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Tradition and Change

Shabbat Bulletin - August 5, 2017  Correction

Juliette Cohen


It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Juliette Cohen at the age of 87 on July 29, 2017 (6 Av) peacefully at her home, the wife of the late Herbert Cohen, mother to our friend always, Cantor Marcel Cohen.

Juliette was a true survivor, who not only survived persecution during the Holocaust as a child and the destruction  of most of her family, but survived many other heartaches and hardships during the rest of her life, the worst  being the unexpected tragic death of her cherished, youngest son, Aaron at the age of 39 six and half years ago.  Juliette kept her strong will and tenacity until her dying day. She insisted she go back home from the hospital rather than back to the Assisted Living Facility she was temporarily convalescing  in, even though she was still so unwell, struggling with emphysema and congestive heart failure.She made it back to her home of 35 years to her two cats, that was her touchstone and personal sanctuary.  She relaxed in her favorite room and peacefully passed away 16 hours later.

Juliette was always friendly and interested in knowing and helping other people. She was sympathetic to the sorrows of others and was kind and generous. She also loved animals, including the abundant neighborhood squirrels, and has been a devoted pet owner most her life.

Juliette was an actress, forever hoping for her big role. She had many extra and small parts in films over the years and since she was so friendly was able to meet the movie stars in those films.  She also acted in commercials, the most well known being the long running East Side Mario's commercial that she played with great comic effect. After years and years of taking as many roles as possible, she was thrilled to finally be  admitted to the professional actor’s union,  ACTRA.

Juliette was a proud Jew and as a Holocaust survivor, viewed the modern state of Israel as crucial to the survival and safety of the Jewish people.  shiva

Hey, mambo! Mambo Italiano.


None of us could live with an habitual truth-teller; but thank goodness none of us has to.


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires


Always a good breakfast following!

Optimism Bias

Remarriage is the triumph of hope over experience.

Optimists are not less likely to divorce, but they are more likely to remarry.

The concept of unrealistic optimism can be traced back to Descartes as well as the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who notably held that we live in "the best of all possible worlds." Voltaire famously ridiculed Leibniz’s theory in his Candide, wherein Dr. Pangloss contemplates human suffering and misfortune only to assert that all is for the best!

"O Pangloss!" cried out Candide, "such horrid doings never entered thy imagination. Here is an end of the matter. I find myself, after all, obliged to renounce thy Optimism."

"Optimism," said Cacambo, "what is that?"

"Alas!" replied Candide, "it is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst."



Your Life Moments


July 31  Eugene Opler

Aug. 5   Irene Szweras
Aug. 7   Sonia Goldlust
Aug. 10  Rachel Weisman


Aug. 10  Robert & Sally Berger
Aug. 10  Sidney & Barbara Lew
Aug. 10  Harvey & Helen Storm


July 30  Louis Slutchuk, father of Nancy
July 31  Gary Dorchik, husband of Milla, father of Suzan Dorchik and  Lisa Gold
July 31  Annie Hercberg, mother of Helen Storm
Aug. 3  Jacob Kabacznik, husband of Alla
Aug. 3  Reuben Yellin, father of Susan Yellin
Aug. 4  Harry Epstein, father of Arie and Henry

Aug. 5  Taylor-Kate Bowser, great granddaughter of Betty Siegel-Snyder
Aug. 5  Libby Ricer, mother of Fay Rotstein
Aug. 6  Reuben Sidenberg, father of Allen
Aug. 7  Sam Friedenrich, son of Esther, brother of Ricki Black and Susan Waserman
Aug. 10  Yitzchak Abramowitz, husband of Ida, father of Miriam Epstein
Aug. 10  Florence Edlin, special aunt of Sam and Doreen Herzog

People don’t understand the virtue of time,

until their clock stops ticking.


Open-ended freedom is frightening. We now know that if there are no limits in a society, the process leads to destruction and mass murder, to a breakdown in values and the unleashing of disintegrative forces.

“Over the centuries , there has been conflict over the relationship between studying Torah and earning a livelihood. Full-time study (with communal support covering living expenses) would enable more concentration and more achievement in scholarship. However, most sages insisted that having work or a profession shapes a more moral, less self-interested scholar or a more spiritually independent sage. At the least, the effort exerted to master both scholarship and a profession will reduce idle time and the energy and opportunity available to be tempted into bad behaviour.”

Zingers from Pirke Avoth - Perek 2, Mishnah 2


Hi holiday

ticket sales

are now

open to the public


Sold Out!!!

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.





