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



Though their bodies have perished,

Their souls and their spirit will forever remain immortal.

Shabbat Bulletin - July 8, 2017  UPDATED

I am a Canadian

Free to speak without Fear

Free to Worship in my own way

Free to stand for what I think is right

Free to oppose what is wrong

Free to Choose those who Govern my Country

This heritage of Freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.

Where in the world is Rabbi Eli


Nordkapp - the end of the world

Ever since my time spent in Siberia over 20 years ago, I've been in love with the North. So much so that more than 2 years in a row without visiting the High Arctic can cause me nearly physical discomfort.

Luckily, those are the areas fairly popular with our clients. This particular group started off (after leaving Tel Aviv, that is) from Ivalo, about 300 km north of the Arctic Circle.

Over the course of two weeks, we take them from the Lappish territory to the very shores of the generous Barents Sea, to the end-of-the-worldish cliffs on the northern edge of Europe, before heading south to the charms of the Lofoten islands.

Our kosher kitchen is not the only thing that's a constant sight for the public through the trip. Another is the sun.
No one in our little party of 40 will see the sun set until their return down south. The sun stays clear of the horizon, it remains in the north for a while before beginning its motion to provide the morning eastern light.

Is there a consensus among Rabbis as to when are the times of prayer corresponding to those whimsical celestial movements? - Hardly ever!

Some opine that the times should be calculated corresponding to the nearest settlements where the sun "does do It"? Other sages hold that the hours should be calculated in accordance with the times of prayer (and Shabbat) in the Holy Land. Others yet ruled that the times should be set by the nearest city, town or settlement where there is no polar day.

Of course, nowadays the overall public taste for travel, including kosher public, trumps the exoticism of the situation. I remember the times when an innocent inquiry re Arctic halacha could lead to a witty short dialogue like:

Yours truly: Dad, what is a good Jewish boy to do in Svalbard?
Dad: Yes indeed. What is a good Jewish boy doing in Svalbard?

This particular group received halacha from their Rabbi before the trip. Our Shabbat schedule looks as follows:
22:30 - Kabbalat Shabbat
23:15 - Shabbos meal begins
00:48 - stepping out to enjoy the midnight sun in its nadir point, hanging bright and low over the northern landscape
01:15 - Shacharit (the morning service)
11:00 - wake-up and the morning meal

The unusual timeline guarantees one more thing our travelers will remember about their journey.

Meanwhile, here's a bit of national pride at the edge of Europe (this globe up here is Nordkapp, the point first defined as the northernmost point of the continent in 1553).


Shabbat Shalom,
Stay warm, and keep an eye on the clock.


Whose d’var is it anyway?

The Emperor and the Seed


An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you."

The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!"

One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by-still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.

Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful-in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try."

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"

Thanks Marilyn for telling this classic tale

in lieu of a d’var Torah this past Shabbat.

The Prophet taught, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to Al-Fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and Al-Fajur (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." [Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8:116]

A d’var for Everyone

Worry more how you’re perceived by your fellow man

Making Shul and Judaism an important part of our Lifestyle


General Fund


Music Fund




Siddur Dedications

Nancy & Barry Corey in memory of Louis Slutchuk (Nancy’s father)

In memory of Sara Koplowitz

by the Koplowitz Family

Mazel Tov Israel Koplowitz

on your 90th Birthday

By Your Children, Grandchildren and Great-grandchildren

Mazel Tov Michael and Shirley Smoskowitz

On your 30th Wedding Anniversary
By the Family

In honour of the Yahrzeit of Moshe Bitterman

dear father of Harvey and Perry Bitterman and our good friend

by Doris Greening & Arthur Zins

The Kiddush Fund (New!)

Eda and Rick Kardonne in memory of Gil Kardonne and Nechemiah Golub

G-d doesn't need us to protect His reputation

— nor to use Him to protect ours.


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires


Always a good breakfast following!

Sages, be very careful in [choosing] your words

This has become at the proverbial talmudic dictum to think first and speak carefully, lest your words be distorted or repeated out of context. This is an especially wise directive nowadays, where slips of the tongue or spontaneous, foolish statements or misspeaking are blasted around the world via the internet.

