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Shabbat Bulletin - March 25, 2017

Making Shul and Judaism an important part of our Lifestyle


Harley and Cheryl Klein

In honour of the upcoming marriage of their son

Brett to Alexandra

A Special Thank You goes out to the The Dynamic Duo of

Rafi Remez and Nancy Corey

For cleaning the Sisterhood Kitchen

June 2 Special Oneg Shabbat to honour Marcel Cohen,

our chazzan and punmeister,

before he heads to New York.

Chazzan David Edwards and choir raise the bar.

Expectations were high…

Chazzan David Edwards did not disappoint.

And the Oscar/medal goes to...

Is it really an honour just to be nominated or to compete?

The Lodzer News Network would like to thank:


Thanks Jonathan & Dora

(for the great Tee)

Charles Greene, for producing the digital Shabbat Bulletin each week


Judy Hazan for producing the printed Shabbat handout each week

LNN is a subsidiary of

Shabes Entertainment


Kiai… POW!

1/ Jonathan asks, "What am I, chopped liver?"  Answer: “Not yet…” Truth be told, Jonathan is a major contributor to the content and direction of the Bulletin. To which we also say, “Thanks!”

2/ Judy’s Shabbat handout: can be download from the homepage.

For the Yahrzeit of Raphael Yelin, nephew of Sheldon Richmond

March 27, 2017-- Adar 29, 5777

“At the beginning, nothing was; at the beginning there was nothing, nothing at all of what we know, nothing at all of what we don't know; there was nothing at the beginning, there was not even nothing.” by Medieval author.

Raffey, Not-Not
by Sheldon Richmond

Raffey died unexpectedly,
But a surprise, it was not.

Raffey said he was fine,
But fine, he was not.

The phone rings,
But on the line, he is not.

I walk there,
And there he is not.

To some he is gone,
But to us, he is not.

In the world to come, B'Olam Ha-Ba,
In that world that is yet not,
Raffey and we, will not be not.

“We have a minyan!”


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires

Sun-Fri: Morning Minyan Needed

Sponsored breakfasts following

Morning minyans on these dates:

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

Please inform Sarah if you will be attending morning services

for an upcoming Yahrzeit.

Always a good breakfast following!


Two from our congregation are currently observing shloshim.

May God comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Siddur Dedication


In Honour of Charlie Greene's
      62nd Birthday and
  in Appreciation of all the
  Behind the Scenes Work
that Charlie does for the Shul
by Arthur Zins & Doris Greening



Life  Moments


Mar. 17  Ayala Grossman

March 19  Charles Greene

March 19  Sonny Martin
March 24  Chaim Bell
March 24  Nancy Corey
March 24  Frank White

March 25  Dorothy Tessis
March 26  Barbara Lew
March 30  Rick Kardonne


March 28  Fred & Esther Bloch

Mazel Tov! - Call Sarah.


March 18  Molly Goldenhar, mother of Cindy Ber
March 18  David Greenberg, hushand of Rebecca
March 20  Philip Goldberg, father of Judy Hazan
March 20  Lily Rosenberg, mother of Joseph
March 20  Fay Slutchuk, mother of Nancy Corey
March 21  Brucha Kliger, mother of Irene Szweras
March 21  Paula Malamude, mother of Rick Kardonne
March 21  Yadja Wajgensberg, mother of Dorothy Tessis
March 22  Luba Drewnowsky, mother of Annette Sacks
March 22  Avron Siegel, husband of Betty Siegel-Synder and father of Debbie Rose
March 23  Wendy Yudell, wife of Arnold

March 25  Henry Wildbaum, father of Jenny Finkelshtain
March 27  Raphael Yelin, nephew of Sheldon Richmond
March 28  Avraham Gerber, husband of Lily
March 28  Murial  Iseman,

                 mother of Roz Greene and Howard Iseman
March 28  Zalman Leib Sosner, father of Sarah Moshe
March 31  Leon Sniatowski, father of Sarah Senior



Take Your Soul to Work - By Erica Brown

On Renewal

“ In Self-Renewal John W. Gardner bemoaned the way that adult development is often arrested at too young an age. We get stuck voluntarily. We settle into routines, select a relatively small pool of people to befriend and keep relying on the way we have always done things: ‘As we mature we progressively narrow the scope and variety of our lives’.
… this lack self-renewal gets in the way of personal and professional growth and organizational innovation….. Unlike the jailbird, … we don’t know that we’ve been imprisoned until after we’ve broken out.”

