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12 Heaton Street, M3H 4Y6  (416) 636-6665



The Lodzer Synagogue joins our brothers and sisters

in Israel celebrating 69 years of statehood

Shabbat Bulletin - July 1, 2017


Making Shul and Judaism an important part of our Lifestyle


Cantor Marcel Cohen


Christopher Robin: “Pooh Bear, what if someday there came a tomorrow when we were apart?
Pooh: “As long as we’re apart together, we shall certainly be fine.
CR: “Yes, yes, of course. But if, if we weren’t together… if I were somewhere else?
P: “Oh, but you really couldn’t be, as I would be quite lost without you. Who would I call on those days when I’m just not strong enough or brave enough?
CR: “Well, actually…
P: “And who would I ask for advice when I didn’t know which way to turn?
CR: “Pooh, we…
P: “We… we simply wouldn’t be.
CR: “Oh, Pooh. If ever there’s a tomorrow when we’re not together, there’s something you must remember.
P: “And what might that be, Christopher Robin?
CR: “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
P: “Oh, that’s easy. We’re braver than a bee, and, uh, longer than a tree, and taller than a goose… or, uh, was that a moose?
CR: “No, silly, old bear! You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you. I’ll always be with you. I’ll always be with you.

From “Pooh’s Most Grand Adventure: The Search For Christopher Robin”


Yasher Koach Pooh Bear!


Where in the world is Rabbi Eli?


As much of a misnomer as Greenland, both lands would be far more accurately titled were they to trade names with each other.

Always a personal favourite, Iceland has most anything a nature lover can long for; magnificent lava fields, hot geysers (the phenomenon gets its name from a local village), imposing ice formations and shining glaciers, mystical green lights dancing in the sky on a crisp winter night, black sand beaches, bubbling geothermal year-round warm springs, powerful volcanoes, and the best super-Jeep terrains on the planet.

One should be just as grateful for what is not here: Mosquitoes do not exist in Iceland, nor does McDonald's.

Read the full story here

Regards from Geysir,



Lodzer hires David Young as new Chazzan

TORONTO June 5, 2017 – David Young was just a youngster when he realized his heart was in music, translating it first into piano playing and learning music theory and then practising harmonizing his singing -- with the spin of his mother’s mixmaster.

“I have always had a love of music and have been singing for as far back as I can remember,” said Young. “I remember my mom would be baking, the beaters would be whirling at one frequency and I would harmonize above the frequency of them.”

It’s with this deep and warm admiration of music, and Jewish music in particular, that the Lodzer Centre Congregation is pleased to announce that Young has been named its new chazzan, effective August 1, taking over from Marcel Cohen who is heading to New York City.

“David was an ideal candidate for the position,” said Jeff Shabes, president of the Lodzer. “Not only did the congregation bond with his superb musical abilities, but he has also worked well previously with our rabbi, Eli Courante.”

Young characterized the Lodzer as a warm and welcoming synagogue, and sees his position as an opportunity to bring new people, especially children, into the congregation.

He said his strength lies in the fact that he not only understands Hebrew and can read music, but also that he can convey the meaning of those prayers, many of which have great emotional significance, especially on the High Holidays.  A choir conductor since he was 16, Young is bringing with him his choir, as well as new additions from the Lodzer, who will sing on the High Holidays, Rosh Chodesh and Yizkor.

Born and raised in Toronto, Young is a very active member of Toronto’s Jewish community. A cantor and choir conductor all his adult life at various synagogues in Toronto, he is currently the executive director of Netivot Hatorah Day School Mondays through Fridays. And as a CPA, CA, he spends many weeknights working on his accounting and tax practice. He also gives Bar/Bat Mitzvah lessons.

His wife, Beverley, is principal of Bialik's Himel branch on the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Community Campus in Vaughan. Between the two of them, they have five grown children.
A die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, Young said he is looking forward to being part of a unique situation at the Lodzer.

“I think it’s a special opportunity when you have a relatively new rabbi and cantor starting together who work well together to create ideas and programs and initiatives that will bring members to the shul and promote the Lodzer at every opportunity.”

