Shabbat Bulletin‎ > ‎



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


May we think of freedom,

not as the right to do as we please,

but as an opportunity

to do what is right.

Shabbat Bulletin - July 22, 2017

Where in the world is Rabbi Eli?


Plaza de los Fueros de Tudela, Navarre

I may look like I am the first Jew in the ancient kingdom of Navarre. Ever. In truth, Jewish history here goes back more than one thousand years.

When the Spaniards captured Tudela from the Muslims in the early 12th c, they inherited a large number of Jews with the city. Those Jews were worried about their future (surprise, surprise!), and only the ample liberties and promises granted by King Alfonso the Warrior made them change their mind.

As a result, the Jewish community of Tudela was both traditionally autonomous and wealthy. Many a great scholar spent his youth here, including arguably Ibn Ezra, and inarguably, the kabbalist Abulafia.

One great philosopher, poet, and Talmudist born here was Rabbi Yehudah ha-Levy, who was never shy to dilute his pious hymns with love poetry and even drinking songs. Over 20 years after the conquest of Spain Yehudah ha-Levy, who lived intermittently in Christian and Muslim cities, sailed finally for Israel. We don't know much about his further biography except that he did reach the Holy Land, and died that same summer. Legend has it however that he was trampled to death by an Arab horseman just as he was reaching the gates of Jerusalem.

Perhaps even more interesting material awaits an enthusiastic biographer looking at the story of Benjamin of Tudela, the inexhaustible historian, poet, and traveler. Our knowledge of Jewish life in the lands of the Crown could have been significantly poorer be it not for his nearly maniacal tendency to write elaborate entries on every Jewish community he visited, from Zaragoza in Aragon to Greece, Syria, and Lebanon. He clearly stayed in the Jewish communities, and scrupulously inquired after their size, history and customs. Benjamin's journey lasted 8 full years, ending in 1173 upon his return to Spain, and is described in detail in his Masa'ot, The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela.

In all likelihood, the main reason for the journey to begin with was commercial. Yes, here's another Jew who traveled for a living. Hold the presses! That was quite a "Where in the world is Benjamin Tudela" to read. Even today's historians sometimes rely heavily, occasionally solely, upon his testimonies.

The Jewish community prospered here all the way to the expulsion from Navarre in 1498. The main synagogue was rebuilt and enlarged in 1401.

For our incoming groups, this relic of the old Jewish days will become a gate to the Basque Lands on the way from Barcelona through Zaragoza.

Next time, see you who-knows-where.


Making Shul and Judaism an important part of our Lifestyle


In Memory of Israel Koplowitz

Joe & Cindy Ber
Helen Gould
Mark & Anita Johnson
Sarah Senior

Arthur Zins

General Fund

Michael & Debbie Spigelman in honour of their new grandson.

Music Fund




Siddur Dedications

See below… by Arthur Zins.

The Kiddush Fund (New!)



Israel Koplowitz passed away on July 12, 2017. A Holocaust survivor, Israel was born in Biejun, Poland in 1926. During the war, he lived in the Lodz Ghetto before his transfer to the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp and then to the Mauthausen labour camp. Israel relied on his strength, wisdom and perseverance to survive the horrors of the war. Following his liberation, he joined the Palmach – the underground Jewish army during the period of the British Mandate in Israel – and bravely fought to re-establish the Jewish State of Israel. He served as a soldier in the Haganah until he moved with his family to New York in 1957, where the family resided until permanently moving to Toronto in 1968.


Israel was and remains an inspiration to his entire family, to which he was devoted, particularly his wife of 54 years, Sara Koplowitz, who passed away in 2007. Israel was the last remaining member of his family of eight children, five of whom perished in the Holocaust.

profoundly grateful...

Yiddish zol zayn, Yiddish zol zayn,

Yiddish oyf der gantse velt!


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires


Always a good breakfast following!