Zingers from Pirke Avoth
Perek 1, Mishnah 1
From the Irving Greenberg commentary

“The law works best when it moves the community moderately and steadily over time rather than trying to transform values or behaviours overnight. Revolutions often generate backlash and resistance. When the change is too drastic, it is often defeated by popular resistance, or the revolutionaries resort to harsh and tyrannical methods to impose the law.”

Question: Does this apply to the increasing anti-Semitism in Canada and the United States? Are we the frogs in hot water?

Anti-semitism is no longer our greatest fear.




March 22

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 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


March 25

27 Adar



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Welcome back Frank

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM




Torah Times

Torah Reading: Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Vayyakhel
1. 35:1 - 35:10 (pg. 373)
2. 35:11 - 35:20
3. 35:21 - 35:29
4. 35:30 - 36:7
5. 36:8 -  36:19
6. 36:20 - 35:38
7. 37:1 - 37:16
Maftir: Shabbat Hachodesh
Parsha Bo 12:1 - 12:20 (pg. 253)

Haftorah - Ezekiel

45:16 - 25, 46:1-18 (pg. 1001)

Candle Lighting: 7:17 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 8:26 p.m. – Saturday



March 27

Week 4

Karate lessons

For Seniors

Join us

with open hands

and Kick back!

Mondays & Fridays


Kiddush Breakfast


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 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 28

1 Nisan

Rosh Chodesh




April 1

5 Nisan


The defining moment for me was when ISIS (released) pictures of children crammed up in a cage dressed up in orange jumpsuits while outside a soldier held a flame to them.

Hear Geoffrey Clarfield at the Lodzer on April 1st

In lieu of a D’var Torah during Shabbat Services, Geoffrey Clarfield, Executive Director of Mozuud, and Mirza Ismail, founder and Chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization International, will speak.

They will provide an update on the current situation of the Yazidis in Iraq and Syria and in the refugee camps in Turkey and Greece. They will also discuss the recent policy announcement of the Canadian government and the immediate and urgent needs of the Yazidi community.

A special D’var Torah for our times.



April 1

5 Nisan



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM



The importance of accuracy

in your tax return.

CRA  has returned the Tax Return to a man in Canada after he apparently answered one of the questions.

In response to the question,

"Do you have any dependents?"

The man wrote:

"2.1 million illegal immigrants,

1.1 million crackheads,

4.4 million unemployable scroungers,

80,000 criminals in over 85 prisons,

plus 450 idiots on Parliament Hill.

The CRA flagged the man’s answer,

“*** Unacceptable ***”

The man responded back, asking,

"Who did I leave out?"


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 10

14 Nisan

1st Seder


April 11

15 Nisan

2nd Seder



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 23

27 Nisan






Yom Hashoah was inaugurated in 1953 as a day for the citizens of Israel to remember those murdered during the Holocaust.



April 23

2 PM

Adath Israel
37 Southbourne

Simultaneous and related program:

Miles Nadal JCC
750 Spadina

$Free of charge$

416.635.2883 x5301


Community Holocaust Commemoration




Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre,
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto

FAST - Fighting Antisemitism Together


April 27

1 Iyar

Rosh Chodesh




April 27

8 - 9 PM

1st Session

Kiddush Room

The cost is $150.00 for 10 classes.  We request a minimum commitment of $75.00 for 5 classes.


Hebrew Classes

Will run for 10 weeks.  All who expressed interest are invited to attend the first class.  At that time we students will decide with our teacher, Ella Kaplan, if and when a class at a different level will run.  

We're planning that there will be subsequent sessions.  We'd like this project to be on-going and hopefully growing.


Looking forward to learning Hebrew together,

RSVP -  Before April 10 / Pesach


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.



June 2

Oneg Shabbat



A special Oneg Shabbat

in honour of Marcel Cohen.

Our chazzan and punmeister, Marcel Cohen is heading to New York.

D-G’s best friend

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


Pirkei Avos

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

Pirke Avoth Perek 3 Mishnah 22

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

He used to say: Any man whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, to what is he like? To a tree whose branches are many but whose roots are few, and the wind comes and plucks it up and overturns it on its face – as it is said: And he shall be like a lonely juniper tree in the desert, and he shall not see good come; but he shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, a salt and uninhabited land.  But anyone whose deeds exceed his wisdom, to what is he like? To a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are many, so that even if all the winds in the world come and blow on it, they cannot budge it from its place – as it is said: And he shall be a tree that is planted by water and by the stream it spreads out its roots: then it shall not perceive any heat when it comes, and its foliage shall be verdant; nor shall it be troubled in a year of drought, nor cease from bearing fruit.