Press release by Susan Yellin

AB Yehoshua's “The Extra”

Pits the Secular Against the Ultra-Orthodox


A book review by Jonathan Usher


In this novel, Yehoshua, a well-known and prolific writer, presents a picture of a secular Jewish Israeli family, whose members live in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Holland.  The main character is the daughter, a single divorced musician whose passion is the harp. It is well written and a quick read of 250 pages with personal insights but no conclusion to the family’s many personal problems. The book left me with some insights, some questions, lots of enjoyment, but hanging up in the air. I found it worthwhile./JU

“Who am I to decide if the danger is real

or exists only in newspaper articles?”


Identity, Exile, and Family

Those of us who return home after years away often feel that we have become “an extra.” We have assumed a small, bit role in a story that has gone on without us. Kundera wrote about this in “Ignorance,” and A.B. Yehoshua, one of Israel’s greatest writers, takes up this theme here with his typical wit and wisdom. Noga returns from the Netherlands, where she is a professional harpist in a orchestra, to her native Jerusalem to live alone in the old family apartment while her mother is in Tel Aviv “conducting an experiment” to decide whether or not to stay permanently in a retirement home. Suddenly Noga is thrust back into relationships and circumstances she had left behind—the “extra,” in a sense, is forced back onto center stage. But the circumstances and meaning of “extra” proliferate in this novel: Noga earns money by working in Jerusalem as an extra for movies and television; she feels as a harpist she is something of an extra since there are so few major orchestral pieces for harpists; she is also an extra, or at least an anomaly, in the increasingly orthodox Jerusalem community; she must play a harp duet with another last-minute extra, an aged Japanese, when her original partner cannot make a trip to Tokyo; etc., etc. Perhaps Yehoshua is even implying in his novel that many of us feel we are extras, small players, and amateurs to boot, floating at the periphery of the major dramas that play out around us, that the most we can hope for is to realize, as Noga does, “After all, she was not only an extra here, but also a woman who was wanted and loved”  <siteComment:Stephen Durrant>

Stats to Ponder


Dry Bones Cartoons Fight Back

NEW YORK – Support for Israel has dropped 27 percentage points among Jewish college students in the US since 2010, a study released by Brand Israel Group at the Herzliya Conference this week revealed.

According to the research, in 2010, 84% of US Jewish college students leaned toward the Israeli side of the conflict with the Palestinians. But in 2016, only 57% did, believing Israel falls short with values such as human rights, tolerance and diversity./JU

From Caroline’ Glick’s article, Israel, American Jewry, and Trump’s GOP

The Jewish Agency’s Jewish People Policy Institute’s “study analyzed the Pew data regarding rates of marriage and childbearing among American Jews ages 24 - 54. The study started with the data on intermarriage. 60 percent of non-Haredi American Jews are married to non-Jews. A mere 32% of married American Jews are raising their children as Jewish to some degree. From there the JPPI study considered marriage and childbirth rates in general. It works out that a mere 50% of American Jews between 24 and 54 are married. And a mere 40% of American Jews between those ages have children living with them./JU

Heads-up! We’re under new management.


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires


Always a good breakfast following!

Truth… Justice … Peace

“Truth is not always identical to justice, and it is often incompatible with peace. Think of the daily white  lies and unspoken criticism which protect peace in the family or the workplace. The ideal society will reconcile all three principles. For the sake of peace one may yield some aspect of justice or, for the sake of justice one may override some aspect of peace. The key to a just and harmonious society lies in balance and limits. If an individual or group pursues one principle to the exclusion of the others, then there will be serious trouble. “Peace above all” leads to appeasement and the loss of peace. Justice, when pursued relentlessly, while sweeping aside compromise or the established interests of others, may well lead to conflict, tyranny , or worse. The wisdom of democracy is that it distributes power and puts limits on the pursuit of any of of these principles.”