(Note by JU - doesn’t this sound like Trump?)

Zingers from Pirke Avoth | Perek 1, Mishnah 11 | From the Irving Greenberg commentary

Your Life Moments


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

July 8  Simon Jackson

July 10 Sheldon Richmond


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

July 15  Charly & Judy Hazan


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

July 10  Goldie Ruth Landis, mother of Lorraine
July 10  Jakov Lederman, father of Rachel Brass
July 13  Sarah Koplowitz, wife of Israel and mother of Shirley Smoskowitz
July 14  Dora Gardner, mother of Gerri Goldberg

Life is short, break the rules

Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly

Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably

And never regret anything that made you smile.


Take your Soul to Work, by Erica Brown

On Public Speaking

Dionysius of Halicarnassus warned : “Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson  wrote: Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”

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

So ends this series on the Lodz Ghetto


A wedding in the ghetto.


A scarecrow with a yellow Star of David.


A smiling child.

Germany's post WW1 democracy gave rise to Fascism.

Has anything really changed, to give us hope for the future?




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 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


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


Torah Times

Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Balak

1: 22:2-4 (pg. 669)
2: 22:5-7
3: 22:8-12
4: 22:13-20
5: 22:21-27
6: 22:28-30
7: 22:31-38
maftir: 22:36-38


Micah 5:6 - 6:8 (pg. 682)

Candle Lighting:

8:43 p.m. – Friday


9:50 p.m. – Saturday


July 10

Week 19

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.

The Three


Fast of Shiva


July 11

17 Tamuz



August 1

9 Av

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.


July 15

21 Tamuz


David Young



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM



July 28


for Advance ticket sales

2017 Pricing


High Holiday time is upon us once more. New this year,  Rabbi Eli Courante will be joined by our new Cantor, David Young and a full choir.






On Rosh Hashanah God judges individuals, but that judgment/fate is "sealed" on Yom Kippur and "sent out" on Hoshana Rabba (the seventh day of Sukkot).

Here’s hoping that your fate, that is sealed, is a good one.


Fast of

Tish'a B'Av


July 31



August 1

9 Av

We Lost our


Our Nation is


We Lost our


Tish'a B'Av

This day is the saddest day of the Jewish year…

On this day, we remember everything sad that has ever happened to our people.

5 National Tragedies befell the Jews on the 9th of Av

1312 BCE - The Spies

421 BCE - First Temple

70 BCE - Second Temple

132 CE - The City of Beitar

133 CE - Turnus Rufus

Many mor tragedies happened on the 9th of Av including the Spanish Inquisition including the expulsion of the Jews (1492) and World War 1 (1914)




August 7

15 Av

Tu B’Av

Tu B’Av

The 15th of Av


May Tu B’Av truly usher in the achdus (to love a fellow Jew) for which we yearn to bring the geulah (redemption/deliverance) for us all.


Tu B’Av on the 15th of Av has become known, especially in modern Israel, as the holiday of love - when man and woman are together, in total harmony, with true complementary and mutual love and cooperation - somewhat replacing Valentine’s Day.
On Tu B’Av the Tribes of Israel were permitted to intermarry with each other. Second generation Jewish women would go dancing in the vineyards looking for their beshert and unmarried men would go to the fields to pick out a wife.

August 24




Numerous Jewish synagogues were vandalised and desecrated.


Rampaging Arab mobs killed 67 Jewish residents and yeshiva students in the biblical holy city, where the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people are entombed and King David ruled. Three days later British soldiers evacuated the surviving remnant of the ancient Jewish community. Hebron was Judenrein. So it remained for 50 years, until 10 women and 35 children, led by Miriam Levinger and Sarah Nachshon, entered Beit Hadassah, the former medical clinic in the heart of the destroyed Jewish Quarter. Hebron, Mrs. Levinger proclaimed, “will no longer be Judenrein.

Judenfrei ("free of Jews") or Judenrein ("clean of Jews") was a Nazi term to designate an area "cleansed" of the Jewish presence.


September 7

7 - 8 PM

Kiddush Room


Hebrew Classes

Classes are starting up again after our summer break on September 7.

If you, or someone you know is interested please contact me...

If interested... contact



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.

