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Shabbat Bulletin - January 14, 2017

Judy’s Shabbat handout is now available, (Thursdays,) as a pdf download at the bottom of the homepage.

RE, distilled - "Our FUTURE is in our PAST!"

What does "The 10th of Tevet" have in common with this coming January 20th?

The destruction of our temple occurred in our past.

The inauguration of Donald Trump, effects our future, when he becomes the 45th President of the United States.

"The more things change the more they stay the same."

The calm before the storm - months before Jerusalem was devastated, Joseph forgave his brothers; welcomed his father Jacob. Jacob and his sons and their families settled in Goshen, Egypt.

Then, what was the trigger that set in motion the destruction of the temple?
The who, what, where and when have to be examined.
"Our FUTURE is in our PAST!"

Today, will Donald Trump be the proverbial elephant in the room?  Does our future loom dimly on the horizon?

"Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt." (Pierre Trudeau)

What went wrong? What will go wrong? Pundits and armchair quarterbacks are still trying to figure it out.

"Everything goes after the beginning." (The moment of conception of anything which comes into existence must contain all the elements of the future of that thing.)

What can we do today, given the current dynamic, to ease tension?
We do have to speak up. We do have to act. If we do nothing, like global warming, there is a tipping point, before irreversible and total annihilation.

There is so much to be grateful for and so much yet to do. The work is abundant. Each and everyone of us can find a way to be more generous with our time, with our resources, with our opinions - share them. Do something - anything. Do not do nothing.

Shavua Tov.



Happy Birthdays to:

Jan. 7  Rafael Remez
Jan. 11  Eta Chrzan

Jan. 18  Dennis Malet


Irving & Honey Spitzen


Jan. 8    Louis Gula, father of Esther Steiman
Jan. 8    Marian Reisman, sister of Honey Hellreich
Jan. 10  Judith Berlach,

            mother of Deborah Berlach-Csillag
Jan. 10  Regina Wildbaum,

            mother of Jenny Finkelshtain
Jan. 13  Leon Drewnowsky, father of Annette Sacks
Jan. 13  Beckie Sacks, mother of Michael Sacks

Jan. 14  Joseph Anidjar, father of Morris
Jan. 14  Regina Fischer,

              mother of Nina Rubin and Gloria Riesel
Jan. 14  Zeev Nemirov, husband of Bluma
Jan. 15  Malka Mozes, mother of Eda Kardonne
Jan. 16  Gitla Lederman, mother of Rachel Brass
Jan. 19  Yochevet Goldberg, mother of Alla Kabacznik
Jan. 19  Harry Zaidman,

              father of Sally berger and Leo Zaidman
Jan. 20  Abraham Kliger,

              father of Debbie Spigelman & Frieda Walton

"What matters is not what the Gentiles will say,

but what the Jews will do"

Ben Gurion



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 12

Noon - 1:30p

U.S. Consulate General Toronto

360 University



Jan. 15th

Same times



which enable Yezidi Genocide and  give credibility to "Occupation" Lie!

Two protest rallies this week!

Help raise public awareness.

Yezidi Genocide and  Jihad against non-Muslim minorities  Christians, Mandeans and others

Enabled by World silence

Thousands of  girls and children  enslaved by Isis; 30,000 Yezidis without supplies on Mt. Sinjar; abuse by Moslem authorities in UN camps; ignored while millions spent by Canada to bring Syrians; 7000 massacred two years ago;

Support of “Occupation” lie by UN, EU,US, Canada,

Enables Jihad against Israel and the Jewish People

Only the Jewish People have biblical, historical, legal rights to  Israel including Judea and Samaria (incorrectly referred to as "West Bank.")


January 14

16 Tevet



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: Vayyechi

1: 47:28-31 (p.180)
2: 48:1-3
3: 48:4-9
4: 48:10-13
5: 48:14-16
6: 48:17-19
7: 48:20-22
maftir: 48:20-22


I Kings 2:1 - 2:12 (p. 191)

Candle Lighting: 4:46 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 5:56 p.m. – Saturday



January 18

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


January 21

23 Tevet



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM


You had to be there!

Benjamin Herzl was born in Hungary in 1860.

Deeply affected by an anti-Semitic trial in France, he became a vivid advocate for the establishment of a modern and democratic Jewish state.

His most famous quote is “If you wish it, it is no legend.”

If you will it, it is no dream; and if you do not will it, a dream it is and a dream it will stay.

An anecdote tells that a Jew, who resented Herzl’s charismatic influence, told him. “Once you shave your impressive beard, there will be no Zionism.”

Herzl replied immediately: “Don’t worry, it will be grown again soon enough."


