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Shabbat Bulletin - March 11, 2017

A hearty welcome back to our B’aal Koreh, Harvey Bitterman
and many thanks to pinch hitter, Naomi Nemerof.

Making Shul and Judaism an important part of our Lifestyle

Dear Members and Friends of The Lodzer,


We wish a hearty mazel tov to Cantor Marcel’s wife Zloti who just landed a wonderful job in New York City.

This is a big step for the Cohen family.

While we are very sad that our beloved Cantor will be leaving us for the Big Apple, we are so appreciative that we have had him with us for the past several years. He brought an unprecedented level of warmth and dignity to our shul. His sweet voice, gentle charm, and sharp wit has impacted us all and we will be forever grateful to him.

Over the next Shabbatot, we will be hosting guest Cantors as potential candidates for our shul. We invite you to attend and enjoy the experience. Your feedback, as always, is important and valuable!

We will keep you informed of developments. Please stay tuned.

The Board of Directors, Lodzer Centre Congregation

Cantor Young was our guest cantor last week. He brought with him his choir and many of his admirers. Lots of singing. Everyone had a good time.


Cantor Gary Zener will be showcasing

his abilities this upcoming Shabbat.

“whose rich voice adds a wonderful
component to services”

(Or Shalom)

Next up to bat, (March 18,) MVP Cantor David Edwards

Hardworking, reliable and experienced Yazidi gentleman needs work in construction.
If you can help him find a job, please contact Debbie Rose at or call Debbie at 416-756-9760.

To The Tune of Mrs. Robinson
Simon and Garfunkel

And here's to you, Marcel Cohen
The shul loves you more than you will know
Wo wo wo
God bless you, please, Cantor Cohen
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

We got to know a lot about you from your happy smiles
We like to hear your puns from near and far.
Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes
Go about the shul, making happy girls and guys

And here's to you, Marcel Cohen,
The Lodzer loves you more than you will know
Wo wo wo
God bless you, please, Cantor Cohen
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey

You shine your light whenever you can sing
Putting it in the shul when davening
Thanks for this Purim and all the things you do
Most of all, thank you for always being you
Koo-koo-ka-choo, Marcel Cohen,
The Lodzer loves you more than you will know
Wo wo wo

God bless you, please, Cantor Cohen
Heaven holds a special place for you
wu wu wu

Shaking hands and laughing on a Shabbat afternoon
With your puns and up-beat cheerful smile.
We will miss your leadership that happens every day
We wish you Mazel in every single way.

So here's to you, Marcel Cohen
The shul loves you more than you will know
Wo wo wo
God bless you, please, Cantor Cohen
Heaven holds a place for those who pray
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

The New - New

Siddur  Dedications

In appreciation of
David Birken's inspiring
and fun-filled
Monday and Friday
karate classes (for seniors)
by Arthur Zins

In appreciation of Rabbi Eli's
excellent presentation on
Jewish Medical Ethics
at the morning minyan
of March 5, 2017
by Arthur Zins & Doris Greening

Yahrzeit  Morning

Minyans  Needed


After the seven Shiva days and until the thirtieth day after the burial, the Shloshim (literally meaning “thirty”) is observed.

Restrictions during the Shloshim period are fewer than those observed during the Shiva, but they permit mourners to acknowledge the cloud of grief still surrounding them.

Attn: 9 AM, Minyanaires

Sponsored breakfasts following

Morning minyans on these dates:

Thursday March 9

Friday, March 10
Thursday, March 23
Tuesday, March 28
Friday, March 31


Two from our congregation are currently observing shloshim.

May God comfort you

among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Arthur’s Call to Prayer

As an aside, last year I watched a TV episode of Murdoch Mysteries (set always circa 1900) that centred entirely on a conflict of one new young Jewish 'bad apple' attending a small weekday morning minyan at the turn of the century in olde Toronto.

This young man was persistently reciting the Kabbalah during the service (which was a no-no for under 40 year olds,) and the congregants wished they could ban this young man from their minyan.

In that TV episode, when detective Murdoch asked the rabbi why they hadn't banned this young bad apple from the minyan, the rabbi answered in a whiney tone "Detective Murdoch, do you know how hard it is to get 10 men for a morning minyan?"

Should I ask, does this remind you of our Lodzer morning minyan?

Cheers, Arthur Zins 😊✡ (happy Jew)


“How praying every day helped me heal from grief — in synagogues all over the world” by Paula Shoyer: “As a woman, I was never counted as one of the 10 participants by an Orthodox minyan, but I was never ignored. Orthodox rabbis literally ran after me after services to ask who I was and to welcome me… My minyan experiences taught me to value daily prayer… I managed to focus on others while I prayed, and by directing my energy toward others as well as my own pain, the daily experience became meaningful… And once you see the power of one single Jew to make a minyan, you show up. People do not appreciate the minyan until they have to.” [WashPost]

Thanks Arthur!


Life  Moments


Mar. 5  Rayner Brand
Mar. 5  Arnold Yudell
Mar. 6  Leo Zaidman

Mar. 13  Morris Anidjar
Mar. 13  Fay Ingber
Mar. 13  Ida Sidenberg
Mar. 16  Bronia Helman
Mar. 16  Helen Storm


Mar. 9   Isaak & Ellen Dagan

Mar. 11  Harley & Cheryl Klein

Mazel Tov! - Call Sarah!