Zingers from Pirke Avoth | Perek 1, Mishnah 18 | From the Irving Greenberg commentary

Your Life Moments


June 24  Roman Perelshtein
June 26  Lily Silver
June 27  Henry Epstein
June 29  Meir Schwartz

July 1  Barbara Peters
July 3  Sharon Chodirker
July 7  Ester Friedenrich


June 28  Richard & Reisa Grunberg
June 30  Joseph Steinberg & Hedy Steinberg

July 3  Dr. Chaim Bell & Ms. Sharon Chodirker
July 7  Barry & Nancy Corey
July 7  Ben-Zion & Sarah Moshe


June 25  Nechemiah Golub, brother of Eda kardonne
June 25  Gil Kardonne, son of Rick & Eda kardonne
June 26  Moshe Birensztok, husband of Sara
June 30  Esther Malet, mother of Dennis
June 30  Rose Stolberg, mother of Esther Steiman

July 2  Millie Abrahams, mother of Jack
July 2  Max Anidjar, brother of Morris
July 2  Nayim Dagan, father of Isaak
July 4  Morris Bitterman, father of Harvey
July 4  Irving Gula, brother of Esther Steiman
July 4  Max Lichter, father of Myrna
July 7  Barry Gold, husband of Lisa

Life lives and life dies

Life laughs and life cries

Life gives up and life tries

And, life looks different

through everyone's eyes.


Take your Soul to Work, by Erica Brown

On Deliberate Practice

Being good at whatever we want to do is among the deepest sources of fulfillment we will ever know.

Inside the Lodz Ghetto
A record of atrocity and resistance, buried in a wooden box

Memory Unearthed features the photographs of Polish Jewish photographer Henryk Ross (1910-1991), one of the official Lodz ghetto photographers. From 1940 to 1944, Ross took work-permit identification card photos for the ghetto's ever increasing Jewish population consolidated into Lodz ghetto by the Nazi regime. He also took “official” images, promoting the ghetto's work efficiency, and at the same time he documented the grim daily life in the ghetto: suffering and despair, starvation and diseases, the exploitation of the workers, the deportation of thousands to death camps at Chelmno and Auschwitz.

Even with Ross's official status as an employee of the Jewish Council (Judenrat) in the Department of Statistics, the subject matter of his photographic work was restricted and scrutinized, and he took many risks while capturing images of what he called the "total destruction of Polish Jewry."

Hoping to preserve the historical record contained in his negatives, Ross buried them at the time of the ghetto's liquidation in the fall of 1944. Upon liberation by the Red Army in January 1945, he excavated his box of negatives to discover that only half of the 6,000 negatives survived. He would spend the remainder of his life working with the images to tell his story of the Lodz ghetto. Some 200 of these indelible scenes are included in Memory Unearthed, comprising a visual and emotional meditation on a harrowing moment in history.
Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario


A boy walks among a crowd of people being deported in winter.


Deportation in winter.


A mass deportation of ghetto residents.


Residents sorting belongings left behind after deportation.




June 28


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


June 29

7 - 8 PM

Kiddush Room


Hebrew Classes

We have 1 Hebrew class remaining in this session;  June 29.    When our teacher returns from Israel in late July, we'll decide when to reconvene, likely in September.

If interested... contact:

Hebrew Conversation_w250.jpg


July 1


7 Tamuz



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM


Torah Times

Triennial Year 1


1: 19:1-6 (pg. 652)
2: 19:7-9
3: 19:10-13
4: 19:14-17
5: 19:18-22
6: 20:1-6
7: 20:7-13
maftir: 20:7-13


Judges 11:1 - 11:33 (pg. 664)

Candle Lighting:

8:45 p.m. – Friday


9:52 p.m. – Saturday


July 3

Week 18

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

Karate Kata 2 - Heian Nidan

Focus, Respect, Self-Control

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

One thru ten: Ichi, Ni, San, Shi, Go,

Roku, Shichi, Hachi, Kyuu, Juu.