Ethics from Sinai

“The present mishnah drives the thought home with a vivid analogy, that adds a new insight. It compares the human being to a tree: his wisdom corresponds to the branches or foliage, and his deeds are like the roots.”

“Now science tells us that a tree’s nourishment comes to it primarily through its roots. This expanding network of underground ‘pipe lines’ brings the tree its needed water and minerals.”

“And in man, what is it that brings him spiritual nourishment? What provides his vital spirit with the elements it needs for continued life and growth? Judaism’s answer is the deed. Academic study alone, theoretical contemplation alone, exercise of the reason alone, cannot basically affect the all-important functioning, acting part of the character. Only the Torah deed, which combines conscious intent and physical action, can nourish and improve the character – slightly, but permanently.”

“Hence, the person whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, who sees in his wisdom an end in itself which he need not translate into actual achievements through and for Torah is ‘top heavy’ and ‘overextended.’ His loyalty to Judaism has an insufficient foundation: it is an edifice that can easily topple. And should the various ‘winds’ of passion, lust, arrogance, envy, the intense search for honour - his eager roots of abstract, intellectual wisdom will not be able to hold him in his position. He will go ‘whichever way the wind blows,’ likely to his disaster. Similarly, should he be swept by a ‘gale’ of persecution and hardship, ill-fortune and trying circumstances, he may be easily uprooted and cast down on his face.”

Question 1: Is studying Torah useless without deeds?

Question 2: When is part of work (doctors, social workers, lawyers, teachers  etc considered a mitzvah as opposed to simply part of a work function?

“… Note the effect of wind on some of our other physical elements. A fire will burn quietly in one place, unless a wind appears: it will fan the flames into greater blaze and spread it farther. The ocean is fairly calm and quiet, until a wind comes along and blows it into a raging storm. Dust too will lie quietly until a wind appears to send the fine particles swirling and scurrying in fine frenzy. So it is with the human personality. Many of us have incipient characteristics, potentialities for anger,  envy , disloyalty, and so on. Under ordinary conditions these characteristics lie quiet  and dormant, entirely harmless. But when the ‘winds’ of unusual stresses or stimuli begin to blow, when times change and new conditions begin to arise, these ‘harmless’ impulses within us may be stirred into something quite different. Such times are a test of our ‘root system’: How strong, how deep, how extensive are our roots in Judaism? If we have only Jewish wisdom, knowledge, information and concepts stored in the upper levels of our mind, our ‘root system’ will not be strong enough. If however your Judaism is a matter of a total commitment that involves your total being – emotions, intellect, and behaviour – then you are indeed deeply rooted in Torah and the Divine. Should the winds of the strongest ideologies blow, should even gales of lust and envy appear on the horizon, such a person will be unmoved and unaffected. He is truly as a tree whose foliage will always be green, and he will ‘continue to give fruit’: he will remain dependable to continue bringing benefit to this community. By the same token, the Hebrew word tsaddik denotes not just a person who knows righteousness, but one who also acts righteously. Similarly , you will not earn the title hacham simply by knowing things. You must also translate your knowledge and apply your wisdom to action; your must achieve in accordance with your level of knowledge.

Question: In assessing people, should the number of mitzvahs they do outside of their  work function be an essential part of that assessment?

“It is interesting to note that for our mishnah it is not enough if deeds and wisdom will be about equal in a person’s life and character: the mishnah insists that our deeds exceed our wisdom. Only then, says Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah, will we have ‘roots’ and stability of character.” At Mount Sinai we said ‘We will do and we will hear’. Now the Hebrew word for ‘hear’ also denotes comprehending, understanding. At the foot of Mt. Sinai the Hebrews surely did not fully understand the Torah; they could not even foresee all the implications that Torah would involve. Nevertheless, the committed themselves to ‘do,’ to act as the Torah would require, even before they fully understood.”  

“This must be the touchstone of every Jew in every generation. Our deeds must always run ahead of our understanding.  As we grow older and study more, we understand more and appreciate more of our Judaism. But at each stage  as our understanding grows, we must continue to leap ahead by committing ourselves to more extensive deeds, profounder observances. We must do even without comprehension, trusting that our reason will catch up.”

Question 1:  Doing before fully understanding may be helpful in some circumstances but does it also lead to extremism, rigidity, or wrongful acts?

Question 2: Does living in old age homes limit or increase the number of mitzvot that a  person can perform?