Mar. 4   Sarah Dworkin, mother of Fay Ingber,

             grandmother of Jeff Shabes
Mar. 4    Tilly Isaacson, mother of Jacqueline Tolkin
Mar. 6    Bella Rochwerg, mother of Alisa Schwartz
Mar. 8    Sam Bederman, husband of Elyssa
Mar. 8    Gut’l Golub, father of Eda kardonne
Mar. 9    Harry Ber, father of Josef
Mar. 10  Paula Malet, wife of Dennis
Mar. 10  Leah Yudell, mother of Arnold

Mar. 11  Israel Moshe, father of Ben-Zion Moshe
Mar. 13  Marshall Drewnowsky, husband of Karyn,

              brother of Annette Sacks
Mar. 13  Bernard Ginsburg, father of Barbara Lew
Mar. 13  Isaac Peters, husband of Minnie, father of David


Take Your Soul to Work - By Erica Brown

On Negotiation

“You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.”

“Who determines what we deserve? Destiny is not what you open up at random like a message in a crisp, golden casing. It is what you create through determination, will and compromise.”

“Spiritual negotiations are collaborative rather than competitive, building bridges to reduce the abyss between two people or two partners. The span tells us that there is a way to get to the other side.”

“Imagine negotiation as a beautiful bridge that carries us closer to where the other side lives.”

Either way, you get what you deserve.




March 8

7:30-8:30 pm

Shul Kiddush


All are



This is an excellent program that has been going on for many years.
Please show your support of the class; the significance of Torah; and the importance of Torah study, by attending./ju

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


March 11

13 Adar




9:12 AM

Led mostly by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM


Chag Purim

Chag Gadol la Yehudim

Torah Times

Torah Reading: Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Tetzaveh

1: 27:20-28:5 (pg. 326)
2: 28:6-9
3: 28:10-12
4: 28:13-17
5: 28:18-21
6: 28:22-25
7: 28:26-30
maftir: Deuteronomy

25:17-19 (pg. 856)

Haftarah Zachor :  

Samuel 15:1 - 15:34 (pg. 995)

Candle Lighting: 6:00 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 7:09 p.m. – Saturday



March 11

13 Adar


6 PM






6 PM

Mincha service with Torah service

6:30 PM

Seudah Shlishit

(light snack)

7 PM

Mariv and Havdalah

Followed by the

Gantzeh Megillah


"SO! You want to find out


Come ACT with Achashverosh!

MUNCH with Mordecai!

HUM with Haman!


ENTERTAIN with Esther,

as we transform the Lodzer into


DATE: Saturday, March 11, 2017
TIMES:  Mincha  6:00 PM
Seudah Shlishit  6:30 PM
Mariv/Havadalah 7:00 PM
Followed by the Megillah

The FUN continues

Sunday, March 12 at 9:00 AM

and then in the evening.


March 12

14 Adar


9 AM





6 PM


Rabbi Eli

and the


Tone-Deaf Choir

Join us…

Along with…



9 AM

morning minyan

Megillah, 2nd reading

Lodzer Sanctuary

6 PM


Lodzer Centre Purim Party

Mincha Service 5:45 PM
Light Dinner Buffet and Talent Show

6:00 PM

Adults $25.00 per person
Children under 13 free

($9.00 at door with no reservation)


on March 7

(call Sarah)


March 13

Week 3

Karate lessons

For Seniors

Join us

with open hands

and Kick back!


Upstairs Hall

Kiai - Sen!


Our very own Black belt, David Birken, will be leading the class

Karate for Seniors

Right here at Dojo Lodzer!

Mondays and Fridays, (10 - 11 AM)ish

After morning minyan & kiddush breakfast

$5.00 fee, (donation to the shul,) per class waived for those that attend the morning minyan.

Bring sneakers, and optionally a yoga mat for floor exercises.

Learn a Dynamic new skill for Fun and Focus - at YOUR own pace!

Morning Minyanaires - developing body, mind and spirit - we daven, fress, sometimes walk, and now… kick butt.

Focus, Respect, Self-Control

“If you can’t do it slow, you can’t do it fast”


March 18

20 Adar




9:12 AM

Led mostly by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM




RE - ignited.

The winter was long, cold, dark, and snowy, but spring is nigh. Whatever our personal habits of hibernation may be, we are biologically wired to awaken just about… now. The icicles are thinning, the snowbirds are flying back from Florida, and the bright warmth revives the curiosity of our mind.

Passover, the Festival of Spring, as the Torah calls it, always brings forth abundant opportunities for teaching, learning, growing, expanding our knowledge, and continuing to wonder. Seder night, the epitome of the holiday, cannot start properly without questions being asked first, starting with the youngest person present at the table. It signifies the importance of seeking knowledge in our tradition; a well-put question may be worth a hundred answers.

It’s never too late to learn./RE



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 2

1 - 3 PM





Lower Sanctuary


Kiddush Rm.

Come meet with Yazidis


Project Abraham:

The initiative of the Mozuud Freedom Foundation to help save Yazidis from genocide.