July 4,



Raid on



On June 27, 1976, four terrorists belonging to a splinter group of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine boarded and hijacked an Air France Airbus A300 at Athens. With President Idi Amin's blessing, the terrorists divert the airliner and its hostages to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. After identifying Israeli passengers, the non-Jewish passengers are freed while a series of demands are made, including the release of 40 Palestinian militants held in Israel, in exchange for the hostages.

The Cabinet of Israel, led by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, unwilling to give into terrorist demands, is faced with difficult decisions as their deliberations lead to a top-secret military raid. The difficult and daring commando operation, "Operation Thunderbolt", will be carried out over 2,500 miles (4 000 km) from home and will take place on the Jewish Sabbath.

While still negotiating with the terrorists, who now numbered seven individuals including Palestinians and two Germans, the Israeli military prepared two Lockheed C-130 Hercules transports for the raid. The transports refuelled in Kenya before landing at Entebbe Airport under the cover of darkness. The commandos had to contend with a large armed Ugandan military detachment and used a ruse to overcome the defenses. A black Mercedes limousine had been carried on board and was used to fool sentries that it was the official car that President Amin used on an impromptu visit to the airport.

Nearly complete surprise was achieved but a firefight resulted, ending with all seven terrorists and 45 Ugandan soldiers killed. The hostages were gathered together and most were quickly put on the idling C-130 aircraft. During the raid, one commando (the breach unit commander Yonatan Netanyahu, brother of future Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), and three of the hostages, died. A fourth hostage, Dora Bloch, who had been taken to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, was murdered by the Ugandans on Idi Amin's orders.

With 102 hostages aboard and on their way to freedom, a group of Israeli commandos remained behind to destroy the Ugandan Air Force fighters to prevent a retaliation. All the survivors of the attack force then joined in flying back to Israel. <<40 years later>>


July 8

14 Tamuz



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM


Protein Wars

Romain VS Steak


Which Has More Protein Per Calorie?

No one cares about your protein intake until they find out you're vegan.

Adding leafy greens to a diet lacking in them will almost certainly improve the nutritional content of that diet.


July 11

17 Tamuz

Fast of Shiva

Summer Sadness

Pain doesn’t wait for the “right” time of year.

“The purpose of a fast is both to pray for salvation, but also to get rid of distraction and privilege and think about what we can do better in the world,”

Fasting in the Bible is like a hunger strike. “It’s a way of a human being saying to God, ‘Please change this, or I refuse to eat. It’s a way of getting at injustice in the world.”

Fasting as a petition instead of penitence.

In the Roman siege of Jerusalem, which this fast remembers, the Jews were barricaded in the city, cut off from food and water, dying slowly, inevitably, in full view of their captors. They knew they couldn’t possibly survive, but they tried anyway. Each day alive was a victory.

Despite that our tradition dwells on suffering, Judaism is an uplifting, celebratory religion.

“The goal of Jewish life is celebrating and emphasizing life. But mourning and death are part of life, and three weeks out of the year — between this fast and the fast of Tisha B’av — are geared toward experiencing collective national loss and entering that emotional religious space.”  inContext

Fast of Shiva Asar BTammuz_w250.jpg

The 17th day of Tammuz is a day of mourning for Jewish people. It marks the anniversary of five calamities.


On this day in the year 1313 BCE, Moses broke the tablets of stone that were inscribed with the Ten Commandments and the idol of “the Golden Calf” was erected.

On this date in the year 423 BCE, the daily sacrificial offerings were discontinued in the run up to the destruction of the first temple.

In the year 69 BCE Jerusalem’s walls were breached, which resulted in the destruction of the second temple.

Finally, the Roman military leader Apostomus burned a Torah scroll, possibly around 50 CE. This may have contributed to the Bar Kokhba revolt, the last war between the Romans and the Jews between 132 and 135 CE.


The 17th of Tammuz marks the start of the “Three Weeks” (Bein HaMetzarim), which is a period of mourning marking the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple in Jerusalem.