Siddur Dedication: 18 Tamuz, 5777

Sam (Simcha) Simchovitch was born in Poland in 1921. In 1939, he left his hometown for eastern Poland, which was soon after occupied by the Soviet Union. Until 1941, he lived in Khirgizia, Russia, where he survived the war years. His entire family -- father, mother, three younger sisters and one brother -- who remained at home -- were murdered in 1942 when the Otwock Ghetto was liquidated. In 1949, Mr. Simchovitch arrived in Canada, working for the first two years in a Montreal leather goods shop. He studied at the Jewish Teacher's Seminary in Montreal, and graduated in 1954 as a teacher. He has taught at the Peretz School in Montreal, the Hillel Academy in Ottawa and the United Synagogue Day School in Toronto.

Until his retirement in 1989, he was a librarian and museum curator at the Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto. He has a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Religious Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York.

Mr. Simchovitch is an active member of the Yiddish Culture Council, the Committee for Yiddish of the Jewish Federation of Toronto, and continues to lead the weekly sessions of the Senior Citizen's Club of the Labour Zionist Alliance at the Borochov Centre.

He has authored 19 books of poetry, prose and literacy criticism in Yiddish, Hebrew, English and Polish (published in Montreal, Toronto, Tel Aviv and Warsaw), which have earned him several awards. He also contributes to book reviews and local reports to the Yiddish Forward in New York and to several other Yiddish periodicals in the United States, Israel and Poland. He is married to Freda, and they have two daughters and one grandson.

I have spent the majority of my life immersed in Yiddish and Jewish themed literature, through my own writing and publications, as well as through the study of great Yiddish and Hebrew writers and poets before me, and my hope is to ensure that others benefit from the richness of this literary genre.

In celebration of my ninetieth birthday, I established the Simcha and Freda Simchovitch Fund, in support of Yiddish education and culture, through the Jewish Foundation.

The fund will enable others to study and celebrate the uniqueness of Yiddish literature and culture and will prolong an appreciation for what it offers.

My late wife Freda and I were victims of one of modern history’s worst atrocities. We survived the Holocaust but lost our entire families and were forced to rebuild our lives anew. I chose to translate that experience into much of my writing — so as to document what happened — but also, as a cathartic method of releasing some of my anguish.

The result is 16 publications of poetry and prose and four translations, with the most personal and poignant being Stepchild on the Vistula, my autobiographical novel. It is a tribute to my hometown of Otwock, Poland, 28 kilometres south of Warsaw. In it, I tried to capture what life was like before the Nazis invaded, to memorialize my city and its 12,000 Jewish inhabitants who perished in Treblinka or by mass executions. Most important, it was translated into Polish several years ago and is now read by students and adults all over Poland.

Yiddish and Jewish are so intricately connected because its literary cannon defines an era in Jewish history that was nearly obliterated by Hitler. My own work serves not only as a creative outlet but is charged with political and social themes such as the Holocaust, Israel, Canada and the striving for social justice and peace.

And this is why I am hopeful that the great Yiddish writers will continue to be studied and that my gift will support that endeavour.  Simcha...

Di Goldene Pave - Simchovitch
Poem & translation:  Simcha Simchovitch  -  Music:  Lenka Lichtenberg

Gekumen iz di goldene pave

Tsuflien fun fremder vayt;

Kh'hob yorn lang gevart oyf ir

In troyer, in benkshaft tsesheydt.

Goldene pave, eyntsike, traye,

Kum, bavayz zikh mir tsurik;

Shveb un zing in geflater

Dos alte lid fun troyer un glik.

Goldene pave, eyntsike, traye,

Vos hot dos lebn on dir a zin?

S'zaynen di teg on dayne kolirn

Farvebt in groy vi a shpin.

Un s'hot di pave fun merkhakim

Gehert mayn t'file, mayn gebet,

Un tsurikgekumen tsu heyln

Un derfreyen s'harts fun poet.

Itst flater zi, in bunte kolirn,

Arum mir, in mayn gemit,

Un s'preplen di lipn fun zikh aleyn

A nayen nign, a lid.

The golden peacock arrived
From afar, long awaited;
For years I pined for her
In sadness alienated.

