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Shabbat Bulletin - April 8, 2017

Making Shul and Judaism an important part of our Lifestyle

This past Shabbat service was outstanding.

Cantor David Young really enhanced it and the speakers from Project Abraham were first class

Book Chat

Our last book "Yiddish for Pirates" was met with mixed reviews from the folks at the meeting.  I think we agreed that it is clever, well researched and witty, yet dark and hard to enjoy for some.  On the other hand, some people did enjoy it.  That's what makes our discussions lively.

Thursday, May 4:  "Fleeing the Hijab" by Sima Goel

Thursday, June 15: "The bastard of Istanbul" by Elif Safak


Geoffrey Clarfield and Mirza Ismail

gave a special “Out of Egypt” D’var torah.


Pesach is coming.

Some of us may remember, back in 1956, when "The Ten Commandments" came out starring Charlton Heston.

Not only did we relive the story of the Jews coming out of Egypt around the Seder table, we could now go to our local cinema usually around Pesach and watch it in living Technicolor. And, all was right in the world. Moses and Aaron, (our role models for thousands of years,) won the day. The bad guys lost.

If today we could only apply that same ability as Moses and Aaron to speak truth to power regarding the plight of the Yazidi.

Speak Truth to Power
To address facts to an authority or a superior.
To reveal facts about an authority or a superior.

To be ignored at best and brutally suppressed at worst.

Much like the Yazidi in Iraq, Abraham left his home in Iraq, (where many Jews came from,) to find religious freedom away from persecution and genocide.

Canada has only recently acknowledged that what's happening to the Yazidi, (a religious minority,) is genocide. To date, Canada has brought over a mere 1200.

The Yazidi are not just victims, they are fighters and they've done much to liberate Iraq. The Yazidi in the Gulf war volunteered for the coalition as translators. Many faced grave danger on the front lines. The United States delivered on their promise of freedom to those Yazidi, and many who volunteered are now living in the United States as valued citizens, unknown and uncelebrated.

Yazidi are the only people indigenous to northern Iraq. Considering our own Canadian indigenous, you’d think that a politically correct Canada could show a little more compassion. Hopefully more than what they showed Jews as they tried to escape the war.

Iraq is a country divided. Shia and Sunni Muslims and the Kurds. Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was ruled by a mostly secular Sunni Arab elite, which viciously suppressed the Shiite Arab majority. Yazidi occupy Kurdish Iraq in the north.The Kurds have more oil in the ground, than there is in Saudi Arabia. That alone is enough to sustain a war till the end of time.

ISIS is killing Yazidi men and enslaving their women and children. The politically correct media, (slow to pick up on the story,) has characterized ISIS as savage barbarians and are ignoring the fact that behind all those violent acts are very religious teachings and directives. Islamic theologians are issuing fatwas/rulings, that give their moral blessings to the young -- much like the young Germans who joined the SS and Nazis thinking that they were doing right as they raped, pillaged, killed and gassed Jews.

ISIS doesn't like being equated to Nazis.

“As horrible as ISIS is, they’re not a state engaged in a program of industrialized genocide against a particular population… They’re a scourge, they are evil, guilty of mass murder and must be defeated, but to compare them to the Nazis… dishonours the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis.” cija

Sorry ISIS, You’ve been downgraded to mere Barbarians,

who by the force of numbers want to overrun the world.

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Jews tend to be a favourite scapegoat for all that ails the world. Now the Yazidi need our help.

The past cannot teach the lessons for future action.

We will have to raise our voices as Moses and Aaron did. It's not enough to get a few refugees out, we have to change the narrative. Much like putting out the fires of anti semitism hasn't been working for us as Jews.

Being pro Yazidi is also pro Israel

The two dominant religions of the middle east for the past 2 thousand years have been Christianity and Islam.
The Jews killed Christ, so by nature we are evil and we're just getting what we deserve.
With the rise of Islam, Muhammad asked the Jews if they would like to join. We said thanks, but no thanks, we'll take the road less travelled. So, we rejected the message of Islam, and we've been suffering for that ever since.

The Yazidi are the one ethnic group that claims an ethnic origin with Judaism by honouring and remembering Abraham. The Yazidi do not hate Jews. There's nothing anti semitic in their religion or customs. They are not the enemy of our enemy, they are actually our friends. We Jews are such a persecuted people, that it's hard to realize that there are people out there that have goodwill towards the Jewish people.