January 22

7:00 PM



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 9

7:30 PM

Adath Israel

37 Southbourne Ave

Free Admission

Dessert Reception



The Sabbath of Song

The Song at the Sea that Moses and the Children of Israel sang after the miracle of the Splitting of the Sea.


At the blast of Your nostrils, the waters piled up,
The floods stood straight like a wall,
The depths froze in the heart of the sea.



February 11

15 Shevat



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM



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.


February 23

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

I apologize for all the changes recently, but Book Chat tries to be flexible to accommodate regular attenders as much as possible.

We will next meet on Thursday February 23, 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.

Let's keep these dates so that we can meet before Pesach which begins April 10.  There's lots of time to read both books before then.

Happy New Year to everyone,


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!)

Hod Hasharon - 1930.jpg

Hod Hasharon was founded in 1964 when several small farming villages were unified into one city. It retains a feeling of a Moshava with lots of parks and even some orchards. This upscale city has a population which is mostly traditional and secular, while there is also a small Orthodox community.

Located in close proximity to the industrial parks in Petah Tikva, Raanana, and Kfar Saba. Many residents commute to Tel Aviv.

The city invests heavily in education. There are intra-city and inter-city buses that run frequently. There is a local country club, several sports facilities and a city library. There is an active Reform congregation -- holiday and family activities, lectures and Bet Midrash learning programs as well as Friday night and holiday services. A semi-attached house runs for just over 1 million Canadian. There are English speakers scattered throughout the city, with most living in the Rabin and Lapid neighborhoods.

Hod Hasharon - now.jpg


Pirke Avoth Perek 3 Mishnah 15 (Part 2)

Note: The ‘Commentary” sections in italics are taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim.  Some sentences of the text have been taken verbatim (in quotes) and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 15.  The questions are my own.

Rabbi Elazar of Modin said: He who profanes things sacred, treats the Festivals with scorn, puts his fellow man to shame in public, negates the covenant of our father Abraham, or expounds a meaning in the Torah not in accord with normative law – even though he has knowledge of the Torah and good deeds to his credit, he has no share in the world-to-come.

“ … {For} the rebellious sinner, however, {since he} has a rationale for what he does,  the likelihood that he will repent and seek forgiveness is remote. … Because he has despised the work of the Lord and has broken His commandments, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity is upon him. The punishment for this rebellious spirit is total karesh: removal from the world and from the  world-to-come.  This kind of transgression lay in the action of the people of Amalek, and it brought down on them the Torah’s harsh sentence of total extirpation, through all generations if necessary. At first sight this might seem strange, though: After all, we have been beset by many enemies during our history. True, Amalek attacked us; but so did Babylon, Rome and others. Why does the Torah command us only in connection with this people, ‘remember what Amalek did to you … blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven’?

The answer is that Amalek attacked the Israelites not because they threatened his land, nor even from a desire for booty and spoils, nor yet for Vengeance. Amalek simply wished to thwart the plan of God. Amalek ‘did not fear God.’. Amalek set himself in rebellion against the Almighty Himself: hence his special punishment.”

Pharaoh, as an individual was also guilty of his kind of rebellion when he exclaimed, Who is the Lord that I should listen to Him?”

“All the transgressions that our mishnah lists bear the connotation of rebellion against the Almighty…. and the Jew who shames and despises the Festivals by treating them as ordinary days, shows contempt for the Lord; they defy the word of the Almighty. … When someone ‘ puts his fellow man to shame in public,’ he commits an act of pure spiritual and psychic murder. He destroys in some measure the image, the psychological entity of his fellow human being. For the Talmud this is obvious.”

“But the person who acts with a high hand … blasphemes the Lord … Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandments, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity is upon him. The punishment for this rebellious spirit is total kareth: removal from this world and from the world to come.”

“A human being is an image, a reflection of the Divine. Any act of murder or psychological destruction committed upon him is a desecration of Divine sanctity. It is thus an action, louder than words, of essential rebellion against the Almighty.”

The next category is more serious: The person who ‘annuls the Covenant of Abraham’ and will not bestow on his week-old son the grace of circumcision in keeping with our most sacred traditions, not only rebels against God; he is sinning against his entire people.

But at the person who ‘gives the Torah meanings which are not in accordance with halachah, with normative law’ - he is the worst of all. He is not content to rebel alone against the Almighty; he teachers others to follow his perverted way.