Golden peacock, true one,
Return to me at last;
Sing me the song of sorrow,
Of happiness I lost.

Golden peacock, true one,
Without you, what is my day?
Without your rainbow colours
The world seems lifeless and grey.

And the peacock heard from afar,
My heartfelt invocation,
And returned to delight me
With winged inspiration.

Now her colours flutter,
Like a magician's wand,
And my lips whisper serenely
A new tune and chant.

Thanks to Simcha Simchovitch

Yiddish literature is alive and undergoing a process of rejuvenation.

Your Life Moments


July 15  Franya Goldberg
July 17  Anna Holtzman
July 19  Jeff Shabes
July 19  Shirley Smoskowitz
July 20  Nisa Shedletzky

July 26  Ida Ash
July 27  Eli Batrse


July 17  Cantor Morris & Sonia Goldlust
July 21  Eytan Broder & Penny Hung

July 23  Sheldon & Marilyn Richmond


July 15  Elka Richmond, mother of Sheldon
July 15  Esther Storm, mother of Harvey
July 18  Frida Nadler, mother of Sam
July 21  Pepi Mozes, wife of Marcel
July 21  Lola Zaidman, mother of Sally Berger and Leo

July 22  David Gould, husband of Helen
July 22  Jack Manley, father of Neil
July 23  Sadie Applebaum, mother of Sheila Solomon
July 26  Leo Kon, husband of Freda and father of Lily Silver
July 26  Harry Markowitz, father of Sydney
July 26  Bernard Steiman, brother of Frank
July 27  Hava Lea Sosner, mother of Sarah Moshe



Religion is the opiate of the masses.

“For Father Leo, spirituality is the power ‘to discover and use one’s own unique specialness.’ To my mind that is the essence of true religion. It supplies the supportive community whereby one can find a unique sense of oneself.”

Foreword: John Bradshaw

Leo Booth, an Episcopal priest, has authored a well written and interesting book on the problem of religious addiction…

While Father Booth believes that neurosis starts early in life, his book concentrates on how a religious addict can damage both his and his family's happiness by the use of a rigid religious belief system which he says are used by some as a means of escaping or avoiding painful feelings. Like Karl Marx, Booth believes that religion can be an opiate of the people. He writes that religion can console us from deprivations of life, encourage us to accept our current status and relieve the guilt feelings of oppressors.

And yet he says that there is nothing in the nature of religion which makes it unhealthy in itself, and that it is possible for a neurotic to use a healthy belief system in an unhealthy way. Booth writes that it is not necessarily the contents of the belief that make a system addictive, but rather the personal rigidity of its purveyors who discourage any kind of questioning or disbelief. inContext

Siddur dedication



So what is the meaning of life?

…The Jews faced that question and they concluded that life is a partnership between God and humanity. Life is making sense of this world and improving it and doing tikkun olam (repairing the world) in one’s own time.

1. “Minor” good deeds may have enormous impact.
2. Instant gratification is not the right guide to a good life.

Zingers from Pirke Avoth - Perek 2, Mishnah 1




July 19


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 22


28 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

Today's Kiddush

is sponsored by

Helen Gould

in memory of her husband David


Torah Times

Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Mattos-Massey

1: 30:2-9  (pg. 702)
2: 30:10-13
3: 30:14-17
4: 31:1-12
5: 31:13-24
6: 31:25-41
7: 31:42-54
maftir: 31:51-54


Jeremiah 2:4 - 28: 3: 4: 1-2 (pg.725)

Candle Lighting:

8:33 p.m. – Friday


9:40 p.m. – Saturday


July 24

Week 21

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 24

1 Av

Rosh Chodesh

When the month of Av enters, one should decrease… in joy.

Better times are ahead.




Relief of The Spoils

of Jerusalem



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.



July 29

6 Av


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


Fast of

Tish'a B'Av


July 31



August 1

9 Av

We Lost our


Our Nation was


We Lost our



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


Judah has gone into exile because of affliction, and because of great servitude. She dwelt among the nations, she found no rest; all her pursuers overtook her within her borders.