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.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Coordinator/Project Abraham



The Yazidis are beginning to arrive and, while there is much to celebrate,  there is also so much to do.  There is something for everyone.  Please get back to me if you are interested in getting involved in any of the following:

1. Become part of a resettlement group (RG) to help the new arrivals to settle and integrate into their new life.

2. Help with the application process.

3. We are beginning an ESL conversation class for our Yazidi community.  We need English-speaking helpers…

4. We are ready to approach corporations to ask for sponsorship of Project Abraham.  If you have a connection to…

5. Bring more people to Project Abraham to help out.

Have a great week!  Debbie

April 2
7:30 PM

Movie Night

At the Lodzer


followed by refreshments

Please join us and bring your friends!


Kulanu Canada supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world who wish to learn more and want to reconnect with the wider Jewish community.
Kulanu also strives to raise awareness of these isolated communities to the Jews in Canada.


San Nicandro Garganico is a town and comune in the province of Foggia in the Apulia region of southeast Italy.

Together with Kulanu, the Lodzer will be showing the film

The Mystery of San Nicandro

The facts, in brief, concern a cobbler named Donato Manduzio, who returned from World War I to his small hometown in Puglia with disabling wounds and a spiritual thirst. Gradually, he attracted a following in San Nicandro as a preacher and faith healer; and then, upon receiving the gift of a Bible in Italian translation, he became an avid student of the Hebrew scriptures, which previously had been closed to him.

By the late 1920s, he had identified himself as a Jew—apparently without knowing that Jews still existed elsewhere in the world—and had begun to lead his disciples into a revival of Mosaic religion. When news came to them of an organized Jewish community in Rome, Manduzio’s group enthusiastically requested formal recognition, which was denied. Even had the San Nicandro congregation not been so idiosyncratic, Italy’s rabbinate would have been hard-pressed to welcome it in the 1930s at the height of Fascism.

The San Nicandro group received no fellowship until the soldiers of Britain’s Jewish Brigade rolled into town and were astonished to see their Star of David insignia matched by the locals. The great majority of the San Nicandro Jews subsequently emigrated to the newly established State of Israel, where they again had trouble achieving acceptance from the rabbinate. Today most of the surviving members of the community and their offspring live in Israel, while another group, descended from the handful who stayed behind, continues to reside in San Nicandro. (Roger Pyke)


April 9



April 19

Book Early!


Join Rabbi Eli for…

Passover in Campania

April 9-19, 2017

Pesach in Italy Village resort by the Tyrrhenian Sea in Campania, Southern Italy located between Naples and Rome. 200 private entrance townhouse-style apartments, soccer, volleyball, tennis courts, mini-golf, 2 swimming pools. Affordable vacation in Jewish environment with glatt kosher Italian cuisine, and abundant choice of day trips.



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


April 18ish

Date & Time




Hebrew Classes

Planning for the Lodzer Hebrew classes is on-going.  The starting date has been revised to after Pesach.  We are trying to provide classes to meet the needs of the people who are interested who present at many different levels.  We will keep you posted. Thanks for your patience.


Please contact or speak to Yona Nadler if you have questions.

April 19,



The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising refers to the armed resistance of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto in the early months of 1943. It should not be confused with the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, in which the non-Jewish Poles rose up against Nazi oppression (although some survivors of the Ghetto Uprising did join this fight). The latter was a bid for freedom, with a realistic chance of success; the former was the decision to die fighting, rather than accept death at the German execution camps.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

In 1939 the Germans had invaded Warsaw and taken control of the city; by November of 1940 they had ordered all the Jews in the capital into a three mile square area, dubbed the Warsaw Ghetto.


Approximately 13,000 Jews were killed during the Uprising, with another 50,000 rounded up and deported to death camps. A few escapees continued to fight in the forests, whilst some who were arrested were later freed by the Polish underground forces and joined the Warsaw Uprising. An estimated 300 German troops died in the struggle.


April 28

1 Nisan

Rosh Chodesh




May 4

7:30 PM

Shul Kiddush



Dr. Sima Goel


Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Fleeing the Hijab_w200.jpg

Fleeing the Hijab

Sima Goel's true account of her escape from 1980's Iran as a Jewish teenager.

I desired a different life where I could speak my mind and read whatever I pleased.

Sima believed that if you have nothing to die for, you have nothing to live for.



August 7



August 16


Payment in full is due

April 6


the Baltic States

With Rabbi Eli

August 7-16, 2017

Full details at


Seize the opportunity!


November 2





The Balfour Declaration, written as a letter on November 2, 1917, from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to British Jewish leader Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, pledged British support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. The declaration is one of the iconic documents in, and represents one of the great moments of, Zionist history.