Visions of the Fathers

“Chassidic writings teach that the function of man is to transform the earthly world into a spiritual world. “…God made the heaven into heaven, and gave earth to man so that he should transform it into heaven. When a person uses earthly objects in the performance of mitzvah, they become spiritual objects… The produce of earth receives a spiritual value when a person uses the energy provided by food to perform mitzvos. It is by observing the ordinances of Torah and living according  toTorah teachings that man accomplishes his mission. The tree is symbolic of this function. It too takes the elements of the earth, water, and oxygen  of the air, and with the energy provided by sunlight miraculously synthesizes wood, leaves, and fruit. These provide both shade and food for all living things, as well as being a home for various creatures.”

“Just as elements can be combined and transformed into fruit, so can all earthly objects be transformed into kedusha (holiness).”

“As we go about our daily activities, we would do well to think of our being compared to a tree, so that we may conduct ourselves in a manner that, as the Rabbi of Kotzk said, will enable us to convert the earth into heaven.”

Question: Should we think we are bringing holiness to the world every time we do  a mitzvah? Are we?

Humour - The Job Interview

Chaim Yankel was having a tough time finding a job what with the current economic problems. He couldn’t even get an interview

Finally, he secured an interview and needless to say, he was trying his best to impress. The interviewer said, "In this job Chaim, we need someone who is responsible."

"I'm the one you want," Chaim replied. "At my last job every time anything went wrong, they said I was responsible."

Responsibility is not inherited,

it is a choice that everyone needs to make at some point in their life.

(Byron Pulsifer)

Israel 21c header_w592.jpg

Israel Is Changing The World


Advanced micro-power radar technology, 3D image reconstruction algorithms and signal processing techniques developed by the Israeli military are all built inside Camero’s handheld security cameras that enable search-and-rescue workers to find stationary and moving objects concealed from view. Camero’s Xaver systems can generate 3D images of objects behind solid barriers made of cement, plaster, bricks, concrete and wood.

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

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

The world is a magical place full of people

waiting to be offended by anything.

Proceed with Caution...


“Sometimes I wrestle with my demons.

Sometimes we just snuggle.”

Demon: one’s guiding spirit and if you’re lucky, one’s guiding genius.

Demons, wisely understood and felt, wake us up and call our attention to what remains covered up inside. It’s usually what has gone unexpressed or uncreated in us.

There is a guiding wisdom even from these demons that points toward a wider view of life. Rather than viewing difficult and disturbing events and feelings as if you’re stuck inside them, from a supportive container, give voice to these darker energies and find your way out.

(Heart Power - Ed Conrad)

Bring on those demons!

Is Anti-semitism a demon to wrestle with or embrace?

Please seek help if you feel that Demons are “harmful beings” that cause decay, pain, and the depletion of life-energy.

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971)

Acceptance, courage and sound judgment – which, when combined, can result in uncommon inner peace.  

Neibuhr's books developed as his concept of G-d developed, so his earlier books sometimes were contradicted by later books. I read a few of his later books on the nature of G-d and religion. They were fascinating and worthwhile. Needless to say, they are Christian books so that the word Jesus had to be translated in my mind as G-d - but that was not difficult./ju

Question: Why, in Judaism, is G-d spelled with a dash instead of an “o" but "the Almighty" has no dash?

“Know Before Whom You Stand”

Is the Serenity Prayer the answer to all of this world’s problems?

...At what price?

Is the Serenity Prayer in line with Jewish beliefs and values?

The 'serenity prayer' has been used at least North America wide, to guide human behaviour in 12 step recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous and Food Addicts Anonymous.  The 'zinger/pitch' goes something like this :

"G-d, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Although this guiding saying first originated with an American Christian minister in the 1930's, he may have been drawing on intrinsic Jewish philosophy rooted in Jewish behaviour tactics, as in Pirke Avot, for example:

" ... exercise of the reason alone, cannot basically affect the all-important functioning, acting part of the character. Only the Torah deed, which combines conscious intent and physical action, can nourish and improve the character – slightly, but permanently ... "

Jewish people as a race, are the most productive and resilient in the history of the world (just look at Jewish achievements in surviving through the ages under virulent antisemitism, including Jewish 'per capita' achievements in the arts, sciences, human philosophy, as well as military prowess).

Essentially, Judaism by its very survival and prowess must be, in the longest run, a religion of practicality.

We (Jews) like to get the most 'bang for our buck', so to speak, by devoting our time and energy to those efforts that can change things around us, for the better (justice and good deeds).