Tu B’Av

The 15th of Av


August 7

15 Av

Tu B’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 8, 15, 22

7:30 PM

Kiddush Room

No Charge

All welcome.


Prayer Workshop:

Arts & Crafts for the Soul

Review principles of prayer from the Siddur and Torah to craft your own prayer, (for health, livelihood, a loved one, etc.)

Led by: David Birken.

What we will see at Olam Haba is what we already saw at Maton Torah. May we not ruin it again.

Yowan Am

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. Today we just call those places slums.


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




Remember the days of yore, learn the lessons of the generations that have come before you.

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



The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance.

This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.

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


Shabbat was and is a glorious gift from the almighty, or at least from the Jewish people if you prefer.  Just consider the concept, especially in the ancient world.  Shabbat is about expressing joy!!  Joy at being able to carry out mitzvot, joy at being able to enjoy life and the greatest joy of all, that of being Jewish!  Shavua Tov.

September 28




Shimon Peres was the last of Israel's founding fathers.
Ariel Sharon, David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol, Moshe Dayan, Moshe Sharett, Golda Meir, Yigal Allon, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and Yitzhak Rabin are all gone.
And now so is Shimon Peres.



September 28

8 Tishri, 2935

826 BCE


Temple Dedicated

The 14-day dedication festivities, celebrating the completion of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem built by King Solomon, commenced on the 8th of Tishrei of the year 2935 from creation (826 BCE). The First Temple served as the epicenter of Jewish national and spiritual life for 410 years, until its destruction by the Babylonians in 423 BCE.

(We’ve been around awhile!)


The Holy Temple is the Divine "home" and "place," as the "gate of Heaven" for man's service of G-d, and as the ultimate embodiment of G-d's desire to create life and mankind's endeavor to sanctify it.

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


May the memories of those who have preceded us make us new and better people.
May we use the time and opportunity given us to live lives that are replete with acts of goodness and kindness.
And when we have fulfilled the measure of our days, when we have become but a memory, may we have lived the kind of lives that make us worthy not just of being remembered, but also of being inscribed in the book of those who live on after us, the book of the living.

Family Services

Bryna Wechsler

Kol Nidre

Friday, Sept.29

6:30 PM

Yom Kippur

Saturday, Sept.30

10 AM


Fasting for Yom Kippur

is pretty much the only time

I wish I was eating

Matzah on Passover

Have you treated your friends royally this past year?

If you haven’t given them a call this past year, why?  Calls to renew acquaintances or just to say hello do not take long.

Question: Should we be editing our ‘friends list’ in the same way we edit our homes of clutter?

Next up: What have you done, (or not done,) to improve your own situation or that of the greater community around you?  How much more could you do?


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



Sukkot is a time to commemorate dwelling in temporary structures as guests of the Lord.



October 7

9:30 AM

Ends 7:36 PM


“… but Rabbi, even if I can read some of the prayers I still don’t understand what I’m saying… To tell you the truth I’d rather take a quiet reflective walk in the park this year than spend all that time in synagogue saying a bunch of words that don‘t really mean so much to me anyway…”

Prayer is meant to be a powerful, relevant and meaningful experience.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind this year that should help to make the services as personally uplifting as possible.


October 11

9 AM




4-Havatat Aravot.jpg

Havatat Aravot:

On the last day of Sukkot, Hoshana Rabba, we beat a bundle of willow branches (actually one is enough) on the floor. To prepare the ground for the rain to penetrate.


Tashlich (תשליך) is a ritual that many Jews observe between Rosh HaShanah and HaShanah Rabah. "Tashlich" means "casting off" in Hebrew and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water.

Don’t feed the birds

in Toronto Parks!
Here are suggestions for breads which may be most appropriate for specific sins or misbehaviours.