September 15



International Day of Democracy

In 2007 the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe 15 September as the International Day of Democracy - with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy - and invited all member states and organizations to commemorate the day in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.


"The Israeli People Live!"


September 17


9 AM

Pre-Holy Days



September 17




Camp David Accords

Will there ever be another Arab leader willing to make peace with Israel?

Anwar Sadat


“Peace is much more precious than a piece of land... let there be no more wars.”


The Camp David Accords, establishing peace between Israel and Egypt, were signed by Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin on this date in 1978 with U.S. President Jimmy Carter serving as witness and facilitator. The Accords resulted in Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai, which was restored to Egypt; recognition of Israel by Egypt, which became the first Arab state involved in earlier wars with Israel to do so; agreement by Israel to permit the establishment of a “self-governing authority” in the Palestinian territories and to withdraw from the occupied territories; the firm entry of Egypt into the pro-American bloc of Middle Eastern states (which came to include, most significantly, Jordan and Saudi Arabia); and a Nobel Peace Prize shared by Begin and Sadat — who would be assassinated for his peace-making in 1981.

Rosh Hashanah

Begins sunset of


September 20

6:45 PM

CL 6:59 PM


8:30 AM

CL 8:05 PM



September 22

8:30 AM


Ends 8:03 PM


Family Services

Bryna Wechsler

1st day Rosh Hashanah

Thursday, Sept.21

10 AM

2nd day Rosh Hashanah

Friday, Sept.22

10 AM


September 22



Until his death at age 84, Marcel performed 300 times a year and taught 4 hours a day at his pantomime school in Paris . He died on Yom Kippur, 2007.


It’s good to

Shut up Sometimes

Born to a Jewish family in Strasbourg , France in 1923, young Marcel Mangel discovered Charlie Chaplin at age five and became an avid fan. He entertained his friends with Chaplin imitations, and dreamed of starring in silent movies.

Marcel (Mangel) Marceau

When Marcel was 16, the Nazis marched into France , and the Jews of Strasbourg - near the German border - had to flee for their lives. Marcel changed his last name to Marceau to avoid being identified as Jewish, and joined the French resistance movement.

Masquerading as a boy scout, Marcel evacuated a Jewish orphanage in eastern France . He told the children he was taking them on a vacation in the Alps, and led them to safety in Switzerland . Marcel made the perilous journey three times, saving hundreds of Jewish orphans. He was able to avoid detection by entertaining the children with silent pantomime.


September 23

9:30 AM

Ends 8:01 PM


Yom Kippur

Begins sunset of


September 29

Kol Nidre

6:30 PM

CL 6:42 PM


September 30

9 AM


11:15 AM

In Conversation

with Rabbi Eli

4 PM - 5:15 PM

Mincha & Neila

5:15 PM

Ends 7:49 PM


Fasting for

Yom Kippur

is pretty much

the only time

I wish I was eating

Matzah on Passover

Family Services

Bryna Wechsler

Kol Nidre

Friday, Sept.29

6:30 PM

Yom Kippur

Saturday, Sept.30

10 AM



Begins sunset of


October 4

CL 6:33 PM



October 5

9 AM

CL 7:40 PM



October 6

9 AM

Ends 7:11 PM

CL 6:06 PM





October 7

9:30 AM

Ends 7:36 PM



October 11

9 AM


Hoshanah Rabbah

4-Havatat Aravot.jpg

Shemini Atzeret

Begins sunset of


October 11

CL 6:21 PM



October 12

9 AM


10:10 AM


Simchat Torah

Begins sunset of


October 12

6:30 PM

CL 7:28 PM


October 13

9 AM

Ends 7:24 PM

Simchat Torah_w200.jpg


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



Begins sunset of


December 12

Ends nightfall of


December 20


Chanukah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies.


Begins sunrise of


December 28

10 Tevet

Ends nightfall of


December 28

Fast of Tevet 10

Asara B'Tevet


The Tenth of Tevet marks Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem 2,500 years ago.


The siege of Yerushalayim began on the 10th of Tevet, so began the whole chain of calamities which finally ended with the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash.

In the State of Israel, Kaddish is recited on this day for people whose date or place of death is unknown. Consequently, many rabbis have designated it as a day of remembrance for the Holocaust.