The Jews were the lucky ones. All the Jews left Iraq and went to Israel and formed the IDF. The Yazidi do not have an army to fight for them. That is the major difference between the Yazidi and the Jewish people.  (MI_inspired)

We have few allies and because Israel is a success, we now have a strange 21st century obligation to help those people who bear us no ill will. The Yazidi and the Jews come from a common origin, a place where Abraham first left his father's house, to become free, in the land of Israel.  (GC_inspired)


Volunteers and Executives Needed

We need volunteers for next year’s Board. The qualifications are common sense, a willingness to work at an interesting project, a few interesting ideas, and a love of the Lodzer.

Benefits: You will be working with interesting, nice, stimulating people who have the same qualifications, and you will earn mitzvah points for you and your family.


We also need volunteers to work on the Lodzer’s 65th anniversary, which is next year.  The qualifications and benefits are the same as for Board members.

Please call Sarah at the office to volunteer.

Where in the World is Rabbi Eli - Shanghai

Last week, we ended with Japan becoming an unlikely safe haven for the Jewish refugees running from the Holocaust.
By the end of 1941, an estimated 23,000 Jews resided in Shanghai Ghetto, as the Japanese authorities wanted to consolidate the Jews living in the empire. (Memo for those whose knowledge of war history needs a little brushing-up… that is, all of us: Shanghai was part of the so-called “State of Manchuria”; Chinese territory occupied by Japan between 1931 and 1945.)
The Japanese, while no strangers themselves to horrible atrocities towards people of conquered lands and hostile states, could not really fathom the desire of Germany to murder its own citizens.
And so, in the early 40s Nazi Germany was growing increasingly exasperated with prolonged refusal of the Japanese to commit to the “final solution”. In April ’41, they sent here Josef Meisinger, the notorious Butcher of Warsaw (a man who nearly got kicked out of the Gestapo for cruelty. No, seriously.) as a special emissary to Shanghai in hope to convince the authorities to review their misplaced pity for the subhuman race.
Meisinger made two extermination proposals, happily offering to the Japanese to implement either plan. At the suggestion of the Foreign Affairs minister, Yosuke Matsuoka, who was a zealous nationalist and enthusiastic supporter of alliance with the Third Reich but took pronounced exception to anti-Semitism, the authorities asked that the Jewish community delegate representatives to present its side.
The two rabbis chosen for the task were Rabbi Moishe Shatzkes, a great Litvak scholar that came to Shanghai with Mir, the only Yeshivah to escape the Holocaust; and Rabbi Shimon Sholom Kalish, the shrewd Rebbe of Amshinov-Otvotsk.
The two emissaries faced the high imperial committee in Tokyo. As the story goes (no researcher I met was able to either verify or disprove its authenticity), when the Japanese governor asked the Rabbis why did Germans hate them so much, Rb. Kalish said to the translator without hesitation: Zugim weil mir sennen Orientalen, tell him it's because we are Asians. Be the anecdote true or not (it only gained wide popularity in the later years, thanks to Warren Kozak's book "The Rabbi of 84th Street: The Extraordinary Life of Haskel Besser"), the Jews were assured of the ongoing Japanese protection, and enjoyed such throughout the war.

Mind you, none of that would have happened without interference of such Righteous Among Nations as Chiune Sugihara, Jan Zwartendijk, Tadeusz Romer, and Ho Feng-Shan (if you don't know these names, look them up. You really should), and who knows how many others who remained unknown, as some of the above had for many years to follow.
This stone established in the neighbourhood commemorates the Jewish refugees in the Hongkou quarter of Shanghai.

Story continues below...

See you next week.
Shabbat Shalom,


“Freedom is within our grasp and

liberty is the inalienable right of every Minion”


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires

Always a good breakfast following!

To: The greater Lodzer Community

Happy Passover!!

T'was the night after Seder,  and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The fish and the kugel, (oh my, what a taste)
After both of the seders, went straight to my waist.

When I got on the scale, I couldn't believe it!
The treadmill and bicycle wouldn't relieve it.

I remembered the marvelous meals I prepared;
The light airy matzah balls everyone shared.;
The brisket, the turkey, the tzimmes so sweet;
Oy, let me recline and get off of my feet.

I know we made kiddish and recited each plague,
But right now I'm foggy, and my memory is vague.

