:forwarded e-mail - Thanks!)

Hadera 1929.jpg

Hadera prides itself on the lush ‘green’ space which is meticulously cultivated throughout the city. A forest in the southern end of Hadera provides the residents with a beautiful recreational haven within walking distance.
There are many opportunities for employment in established businesses and industries. The city boasts a power station, water purification plant, recycling factory, tire factory, paper mills, gas equipment factory, bus manufacturing facility, and a brick factory. Employment opportunities are available in management, marketing, accounting and technical support. ‘Agrobank’, which is in close proximity to the train station, houses hi-tech firms. The city is actively recruiting new companies to move to the area. The Hillel Yaffa hospital is expanding its facilities, offering a wide variety of job opportunities. There are plans to build hotels and restaurants along Hadera’s 5 acres of seashore.
There are many types of schools: a democratic school, secular and religious state elementary and high schools, a Tali school, a Noam school, Chabad schools and Haredi schools. Several of the secular public schools are specialty schools that place an emphasis on music, science or art. There is even a boarding high school that provides agricultural training.
Inner city bus service affords easy accessibility within the city. By train, both Tel Aviv and Haifa are half an hour away. By car, Tel Aviv is an hour away and Haifa is 45 minutes away.
Hadera is in the process of gentrifying the downtown area by turning it into a “Piazza” – a landscaped pedestrian walkway with shops, restaurants and live music. For additional shopping, the city boasts five malls.
Synagogues of every religious orientation can be found within Hadera.

Hadera now.jpg


As you know last week’s Pirke Avoth discussion group didn’t happen so I thought I’d revert in the bulletin to Pirke Avoth Perek 1 Mishnah 14. Most people know the quote but not some of the commentary./ju

Pirke Avoth, Perek 1, Mishnah 14

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. All late to Mishnah 14. The Questions and Notes are my own.

He used to say: If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? and if not now, when?

Ethics from Sinai

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  

From one aspect the question seems absurd. I am myself. I alone can experience myself, truly know myself. Hence, if I am not for myself who will be for me? The most loving wife cannot share my pain, experience my anxieties, or suffer my death. Where a man’s relationship to his God is involved man must do for himself. My father’s learning cannot replace my obligation to learn. I must do my own praying and give my own charity. If I am not for myself, who will - indeed who could be for me. ?

Question: Are we ultimately alone and responsible for ourselves and our condition?

and if I am only for myself, what am I?

“On the other hand, if you do become concerned with yourself, what are you? Can you really be effective? Can you solve your own problems? Can you overcome your anxieties? Can you do what you are supposed to do? Furthermore there is the danger of becoming all wrapped up in ourselves to the point where we become concerned only with our own salvation and cease to worry about the welfare others…. A man wrapped up in himself makes a small package.”

“The second contrast is between man’s obligation to himself and his fellow man. Hillel indicates that no extreme among these can be followed as the rule. We must accept, live with, work with both sides of these coins.”

“A person must always judge his choice of action by asking himself whether it would be good were everyone to do the same.” For example, my vote may not be important but what if no one voted? “If each person individually will perfect himself, the aggregate will take care of itself.” The sayings might also mean that one needs to be self critical as often there are things that even your best friends will not tell you. … If I too fall prey to the conspiracy of silence and do not correct others, then I am not fulfilling my obligation. Our Torah tells us, ‘You shall surely rebuke your fellow’ If he is truly a friend, he will appreciate it as something intended to benefit him.”

Question1:   If no one speaks up in the discussion group, because everyone is shy or intimidated, or if everyone talks at at the same time, the result is ineffectiveness or chaos. Is diversity and acceptance of that diversity a requirement to evolve society?

And if not now, when?

“William Congreve wrote, ‘Defer not to tomorrow to be wise; tomorrow’s sun to thee may never rise.’ Edward Young advised, ‘Be wise today, ’tis madness to defer… Procrastination is the thief of time.’ “‘Dost thou live life?’ asked Benjamin Franklin. Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.’ And he advised, ‘Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.’”

The Hafetz Hayyim compared the average person’s life to someone who writes a postcard of his vacation only to find out that he has run out of space before writing what he really wanted to say. “Does a man cut the same pathetic figure as he manages his life? In our early years we ‘scribble ‘ away so much of our time in trivia, in non-sense, in activities with no lasting meaning. Suddenly, with a shock, we awake to the awful truth that life is a ‘picture postcard’ with deceptively little time, and that we haven’t even begun to do the job for which we were placed on this earth.”

Question: Does this hit a note of recognition?