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

A Light Unto the Nations


Six Lakewood residents arrested in a series of raids cracking down on alleged welfare fraud were released from jail.


In New Jersey, an electronic system is used to monitor the information you put on your application for benefits. The state makes sure that recipients: are not collecting welfare from another state; have a valid Social Security number; are not employed and earning income that you did not report; are not collecting unemployment

There are penalties for knowingly providing false or inaccurate information, including: being ineligible for future benefits; having to pay back to the state any money you were not eligible to receive; and criminal charges.

Also, it is illegal to use the Families First Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, used to distribute SNAP food benefits and welfare cash assistance, at any of these locations:

• Liquor Stores
• Casino/Gaming
• Adult Entertainment/Establishments Strip Clubs

This is a federal law!

Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards have replaced the paper food stamp coupons distributed through the states.

NJ millionaires Busted

Several wealthy New Jersey couples, including a prominent rabbi and his wife, who allegedly misrepresented their income, declaring amounts that were low enough to receive program benefits, when in fact their income was too high to qualify… receiving income from numerous sources that they failed to disclose on required program applications… may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Hidden income, fake applications, and phony company owners were integral parts of a complex scheme several wealthy Lakewood families used for years to fool the government into doling out nearly $2 million in aid reserved for the poorest citizens. They allegedly cheated these programs by falsifying their incomes on a variety of different applications, declaring amounts that were low enough to receive government services.

“There will be more individuals served charges... In the last week, hundreds of Lakewood residents called township leaders asking how they can avoid arrest or get amnesty related to an alleged public-assistance fraud scheme that could stretch into the millions of dollars...

...thousands of Jewish families in the town need the public assistance to get by and that some people are tempted to take more than they need. The pressure of the community overhead — especially the (cost of) private schooling — is unsustainable… People are forced to find ways to bend the system.

Financial assistance programs are designed to alleviate family hardships for those truly in need… In 2015 the Lakewood community was given clear guidance and notice of what is considered financial abuse of these programs.

"Those who choose to ignore those warnings by seeking to illegally profit on the backs of taxpayers will pay the punitive price of their actions."

Lakewood is the fastest-growing town in New Jersey and surpassed 100,000 residents earlier this year. In the town, Census figures show 32% of people live in poverty. Lakewood's rapid population growth is fueled by a flourishing Orthodox Jewish community.

Innocent until proven very, very Jewish!

חילול השם

Pirkei Avos

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

Pirke Avoth Perek 4 Mishnah 14

Note: This commentary is taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim and Visions of the fathers by Rabbi Abraham Twerski. Some sentences of the commentary have been taken verbatim (in quotes) and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 14. The Questions are my own.

R. Yohanan ha Sand’lar said: Every assembly that is for the sake of Heaven will endure in the end; but anyone that is not for the sake of heaven will not endure in the end.

Ethics from Sinai

“ Always and ever, human beings will have individual differences and a bewildering variety of opinions and viewpoints. Yet, if a community is to live and function in reasonable order, there must be, if not unanimity, at least a basic consensus. On a host of social and political questions there must be a way of arriving at a prevailing opinion that can lead to united and accepted action.”

“Whether a group or community can arrive at lasting unity and coordination, depends on the people’s sincerity, their purity of motive; and their dedication to morality and decency.”

“What Heaven or ‘the sake of Heaven’ means, may be unclear, rather vague to some; but what it cannot mean is perfectly clear: It can never denote selfishness, the search to achieve narrow personal ends and gratifications in utter disregard of the needs or welfare of others. At the very least , a gathering “for the sake of Heaven ‘ will honestly seek the benefit and welfare of all. Beyond that, it will strive for the spiritual and moral growth of the people whom it will  affect. Only when such a purpose underlies and permeates a gathering can it hope to rise above the tensions and contradictions of individual differences, to achieve endurance for itself and its results.”

Question 2: Is Jewish religious diversity a cause for celebration or a
                    threat to Judaism - or both?