Manassah began with a simple premise: The whole of Torah was not given from Heaven, Divinely revealed to Moses. Then some parts might be superfluous, even silly. There was room for satiric, mocking ‘interpretation.’ From such heresy he progressed to widespread idol-worship and wholesale murder. Unfortunately , this type of rebelliousness is very prevalent today. “

“With all these groups.. they eliminate.. the sanctity which is the essence of Judaism, and thus they mean certain loss of a share in the world-to-come.”

Question 1: Is blotting out their existence too severe or not humane? Should it be  interpreted simply as “won’t be favourably remembered in history”?

Question2: Does this imply an afterlife or re-incarnation for most us?

Issue Number 7: Rabbi Elazar of Modin discusses the philosophic tendencies of his day:

  1. The Sophists – who stated that there is no G-d – “he denies the sanctity of life and reduces everything to the material and physical.”

  2. Epicureans – they believed in a G-d that didn’t interfere in the affairs of men.

  3. Cynics – believed that humans are no more than animals. We live only in the immediate present.  Humans are not made in the image of G-d.

  4. Stoics – Their beliefs were like Judaism – they believed in G-d, an immortal soul, and ethical values similar to our own. However they didn’t believe in the concept of Torah, mitzvoth and  Divine commandments to obey,  

  5. Sadducees – “… denied the validity of the Oral Law and tried to interpret the Torah in their own way.” They attempted to reconstruct the Torah instead of permitting the Torah to reconstruct them.  These were the thinkers, the intellectuals… But the ultimate effect of their work is to draw Jewry away from halachah, the age-old pathway of Godliness, to their … creations of wind.”  

“More important - modified, truncated versions of Judaism founded on or derived from these doctrines are sure to sink into oblivion: they will not share in the historic future of judaism, in the ‘world-to-come” of our unfolding destiny.”

Comment: To really understand each of these philosophies you will have to research them.

Question 1: Do you find any of these other philosophies appealing?

Question 2: Do some Jewish beliefs fall into the above categories?

Question 3: We take customs from other cultures,  should we take good ideas from them as well,  or interpret our Torah to conform to their good ideas?


Issue Number 8: “If you limit yourself and tie yourself solely to the material ‘here and now’, you have lost any chance of learning to know and live in the transcendental.”

Question 1: Is this the position of atheists or agnostics?

Question 2: Do you believe it is true?

Issue Number 9: Don Isaac Abarbanel interprets this Mishnah completely in terms of the covenantal relationship, “the compact between Israel and the Almighty… [is]  Israel undertakes to uphold the Torah and observe its precepts, while the Almighty promises to protect His people and reward it with Messianic fulfillment and life in the world-to-come.”

Question: Is this your understanding of the covenant?

“ In regard to sacrifices on the altar (kodashim) we are told, ‘ With all your offerings you shall offer salt.’” Salt is a preservative and is itself not subject to decay; it thus symbolizes the enduring nature of the people Israel’s relationship to God.”

Abarbanel  then describes observing the Sabbath, not shaming another in public, circumcision, and correctly interpreting the Torah all as parts of Israel’s obligations in its covenant with G-d.

How do we explain that although a person knows Torah and has good deeds to his credit he might still not have a share in the world-to-come?

  1. He may have done the good deeds before he rejected the Torah.

  2. He may not live according to the Torah.

  3. He may select whichever good deeds he wants – i.e. he doesn’t do the good deeds as mitzvoth.

  4. “In reality, though, the introductory ‘Mishnah’ itself goes on to give some exceptions to the rule” [that all Israel have a share in the world-to-come].

They are: a. Those who deny the resurrection of the dead

                 b. Those who deny the divine authorship of the Torah,

                 c. the apikorus, the skeptic or heretic who lives       exclusively for physical  pleasure.

Question: Do you agree with Abarbanal?

The Wisdom of Judaism (Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins)

Finding a good heart

“What is the right path that one should cling to? A good heart for heaven and a good heart for humans.”

“Both the Tanakh and the Talmud see the heart as the driver in moral behaviour. We may call it “conscience,” or “soul”, but something God has planted within us wants us to be good human beings. Our task is to cooperate with the divine, to be God’s partner in finding what is the best choice for  the right circumstance.”

“A person with a good heart will overcome whatever obstacles life puts in his or her path, and find a way to lead a life that sparkles with sweetness, compassion, integrity, and honour. This is the Jewish mission and the jewish passion.”

Haimishe Humour - paraprosdokians

Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


Parshas Vayechi - Practiced-for Eternity
Posted on June 7, 2002 (5762) By Rabbi Label Lam

And Yaakov ceased from commanding his children and he gathered his feet upon his bed, he expired and was gathered up to his people. (Breishis 49:38)

All those sit-ups for nothing! (Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis’ last utterance)

Yaakov was productive right up till the end of his long life. Even in the last moments of his life he was giving guidance to his children and all future generations. Why are the last words of Yaakov so important that the entire text of that address is recorded in detail for all time? Why is his last act of his life linked in verse with his being “gathered up to his people”?