For example, in Greenberg's commentary on the Pirke Avot, he says :

“ ... The law works best when it moves the community moderately and steadily over time rather than trying to transform values or behaviours overnight ... "


" ... the mishnah insists that our deeds exceed our wisdom. Only then, says Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah, will we have ‘roots’ and stability of character ... "

Bottom line, we (Jews) have to continue to have the 'wisdom' to let go of those things that we cannot change (from the serenity prayer).

Was it Alfred E. Neuman who said "What, me worry?”


It’s no coincidence that both editors, (Harvey Kurtzman and Al Feldstein,) of Mad magazine were Jewish.


Alfred E. Neuman is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of Mad, an American humour magazine. The face had drifted through U.S. iconography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman, and later named by the magazine's second editor Al Feldstein.

Arthur Zins, the 😊✡ (happy Jew)

Thanks Arthur

If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong

Last week in the Pirke Avoth discussion group we discussed whether morality without a religious base has strong enough roots to survive when bad things happen./ju

“when bad things happen” - Let’s give credit where credit is due.

Do you believe that good and evil exist?
The answer to this question separates Judeo-Christian values from secular values.
Let me offer the clearest possible example: murder.
Is murder wrong? Is it evil? Nearly everyone would answer yes. But now I’ll pose a much harder question: How do you know?
I am sure that you think that murder is wrong. But how do you know?
If I asked you how you know that that the earth is round, you would show me photographs from outer space, or offer me measurable data. But what photographs could you show, what measurements could you provide, that prove that murder or rape or theft is wrong?
The fact can’t. There are scientific facts, but without God there are no moral facts.
In a secular world, there can only be opinions about morality. They may be personal opinions or society’s opinion. But only opinions. Every atheist philosopher I have read or debated on this subject has acknowledged that if there is no God, there is no objective morality.
Judeo-Christian values are predicated on the existence of a God of morality. In other words, only if there is a God who says murder is wrong, is murder wrong. Otherwise, all morality is opinion.
The entire Western world – what we call Western Civilization – is based on this understanding.
Now, let me make two things clear.
First, this doesn’t mean that if you don’t believe in God, you can’t be a good person. There are plenty of kind and moral individuals who don’t believe in God and Judeo-Christian values. But the existence of these good people has nothing – nothing – to do with the question of whether good and evil really exist if there is no God.
Second, there have been plenty of people who believed in God who were not good people; indeed, more than a few have been evil – and have even committed evil in God’s name. The existence of God doesn’t ensure people will do good. I wish it did. The existence of God only ensures that good and evil objectively exist and are not merely opinions.
Without God, we therefore end up with what is known as moral relativism – meaning that morality is not absolute, but only relative to the individual or to the society. Without God, the words “good” and “evil” are just another way of saying “I like” and “I don’t like.” If there is no God, the statement “Murder is evil” is the same as the statement “I don’t like murder.”
Now, many will argue that you don’t need moral absolutes; people won’t murder because they don’t want to be murdered. But that argument is just wishful thinking. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao didn’t want to be murdered, but that hardly stopped them from murdering about a hundred million people.
It is not a coincidence that the rejection of Judeo-Christian values in the Western world – by Nazism and Communism – led to the murder of all these innocent people.
It is also not a coincidence that the first societies in the world to abolish slavery – an institution that existed in every known society in human history – were Western societies rooted in Judeo-Christian values. And so were the first societies to affirm universal human rights; to emancipate women; and to proclaim the value of liberty.
Today, the rejection of Judeo-Christian values and moral absolutes has led to a world of moral confusion.
In the New York Times, in March 2015, a professor of philosophy confirmed this.
He wrote: “What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun? Would you be surprised? I was.”
The professor then added: “The overwhelming majority of college freshmen view moral claims as mere opinions.”
So, then, whatever you believe about God or religion, here is a fact:
Without a God who is the source of morality, morality is just a matter of opinion. So, if you
want a good world, the death of Judeo-Christian values should frighten you.
I’m Dennis Prager.

Fear of the penal code… works for me.

(Thank GOD, I’m not living under Sharia’s Law)

Torah - purpose, intent, and desire behind all that exists

The Torah is, among other things, an instruction book to help people live better lives. These comments, stories and clever sayings about morality and religion give us food for thought, in simplified form. We hope that you will read them, enjoy them, and consider their message./LNN

i.e. Junkfood Judaism

Now that we have learned

To fly in the air like birds

And dive in the sea like fish,

Only one thing remains --

To learn to live on the Earth


Maybe that’s exactly what we’re doing:

Being the happy opposable-thumbed barbarians we are today.


Charles Greene,
21 Mar 2017, 18:43