In Torah study, the two contestants will argue like serpents to hold sway as to their interpretation of the Torah, but when they are finished with the argument they are fast friends as both understand that their vehement discussion has been intended as a means of discovering the truth, and has not been a question of closed minds seeking fixed personal goals at all costs. It has been a discussion or argument “for the sake of Heaven”. Only a discussion “dedicated to the values and purposes of the Almighty can have constructive results.”

“As discussion and argument grow heated, even father and son or teacher and student may become antagonists, each bitterly disputing the other’s arguments. Voices are raised , minds clash, and no quarter is given. This is how it should be. And yet both are sincerely seeking the truth; both have a simple desire to understand the Torah. These are not actors or demagogues, seeking personal aggrandizement. Then you can be certain that after all arguments have been heard and all the evidence weighed a reasonable agreement will be reached. And both will find they have a better understanding of the Torah they have studied - thanks to their ‘bitter’ debate.”

Question 1: Under what circumstances will these “bitter debates” be successful?
Question 2: Should debates ever be as “bitter” as suggested?

“The principle holds for any assembly or convention, any meeting or gathering of people. Where people come with closed minds and self-centred egos, seeking fixed personal goals at all costs, agreement is unattainable; anything of lasting worth cannot be achieved. Where all recognize a higher cause, a nobler purpose for the gathering, beyond the limits of self-seeking egos, they must succeed. To some extent they will go forward.”

Question: What if there is no basic consensus? (For example the world-views of liberal and conservative people?)

“In his life the Torah scholar cannot afford to take his ease, reassuring humanity that all is well with us spiritually and morally. ‘Any scholar Torah’, says the Talmud again, ‘who is not as hard as iron, is no Torah scholar.’ He must find truth  and make it accepted. Hence he disputes and argues in harsh, ‘vengeful intolerance. But in all there is no personal malice. There is only “the sake of Heaven.”

Those that created the Tower of Babel were united in their objectives but the objectives were not “for the purpose of Heaven” and so they failed and were dispersed.

“It is the gathering of the faithful, dedicated to the purpose of Heaven. that would endure, as part of the program of eternity. It will conquer not ‘outer space,’ but the ‘inner space’ of man’s journey to spiritual fulfilment.”  

Question 1: A common expression is , “Don’t talk politics or religion”. After such  discussions can the parties still remain friends?

Question 2: Our Jewish leadership seems to downplay anti-Semitism and anti-Israel threats. For the sake of Heaven and the future of Judaism, must we discuss these issues?

Question 3: Should we argue the points like “serpents”?

Question 4:  Should these issues be in our Bulletin?

“Now Jewish tradition never sought to stifle discussion or suppress differences of opinion.” “The ‘antagonists’ were all men of saintly character, selflessly, untiringly searching for the truth, ‘for the sake of Heaven.’” “By the same token, all well-meaning people taking counsel and holding discussion in a good cause will ultimately reach agreement.” However an assembly of ‘egos and emotions’ will not go anywhere.

Question: Does Jewish tradition try to stifle discussion, and does our Jewish leadership try to stifle discussion”?

“Why after all, will a gathering, assembly, or association survive, and succeed rather than disintegrate only if it is ‘for the sake of Heaven’. … Creation was a process that was to continue. And when man appeared, in the Divine image, he became the Almighty’s partner in creation, to continue it. He became a builder. … But there is generally a great difference between the creations of the Almighty and human construction. He is eternal, beyond the limits of time; and what He meant to last is eternal too. Man appears for a brief life span; he can make buildings that will outlast him, but not for too long. How is man to build for eternity as his Maker could? … If you become like your Creator, to ‘walk in his ways’; then you will construct as he does.”

Question 1:   Should “for the sake of Heaven” be redefined more inclusively as
any meeting for the common good, held by people seeking the  common good?

G-d did not finish creating the world. The purpose of mankind is to complete the creation. The way to do this is to “revere the Lord your God and to walk in all his ways…” - to construct as he does, to build the world - not to build skyscrapers etc.  “The scholars of Torah, the sages of traditional Judaism - they are the true builders. With their devotion and dedicated study they penetrate and explore the ways of Godliness. They make the Torah a structure in which to live. And this structure is permanent: it outlives destruction.”

“If we have no honest intention to serve the Almighty and His Torah, but rather our own goals of inflated importance, we come to ‘destroy and make waste’, our delusions and rationalizations notwithstanding.”