August 2


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

August 3,






Mt. Sinjar

Thurs. Aug. 3,


5 PM Vigil across from the American Consulate, 360 University.

The numbers of Yazidi are so decimated from repeated genocides that they risk becoming extinct.
Women and children have endured years of never-ending rape and torture;
Young boys have been kidnapped, forcibly converted and sent as child soldiers to fight and die for ISIS;
Widows and orphans watched as their husbands, brothers, and fathers were murdered for no other reason than the simple fact that they were Yazidi.

Allah is Pleased!


We are being butchered

under the banner of

There is no God but Allah!



August 5

13 Av




David Young

official start date



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM

Rabbi Eli

Torah Times

Triennial Year 1

Parashat: Va- ethchanan

1: 3: 23-25  (pg. 755)
2: 3: 26 - 29
3: 4: 1 - 4
4: 4: 5 -14
5: 4: 15 -20
6: 4: 21 - 29
7: 4: 30 - 40
maf: 4: 36 -40


Isaiah 40: 1-26 (pg. 776)

Candle Lighting:

8:18 p.m. – Friday


9:24 p.m. – Saturday



Pirke Avoth Discussion Group

with Jonathan Usher

We’re taking a break until after the hi holidays...

Enjoy the summer!


August 7

Week 23

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

Karate Kata 3 - Heian Sandan

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.

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

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.

Close my eyes in sleep, my eyelids in slumber.

Let no disturbing thoughts upset me, no evil dreams nor troubling fantasies wake me.

Then raise me up in peace.


August 12

20 Av


David Young

Week #2



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


9:30 AM


Strictly Jewish

Things shifted a half-century ago. The Jewish community's focus went from Torah to tikkun olam. We redefined our mission in essentially political, repair-the-world terms, rather than strictly religious. Fear of faith [in general] became the central premise of the American Jewish community.

Michael Horowitz

Fear Of Faith

In the twentieth century, the response to fear-filled religiosity has been atheism and fear-filled alienation from all things spiritual. inContext

Tikkun Olam

The Jewish People have a responsibility to work for the healing of the world.

Destroy the world and Rule the ashes or Create it anew?

If you had the power to destroy the world would you do so?

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.

(July 3rd to)


August 31

Dufferin Clark Library


A captivating exhibit from the Anne Frank House in the Netherlands.

Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I’ve never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year old schoolgirl. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. I feel like writing.

Guided Tour Times:
Mondays 11:00 - 2:00pm
Tuesdays 6:00 - 9:00pm
Wednesdays 6:00 - 9:00pm
Thursdays 2:00 – 5:00pm
Saturdays 11:00 - 5:00pm
Sundays 2:00 - 5:00pm

I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love. Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage.


It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.


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!"


Sept. 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


“Wisdom is not, as Aristotle taught, knowing the causal relationship between events; it is not, as Plato taught, the knowledge of the ideal forms of things. It is not scientific knowledge or philosophy, metaphysics or meditation or technical excellence. … true wisdom is human wisdom: knowing the inner workings of the heart, and being able to tell right from wrong in a human world.”  pg126

Pirkei Avos

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

Pirke Avoth Perek 4 Mishnah 18

Note: This commentary is taken from Ethics from Sinai by Irving M. Bunim and Visions of the Fathers by Rabbi Twerski.. Some sentences of the commentaries have been taken verbatim (in quotes)  and others have been summarized. All relate to Mishnah 18. The Questions are my own.

R. N’horai said: Journey to a place of Torah, and do not say that it will come after you; for [only] your fellow students will make it remain with you; and “do not rely on your own understanding.

Ethics from Sinai

It is unknown who R. N’horai was. If it was Rabbi El’azar b. Arach it would make particular sense as he was the most promising student of R. B. Zakkai.  He left the Yavnah yeshiva at the request of his wife to live in a more comfortable town. Without his fellow students he was lulled into forgetfulness and forgot all the Torah that he had learned.

“Torah knowledge and study need{s} constant, continuous strengthening and stimulation through verbal sharing and interchange. Alone in a stultifying atmosphere, the most erudite and creative Torah mind will soon sleep and wither.”

Question: Compare this with the monk who contemplates alone on a mountain top or who takes a vow of silence?

“To a man of faith worthy {of} the name, religious facilities for all the family to grow in are simply an essential. He would make … certain, before he decides on his new home, that such facilities are there.”  

Question: Compare the significance of Judaism encouraging its scholars to marry and have children, and of Catholic priests who are supposed to remain celibate?