So, don't give me matzoh, chopped liver or wine
I'll do my aerobics and never more dine.

I'm walking to the Lodzer, so what if it's far?
I'm not even thinking of taking the car.
With 10 lbs. To lose and 10 inches to shrink,
Eating a latka? Don't even think!

Macaroons when wrapped tightly, can so nicely freeze.
Pack the sponge cake and tayglakh away, if you please.
Out of sight, out of mind - by this oath I'll abide;
Bring me the boiled chicken with romaine on the side.

I'll keep on that program, to my diet adhere,


And let's all get together for Pesach next year!


Life  Moments


April 1  Maja Malc
April 3  Phyllis Broder
April 4  Ellen Dagan
April 4  Esse Goldberg
April 5  Tammy Remez

April 13  Carole Abrahams


April 8  Jonathan & Dora Usher

Mazel Tov! - Call Sarah.


April 1  Harry Goldenhar, father of Cindy Ber
April 1  Mark Hellreich, husband of Honey
April 1  Regina Kozlowski, mother of Mary Bien,

            Phyllis Rich and Paula Litman
April 1  Bella Sniatowski,

            mother of Sarah Senior and Howard
April 2  Joseph Ladowski, husband of Brenda
April 4  Aba Gelman, husband of Mary
April 3  Jessie Leah Levine Loshin,

            mother of Marilyn Richmond
April 5  Abe Martin, father of Sonny
April 5  David Steiman, father of Frank

April 8    Margaret Haber, mother of Ellen Dagan
April 8    Bessie Shatz, aunt of Bluma Nemirov
April 8    Margaret Zeldin, mother of Cathy Zeldin
April 10  Joyce Goldberg, mother of Judy Hazan
April 11  Maurice Landis, father of Lorraine Landis
April 12  Pinchas & Masha Osland,

               grandparents of Josef Ber
April 13  Goldie Chaner, stepmother of Barry Corey
April 13  Harvey Malet, father of Dennis
April 14  Joe Goldlust, husband of Mary


Take Your Soul to Work - By Erica Brown

On Conflict

“ ‘I welcome truth, I find it in whomsoever’s hand I find it; I surrender to it cheerfully, welcoming it with my vanquished arms as soon as I see it approaching from afar…. So contradictory judgments neither offend me nor irritate me: they merely wake me up and provide me with exercise.’  Our own point of view is strengthened when held up to challenge. If it isn’t, then it’s best to be rid of it early. We should be strong enough to depersonalize conflict and learn from it. Instead we often opt for the highly manicured politeness that changes nothing and no one.”

Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)

Something to Strive For

Spoiler Alert: The Zookeeper's Wife


Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, recognizes Jan and Antonina Żabiński as Righteous Among the Nations.  And it’s not surprising that this cinematic version of The Zookeeper’s Wife can stand among the best of the Holocaust films, brutally honest, emotionally resonant, one small story among thousands, the human spirit triumphant.  inContext

Not knowing till the very end that this was not “yet again another love story set against

the backdrop of the Holocaust,” brought on a genuine feeling of joy.




April 5

7:30-8:30 pm

Shul Kiddush


All are



to the public

at no cost


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.

Judy Hazan 416-704-1693


April 8

12 Nisan


Marcel Cohen

On high!



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM

Kiddush Lunch


Jonathan & Dora Usher are sponsoring the kiddish this week in honour of their 38th  wedding anniversary

Torah Times

Torah Reading: Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Tzav

Leviticus 6:1 - 8:36

1: 6:1-3 (pg. 429)
2: 6:4-6
3: 6:7-11
4: 6:12-16
5: 6:17-23
6: 7:1-6
7: 7:7-10
maftir: 7:7-10

Haftarah: Shabbat HaGadol

Malachi 3:4 - 3:24 (pg. 1005)

Candle Lighting: 7:34 p.m. – Friday

Havdalah: 8:43 p.m. – Saturday


April 9



April 19


Rabbi Eli’s

Passover in Campania


Where in the

World is

Rabbi Eli.


Chag Sameach

to all our friends

who are celebrating…

Passover in Campania

and around the world




April 10

Week 6

Karate lessons

For Seniors

Join us

with open hands

and Kick back!

Mondays & Fridays


Kiddush Breakfast

(10 - 11 AM)ish

Dojo Lodzer

Upstairs Hall

Kiai - Sen!


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

Karate for Seniors

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

Wear sneakers and non-restrictive clothing.