September 7

8:00 PM

Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Shul Kiddush


The House of Wives-w200.jpg

Two women compete for the affections of their opium merchant husband in a tale of friendship, fortune and rivalry in colonial Hong Kong.

In 1862, a young Jew from Calcutta named Emanuel Belilios leaves his dutiful wife Semah and sets sail for Hong Kong to make his fortune in the opium trade.

There, he grows into a prosperous and respectable merchant, eventually falling in love with his Chinese business partner's daughter Pearl, a delicate beauty twenty years his junior.

As a wedding present, he builds for her the most magnificent mansion in Hong Kong.

Then Semah arrives unannounced from Calcutta to take her place as mistress of the house...and life will change irrevocably for all of them.

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






We need volunteers

to work on the

Lodzer’s 65th anniversary

Coming Spring 2018

To Volunteer, contact:

Jeff Shabes

The Lodzer Congregation had first formed in 1953 as a mutual benefit society for survivors from Lodz Poland who made it to Canada, in 1981 it formed itself into a Conservative synagogue. When Rabbi Kaufman joined the Lodzer in 2002, women had been permitted aliyot but were not counted in a minyan. A three-month trial was put in place permitting women to be counted: this period came and went without any undue comment. The bylaws of the synagogue were amended to reflect the new reality.

All for one and one for all

Pirkei Avos

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

Pirke Avoth Perek 4 Mishnah 13


Note: This commentary is taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim and from Visions of the Fathers by Rabbi Abraham Twerski.. Some sentences of the commentaries have been taken verbatim (in quotes) and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 13 The Comment and Questions are my own.


R. Eli’ezer b. Jacob said: He who does one mitzvah gains himself one advocate, while he who commits one transgression acquires for himself one accuser. Repentance and good deeds are as a shield against punishment.


Visions of the Fathers


“it is indeed true that for each mitzvah a person does he acquires an advocate and that for each transgression he acquires an accuser. These are thought of as ‘benign angels’ or ‘hostile angels’ who defend or accuse a person who is being judged by the heavenly tribunal.”


Ethics from Sinai


“What we do in this world is not insignificant. Every action counts; every act is a seed; and as we plant so we harvest. As ripples spread outward from a pebble dropped in a pool, so does each and every deed have profound and far-reaching repercussions.” 


Question: Should this be considered with each action that we do? Do we currently act mostly from habit?


“… in everyone there is a yetzer tov, an inclination or impulse to do good, and a yetzer ha-ra, an inclination to evil.”  To simplify the concept they represented good and evil deeds with at the symbols for angels. “Good deeds or mitzvoth produce good angels and evil deeds produce evil angels. Strong good deeds produce strong good angels and strong evil deeds produce strong evil angels. When a person repents, the angel turns from an evil angel to a good angel while retaining its relative strength.


Everyone has a yetzer tov and a yetzer ha-ra, conflicting impulses towards good and evil. A mitzvah produces an angel that will be an advocate for you, a protector. “With every act of piety and goodness you significantly add to the forces of good in the world.” “Conversely with each evil deed, an averah, you have acquired for yourself a ‘prosecuting attorney,’ an accusing element operating to your detriment in your fate and future.”  “The mitzvoth will surely earn you merit, but for misdeeds you must repent and atone.” The good and bad deeds do not cancel each other out - except perhaps in the afterlife. In this world they maintain their separate existences,  prompting more  good or evil.


Often we reluctantly do good deeds but rush eagerly to do bad deeds. This means that on average the yetzer ha-ra will be stronger than the yetzer tov.  


Question: Is it fun to see actions in this framework?


“Fulfill a mitzvah , and you give health to some part or element of your spiritual self; commit a transgression, and you introduce a bit of illness, as though some part of the body were invaded by germs or a virus. … In addition to maintaining good health, a person must also keep away from sources of infection and illness. This is true in the spiritual realm of good and evil as it is in the physical domain.”