For ordinary sins: White Bread
For complex sins: Multigrain
For twisted sins: Pretzels
For sins of indecision: Waffles
For sins committed in haste: Matzoh

(The list goes on, and on…)

Shemini Atzeret

Begins sunset of


October 11

CL 6:21 PM



October 12

9 AM

Eighth Day of Assembly


10:10 AM


Falling just after Sukkot, (the 8th day,) Shemini Atzeret is the holiday on which Jews start praying for rain.

“On the eighth day you should hold a solemn gathering; you shall not work at your occupation.”

Living the Holidays - The Jewish Way

When the seven days of Sukkot end, the Bible decrees yet another holiday, the Eighth Day of Assembly.  The Rabbis interpreted this as an encore.  After the High Holy Days, after the intense seven days of Sukkot and pilgrimage, the Jewish people [or, we should say, more accurately, "God's people"] are about to leave, to scatter and return to their homes.  God grows nostalgic, as it were, and pensive.  The people of Israel will not come together again in such numbers until Passover six months hence. God will soon miss the sounds of music and pleasure and the unity of the people.  The Torah decreed, therefore, an eighth day of assembly, a final feast/holy day.  On this day Jews leave the sukkah to resume enjoying the comfort of solid, well built, well insulated homes.  The lulav and etrog are put aside; this day, Shemini Atzeret, is a reprise of the celebration of Sukkot but without any of the rituals.  The message is that all the rituals and symbolic language are important but ultimately they remain just symbols"

Rabbi Irving Greenberg

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

Simchat Torah is the holiday that celebrates the conclusion of the yearly cycle of reading the Torah, after which we begin anew reading the Five Books of Moses, starting from the first chapter of Genesis.



November 2-9




I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.

I believe in love even when I cannot feel it.

I believe in God even when he is silent.

Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

Elie Wiesel


We Remember... all year long.

We Will Never Forget

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.


The proper response, as Hanukkah teaches, is not to curse the darkness but to light a candle.

R. Irving Greenberg



December 27



Julian Tuwim

We Polish Jews:

The Troubled Holocaust Legacy

of Julian Tuwim, 1894–1953

Poet Julian Tuwim was among the first and most powerful literary voices of the Holocaust experience.

Born in Lodz, Tuwim was a leading Polish-Jewish poet during the 1920–30s. In 1944, Tuwim wrote an anguished lament and manifesto of murdered Jewry, ‘We Polish Jews,’ as a refugee in New York.

Tough luck!

“For antisemites, I am a Jew and my poetry is Jewish.
For Jewish nationalists, I am a traitor and renegade.”  /JT


Julian Tuwim in conversation with

Sheldon Richmond on why they

returned to Lodz after the Shoah.

Fast of Tevet 10

Asara B'Tevet

Begins sunrise of


December 28

10 Tevet

Ends nightfall of


December 28


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


Jews “the worst of mankind”

Muslims should slaughter them on Judgment Day

An arrest warrant has been issued for an imam who made anti-Semitic remarks at a Montreal mosque last December. inContext

Stereotypes… Really?

Join us for Morning Minyan and a walk on Wednesdays

Karate, Mondays and Fridays after morning minyan

Pirkei Avos

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

PIrke Avoth Perek 4 Mishnah 16

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 commentary have been taken verbatim (in quotes)  and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 16. The Questions  are my own.

R. Judah said: Be careful about study, for an inadvertent error in study is tantamount to an intentional sin.

Ethics from Sinai

“if someone transgresses unintentionally, he is called a shogeg. … Then there is mezid, the deliberate, intentional, knowing sinner. As we might expect, the Torah is far more lenient with the shogeg, since he had no true intent to violate the Divine precepts. “

On Yom Kippur “we ask forgiveness for those sins which we committed … without knowing, unwittingly.” “Behind all such sins is the underlying transgression to which our mishnah alludes: the failure to learn.”