“The Torah commands, ‘Before an aged one rise.’  This might mean that you should show respect for the aged, or it might mean that a person should rise or elevate himself in spirituality etc before old age sets in. “He who resolves to sanctify the name of the Lord in the full bloom of life, can indeed change his entire fate and future.”

“At the beginning and end of life it is relatively easy to inject religious observances. The baby could hardly object to circumcision, and schooling of all types is compulsory. Similarly, in old age there is little that competes for the individual’s attention. However in the ‘afternoon’ of one’s life cycle, … from the ages of twenty to fifty, if a man takes ‘time out; from world affairs and invests it in spiritual affairs, he is indeed meritorious.”

Note: As you will see below, this mishnah pleads for young people to set up a long-term life style based on Torah. I believe they mean Torah in the broad sense, not just ritual.

Visions of the Fathers

If I am not for myself, who will be for me.

“In order for a person to have a meaningful , constructive identity, it should be one which he gives to himself. If a person has no identity other than that given to him by others, he really has no identity at all. He must change like a chameleon, being one thing to his wife, another to his parents, another to his children, another to his employer, another to this friend, and yet another to a different friend.”

Question: Do we have the self knowledge and ability to always be the person we want to be, no matter what our role is at the time?

“A person must have a valid awareness of his abilities and character traits. He must be aware of his character defects in order to correct them…. Lack of an accurate self-awareness usually results in feelings of unworthiness and inferiority. In order to compensate for these, a person may try to gain the favour of others by ‘people-pleasing ‘ techniques…. We should indeed do things for others but the motivation for doing so should be a positive one; i.e., because it is a mitzvah to do so, and not in  defence of a delusional inferiority.”

“Once a person is able to divest oneself of personal desires, to nullify himself as an entity and to see himself only and totally as an instrument of doing the divine will, one can achieve a unity with God that makes him invincible.”

Question 1: Is this Buddhism rather than Judaism?

Question 2: Is it something that you would want?

“Similarly, a spiritually healthy person does not go around with consciousness of himself. Self-consciousness indicates that something is not in order spiritually, just as being conscious of any part of one's body usually means that there is something wrong with it.”

Question: Is this last paragraph correct?

The addict will seek pleasure in something that is destructive for him - and so it is fair to say that since no one wants to destroy themselves, the addict’s true self does not want it. “What is true of the addict is equally true, albeit in a less dramatic form, of the non-addict. When we want something - money, fame, food, conveniences, power, pleasure - we may be absolutely certain that we want it. This may really be very far from the truth . The genuine “I” may not want it al all….The key to determining whether a particular drive is that of the real “I” or a machination of the yetzer hara is to see whether gratifying this desire is of any value, even remotely, to anyone else.”

Question: Do we all want things that are ultimately bad for us?

If not now, when?

“The evils of procrastination hardly need emphasis.” … ‘If you neglect Torah for one day, you will neglect it for two more’… A Jew’s identity should be that of a Divine servant who is assigned a specific mission in life: that of performing the mitzvos as instructed by the Torah. He is essentially a soldier who must follow the orders of the Commander-in- chief. Hillel taught that a person has a Divine mission by showing that everything he did was in keeping with this mission.” “Hillel’s humility, his identity, his doing for others, and his total devotion to God was consistently evident in his behaviour. He was accustomed to say, ‘not by word, but by deed.’

The Wisdom of Judaism (Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins)

“The object of study is to teach true values and sound judgment - Rabbi Nachman of Breslov”

“When asked what Hasidism was all about, Rabbi Mendel of Kotsk (Poland , 1787- 1859) replied
… “to work on yourself” ( from Restoring the Aleph - Judaism for the Contemporary Seeker)”

“Every commentary on the Bible, Talmud, and all classic Jewish literature deal with the same eternal questions: How can I apply these ancient texts to my own life in today’s complex world? What significance and relevance does this idea, verse, chapter, or paragraph have for me? How can I use it in my day-to-day existence?”

Haimishe Humour - On The Train To Moscow

After months of negotiation, a Jewish scholar from Odessa was granted permission to visit Moscow. He boarded the train and found an empty seat. At the next stop a young man got on and sat next to him.