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… we kick butt.

Karate Kata 1 - Heian Shodan

Focus, Respect, Self-Control

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


April 10

14 Nisan

Erev Pesach

1st Seder


April 11

15 Nisan

2nd Seder


They tried to kill us.

They failed.

Let’s eat.

No bread for a week.

Work is forbidden.

Congratulate yourselves on the last day.

Chag Sameach


“The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it.” -- Jonathan Sacks


April 15

19 Nisan



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM


Confessions of a

Passover Dieter

Every spring, I find myself looking at Passover’s eight breadless days and suddenly... I think, Hey! Maybe I can lose some weight!

The Pesach diet, while restrictive, is in no way inherently healthy. A box of matzoh is, as far as weight maintenance goes, as damaging as a box of Cheez-Its. And you only have to look at matzoh cake meal and potato starch to know that any resulting dessert is not going to be light.

So my annual Passover weight loss plan has always involved not only simply giving up chametz, but not fully replacing it as well. Instead of embracing those questionable yet acceptable foods (hello, quinoa) or temporarily pretending to be Sephardic in order to eat rice, I figure, why not take the opportunity to get rid of all of them? Not that I always succeed at this. Most years I don’t. But I try.


April 18

22 Nisan

Pesach 9th day

7 Omer


The heartless Pharaoh still refused to free the Israelite slaves. So God, brought about one last plague, which was so terrible that it was certain to persuade Pharaoh to let his slaves go. That night, God sent the angel of death to kill the firstborn sons of the Egyptians.


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


We Remember… Israeli Fallen Soldiers  and Victims of Terrorism




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.



May 7

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


May 31

6 Sivan




...the lesson of Shavuot: the Torah cannot be a limiting document. Rather, it must be for all Jews. If we fail to heed this lesson, we will alienate more and more Jews from observance and respect for their Jewish identities. This, in turn, will lead to a situation where, increasingly, many will choose to marry outside of their religion entirely or outside of Halachah. These developments could end up denying us a sizable Jewish future in the State of Israel. The result will be that the Jewish state as we know it will no longer exist.



June 2

Oneg Shabbat

Reserve Now!

Children Under 13yrs $20

Non Members $50

Members $40

Call Sarah!


A special Oneg Shabbat

in honour of Marcel Cohen.

Please join us for prayers, dinner, and fun for this sad but happy event. He has been our beloved cantor for 3 years.

Our Chazzan and Punmeister, Marcel Cohen is heading for the "Big Apple".

D-G’s best friend


May 4

7:30 PM

Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Shul Kiddush


Elif Shafak


“Turkey has begun to find its literary voice”


The Bastard of Istanbul is a cross-continental family saga. It examines, in loving detail and with much humour, two families: one living in contemporary Istanbul and Turkish, the other in San Francisco and Armenian.

It appears initially the two have nothing in common. But don't be fooled. Turkey is the classic metaphoric haunted house, sitting astride the continental divide; consequently, from inside its many rooms the past and present are still largely at war…

The two families do not know it, but long fingers are reaching from the blighted past to inextricably bind them. The conduits that will bridge the gap, that privilege, belongs to the young. And they are a spunky crew.
19-year-old Asya, (the bastard,) is a modern Turk, rebellious, outspoken, and belligerently without a past, in more ways than one. She is also the youngest of a household of several generations of women, the men having died mysteriously at a young age.

Armanoush is sensitive and searching for her Armenian roots in, of all places, the American desert. Her curiosity about the "genocide" of the Armenians compels her to finally meet the enemy on their own turf. Thus she deceives her family and flies to Istanbul to learn more about her beloved grandmother's past. She cannot know what a Pandora's box she is opening, and what a hidden blessing she will find.

It's an intriguing premise that allows the horrors of what took place in 1915 to slowly surface.

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 4 Mishnah 1

Note 1: The sections in regular type are taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim and Visions of the Fathers by Rabbi Twerski.  Some sentences of the commentaries have been taken verbatim (in quotes) and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 1.  The Questions are my own.

Ben Zuma said: Who is wise?  - he who learns from every man, as it is said: From all my teachers have I acquired wisdom. Who is strong?  - He  who subdues his [evil]  inclinations, as it is said: He that is slow to anger is better than the strong man; and he that rules his spirit is better than one who conquers a city. Who is rich? - he who is happy with his lot, as it is said: When you eat from the toil of your hands, happy shall you be, and it shall go well with you: happy in this world; and it shall go well with you in the world-to-come. Who is honourable? - he who honours his fellowmen, as it is stated: For those that honour Me will I honour, and those who despise Me shall be degraded.