“Torah is our spiritual lifeblood. The need to learn it and observe it correctly is so basic, such an integral part of our Divine destiny,  that forgetfulness, inattentiveness, or plain ignorance must be considered as severely as wilful neglect. The results of error are too serious to condone.”“Be careful about studying, as forgetfulness about Torah study is tantamount to intentional sin. Should you neglect the learning of Torah because you ‘forget’ or are unaware, you will not be reckoned a shogeg, an inadvertent sinner. For the consequences of your failing are too drastic. If you forget to say Grace after a meal today, you will probably remember to do so the next time. But if you neglect to study the Torah soundly and regularly, until you know what the mitzvoth are and how they should be observed, in time you will ‘forget’ and neglect to obey certain precepts properly or at all, for sheer lack of knowledge; you simply will not know that some important element in your religious practice is going overlooked, since you will never have learned about it. Ignorance and non-observance can thus become fixed, set ways, cemented into your way of life.”

Question: Is it a religious practice, or is it a way of life, a way of thinking, or an attitude that may be forgotten?

“To study no Torah whatever, in some regular manner, is just about to forget that you are a Jew. ‘This book of the Torah shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do all that is written in it.’ These words of the Almighty to Joshua have become the guideline for observant Jewry…. So basic a requirement is this for an authentic Jewish life, that the usual leniency for inadvertent transgression cannot be allowed.”  “Without regular study, for whatever reason, a host of transgressions will be inevitable.”

Failure to study and its result may be compared to a drunk driver. Like with the drunk, the inevitable accident is unintentional, but the prime problem, the becoming drunk, is not.

Question: If not now, when?

Before we study Torah every morning there is a benediction that is said, giving thanks “for the gift of His sacred word”. “With this blessing comes, imperceptibly, subtly, a receptive and helpful attitude, attuning us to a beneficent, life-giving approach. For as we say the words, we acknowledge that the Torah is the Almighty’s gift to man, of Divine origin.”  “Should we begin without this attitude and affirmation, not only will our Torah study have no value, but it can well have evil consequences.” “We must approach it [our Torah] in reverence and gratitude, as a sacred guide to a life of faith.”

“If you are pure, if you come with a true desire for holy knowledge toward spiritual growth and fulfillment, you will find truth; you will derive Divine guidance, illuminating instructions from the Torah. But if you approach the Torah with a sullied mind and impure thoughts, seeking instead some shabby ulterior gain, then the truth will hide its face, so to speak, and you will find error and falsehood, which in turn will lead to abuse and sin.”

“We must be careful to study our Torah, and we must be careful how we study it. We must approach it in reverence and gratitude, as a sacred guide to a life of faith.”

“The educator carries a most serious responsibility to practice what he teaches. The instructor who errs, the tutor who violates a moral code, may easily induce a rash of wilful sinning, as a wave of disillusionment grows among his students and disciples. For’ actions speak louder than words,‘ and thus, over and above his classroom instruction he impresses on them by example a flagrant cynicism that can wreak havoc in growing  impressionable minds.”

Teachers of Torah must be careful that the student learns correctly as any error

may lead to misunderstanding and sin. Similarly the teacher must lead a spotless life as any violation of the moral code may be followed or imitated with dire consequences.

“And so the Talmud explains: For scholars of Torah the unintentional sins of a shageg are considered as deliberate transgressions by a mezid; for the am ha’aretz, the unlettered ignoramus, wishful transgression is ranked as unintentional error, for without a knowledge of Torah he could hardly realize how serious an affront to Heaven is his “light, unimportant’ misdeed.”

“Remember R Judah’s dictum: the learned man, the scholar of Torah is judged more stringently than the ordinary man in the street. If you would be a person of breeding and learning, with a knowledge of your Heritage - study regularly, and strive to live up to the obligations that Torah study will impose. That is the way of the Jew who lives his faith.”

Question 1: Should Torah study be a condition for shul membership?

Question 2: Should a certain minimum knowledge be required to join a shul?

Question 3: Should a shul be used for prayer, learning, or social activities, or all three?