“He should not insist on luxuries, conveniences, and creature comforts. Such things are distracting and time-consuming, and they incline a student to indolence and self-indulgence.”

“For if Torah is to be acquired, it must be sought wherever it is to be found.”

Moving to a new city will take a student away from distractions. “Before you can truly hear and grasp the message of Torah, you must first  come out of your original environment, away from your old haunts and habits. … Extricate  yourself from your old modes of thought, your routine patterns of living, and come to the place of Torah with fresh eyes, ears and mind. Only then can you realize with full, unobstructed vision the truth of our Heritage.”

Question: Is this necessary? Is it like going away to college?

Question: It will also take him away from his family. Is this a good thing?

Many say that they  can do away entirely with the wisdom of Torah and replace it.

They say:

1. Wisdom comes with age and maturity, or

2. Experience is the best teacher, or

3 There is no substitute for good old common sense

Question: Do you agree?

“King Solomon says, ‘If you seek it {the wisdom of the Torah} like silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand reverence of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

“There is the familiar story that comedians tell and retell, of the drunkard who lost a valuable ring at night on one street block, but went searching for it on another block. When asked to explain his strange action, he pointed to the lamppost overhead: ‘Because the light’s better here’”

“If this is how silver and treasure are sought, this is how we must also seek the wisdom of Torah. We must pursue it, go after it with the same diligence that would mark our search for treasure. We must be prepared to exile ourselves to reach the treasures of Torah learning. Only then, says Solomon the wise, ‘will you understand reverence for the Lord.’”

“… consider not merely a rabbi or teacher, but a total environment, as all-enveloping community, for that will provide its own type of valued friends and companions for you”

Question: Does this negate the value of the weekly student that we do, or just encourage us to do more?

“Let the intangible spirit of Torah imbue your general, everyday activities. When you walk into a grocery store, perhaps the proprietor will exchange a word of Torah with you. When you meet friends on the street, let the Torah’s values tinge your conversation. There should be good lectures and classes for you to attend. This you will reinforce the encouragement and inspiration of Torah in your life. Thus ‘ your friends and fellows will make the Torah remain in your possession.’”

Question: This attitude arose and was discussed in previous sessions. What do you think now?

“Banish a person to a ‘frontier town’ without Torah, and you banish him to death, though he remains physically alive.”

“… after you have ‘exiled yourself’ to a thriving centre of Torah and are studying with stimulating fellow-students, make sure to take advantage of your golden opportunity. Question your instructor; study and review with your companions. ‘Do not rely on your own understanding.’ fondly imagining that you already know all and understand all in the material under study…. if, in over-confidence or arrogance, we touch too much to our own mind, our reason and understanding, we may be betrayed.”

Question: Is studying by oneself a dangerous thing to do?

“In the study of nature we have learned to accept no discoveries or theories of past researchers as final about the world’s potential treasures and their uses. The findings of the past are valuable, but not definitive. Research, discoveries , applications proliferate. Man has learned to regard nature and the world about as a limitless source of infinite treasure and infinite value, well worth his endless probing interest. … Woe to us if for the true worth or intention that lies in words of the Torah we rely on human understanding to make pronouncements with finality. All too easily can we be led astray, like mice in a maze. All too certainly will we thus close the doors of the mind to unsuspected levels and treasures of spiritual discovery that lie unrevealed - levels that can be reached only through the persistent study and devotion of the faithful.”

Question: When you study Torah or Pirke Avoth, do you periodically have an “aha” moment?

Question : We learn facts at university. We learn ritual at religious school. Where do we  go to learn wisdom and understanding?  Is this something we should learn at home or in the synagogue?

Question: Can Torah be learned from someone who is not immersed in Torah? For

learning purposes, can Torah be divided into historical, ritual, and moral parts and taught by people interested in only one of the three parts?

Question: Do the Orthodox and Reform, the growing branches of Judaism, by their natures, discuss moral issues more than  the Conservative  branch? Would we obtain more  members if we promoted Torah morality as it applies to everyday problems?

Visions of the Fathers

“It is an axiom in the Torah world that any comments on Torah made by a person who is not himself thoroughly observant of Torah are rejected.”

Question: What do you think of that?

“The difference between ourselves and the Torah personalities of the past is qualitative rather than quantitative. The Talmud aptly states, ‘If the earlier generations were angels, then by comparison we are humans, but if the earlier generations were angels, then we are donkeys.’”

Question: What do you think of that?