There are 248 positive precepts, things that we are asked to do, and which relate to the 248 major limbs and organs; and 365 negative precepts,things that we are forbidden to do and which relate to the 365 tendons and sinews in the body. “The 613 precepts were given for the spiritual growth and well- being of the human organism to which they correspond.” “ Fulfill a mitzvah, and you give health to some part or element of your spiritual self; commit a transgression, and you introduce a bit of illness, as though some part of the body were invaded by germs or a virus.”


“… for as we gather from psychotic principles, psyche, the spiritual or psychic self, controls and affects soma, the physical body; in the terminology of our sacred tradition, the 613 precepts, positive and negative, determine the well-being of the 613 parts of the



Question: Are our minds, bodies, and actions as integrated as described here?


“… this text … refers to mitzvoth that are fulfilled over and above the ordinary call of duty. Every Jew is expected to live a life of Torah, faithful to its mitzvoth. But there are various ways of doing a mitzvah. A person can act merely to fulfill his obligation and get it over with, as ‘painlessly’ and rapidly as possible. But you can also approach a mitzvah with a fresh, creative interest, an enthusiastic spontaneity. Here, after all, is an opportunity to carry out the expressed will of the Creator. What in your prosaic, earthbound life can have greater ultimate meaning? It is surely worthwhile to ‘give it all you can’, to invest in it all possible talent, ability, thought - to make it a ‘labour of love’. A mitzvah done this way, … with the entire heart and soul, should bring you a protecting angel in reward.”


Question: Is the proper intent or kavannah most important when doing a mitzvah or is it  the action and not the thought that is most important?


Our rabbis suggest that “to retain the required level of concentration and achievement of all mitzvoth” one should “Adopt one particular mitzvah and concentrate on it . Give this special mitzvah your special attention. Become thoroughly familiar, even expert, in its laws; be alert for and seek out opportunities to observe it; and perform it with true interest and sincerity.”


“When a Jew really fulfils to perfection the one mitzvah that he has made his speciality, he has indeed gained for himself, for his own creative individuality, an advocate; he has enduring evidence before Heaven that he has justified his existence.”


Question: Is this talking about working in a “helping” profession?


“With every act of piety and goodness you significantly add to the forces of good in the world; therefore in your own spiritual realm there is an added force for good on your behalf. It will affect your character and your life’s progress. Conversely when you do an evil deed, an averah, you have acquired for yourself a ‘prosecuting attorney’, an accusing element operating to your detriment in your fate and future.”


“ In general, our sages  hold that the world is definitely maintained as a rule in a state of  fine, delicate balance between good and evil. Then every action of ours does tip the world toward a preponderance of one or the other,  until a balance is reestablished. Every action of ours does have decisive cosmic consequences in the all-important

spiritual realm.”


Question: Is this the way the world, and how good and evil works?


“If a person decides that he must work on the Sabbath, is it not because he lacks confidence in his Maker, a basic sense of truth that the Merciful One will support him and provide him with his needs? Think for a moment, and you will realize that every transgression implies a certain disregard or contempt within the sinner for Providence and the power of Heaven.”


If the transgresser simply neglects the Torah he may repent by studying Torah.


“But then, the Talmud teaches that when a sinner truly repents, our of a love for piety, all his sins are converted into virtues in his Heavenly account. Then all his accusers become defenders; all his bad angels become good angels. With this in mind, picture the contrast between the Heavenly groups that respectively attend the tzaddik and the ba’al t’shuvah, the one who has ‘returned’: with the tzaddik are his angels create by mitzvoth, under the influence of the yetzet tov - very likely emaciated, wan cripples as a rule. The penitent, however, has a group created out of converted averot, accusers turned defenders: he surely has a lusty, robust crew. It s only natural, we can conclude with a chuckle, that the  ba’al t’shuvah ranks above the tzaddik.” “Under the stimulus of the Evil Tempter, the sinner learned to release depths of nervous energy, reserves of enthusiasm and drive. When he returns at last, he can harness this energy  and drive  to serve in the cause of good with the same spirit and enthusiasm. In the crucible of his experiences he can forge new strengths for a life with Torah.”