There is obviously something more intensely profound about the final moments of a person’s life that reveals something of his essence. In the face of any test, Rabbi Dessler, points out, the true nature of a person is made manifest.

Rabeinu Yona asks a question and remains without an answer in a state of wonder. Why don’t people begin to repent by the age of 35? If the years of a person’s life are 70, then after the fuel tank on the plane has passed the ½ mark, one should begin to consider learning how to gracefully conclude this flight.

This type of thinking is not necessarily morbid. It can be rather refreshing to the soul. King Solomon, the wisest of all men, says in Koheles, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a drinking party.” The Talmud tells us on the verse, “And G-d saw all that he had created and it was very good”, that the ingredient that turned the world from “good” to “very good” was the introduction of death. What could possibly be so very good about death?
Rabbi Yisrael Salanter met Rabbi Yosef Yozzel Horowitz, who at the time was a merchant. Rabbi Yisrael remembered the young man as a great scholar and asked how he had come to abandon his youthful idealism. Reb Yosef Yozzel answered rhetorically, “How am I to live!?” Reb Yisrael Salanter retorted, “How are you going to die?” The words went through him like a knife. In time, because of that encounter, he was to become the father a vast yeshiva school system with thousands of students leaving a rich legacy of personal teachings.

A clever man once asked, “When is the best time to buy an umbrella?” The answer, “Before it starts raining.” Once the rain begins, one may become drenched and the price of umbrellas rises significantly. Battles and tests are won and passed in times of preparation. Athletes and actors rehearse plays and performances in their minds thousands of times before the actual execution. When the event arrives and the action is successful, it is because it is not nearly the first.

Rabbi Akiva rehearsed in his mind his finale’ thousands of times and was ready for a torturous death when the moment arrived. His dying words speak volumes about how he lived. Remarkably, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter spent the last hours of his precious and productive life, anticipating his own death, in conversation with a lone attendant about the unfounded fears people have in the presence of a dead body. Even in his final moments he was concerned about the feelings of others. Where does one get such presence of mind?

When asked about the “after life” a great Rebbe once said, “There is no “after-life”. There is only continuation of life as it was lived here in another dimension.” If one believes they are a body, and they are fully invested in physical life alone, then death is the seeming conclusion of everything absolutely and finally and this is a too terribly morbid discussion.

However, if life is understood to be essentially a spiritual adventure, and one is living life with a constant awareness of what lies beyond, then the end of life is like a birth and the last state is a concentrated summary of prior to transition.

What one really believes determines how one chooses to live here, and forever more. Yaakov continued to work on his speech right up until the time he was called to the other room to deliver what he had practiced-for eternity.

Text Copyright 2001 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.

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.


Taken in Rishon Lezion, Israel, this image depicts two Holocaust survivors at their wedding. The bride (center) is named Chana Keller, and she survived a 500-mile death march.   I can’t even image the happiness being depicted in this picture.


This image of an unknown teenager singing in a DP Camp (where they held Holocaust survivors for a while) is just so beautiful. There’s something special about seeing an image of so many survivors in one picture, smiling, and with this girl in the center looking absolutely joyous.

(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


For those of us who travel vicariously through others:

Isi Davis presents, New Year’s 2017...

We landed in Austria and spent a few days venturing around. Then we flew to Gibraltar and spent a few days there. From there we went to Scotland and celebrated New Years, in Edinburgh.


Viennese confectionery; Holocaust memorial.


Edinburgh Castle Scotland



Haggis, (Scotland's national dish,) is a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal's stomach though now often in an artificial casing instead.

In the absence of hard facts as to haggis' origins, popular folklore suggests that the dish originated from the days of the old Scottish cattle drovers. When the men left the Highlands to drive their cattle to market in Edinburgh the women would prepare rations for them to eat during the long journey down through the glens. They used the ingredients that were most readily available in their homes and conveniently packaged them in a sheep's stomach allowing for easy transportation during the journey.


Edinburgh Castle from the south east.

"The most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world".


Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for supposedly spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died himself on 14 January 1872.

Disney’s film, Greyfriars Bobby (1961): The True Story Of A Dog - just one of the films made about the legend of the cemetery-dwelling Skye terrier.

5866-Edinburgh Hogmany_w600.jpg

From there we went to Scotland and celebrated New Years, in Edinburgh.  In Edinburgh on New Year's Eve the Scottish people congregate on the Royal Mile. A Scottish Band marches down the Mile, followed by at least 10,000 torchbearers, culminating in fireworks and a huge bonfire.