The scholar looked at the young man and thought: This fellow doesn't look like a peasant, and if he isn't a peasant he probably comes from this district. If he comes from this district, he must be Jewish because this is, after all, the Jewish district. On the other hand, if he is a Jew where could he be going? I'm the only one in our district who has permission to travel to Moscow. Wait - just outside Moscow there is a little village called Samvet, and you don't need special permission to go there. But why would he be going to Samvet? He's probably going to visit one of the Jewish families there, but how many Jewish families are there in Samvet? Only two - the Goldsteins and the Greenbergs. The Goldsteins are a terrible family, so he must be visiting the Greenbergs. But why is he going? The Steinbergs have only girls, so maybe he's their son-in-law. But if he is, then which daughter did he marry? Sarah married that nice lawyer from Budapest and Esther married a businessman from Zhytomyr, so it must be Sarah's husband. Which means that his name is Alexander Cohen, if I'm not mistaken. But if he comes from Budapest, with all the anti-Semitism they have there, he must have changed his name. What's the Hungarian equivalent of Cohen? Kovacs. But if he changed his name he must have some special status. What could it be? A doctorate from the University.

At this point the scholar turns to the young man and said, "How do you do, Dr Kovacs?"

"Very well, thank you, sir" answered the startled passenger. "But how is it that you know my name?"

"Oh," replied the scholar, "it was obvious.”


Chanukah - Light Up Right

…In the days of Matisyahu, the son of Yochanan, the High Priest, the Hasmonean, and his sons- when the wicked Greek Kingdom rose against Your people Israel, to make them forget Your Torah and compel them to stray from the statutes of Your will- You in Your great mercy stood up for them in the time of their great distress. You took up their grievance, judged their claim, and avenged their wrong. You delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the wanton into the hands of the diligent students of Your Torah… (From Al HaNissim)

In “Al HaNissim” we are treated to a precise snapshot of history, but for what purpose? Are we merely celebrating an ancient victory? Might there be some current educational value as the name Chanukah (Chinuch-Education) implies?

Our historical encounter with the intellectualism of Greek culture which is the story of Chanukah, transpired during the times of the 2nd Temple and it is counted as one of the “four exiles”. It’s a little strange that this clash of civilizations is counted as an “exile” since the entire episode happened while we were in the Land of Israel and with the Holy Temple in our midst. This teaches us that “exile” is not just an issue of physical or geo-political location but rather a problem of spiritual dislocation and alienation. How does an exile occur? How is it cured? What is the purpose of an exile?

I once heard from a great person teaching a group of American boys that an exile is like “stop action, instant replay, on the big screen”. He explained that when football teams review on Monday mornings in order to analyze what went right and what went wrong, they go slowly through the game films. If they find a terrible glaring error they may play it over and over on the big screen in ever more vivid detail and with more in-depth commentary and criticism until the lesson is driven home and the deed is shamed out of the system of the offending party. That mistake will certainly never be made again.

Similarly, a friend of mine was caught smoking cigarettes in the basement by his father. The father did not lecture him on the ills of smoking. No! This is how he handled the teachable moment. He told his son, “You like cigarettes?! Let’s smoke cigarettes!” He bought a carton of non-filter extra strong smokes and revisited the scene of the crime. He seated his son there in the basement and had him light up a cigarette and inhale and he lit another and another and another until he was coughing and wheezing and regretful that he had ever started. By the time they were through he was so reviled by the thought of smoking he never did again.

So too, when the Jewish People are sitting in the Land of Israel with everything that anyone could ever hope. They then become temptingly curious about how the Babylonians or the Greeks are having a better time with their permissive albeit clay-footed gods. Many begin subscribing to their magazines, visiting their websites, and speaking admiringly about the virtues of their lifestyle. The Almighty, seeing that we are lost with their lights and their smoke, in His kindliness says, as it were, “You like Greek culture?! I’ll give you Greek culture!” By the time we are finished with this exercise we have learned a difficult but necessary lesson.

That is the anatomy of an exile on a national and on an individual basis. When one successfully graduates the academy of a given exile experience, the feelings of revulsion and the longing for freedom are forever etched into the psyche of the student. So it is, the eight days of Chanukah are a sort of national strategic team meeting, with a “stop action instant replay on the big screen” device with which to review. We are here now to identify what went so terribly wrong and what set things right in the end so it should not happen again and to the extent that is already happening to gain the requisite tools to remedy the situation.

When even a few clear minded and dedicated souls began to strongly reject those that would wantonly extinguish the light of Torah, did we get the Heavenly help to purify the Temple and light up right.

DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and

The Month After Chanukah - Oy Veh!

Twas the month after Chanukah, and all through the house,  nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.  

The cookies I'd nibbled, the latkes I did taste,  all those Chanukah parties, had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!  When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).  

I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;  The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared.  

The wine, the eggnog, the bread and the cheese, and the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."   

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt, and prepared once again to do battle with dirt.

I said to myself, as only I can, you can't spend the winter disguised as a man!"   