“Only to serve the purpose of the Almighty, to realize His ideals, will a gathering stand firm and endure. It is part of His ‘building program’.

“Over the centuries, in an endless series of scholarly ‘assemblies for the sake of Heaven’ this continuing study has given rise to Torah law, Torah ethics, Torah morality - a whole way of life. This has been the continuing ‘building for permanence,’ the lasting construction, that has forced a world to follow suit, slowly haphazardly, reluctantly, in moral growth.”  

Question 1: Has there been any moral or spiritual growth in the last 2000 years?

Question 2: If there has been moral or spiritual growth, is it attributable to
science, economics, social ideologies, or religion etc.?

“… to the observant Jew, the Talmud is not an interesting record of an older Jewish civilization to be sentimentally revered, nor is it a cherished relic of ‘catholic Israel,’  to be studied as history and artifacts in a museum. For the observant Jew it is a guide to the very heart of his life. For him the Sages endure indeed, as their words continue to inspire and educate him.”

Question: How do you define “an observant Jew”?

“More and more we realize that hope for peace in the world lies only in human understanding and cooperation. But if agreements among people are to be trustworthy and lasting, people themselves must be moral and decent before the Divinity  that created and permeates this world.”

Visions of the Fathers

Shamayim is made up of two words. water (mayim) and fire (aish). This is to indicate that opposites, water and fire can exist together in the heavens. “One of the prevailing concepts in our culture is that conflicts must be resolved.” “It would be well if we understood that it is not always necessary to resolve conflicts.” Different faiths can coexist without compromise, a person can maintain good mental health even if he harbours some conflicts, and it certainly would enhance family unity if various members of the family could agree to disagree and maintain love and cooperation even though they may differ in their ideas.” Twerski then goes on to say that discussions among different religions is useless, they should just learn to live with disagreements. Similarly in Israel, when there is a war, the various Israeli factions fight together, but do not cooperate when there is  no war. They should learn to disagree and get along in peacetime as well as in times of war.

Question: Do you agree? Bunim would resolve problems through intense argument while Twerski would agree to disagree. Are they both correct under different circumstances and what are those circumstances?

Question: Can most people with different religions, cultures, ideologies, or worldviews change their prime ideas and thereby change their opinions through discussions?

Israel 21c header_w592.jpg


Israel’s award-winning craft beer industry is renowned worldwide and boasts more than 100 styles. Microbrewers use locally sourced herbs, spices and fruits such as mint, rosemary, date, passionfruit, mango, pomegranate and citron to infuse a distinctly Israeli flavor to their beers.

‘We’ve won global awards for our beer so obviously we’re taking it by storm and approaching it without compromise.’

The hallmark of a good craft beer is the distinctive local flavor it adds to the base of grain, hops, yeast and water… locally sourced herbs and fruits such as mint, rosemary, date, passionfruit, mango or citron.


More than 100 Israeli craft beers are sold at Beer Bazaar in Jerusalem.

Israelis drink only about 14 liters of beer per year per capita, compared to 163 in the Czech Republic and perhaps 100 in England and the United States. However, signs point to increased appreciation for craft beer in Israel, especially as Israelis experience beer culture during travels abroad.  inContext



This is the flag that got Jews kicked out of the Chicago Dyke March. If #JewishPride offends you and makes you feel "unsafe," maybe you're just an antisemite.

This from a level-headed, orthodox, FB poster:

My positions:

First, one must remember that this was NOT the main Chicago Pride Event but a different organization. I have seen no evidence that there is any anti-Semitism in the main Chicago Pride organization.

Second, the Dyke March's own statements and actions proves their anti-Semitism.

Third, this proves that the extreme left is every bit as horrible as the extreme right, just without any political power today. I am 100% committed to keeping the extreme left without power and to removing the extreme right from power in the US through peaceful means.