Ethics from Sinai

“The words of Ben Zoma evoke a question at once. Why does he choose to deal specifically with these four categories of human character and attainment: wisdom, strength, wealth, and honour? … These qualities and modes of achievement are those generally venerated and eagerly sought in our society. People toil and struggle all their lives to attain riches, wisdom, honour and power, And when a particular person is fortunate enough to succeed in this quest for one or a few of these qualities, he becomes an object of envy for any others.”

“… the prophet Jeremiah, in the sacred words of the Almighty, already exclaimed, ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom; let not the strongman glory in his strength; let not the rich man glory in his riches….’ His winged words already declare these achievements hollow, flat, meaningless.”

“Does Ben Zoma mean, then, to differ with the prophet? By no means. Ben Zoma merely takes a different approach. If it is human nature to strive for these attainment and to envy them in others, there must be something good and right in the quest and the striving. Let us not reject them out of hand. The wise, the strong and the rich, and the honoured are indeed to be admired and emulated. And yet the difficulty arises: when these qualities are attained, they are revealed to be empty, illusory, meaningless.”

“… Ben Zoma bids us pause and think: Do we truly understand these concepts? Who indeed is to be called wise? And who should be called rich? The fallacy in ordinary, superficial thinking is that we believe these qualities to be something a person has, when they actually signify something a person is. These are to be created within yourself, dimensions of character that have to be painfully grown.”

Note: Ben Zoma has changed the ordinary meanings of the words so he doesn’t answer the original question but redefines wisdom, strength, wealth and honour.

Who is wise? - he who learns from every man

“A wise man is one who can learn from every person and every experience. The rich man is one who knows how to be happy with whatever he has, without measuring it with miserly ill-grace to the last gram. The power of the truly strong man is that he can exercise self control.”

“But Ben Zoma realized something else: because each human being is unique, there is something to be learned from everyone. ‘From all my teachers have I gained wisdom’’ and everyone can be a teacher, knowingly or unknowingly; everyone has something of value to impart. As Ben Zoma beheld a multitude of people, he saw a multitude of potential teachers, a multitude of opportunities to learn. It was  not in arrogance but in all humility that Ben Zoma declared, ‘Blessed is He who created all these people to be of service to me’. To him people were not rivals, but rather fellow students and fellow teachers, in the great school of human experience.”

Question 1: This perek does not consider courage and the social virtues such as empathy understanding, thoughtfulness, and generosity. Do we envy these qualities in other people? Why are the social virtues omitted?

Question 2: Although each individual in a protest group is unique with his own thoughts, aren't they united in that group with one thought in common?

Question 3: How much is a person’s mind controlled by their culture and  therefore not really free, unique, or ‘their own”?

“The essential point of Ben Zoma’s observation is that ultimately wisdom is not any one fixed body of knowledge, some definite thing that can be possessed once and for all. It is not a substance which, once you have enough of it, qualifies you to be called wise. Wisdom is rather a kind of activity, an approach to life, a way of life. If you would be wise, you must learn to act wisely, especially in our relations with others. You must develop and retain the ability to learn from others, to add something to your own personality as a result of each experience. Hence, wisdom is not a permanent quality, to lock away and retain in treasure-vaults of the mind. The day a person stops acting wisely, to acquire wisdom, he is in no longer wise. Now just how do we learn from others about us, from everyone we encounter?  First we must acknowledge and accept that it can be done, that we can learn from every person. And this will require a certain humility, a quality we do not ordinarily expect in the wise. But resist as we will, we must stoop to learn. Let us remember that the Sages in their insightful imagery compared the Torah to water. When you are thirsty, you will not be particular about the person who may give it to you. You will surely not insist that you can accept water only from someone in your own station in life. Water is water, and when you need it, you will take it from anyone who offers it. The same attitude should apply to Torah and to wisdom. If you would find it, you must look for it in everyone and be prepared to accept it wherever you perceive it.“

“How can we learn anything of value from people who are obviously and thoroughly wicked? The answer is that they can serve as examples of badness, living demonstrations of what we must avoid.”