If the  tzaddik  “has never had to struggle with temptation or overcome sin, he has never been forced to evoke and marshall hidden reserves of spiritual strength: he has never needed to search in agony, to question and probe the depth, the vitality , the sincerity of his religious belief. Not so the person who first lives in sin and then returns truly, whole -heartedly, to the righteous path.”  Therefore, “Of necessity, the piety of the penitent must be stronger and deeper than the religiosity of the constant tzaddik. Otherwise he would not have won the battle.”


Every evil deed is a disregard for what is best for the person and also is disobedience to the Torah which implies a disregard for G-d and the laws of G-d. Therefore each misdeed is a double misdeed. He has therefore acquired not only a specific accuser but a general accuser. “… t’shuvah, repentance, connotes: to return to the pathway of Divine worship and observance.” “Rambam describes the stages, step by step, through which a person must go to achieve genuine t’shuvah;” “Merely to say ‘I am sorry’  cannot be enough.” The person must be aware that he has sinned, be sorry, and resolve never to repeat the sin. Lastly he must find himself in the same position and resist the temptation. “Repentance, declares our text, is a shield that will protect man against punishment.”


“Assume that you have an equal amount of good and bad deeds, so that your very next act will be most significant. With this rule your life will automatically follow a wise and prudent course.”


“In general, our Sages hold that the world is definitely maintained as a rule in a state of fine, delicate balance between good and evil. Then every action of ours does tip the world toward a preponderance of one of the other, until a balance is re-establish. Every action of ours does have decisive cosmic consequences in the all-important spiritual realm.”


Question: Is this giving us too much responsibility?

Israel 21c header_w592.jpg


Israel’s music scene is vibrant, exciting and diverse – just like its population. With people coming from all over the world bringing different musical traditions, Israel today has become the ultimate cultural melting pot and the bands emerging now have a distinctive new sound that is winning over audiences worldwide.

Pictured above: OSOG (On Shoulders of Giants) is an eight-member music collective with a catchy and original sound.

Their musical backgrounds are punk, metal, jazz and classical, which they’ve fine-tuned to a wholly unique sound. Simply said, OSOG is a carnival of music.

OSOG - Wanted

"Tic-Toc-Tic-Toc" the clock goes,
Time is up
Time to carry on
Like shadows we move
I whisper to you
That you're my rock and you're my treat
One more time and that is it
And I'll make up for such the life
I put you through

There are so many Israeli musicians producing top-quality ear candy that keeping track of them all is a near impossible feat. “If you want to hear good music, get to know the musicians who may not have the spotlight on them”

There is no one genre set to triumph over the year of music.

“Bands are inspired by different musical genres and a new sound is emerging. You’ll feel you recognize a sound but realize it’s not anything you’ve heard before.”

Diversity here makes Israeli music stand out.

“The music has world influences from other countries and is also coming from individual experiences. There’s so much going on musically here that people should move here for the music.”

inContext - featuring 12 emerging bands

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 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.

Lodzer Sisterhood Cookbooks
Great Gifts – just $20 each

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.

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

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, 1st VP

Judy Hazen, 2nd VP

Morry Nosak, Treasurer

Marilyn Richmond, Secretary

Board Members

Frank Steiman

Henry Epstein

Joe Ber

Leon Pasternak (Honourary)

Rafi Remez

Roz Greene

Sid Markovitz

Rabbi Eli Courante

Cantor David Young

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

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday

9am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm


9am to 1pm

The Taylor Force Act


Pictured: The Afghanistan and Iraq war vet, 28, from Texas, who was stabbed to death by a crazed Palestinian terrorist on a bloody rampage at a popular Israeli beach resort.