So--away with the last of the sour cream dip, get rid of all chocolate, each cracker and chip  

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished, till all the additional ounces have vanished.   

I won't have a cookie--not even a lick, I'll want to chew only a long celery stick.  

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie, I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.   

I'm hungry. I'm lonesome, and life is a bore, but isn't that what January is for?  

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot, happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

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.


This once in a lifetime image depicts Holocaust survivors at the moment of realizing they are liberated. This is such candid, raw photo you would think it was taken on a cellphone at the spur of the moment.


A woman at the moment of her liberation, her face is aglow and alive, as if she was never imprisoned.

(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.

Tree of Life or

Seat Plaques
Remember family and friends by purchasing a leaf on our tree of life or a sanctuary seat plaque.

Siddur Dedications

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.

Lodzer Sisterhood Cookbooks

Great Gifts – just $20 each

Contact the Office at



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.


Making a difference

to our shul
As everyone knows, with our shul’s new rabbi and new direction, we are making changes to our services and
programming, and becoming more of a community. The Board discusses procedures and suggested innovations on a monthly basis.
If you have any suggestions please give them, in writing to Sarah, and,if you wish to speak at our monthly Monday night
Board meeting about your ideas, concerns, or interests, again, please let Sarah know.
It is your shul.

We want and need your input.

Making a Difference

for Yourself
Rabbi Eli is eager and very happy to speak to our congregants on a one-on-one basis about personal or shul issues. As he has no official office hours, please call Sarah to make an appointment.
Rabbi Eli will return your call as soon as possible.


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


Arnie Yudell

Rafi Remez

Shabbat Handout:

Judy Hazen


Charles Greene

Office Manager:

Sarah Senior


Who we are - Contact Info


Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

High Holy Days 2016

Rabbi’s Corner

Shabbat Bulletin

For submissions/feedback:

Help us get the word out:

Share the bulletin!

Lodzer Office

Sarah: 416-636-6665

For all business related e-mail:

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday

9am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm


9am to 1pm

Arthur’s Perspective - The Godfather of the IDF

Several from the Lodzer brotherhood attended a cijr sponsored lecture last Thursday (the day of the bad snow storm) at Beth David Synagogue.

The Godfather of the IDF_w590.jpg

From the Lions of Africa to the Lions of Juda - John Henry Patterson and the Jewish Legion’s War Against the Ottomans in Palestine:
Noted author, anthropologist, UN, Canadian and international government researcher and policy advisor. In mind of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Balfour Declaration, Geoffrey Clarfield talked about an unlikely hero of the Jewish Legion.

John Henry Patterson, born November, 1867 "was to become the ultimate founder of the Israeli army. That is why I rather playfully call him the Jewish Lawrence of Arabia. For he did for the Jews, what Lawrence actually failed to do for the Arabs, that is to say, he created a Jewish fighting force that gave birth to a democracy.

(Geoffrey Clarfield, Executive Director of the 'Canadians for Balfour 100')

John Henry Patterson, the Leader of the Zion Mule Corps

My goal was to make sure that the British didn't treat the Balfour Declaration as a mere piece of paper that they could push aside.

(John Henry Patterson)

The lecture was about a high ranking non-Jewish British officer, John Henry Patterson, born 1867 and passed away in 1947, who played a key role in wresting Palestine away from the ruling Ottoman Empire, when decades prior to World War I, the Turks had expelled all Jews out of Palestine.

Long before World War I, Patterson had become enamoured in his private readings, with the Jewish heroes in the Old Testament and he developed a sincere affection for the Jewish people.

At the beginning of World War I, Patterson seized the opportunity to train and lead a British brigade of Jewish in many in the battles on the shores of Gallipoli, in order to extract the ruling Turks out, from Palestine, which resulted in the Jews being able to resettle back into  Palestine, after World War I, under the British mandate.

In the years after World War I, Patterson continued to advocate fiercely on behalf of the Jews, both in the U.S. and in Britain, which advocacy resulted in the Balfour Declaration, where the allies gave recognition to the boundaries of the Palestinian state, as a homeland for Jews.

Through a close friendship with Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Patterson, the non-Jew, was honoured with being the godfather of Netanyahu's brother, Yonatan (who was later to become the heroic IDF commander, killed while freeing Jewish hostages at Entebbe).

Four years ago, Patterson's grandson attended to a ceremony in Israel, led by Prime Minister Netanyahu to honour John Patterson's devotion to the Jewish people, and Patterson's ashes were interred in Israel. ... "

Kindest regards, Arthur Zins

(Thanks Arthur)

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.  (Thomas Edward Lawrence - inspired the film Lawrence of Arabia)