“But to be ready to acquire wisdom from all, without resistance or blind spots, implies something more: we must learn to value criticism and disapproval. To heed only the praises of our friends and the flattery of our family is to miss many an opportunity to grow. Friends who overlook our faults and never mention our weaknesses ultimately do little for us. On the other hand, it is often from our enemies, from the criticism and condemnation of our detractors, that we can gain some insight into our failings. Even when our enemies exaggerate, there may still be a kernel of truth in their denunciations. In this sense we can well understand this verse in Psalms:’ ‘Through my enemies do Thy commandments make me wiser: for they are ever with me.”

“Nor should it appear strange that we may find wisdom in such unlikely places. For wisdom, whenever and wherever it is acquired, is always a ‘find’; it always comes by grace of the Almighty, and not as the achievement of mechanical effort.

Wisdom is something that is found - that is essentially given by G-d. We can work all day and not find it. Alternatively an insight might just come to us. “Man cannot create wisdom. He must find it. Seek, and the Almighty will reward you with His blessing, and you will find.”

“Everything can teach us something, and not merely everything that G-d has created. What man has made has also something to teach us.

We can learn from a train that in one second you can miss everything.

We can learn from a telegraph that every word is counted and charged for.

We can learn from a telephone that what we say here is heard there.“

Question 1: Is wisdom like a lottery ticket? Unless you try to get it, you won’t get  it, but even if you do try, you might not succeed?

Question 2: Do you look at everyone you meet and everything you do as a potential learning      experience or source of knowledge? What mental processes do you have to change to do this?

Question 3: Can someone learn from everyone and still not be wise?

Question 4: Is the quality that Ben Zoma described as wisdom, the quality that people admire?

Who is rich? - he  who rejoices in his portion

“So many people have been blessed with a bountiful lot, yet they do not know how to be happy with it. It is as if a person had been given a room filled with treasure, but not the key to its locked door. … ‘when a man is in purgatory … he is placed in a barrel of whisky, but he cannot bend down to drink it.’ The key that unlocks the riches in all things is the ability to be happy with your immediate circumstances, no matter what they are. … And it can be achieved only when you have a sense of self-realization, a sense of meaning in your existence.”

“… the rich man should enjoy his lot, that he may willingly, graciously share with others. Of course, by giving to the needy a person will increase his pleasure. Very truly has it been said,’There is only one thing in life that is multiplied by division. Divide and share your happiness and you increase it.’”

“I had no shoes and complained, until I met a man without feet.”

“But above all, a person can be happy with his lot in life only when he sees himself and his existence as part to some greater plan, when he knows that his task is to further those ultimate values which transcend petty human longings…. The righteous person is alive each day because he furthers life each day. His presence contributes something lasting to this world, and this justly achieves for him immortality….. To know that your life adds up to lasting significance, this indeed breeds happiness.

Who is strong? - he who subdues his [evil] inclinations.

“Who is strong? asks Ben Zoma. He who can control his desires, who can say No to his passions, that are indigenous to him…It is rather easy for one person to control another’s evil inclination…Your drives do not drive me. The real test of moral strength arises when I have to control my own inclination.  The true hero is one with sufficient will power to subdue his desires when he knows that they are wrong.”

Does man ever commit a sin without the evil inclination? … each sin comes with a bonus which is the ability to commit a sin more easily the second or third time, than it is the first. A sin with short term benefits will be reinforced each time until it may no longer be considered a sin.”

“A person must always be ready to resist sin, to resist the yetzer ha-ra.”

“As a rule, the yetzer ha-ra prefers to come disguised, speaking in the name of ‘right, justice,higher law, religious feelings,’ and so on, offering excellent excuses and rationalizations to bring you to sin.If you can control such a clever enemy, you have true power; strength of character.”

Question 1: Is Ben Zoma’s definition of strength the quality that people admire?

Who is Honourable?  - he who honours his fellow man.

“The acquisition of honour, for which we must depend on others, no matter how much we desire it - that will come too, but only as an unlooked-for, an automatic consequence of our good approach. Give honour with an open heart and you will receive it in turn.”

“Honour flees from him who runs after honour”

“You can tell the character of a person by noting whom he praises, whom he honours, whom he considers his heroes. If he extols righteous Torah personages, he undoubtedly aspires to their ideals. If he idolizes stage and screen figures, he still has not grown up.”