“His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Arthur Balfour


Jewish Curses - A guide and coloring book


Dry Bones


Zis gut zu zein a Toronto Yid

1834: In Canada, York was incorporated as the city of Toronto. It was not until the 1840s that small numbers of Jewish immigrants from Western and Central Europe began to arrive in Ontario and settle in the cities of Hamilton, Kingston, and Toronto. In 1849, Abraham Nordheimer moved from Kingston to Toronto and purchased a plot of land for a cemetery on behalf of the Toronto Hebrew Congregation. The congregation was originally an Orthodox synagogue, made up of members from Germany, including Bavaria, Bohemia, and Alsace, Great Britain, the United States, Russia, Galicia, and Lithuania. It became known as the Daytshishe Shul because of its modernized services. In 1856, Lewis Samuel of York, England, immigrated to Toronto and helped organize the Sons of Israel Congregation. In 1858, the two congregations combined to form the Toronto Hebrew Congregation-Holy Blossom Temple. Holy Blossom was Orthodox, but in the 1920s joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and became Reform. It was the only Reform temple in Toronto until the 1950s, when it was joined by Temple Sinai and Temple Emanu-El. Today Holy Blossom is the largest Reform Congregation in Canada. In the 1880s, the arrival of large numbers of Eastern European Jews escaping the pogroms of czarist Russia, led to the creation of three new synagogues. Goel Tzedec and Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Chevra T'Hillim were founded in 1883, and were made up of mostly Russian members. They merged in the early 1950s to form Beth Tzedec, a Conservative congregation. The third synagogue, Shomrei Shabbos, was started in 1889 by Orthodox Galician Jews. Also in 1889, Beth Jacob, known as the Poylishe Shul and Rumanian Synagogue or Adath Israel came into existence.

By the 1940s, Toronto had about 60 synagogues. These were mainly small Landsmannschaften, which were immigrant synagogues that represented the different hometowns of settlers from Russian Poland, the Ukraine, Lithuania, and Belorussia. In the 1950s and 60s, the smaller shtiblekh merged into larger synagogues. Therefore, the number of synagogues decreased, but in their place were larger and more stable congregations. The Jewish population of Toronto started out small in the 18th and 19th centuries and grew slowly but steadily into the early 20th century. In 1871, 157 Jews lived in Toronto, in 1891, the number rose to 1,425, and, by 1901, the Jewish population had increased to 3,090. The size of the community always depended on waves of immigration from Europe, based on pogroms and persecution in various countries. In 1911, the Jewish population of Toronto had expanded to 18,237 and, by 1921, had almost doubled to 34,619. In 1931, 45,000 Jewish immigrants, made up of mostly Poles, settled in Canada after the United States tightened its immigration quota in 1924.

Because of restrictions imposed by the Canadian government during the Depression, Immigration preceding and during World War II declined significantly. This was a huge blow to Eastern European Jews trying to escape persecution, and only small groups of Austrian and German Jews fleeing Hitler were able to immigrate to Toronto during this period. In 1941, the number of Jews in Toronto had only risen slightly to 49,046, despite the thousands who desperately sought refuge in Canada. After World War II, the Canadian government established anti-discrimination laws and eased immigration regulations. The Canadian Jewish Congress and needle traders helped refugees come to Toronto from displaced persons camps. In addition, an important development in the Toronto community was the growth of the Jewish day school system in the post-World War II era. Previously, the Montreal and Winnipeg Jewish communities had larger networks of congregational and day schools. The 1950s and 60s saw a tremendous growth of population and community life. In 1951, the Jewish population of greater Toronto reached 66,773. It was augmented further after the 1956 Hungarian uprising brought a new influx of Jewish refugees to the city. In the 1960s, the first Sephardic Jews came to Toronto from Morocco, and established the first Sephardic synagogues and organizations in the city. Toronto's economic developments of the 1960s, combined with the rise of Quebec's separatist movement in the 1970s, led to a mass migration from Montreal to Toronto in the late 70s and early 80s. In 1971, the Jewish population stood at 105,000, by 1981, it reached 128,650 and, by 1991, increased to 162,605. When the Parti Quebecois won the provincial election in 1976, 20,000 to 30,000 Jews fled to Toronto, fearing an independent Quebec would divide and weaken the national Jewish community. Toronto assumed Montreal's position as the center of Jewish activity. However, the economic recession of the 1990s had a deleterious impact on the Jewish community's finances and its ability to subsidize Jewish day schools. Despite this setback, Toronto maintains the largest Jewish population of any Canadian city. In recent years, Toronto has received Jewish immigrants from South Africa, the former Soviet Union, the United States, and Israel. Today, the Jewish community stands at approximately 150,000 out of Toronto's 3.5 million inhabitants. Most Jews living in Toronto have only been there for one or two generations. With such close ties to their homelands, Torontonian Jews are typically more traditional than those in the rest of Canada and the United States. Of the 50 percent or so of the Jewish population that associate themselves with the community, 20 percent are Orthodox, 40 percent Conservative, 35 percent Reform, and the remainder nondenominational. Toronto maintains around 50 synagogues, a growing network of Jewish day schools, and a number of Jewish organizations.  (source)

Pirkei Avos

The world endures on three things - justice, truth and peace...

Pirke Avoth Perek 3 Mishnah 21

Note 1: The sections in regular type are taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim.   Sentences of the text in quotes have been taken verbatim. All relate to Mishnah 22.  The Comments or Questions are my own

Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah said: Where there is no Torah, there is no proper conduct; where there is no proper conduct, there is no Torah. Where there is no wisdom, there is no reverence [for God]; where there is no reverence, there is no wisdom. Where there is no knowledge, there is no understanding; where there is no understanding, there is no knowledge. Where there is no flour [bread], there is no Torah; where there is no Torah, there is no flour [bread].

This mishnah presents a series of pairs. Although each may start alone, “they cannot endure or attain a fully developed state without the other.”