Very clear that Chicago Dyke March wants more dead Jews. It is precisely those border walls that dramatically reduced the death toll from terrorist attacks./CH


Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology. It is based on the premise that Jewish people have a God-given entitlement to the lands of historic Palestine and the surrounding areas. This ideology has been used to justify dozens of laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel, segregated road systems in the West Bank, and forced removal of Palestinian families from their homes in order to make way for Jewish-only housing, among other violent and discriminatory practices. We recognize that Zionism is not synonymous with Judaism, but instead represents an ideology that uses legacies of Jewish struggle to justify violence. inContext

Tensions Flare After Chicago Dyke March Demands

Star Of David Pride Flag Carriers Leave Rally


This is my pride flag. It has the Islamic crescent and star on it, like the flags of Turkey, Pakistan, etc.. Should I and my flag be banned from Pride because of the countless horrific murders of LGBT people in Muslim countries, the state-sanctioned hatred and persecution of LGBT people? Because if you ban Jews and Jewish flags because you hate Israel, logically you have to ban me, too. Or you could just admit you're antisemites. What will it be? #DykeMarchChicago

Live, Love, Laugh… and kick some Butt!

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


Walls... I just don’t get it.


The question of women’s rights to prayer at the wall has long been an issue in Israel. In 1989 the protest group Women of the Wall formed to agitate for greater access to the holy site.

The group stages dramatic protests to underscore what women are not allowed to do in prayer at the wall — namely, to wrap themselves in a Jewish prayer shawl (a talit), carry a torah scroll, and to raise their voices, literally, in prayer. inContext

Speaking of the WALL

...lately there is a lot of controversy over this sacred place./JU

Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardoza says "it is a place to pray, to be spiritual and should not have synagogue services or Bar Mitzvah celebrations, nor should it be a tourist denomination should have control over it and it should have no barrier separating people. It must be designated as a place where people can touch heaven and experience a feeling of true holiness, a place to bare our souls and pour out our hearts in prayer before the Lord of the Universe, the Hidden One.”

Auschwitz II - Birkenau

Thank you so very much for sharing your historic photos with us. They are numbing to view even today, but serve as tremendous reminder to us of the deep darkness, ruthless hate and total abandonment that can exist within the heart and mind of mankind. siteComment


Test of Zyklon-B… Block 11 where there are prison cells in the basement.
In the lower part of the Block 11 were some prison cells.

The first tests using Zyklon-B had been done in August 1941 in one of these basement cells (cell# 27). Zyklon-B was, at that time, being used extensively in the Auschwitz concentration camp, and at most of the other camps, as an insecticide to kill body lice in clothing in an effort to prevent typhus epidemics.

The cell was sealed by packing dirt into the concrete well around the window outside; then the prisoners were shoved inside, Zyklon-B crystals were thrown in through the door, and the door was quickly shut.


Cell Door… Door to a cell in the basement of Block 11.


Starvation Cell… Cell No. 21, in the basement of Block 11, which is similar to the one where the Zyklon-B experiments were carried out. This cell was a starvation cell because prisoners, who had been condemned to death, were kept there without food and water until they died. This cell has two religious pictures scratched into the wall by a Polish political prisoner, using only his fingernails. The wooden door of the cell has glass covering the upper half of the door where there are more scratchings made with fingernails.


Gallows… In the distance is a gallows used to hang some prisoners in the basement of Block 11.

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.

Isaac’s Synagogue

Funded by a fabulously rich local banker Isaac reb Yekele the stately baroque structure dates back to 1644. It had undergone a major refurbishment in 1857 and was completely damaged by the Nazis during German occupation of Krakow in the WWII. The synagogue has been reconstructed in the 1970s and the 1980s. Although its interior isn’t fully finished yet, it houses a video-and-photography show titled ‘In Memory of Polish Jews’. inContext


Old Synagogue

Poland’s oldest synagogue and arguably Krakow’s grandest one. It was built in the early 16th century next to the 14th-century city walls. Destroyed by fire in 1557, the brick building has acquired a Renaissance outer form during the ensuing reconstruction, when the interior is basically Gothic. The Nazis damaged it and turned to a warehouse, they also executed 30 Polish hostages at its wall in 1943. The synagogue has been restored in the years 1955-1957. Since 1961 the Old Synagogue serves as a museum of Jewish history, culture, and tradition. inContext

“And I still see their faces…”
We still see their faces and hear their voices.

They were, are and will be, in the memory of grandkids, great grandkids.