“People who are impure themselves are generally the first to detect uncleanliness in others. All too easily we can darkly impugn the motives and intentions of others because unconsciously we attribute to others what we know ourselves to be capable of doing and thinking.”

“If you would rather be a man of honour, to earn and enjoy the esteem of others, learn to view selectively. Observe in others whatever is good and praiseworthy, and honour them for it. Give each man the esteem that is his due. This is the only way, says Ben Zoma, to achieve your own.”

Visions of the Fathers

Note: This mostly deals with the issues from a psychological point of view.

“If you asked the average person whom he considered to be the wisest people in the world, … he would probably cite the dispensers of knowledge, like Nobel prizewinners. … Torah values are much different. The wise person is not the one who dispenses knowledge, by the one who seeks to acquire knowledge. The mighty person is not one who is master over others, but is master over his own impulses. The wealthy person is not one who owns the most, but who is content with whatever he has; and the respectable person is not one who receives honours, but one who respects and honours others.”

“People with a healthy ego are the ones who can learn from everyone.”

In dealing with people who are addicted, “By listening to the experiences of others who have dealt with the problem, they can learn what to expect, and to act toward that person in  a way that is conducive to recovery.”

“A person who has good self-respect is not dependent on others to honour him. In fact, he is very comfortable in honouring others, and this does not pose any threat to his self-esteem.”

Being in a position of power… “Appears to be a manifestation of strength [ but] is in fact a defensive maneuver which betrays an inner weakness…. “The indicator of good self-esteem is not a position of dominance , but to the contrary, an attitude of humility.” “A truly humble person is always interested in self-improvement, and particularly in increasing his spirituality. He is not preoccupied with wielding control over others, and can therefore dedicate his efforts to greater self-mastery.”

“The battle for self-mastery is an ongoing one, and requires progressively greater energies….The teachings of this mishnah are not only ethical, but also have a firm basis in psychology.”

“Given these definitions, this kind of strength and wealth is not predetermined since they are of a moral and ethical nature, and hence totally subject to a person’s free will.”

Humour - How Old are You

A Jewish patriarch was on the witness stand.

"How old are you?" asked the District Attorney.
"I am, kayn aynhoreh, eighty-one."
"What was that?"
"I said, I am, kayn aynhoreh, eighty-one years old."
"Just answer the question!" yelled the D.A., "How old are you!?"
"Kayn aynhoreh, eightly-one." the old man replied.

The judge said, "The witness will answer the question & only the question or be held in contempt of court!"

The counsel for the defense rose and asked the judge, "Your Honor, may I
ask?"..and turned towards the old man, "Kayn aynhoreh, how old are you?"

The old man replied, "Eighty-one"

Israel 21c header_w592.jpg

Israel Is Changing The World


An Israeli aid worker is leading a team of 200 Israeli Jewish, Arab and Christian volunteers to pass critical humanitarian supplies to Syrian NGOs. The dangerous cross-border missions by Il4Syrians provide food, medicines, medical equipment, sanitation kits, seeds, and even training to thousands of starving Syrians. The stealth missions began in 2011 despite the fact that Syria is an enemy nation in the midst of a brutal war. The consequences of exposure for the Israeli volunteers taking part are unthinkable.

Nobody asks permission to kill. We do not ask permission to save lives.

We are a group of Israeli citizens who love their homeland and believe in a Jewish tradition and culture that values a compassionate, open-minded respect for the sanctity of human life and dignity.  We believe we are blessed to be born in a democratic country that enables its citizens to travel to challenging and dangerous places.

Along with this commitment to human life, the organization is also devoted to faithfully defending Israel’s borders and citizens in the face of threat.  We are a people who ingathered their exiles and built a “Startup Nation” out of a nation of refugees, a nation that achieved the pinnacle of success in the fields of science, medicine, technology, high tech and agriculture. Today, with such economic power and defense capabilities, Israel feels a moral and ethical duty to become “the voice of the voiceless” and in this particular case, even if it is the voice of the vulnerable populations among some of our toughest and cruelest enemies.

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

RE: More Pics from Shanghai, Japan

A tribute to the local Chinese residents whose life was anything but easy yet who accepted the Jews and helped them pull through the war, is also in the acknowledgement embroidery on the Ark' curtain in Synagogue Ohel Moshe (inactive now, serves as a museum of the Shanghai Ghetto, state-run).