“Now derech eretz can mean the secular ethics and values of the world”

“Human experience and human reason may be able to formulate a few ethical maxims , some wise proverbs and rules, but it cannot provide the necessary force and sense of obligation to impel mankind to uphold the maxims and observe the highest principles in daily, ordinary living. Without the motivation of Torah with its Divine authority, there can be no lasting or effective secular ethics: no derech eretz

Question: Is Divine authority the moral enforcer?  Is it therefore effective whether true or not?

“The term derech eretz may also mean the physical, social and economic life of man as distinguished from the spiritual realm. Without Torah to regulate and hallow our manifold secular activities and give them meaning, there is no lasting or significant derech eretz. A purely secular, earthy life, untouched and uninformed by Torah, will lack any spiritual meaning. Without Torah to give life structure and meaning, there can be the stark agonizing doubt of Ecclesiastes:”

Question: Do the lives of atheists, and buddhists therefore lack spiritual meaning?

“On the other hand, the Torah cannot have a proper, central place in our lives, cannot be rightly understood and observed, unless we have an innate sense of derech eretz, a fundamental recognition of decency and good behavior… for the proper worship of the Almighty we just have a sense of gratitude toward a benefactor. We must be able to recognize when someone has treated us with kindness, and be ready to return the favour, gratefully and graciously Then we can appreciate the overabundant goodness of the Creator that surrounds us, and in gratitude ‘accept the yoke of the kingdom of heaven’. Without a sound orientation in derech eretz, Torah will be out of context, a distortion of life rather than a blessed guide. For there will be no proper basis for it in the character.”

Comment: This is an amazing admission of a deficiency in the Torah. Do you agree with it?

The tern derech eretz may also mean the physical, social and economic life of man as distinguished from the spiritual realm, Without Torah to regulate and hallow our manifold secular activities and give them meaning, there is no lasting or significant derech eretz. A purely secular, earthly life, untouched and uniformed by Torah, will lack any spiritual meaning.”

“On the other hand, Torah was not given to angels. We cannot live a life of Torah in a vacuum or in an ivory tower of spirituality. If people did not marry, how could we apply the laws of family purity or the laws of respect for parents? … Surely, without derech eretz, there could be no Torah. In isolation it would make no sense.

Where there is no knowledge, there is no understanding; where there is no understanding, there is no knowledge.

Knowledge without understanding is worthless facts. On the other hand there can’t be true understanding unless it is based on facts.”

Question: What about social knowledge and intuition as substitutes for  facts. Does Judaism generally ignore these two factors?

Where there is not flour [bread] there is no Torah; where there is no Torah, there is no flour [bread].

Since the Torah alone brings people spiritual nourishment it is sometimes called bread. It could also mean that unless you study Torah all eating is just wasted time. Also bread is a symbol of a higher level of civilization. If there is no Torah you don’t reach a higher level of civilization. If you live at a lower level you are no better than an animal.”

“Now, a person who is thoroughly imbued with Torah will always be able to find a level of happiness, a sense of meaning, achievement, and esteem even in the most dire situation, in the most precarious condition.  Therefore our mishnah could mean : Because a person has no allegiance to any higher values, but has rather sunk  all his interest and regard into his natural possessions, he is constantly dissatisfied with his present conditions and complains of ‘no bread’: he remains dissatisfied and hungry. He may go on thinking his hunger is for more ‘bread,’ money , possessions, when it is actually a hunger for the spiritual verities of Torah.”

“Our mishnah would mean … that if you have absorbed no Torah, you may have natural food, but you will not have that ‘nourishment’ which is so essential for the well-being of the spirit…. If there is no Torah in your life, if your existence is not informed by one higher purpose, if there is no transcendent value and goal to which all your physical activities are dedicated, then your entire life is only a consumption of energy. Before, you had food, time, energy. Now they are gone; there is simply ‘no flour.’”

The story of the expulsion from the Garden of Eden where God tells man that he shall eat the grass of the field indicates that “man doesn't accept what he has been given in the form it is given him; he builds it up, improves on it, develops it, and transforms it. In the hands of man, wheat becomes flour, and flour becomes bread. Thus, flour signifies man’s superiority over the beast,his rise to a civilized state.”

Question: Is the necessity for man to improve his surroundings one of the moral truths of the story of Adam and Eve?

“Now, a person who is thoroughly imbued with Torah will always be able to find a level of happiness, a sense of meaning, achievement, and esteem even in the most dire situation, in the most precarious condition.  Therefore our mishnah could mean : Because a person has no allegiance to any higher values, but has rather sunk all his interest and regard into his natural possessions, he is constantly dissatisfied with his present conditions and complains of ‘no bread’: he remains dissatisfied and hungry. He may go on thinking his hunger is for more ‘bread,’ money , possessions, when it is actually a hunger for the spiritual verities of Torah.”

Question: If we were truly dedicated to improve our surroundings  would we speak to people at or on elevators?

The Wisdom of Judaism (Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins)

Be a Believer, but also be a humanist  

“One must be straight with other humans the same way one is straight with the Omnipresent" Talmud Yerushalmi, shekalim 3

“… Many people , … make the distinction between being observant and being religious. The two overlap, but they are not identical.” There are mitzvoth between man and God and mitzvoth between man and man.”