Visions of the Fathers

One of the sins that we recite is to have given bad advice. “… it is possible that a person  may give others what he feels to be good, sound advice, but is unaware that the advice is in fact bad. This may indeed occur with some frequency. … If a person who consults you is likely to accept your advice, then you may give it only if you have sufficient expertise that makes your advice sound. … Insufficient knowledge is not a defence, because if one did not know then one should have known before giving advice to others. If we do not recognize our limitations, then we ought not to give advice on issues in which we lack sufficient expertise,”

Israel 21c header_w592.jpg


Israel’s lively street-art scene is a major draw for tourists and filmmakers. While the veterans of this craft are maturing and moving beyond the streets to galleries and shows worldwide, a younger generation is keeping Israeli cities colorful and alive with 3D elements and even digitally created graffiti.

Not just writing on the wall

When Israeli street artists are exhibiting in galleries here and abroad, when their work stars in videos and walking tours, when makers of clothing and furniture are incorporating their urban designs, you know that graffiti has grown up.

Seeing the street art in Tel Aviv is a major activity on the list for tourists.

The world is going in the direction of accepting street art but putting it into a modern context.   inContext

Under the ruins of Poland
a golden head lies
both the head and the destruction
are very true.

The snow continues falling
over the ruins of Poland
the golden head of my beloved
in front of my aching eyes.

Pain is sitting at the desk
and writes the longest letter.
The deep tears in her eyes
are very true.

A large bird of mourning
flies above the ruins
carries in her wings
the song of grief
over the ruins of Poland

Ruins of Warsaw after WW2

Poland was devastated by World War II, both the population and physical plant. The Germans almost totally obliterated Warsaw. And Poland's Communist Government was able to rebuild only slowly.


Market place in Polna street, Warsaw 1946


Market Square in New Town, the St. Casimir Church to the left,1951


A woman feeding hen in Freta Street, 1951, Warsaw

Credits: poem pics

Poland gradually rebuilt its industrial base after WW II. Heavy industry (iron, steel, shipping, and mining industries) were significantly expanded. The industrial plants and factories while brand new, but operating under Communist economics were inefficient and uncompetitive with European industry. This meant that Polish industry could not support wages offering workers a decent standard of living. Consumer goods were generally shoddy and available in only limited supply. Production was not geared to consumer demand. Economic planners had no real incentive to respond to consumer demand. And Communist price fixing meant that farmers had no incentive to increase production. As a result food shortages were common. This same dynamic occurred throughout Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union, although it was less visible there. inContext

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

We Remember...

Auschwitz II - Birkenau


01422 - Barracks: Wooden stable-type barracks had no windows except for a row of skylights along the top. The interior was divided into 18 stalls, intended originally for 52 horses. Two stalls at the far end of each of the barracks were reserved for containers of excrement. They were built for a capacity of more than 400 prisoners per barracks.


1406 - Oldest Part: Ruins of barracks at Birkenau. Stoves and chimneys are all that remains of most of them.

The brick barracks stood in the oldest part of the camp, (known as sector BI,) were built in the fall of 1941. Inside each of them were 60 brick partitions with three tiers, making a total of 180 sleeping places each holding 4 prisoners. The SS envisioned a capacity of over 700 prisoners per block. The barracks were unheated in the winter. Two iron stoves were installed, but these were insufficient to heat the entire space. There were not any sanitary facilities in the barracks. Only in 1944 were sinks and toilets installed in a small area inside each block.

The living conditions here were much worse than those at Auschwitz I. The average life expectancy at Auschwitz I was 6 months; at Auschwitz-Birkenau, it was 3 months. In summer 1944 the capacity of the crematoria and outdoor incineration pits was 20,000 bodies per day.

Unlike Auschwitz I, Birkenau is not a museum, it is preserved more or less in the state it was found at liberation in January 1945. However, only a few of the wooden barracks remain and are now being restored. All four of the crematorium at Birkenau were dynamited by the retreating SS and only the ruins can be seen.


1404 - Barracks: To the left are some of the ruins of barracks at Birkenau. Stoves and chimneys are all that remains of most of them

Photo and story Credits: Dennis Jarvis

They expected the worst - Not the unthinkable


The interior of a wooden prison barrack in Auschwitz II-Birkenau after the liberation.