The riveting account of the narrow escape of the Holocaust refugees drew attention to the history of the Jews of Shanghai. Yet it was only the last of three waves of the Jewish settlement here, the first two largely ignored by the public; unfairly so, as they are no less fascinating.

First Jewish settlement began here in the 1840s. Those were wealthy Jewish merchants in Baghdad, attracted by the free trade first in cotton, then opium. Oh, were you only here with me! The things I could show and tell you. The great art deco Peace hotel, originally built by the powerful Sassoon merchant dynasty of Baghdadi Jews who came here in the mid-19th century, first as cotton traders, then as opium makhers/machers.
Peace hotel.JPG

The Kadoorie clan (whose current Tai-Pan Sir Michael Kadoorie has a piece of every pie in Hong Kong and is the grandson of Sir Elly Kadoorie, a great Shanghai philanthropist and human rights activist who started off working for the Sassoon empire but had a falling out with his supervisor over the way the Chinese employees were treated in the company);
The amazing Sallah Hardoon who rose by the merit of hard work and razor-sharp mind from rags to riches as a rent collector and became wealthiest, and the most generous, benefactor of the Jewish community in Shanghai, establishing the magnificent Beit Aharon synagogue. The Synagogue served as the Mir Yeshivah academy during the war, and was sadly razed to the ground in 1985 (no, antisemitism played no part in that decision; in Shanghai, everything is about business).

The Baghdadi Jews were very well established here by the time the first Russian Jews showed up in the early 20th c. escaping the Czar's army, the pogroms, the black hundreds/armed bands of monarchists. They didn’t have the luxury of carefully planning their move, and did not have the means to become major businessmen. This was an immigration of academia; they established themselves as doctors, teachers, writers, pharmacists - and also bakers, tailors and shoemakers.

This battered building with an art deco facade was a Jewish-owned cinema starting in the 20's, with another Jewish family running a cafe in the lobby of the theatre.

Shanghai waterfront.JPG
Shanghai is a very western city. Culturally, historically, architecturally, economically; in every way possible. It is so western it even has a Chinatown! Of course, if you want to learn firsthand about the Jews that existed in China for a thousand years, perhaps more, you'll have to come with me all the way to Kaifeng...
But that is another story altogether.


The world is a magical place full of people

waiting to be offended by anything.

Proceed with Caution...

When so much is on the line,

how can we be silent?

שאַ! שטיל! מאַכט נישט קײן גערידער! דער רבּי גײט שױן טאַנצן װידער

Sha! Shtil! Makht nisht keyn gerider. Der rebe geyt shoyn tantsn vider.

Hush! Quiet!  Don't make a commotion. The Rebbe will dance again.


Sha shtil - Theodore Bikel
שא שטיל - טעאָדאָר ביקל

It is our, (Israel’s,) job to show that we are here in order to unite, and spread that unity throughout the world, to all the nations. Being “a light unto nations” means setting an example of brotherhood and mutual responsibility, of care, consideration, and empathy, precisely what the world needs most. The mutual responsibility we established at the foot of Mt. Sinai was a “proof of concept,” if you will. But now it’s time to spread it and help the world find peace.

Just as we emerged from the oppression of the ego when we came out of Egypt, our postmodern, hyper techie world is looking for an escape route from egoism that has become malignant. We, like Moses, have to show the way. Without our example of overcoming hatred, humanity will break itself to pieces.  inContext

Setting the Example - Lambs for the Slaughter


Looking to Pirke Avoth for answers:

Perek 3 Mishnah 2  (Sept 24, 2016)

“The security of Jewry in exile is dependent not only on the existence of an authoritative government, but also on the health and strength of that government.

When things go wrong among the nations, when a country suffers a military defeat or an economic depression, the powers-that-be may cast about for a scapegoat. And the Jew has a long tradition behind him for filling this role to perfection.

Pray for good conditions, for in the absence of peace and tranquillity people become beasts of the jungle, and the Jew is generally the first to suffer.”


With rising anti-Semitism, the refugee crises, terrorism, Brexit, the American political situation, and European and United Nations anti-Semitism, are we entering a time where things may go wrong with our world?

Is this the time that Jews should worry, take part in politics and be prepared to defend both Israel and themselves?

If so, should our bulletin/Shul give our members information on current Jewish events and encourage them to participate in politics?

Has the “sha! shtil!” policy ever been successful?

The Rebbe will dance again!


Charles Greene,
4 Apr 2017, 18:01