Humour - The Jewish mother

The upset and concerned housewife Rivka sprang to the telephone when it rang and listened with relief to the kindly voice.

"Darling, How are you? This is Momma."

"Oh Momma," she said "I'm having a bad day." Breaking into bitter tears, she continued, "The baby won't eat and the washing machine broke down. I haven't had a chance to go shopping, and besides, I've just sprained my ankle and I have to hobble around. On top of that, the house is a mess and I'm supposed to have the Goldbergs and Rosens for dinner tonight."

The voice on the other end said in sympathy, "Darling, let Momma handle it" She continued, "Sit down, relax, and close your eyes. I'll be over in half an hour. I'll do your shopping, clean up the house, and cook your dinner for you. I'll feed the baby and I'll call a repairman I know who'll be at your house to fix the washing machine promptly. Now stop crying. I'll do everything. In fact, I'll even call your husband Morty at the office and tell him he ought to come home and help out for once."

"Morty?" said Rivkah. "Who's Morty?"

"Why, Morty's your husband!....Is this (614) 223-1374?"

"No, this is (614) 223-1375."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I have the wrong number."

There was a short pause, then Rivkah said, "Does this mean you're not coming over?"

(What is Jewish about Jewish humor?)

Parshas Tetzaveh

Written on the Heart


“The mitzvot are a path of spiritual practice, a cultivation of religious awareness that may open us to the mystery and urgency of the divine voice. Not only legal obligation, mitzvah is a moment of encounter with the ever-renewing Divine Presence as it reverberates through the generations of the Jewish people.

As the hasidic mystics have taught, every person is a living Torah, an embodiment of the word and light of God. According to ancient rabbinic midrash, it was through the Torah that God created the world, and later mystics adapted this idea to suggest that the Torah is the very energy and life-force of Divinity as it fills the world and the human self. Each person is imbued with the divine spirit of Torah; the words that we speak and the actions we undertake are all manifestations of Torah, mitzvot in motion.

We stand this week just a short distance from the grand revelation of Sinai. We have heard the legislations of parashat Mishpatim, the detailed mapping of individual and communal life. In parashat Tetzavveh, as could be said in different ways about parashat Terumah, the Torah is taken into the heart of each individual Jew; the mitzvot received as a people through divine revelation are now absorbed into the depths of the human self in all its singularity and preciousness.

At a literal level, our parashah begins with the imperative to construct the forms of priestly service with precision, to fashion the devotional trappings of the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting):

וְאַתָּ֞ה תְּצַוֶּ֣ה ׀ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וְיִקְח֨וּ אֵלֶ֜יךָ שֶׁ֣מֶן זַ֥יִת זָ֛ךְ כָּתִ֖ית לַמָּא֑וֹר לְהַעֲלֹ֥ת נֵ֖ר תָּמִֽיד׃

You shall instruct the Israelites to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, for kindling lamps regularly. (Exod. 27:20)

But read figuratively through the lens of spiritual direction, this opening verse seeks to cultivate the growth of the individual person into a living embodiment of mitzvah, a vessel for the divine light.

Such is the teaching found in a playful and bold reading by the Sefat Emet, the late nineteenth century hasidic master, Rabbi Yehudah Leib Alter of Ger: the statement “atah tetzavvehet benei Yisrael” (“You shall ‘instruct’ the Israelites”) may be read as the transformation of the people, each of them, into a living mitzvah. Make them, the people of Israel, into mitzvot in the world—tetzaveh et benei Yisrael. Guide each Jew toward the embodiment and ensoulment of the mitzvot; help them become mitzvot themselves.

What does this mean? How does a person become a living mitzvah? Perhaps it is in those moments of greater spiritual awareness, the affirmation of the pervasive presence of the sacred in the world. Or perhaps it is in a posture of love and compassion toward the others that we encounter on a daily basis. When we “become mitzvot” in this way, we contribute meaningfully to the building of the sacred “lighting” (ma’or) mentioned in this opening verse, the luminous presence of God in our world. That is the dramatic act of לְהַעֲלֹ֥ת נֵ֖ר תָּמִֽיד—raising up the eternal flame of divine wonder and mystery. We bring light into the world when we become instruments of the ahavah rabbah of Divinity—the great and unending love that God sends into our hearts through the mitzvah of Ḥesed, kindness and compassion toward our fellow human beings. Not just to our family, friends, and intimate partners, but to all who cry out to us—whether that cry be audible or silent. …”

The publication and distribution of the JTS Commentary are made possible by a generous grant from Rita Dee (z"l) and Harold Hassenfeld (z"l).

Daily Minyan

Sunday – Friday: 9:00 am

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

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The Earliest Canadian Queen Esther

Esther Brandeau's strange and surprising adventures

In the spring of 1738, a ship from France came to Quebec. On board, a passenger scans this new land where he has chosen to live, not without trepidation. He may be right to tremble because he travels under a false identity. First, it is not a teenager, as his disguise would suggest, but a young woman.


When she is asked to say who she is, Esther Brandeau embarks on an astonishing narrative. It is about children lost in a shipwreck, blind sailors prey to love passion, cruel sultans crushing the bones of their slaves to strengthen the mortar of their prisons, crossing the desert and nomads to the big heart , In short, of all the marvels that inhabit the vast world.