5870-Edinburgh Hogmany_w600.jpg

Edinburgh's Hogmanay festival is probably one of the world's greatest New Year's celebrations. The opening event is the spectacular Torchlit Procession. Approximately 40,000 attend this festival from all over the world. The torch bearers illuminate the city as the walk the mile followed by a huge bonfire on the Hill. Some of the events include, Torchlight Procession, Sprogmany, Tim Burgess in Concert, Candlelit Concert at St Giles, Street Party, Old Town Ceilidh with Belhaven Night, Afore Concert Concert in the Gardens The Final Fling and Stoats Loony Dook.

The View from The Rock



Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and headland, on Spain's south coast. It’s dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, a 426m-high limestone ridge. First settled by the Moors in the Middle Ages and later ruled by Spain, the outpost was ceded to the British in 1713. Layers of fortifications include the remains of a 14th-century Moorish Castle and the 18th century Great Siege Tunnels, which were expanded in WWII.


gibraltar monkey-w290.jpg

Gibraltar Monkeys or Barbary Macaques are considered by many to be the top tourist attraction in Gibraltar.

The Barbary Apes of Gibraltar are tail-less monkeys and are an unusual and delightful attraction for anyone visiting Gibraltar or the Costa del Sol. No one is really sure how the only wild apes in Europe arrived in Gibraltar. The two most popular explanations as to the appearance of the apes of Gibraltar is either that they crossed via a subterranean tunnel from their native Morocco or British sailors introduced them having picked them up on their travels. Whatever the explanation they readily adapted to their new habitat and have lived, bred and been an integral part of Gibraltar for some centuries now.

WARNING: Can be vicious.

We then traveled to Spain and rented a Jeep, and put on over a thousand miles.





Casa de Sefarad

Tour through time capsule of the Jews living in Spain, there richness and tragedy, that bestowed them. Many Jew converted, or left for Northern Africa and the Middle East, others became Pirates and explorers in the new world.   Casa de Sefarad is a private and independent museum and also a cultural space, It's aim is to recover and restore the Judeo-Spanish (Sephardic) trace and identity as a fundamental component of the Hispanic identity.

Casa de Sefarad is located in the heart of the Jewish quarter of Cordoba, next to the ancient Synagogue, at the junction between Judios street and Averroes street. Here you find the Life Cycle room, being born, growing up, dying and a collection of items which accompany Jews of the time through the life cycle. Cooking and golden thread embroidery, birth and weddings, and exile from Spain. The Women from Al-Andalus room. Forgotten women, female librarians, thinkers, poets and doctors who really existed. The Synagogue room Beth ha-knesset, a meeting and gathering place and haven. The Festivities room, rich in variety and singularity of the festivities of the times. The Maimonides room, RaMBaM, Jewish Cordovan, philosopher, doctor, talmudist. The Jewish Quarter of Cordoba room, is the most important urban spaced among the Hispanic-Jewish quarters capital of Sepharad. The Inquisition room, it is not possible to understand the Spanish History without knowing about the Inquisition or to understand our Jews of the times. Many documents displayed. The Music room, language, literature and music, the real treasure of the Sephardic culture and tradition. Pictures were hard to take due to the lighting in the separate rooms and glass covering the displays.

Located in the Jewish Quarter, (Juderia,) a maze-like conglomeration of narrow streets, this historic Córdoba Synagogue is entered after crossing a small plaza; thus there is no street entrance to the building. Although it has recently been reused for services, it had had other uses after the Jews were banished from Spain in 1492 CE. Before that for about two centuries it was one of several synagogues and part of the lively spiritual and intellectual life in Córdoba when Jewish, Moorish and even Christian thinkers made that capital city of the caliphate their home. (The monument to Maimonides is just down the street.) None of the other early synagogues remains. The building has only two downstairs rooms--an entry atrium and the praying room. The entry has a staircase to the upstairs women's gallery. The three arcades are decorated with words from the Psalms. This Synagogue is not a very impressive building. Nevertheless, it is one of Cordoba's highlights because it is the only Synagogue in Andalusia. It was built under Arab rule in 1315 AD, and decorated in the Arab style.


Cordoba Spain:

old synagogue and statue of Maimonides.


jewish quarter tiberiades square



Left Spain for Portugal and finally arrived in Warsaw before leaving for home. Weather was great and the scenery spectacular. Hopefully our next trip will be in March to the South Pacific.

I will have to look up to see if, there are any Synagogues.

(Thanks Isi. Nice pics.)


Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin,
12 Jan 2017, 04:40