Taylor Force, 29, was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv, Israel, in March 2016, along a boardwalk near a beach in the Jaffa area. Force, a student at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management, was on a school trip to Israel. Attacker has been identified as Bashar Masalha, 22, from the West Bank. Masalha randomly stabbed people on the street and inside their cars. He was shot dead by Israeli police after he failed to stop when ordered to. inContext

The Taylor Force Act, named after a United States Military Academy graduate and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who an attacker from the West Bank murdered in Jaffa in March of 2016, The Taylor Force Act is designed to prevent American taxpayer money from incentivizing Palestinian terrorism. Currently, the PA spends some $300 million a year, or a full 7 percent of its budget, paying out stipends to dead or imprisoned militants and their families. The payments are often many times higher than the median income of the Palestinian Territories and structured to reward especially severe or deadly acts, with murderers receiving as much as $3,500 a month.

The $500 million that the U.S. provides to the Palestinians each year subsidizes a system that sanctions or even encourages violence—including attacks on U.S. citizens, over a dozen of whom have died at the hands of Palestinian militants since 2014. About 6,000 Palestinians are currently in Israeli prisons, and the fund for Palestinian “martyrs” pays stipends to over 35,000 families.

It’s difficult to believe that Americans support the idea of their government helping to compensate terrorists who have killed or wounded U.S. citizens. inContext

Taylor Force Act - Introduced in House (02/16/2017)

H.R.1164, 115th Congress


to end violence and terrorism against Israeli citizens

This bill prohibits certain assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the Department of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority:

- is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force;

- is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and

- has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual. inContext

Wishing the Congress

Good Luck, (considering today’s political climate,)

In passing this very important Bill.

Attention high voltage

Risk of death



In October 1941, more than 10,000 Soviet prisoners of war were brought to Auschwitz and housed in fenced-off blocks of Auschwitz I (Blocks 1–3, 12–14, 22–24) until March 1942. The SS used the members of the Red Army to build the Birkenau camp.

No Man’s Land - between Auschwitz I and Birkenau


Rows of electric fences surround the camps.

Birkenau was the largest of the camps that made up the Auschwitz complex. When construction started in October 1941, it was to be a camp for 125,000 prisoners of war. It was an extension of Auschwitz in March 1942, and served as a center for the extermination of the Jews. From 1944, it also became a place where prisoners were concentrated before being transferred to do labour in Germany.

The majority—probably about 90%—of the victims of Auschwitz Concentration Camp died in Birkenau. This means approximately a million people. The majority, more than nine out of every ten, were Jews. A large proportion of the more than 70,000 Poles who died or were killed in the Auschwitz complex perished in Birkenau. So did approximately 20,000 Gypsies, in addition to Soviet POWs and prisoners of other nationalities.

Photo and story Credits: Dennis Jarvis

Synagogues of the Kazimierz

historic district in Krakow

Pics: Laura Davis


All of Krakow’s seven synagogues are situated in the former Jewish quarter of the town of Kazimierz that developed from a tiny corner that King Jan I Olbracht had earmarked in 1495 for Jews transferred from the historic Krakow (i.e. today’s Old Town) a kilometer or so away.

Two of the Kazimierz synagogues, Kupa and Remuh, still serve Krakow’s miniscule Jewish community as the venues for religious ceremonies.


Remuh Synagogue
The smallest yet maybe the busiest of the Kazimierz synagogues, and arguably also the most authentic one. The unassuming Renaissance building was erected in 1558 by the Jewish cemetery of the same name, established in 1533 and closed in 1800. Its name commemorates saintly rabbi Moses Isserles Auerbach (born circa 1520, died 1572) a.k.a. Remuh (RaMa), religious writer-philosopher of international fame, acknowledged miracle maker, and son of the synagogue’s founder. His tomb in the adjacent Remuh Cemetery still attracts pilgrimages of pious Jews. The synagogue and the cemetery, both devastated under the Nazi rule, have been restored in years 1958-1968 and 1956-1960 respectively. The synagogue is the venue for religious services of orthodox Jews in Krakow. Its interior boasts the original Aron Hakodesh, a Renaissance stone cabinet for the Torah.
The Remuh Synagogue is the venue for religious services on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.
Opening hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. except Saturdays and Jewish holidays when the synagogue is closed to tourists. Admission 5 zloties (PLN). Visitors should wear a skullcap or other headgear is required. inContext