No one believes her, but everyone is fascinated. For her part, the young woman discovers a society that lives prejudiced and torn by the power games. But there is this light of the sky over Quebec, these four distinct seasons, like the moods of the body, and the silent figures of the Indians who stand at the gates of the city and whose adventurous life she dreams of sharing.  (Les Aventures étranges et surprenantes d'Esther Brandeau, moussaillon - Susan Glickman)


Esther Brandeau was actually the first Jewish woman to arrive in Canada in 1738. She was born in France and was able to come to the New World only because she disguised herself as a young boy.

<<<Book Review>>>

She named herself Jaques la Frague and became a well-liked apprentice on her ship and in the area of present day Quebec. Soon, however, Esther's mask was removed and both her gender and religion were revealed. [Other internet info suggests that Esther was escaping her family in Europe, because they had arranged a marriage for her, which groom was not to her liking.]

As the lone Jew in the country, authorities in "New France" arrested her and attempted to convert her to Christianity. Esther was adamant in her refusal to convert. She wanted to live in Canada as a free citizen, but she also wanted to remain Jewish. The new government could not approve of her religion, and after a few years of correspondence with authorities in France, she was finally sent back to her home in La Rochelle.

Esther Brandeau is an ideal representation of a woman who would do anything for her freedom except sacrifice her belief in Judaism.

Subsequent t

o Esther Brandeau, in 1760, as members of the British army who attacked and seized Montreal as part of the French and Indian War, 5 Jews are on record as having settled in Quebec, being Samuel Jacobs, Emmanuel de Cordova, Aaron Hart, Hananiel Garcia, and Isaac Miramer.[10]

As far as Toronto, the earliest record shows a Jewish wedding in 1817, however, the first permanent Jewish presence in Toronto began in 1832, with the arrival of Arthur Wellington Hart, the Harts being among the most established Jewish families of British North America. By 1846, the census indicated that 12 Jews lived in Toronto.

Thanks Arthur.

Canada’s Queen Esther?

The world is a magical place full of people

waiting to be offended by anything.

Proceed with Caution...

Honour Diaries

Honor Diaries is the first film to break the silence on 'honor violence' against women and girls. Honor Diaries is more than a movie, it is a movement to save women and girls from gender inequality, forced marriages and human rights abuses.

The Kelly Files: Megyn Kelly Has a Candid Discussion on the film "Honor Diaries"


by Jasvinder Sanghera CBE
January 26, 2017

Up until last week, I had never heard of Linda Sarsour, the controversial co-chair of the global women’s march. But then supporters of my charity (Karma Nirvana) shared their shock and outrage over Ms. Sarsour’s attacks on the film Honor Diaries, a film in which I feature and support wholeheartedly. When Honor Diaries was released in March 2014, Ms. Sarsour worked to discredit the film. She disseminated the hashtag #DisHonorDiaries and made disparaging comments about the film. Why would a women’s rights activist work to silence a film on women’s rights?

I took part in Honor Diaries to break the silence of “honor abuse” I endured. I was born in Britain and my life experiences were rooted in an honor system which subjugated women, deemed us less than men, and justified why we were not allowed freedom, independence and democracy. A woman was to be seen and not heard; a woman was not to bring shame on her family; a woman did not have the right to an education, or the right to choose her spouse.

In my family, this led to forced marriages that were consummated in rape. The scale of domestic violence was horrific and yet family and community members turned a blind eye. My dear sister Robina, taken from education at 15 to marry a stranger, later set herself on fire after being encouraged to stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of honor. As a woman, she was told it was her duty to make the marriage work. It was deemed “more honorable” for her to take her own life than to leave the relationship.

As one of seven sisters, I regard myself as one of the lucky ones. I ran away from a forced marriage at the age of 16.  My family’s response will live with my children and with me for the rest of our lives.

Thirty-five years later I remain disowned by my family.

The need for unified voices exposing these abuses is critical. It will take people from all backgrounds to join forces in the fight against honor crimes. Upon the release of Honor Diaries, Linda Sarsour tweeted: “How many times do we have to tell White women that we do not need to be saved by them? Is there code language I need to use to get thru?” I find this comment – and her subsequent criticisms of the film – deeply offensive and divisive in a struggle that requires unity.

As a fellow racial justice and civil rights activist, I welcome the support of all women, even if they were never personally affected by these horrific abuses.  Their race, religions and backgrounds are irrelevant to me, and they should be saluted for standing up for women and helping give us a voice.

Honor Diaries rightly exposes the brutal realities suffered by women from all faiths and races. My own heritage is Indian and my parents were Sikh. The film goes beyond the experiences of Muslim women and unites us in our experiences of what is right and wrong, pure and simple. We will continue to support the film Honor Diaries and producer Paula Kweskin’s bravery.  She had the courage to speak for us when many remain silent and when others, like Linda Sarsour, were attacking her.

Those who try to silence Honor Diaries deny me and thousands of others the humanity and right to exist equally as women. Linda Sarsour, I invite you to join us and meet women who suffer the abuse of the honor system every day. Honor Diaries speaks truths which need to be heard.

Ms. Sarsour: why did you try to silence us?

Legislation is no substitute for a solid moral compass.




CIJA Responds to Bomb Threats at Jewish Community Centres

TORONTO, ON – This morning, (Tues. March 7,) the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in Toronto and the Jewish Community Centre of London, Ontario, received bomb threats. This is the second bomb threat the London Jewish Community Centre has received in the past two months. Police have now provided the all clear, allowing activities to resume at both community centres.

In response, Ryan Hartman, Director of CIJA’s National Community Security Program (NCSP), issued the following:

“CIJA’s security team is working closely with the affected institutions and local law enforcement. These alarming incidents, combined with similar threats targeting Jewish community centres across North America, remind us of the need for continued vigilance in the fight against antisemitism.

“Our community has strong security protocols in place and benefits from close working relationships with police agencies, which have proven extremely responsive in dealing with these terrible acts. We thank police for their exceptional support. We encourage community institutions to follow existing security procedures, call 911 immediately should they witness suspicious activity, and reach out to CIJA’s security team for follow-up support.

“As Canadians, we will not tolerate antisemitism – or any other form of hatred – in our society. While maintaining vigilance, Jewish Canadians will not be deterred from actively enjoying our community centres.”

Be Vigilant...

Some children don’t play nice!

Book ‘em, Danno!


Bacon-Wrapped Matzoh Balls

The Gorbals’ seemingly blasphemous -- pushing boundaries -- Bacon-Wrapped Matzoh Balls were born when Chef Hall was at a Jewish friend’s birthday party and wanted to present something that was considered “out of bounds” and a little tongue-in-cheek; a contradictory pairing of sorts. He wanted to take something kosher and forcibly penetrate its ceremonious laws with a forbidden meat.

A metaphor for Conservative Judaism?

It is easier to define the boundaries of Conservative synagogues than it is to define Conservative Jews, the real vision of Conservative Judaism is to inspire congregants to distinguish themselves by how they live as Jews.

The history of Jewish comedy and the contemporary role of Judaism in comedy today has changed as Jews have become increasingly assimilated.

Woody Allen, tried to answer the Big Questions of Life, such as why does man kill?

"He kills for food," Allen suggested. "And not only food; frequently there must also be a beverage included."

Unless your kids get that “Jewish shtick” from you, it will be lost forever.

"For me, the essence of Jewish humor is that it's egalitarian.

Anyone, and anything, is fair game."

Nate Herman

There’s no room for political correctness in Jewish Humour.

When humorist Aaron Freeman converted to Judaism in 1994, he said he went through most of the process on a Sunday and a Monday. But on the Friday before, two full days before he had even entered the religion, he got a fundraising call from the Jewish United Fund.

"Jews understand why that is funny," Freeman said. "It's like the JUF gets faxes from God."

Jewish Shtick relies on Stereotypes to convey Jewish identity

Christians drink to excess - Jews eat to excess

Jewish mothers are nagging, overprotective, manipulative, controlling, smothering

Jewish Princesses are pampered from birth - spoiled brats, materialistic, selfish

Jews are greedy, nit-picky, stingy misers

Jewish humour tends to be self-critical at best and masochistically self-deprecating at worst.

"No it’s not, and if I hear that line once more I'm going to kill myself!"

“Vat’s de matter, so late, Sammy? Let me look at your hands. Playing marbles, ha? A marble shooter you’re gonna be? A beautiful business for a Jewish boy!” (Mollyism)
The Goldbergs 1930s-1950s Radio & TV

Jewish humour grew out of the collective Jewish experience - conditions and tensions -- Jewish and otherwise -- of their very lives.

Today, Jews have won. That’s the problem. Jews have broken the stereotypes. They no longer kvetch, because they have little to complain about. Jews are powerful enough to do what they want and to get what they want. That’s the death of Jewish humour. That’s the death of Jewish identity. When Jews were funny 2013 - Mark Schiff

“This Old Jewish man, he’s 90 years old - It’s 3 AM on New Years Eve, he’s driving around Beverly hills by himself.

A cop pulls him over and asks, “Where are you going?”

He says, I’m going to a lecture on alcohol abuse, how alcohol ruins your families and destroys your health.

The cop says, “Who’s giving this lecture at 3 in the morning?”

The guy says, “My wife.”

- Mark Schiff

“If it wasn’t for the Orthodox, the religion would disappear. They keep the religion going.  We just fit in with everybody else and Jewishness would be gone. We drop a little bit of this, a little bit of that and before you know it,  you’re eating white bread with mayonnaise!”

When Jews were funny 2013 - Mark Schiff

Assimilation breaks down cultural stereotypes.

What then defines us as Jews?

“As individuals, there is nothing remarkable about Jews. There have been many theories, Jewish and non-Jewish, which attribute to us an innate genius, a racial gift, a genetic endowment, a mystic difference. None is convincing. Removed from our traditions, our past, our way of life and our community, within three generations or less we merge into the wider landscape and become invisible. Individually we are ordinary. Collectively we become something else… though we might not be born great or achieve greatness, our history thrusts greatness upon us. We are more than individuals. We are part of a collective history and destiny, perhaps the strangest and most miraculous the world has ever known. That is our inheritance, and the most important thing we can do is to hand it on to our children.”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - Will we have Jewish Grandchildren?

Let’s shtick together.