“Failure to constantly review and progress in Torah study will result in its erosion. Furthermore, solitary study is inadequate. One must relate to peers and /or to students to achieve clarity in Torah study.”

Question: Do you agree?

Israel 21c header_w592.jpg


Israel has the largest number of vegans per capita in the world, and the trend is growing fast as food and tech companies get in on the action. Activists hope to keep up the momentum with educational campaigns, new products, festivals, accommodations and a planned record-breaking march.

Ben & Jerry’s new vegan Chunky Monkey and Fudge Brownie flavors, fresh from the company’s Be’er Tuvia factory…

Ice cream without cream (or eggs) joins a panoply of plant-based alternatives to meat, cheese, eggs, yogurt, milk chocolate and mayo on Israeli grocery shelves.


Animal welfare is the top priority of Israeli vegans

… the rise in awareness of animal cruelty in the meat, dairy and egg industries, resulted in a rise in the number of Israeli vegans from half a percent to 4% of the population.

The next main factor is the health aspect

...When it’s for health reasons, many times people won’t become 100% vegan but will decrease consumption of animal protein.

The...warning about processed meat being carcinogenic led to a 30% decrease in sales of sausages and cold cuts in Israel.  inContext

Oneg Shabbat will never be the same


12 Important Reasons To Go Vegan Today

Who Really Started the 1948 War and When?


Did Zionists start the war,

with the intention of driving out the Palestinian population?

...the United Nations, in its historic resolution in November 29, 1947, determined that two nations would arise in this land, a Jewish one and an Arab one, and it also laid down the border between them. The Arabs embarked on war against this resolution, and Israel took advantage of situation to expand its territory. The War of Independence in 1948 ended without a peace agreement. The cease-fire lines determined at the war’s end were accepted by the world as the border of the new state. In the 68 years since, that has not changed. inContext

Following the UNSCOP recommendations, on November 29 of that year the UN General Assembly approved a plan to create independent Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem to remain a separate entity, under UN control. Although the area designated for the Jewish state was small, the Jews realized that independence was the most important thing. It was one of the lessons of the Holocaust, which had ended just three years earlier. On the other hand, the entire Arab world objected to the solution. Why, it asked, should the people of Palestine pay the price for the Holocaust that had been perpetrated by peoples of Europe?
A few days after the UN resolution was passed, shots were fired at a Jewish bus. That is how the first stage of the war began.

Arabs launched the 1948 war after the United Nations adopted the Partition Plan for Palestine.

To understand the events, the situation bears describing. The two populations in Israel were geographically intertwined. Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv had Jewish and Arab neighborhoods next to one another, within touching range. Practically every Jewish village was surrounded by Arab villages. Their existence depended on roads that were controlled by Arab villages. After the UN resolution, gunfire erupted throughout the land. True, formally the British still controlled it, but they endeavored not to get involved.


David Ben Gurion, the Chairman of the Jewish agency, and named as the future Prime Minister of the Jewish state to be in Palestine, is shown at the Jerusalem camp visiting soldiers of the Haganah, the Jewish fighting force. The Jewish agency is expected to declare the Jewish state on May 16th, one day after the British leave Palestine.

The Haganah Jewish militia, which was still underground, got Jewish traffic moving, in convoys that were commanded by the organization’s young men and women. The women were especially important, because they could conceal weapons in their clothes.
On the Arab side, on the other hand, there was no central command. The attacks were being perpetrated by villagers, often armed with old rifles. Since some of these villagers were primitive, there were atrocities. Our side responded in the same coin, and thus the confrontation became more vicious. A group of 35 Haganah fighters, most of them students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was ambushed on the way to delivering supplies on foot to the four besieged kibbutzim of the Etzion Bloc, south of Jerusalem. All of them were slaughtered. We saw photographs showing their severed heads being paraded through the Old City of Jerusalem.
The inevitable strategy of the Jewish side was to expel the Arabs from around the roads. The Jewish communities were ordered to stay put, at any cost. Only a handful of isolated settlements were evacuated. In February 1948, the British withdrew from the area of Tel Aviv, which became the core of the Jewish state. At the same time, the British also withdrew from the Arab areas.
By late March, both sides were suffering terrible losses.

With the British about to leave, it became imperative for the Jews to gain control of the territory that had been assigned to the Jewish State. Such a move would enable the Jews to have a foothold when the Arabs would invade.
To this end, an operational plan ("Plan D") was devised. This plan would be carried out in stages which would be adapted to the manner and rate of the British troop withdrawal.
The first objective of Plan D was to open the road to Jerusalem, to this end Operation Nachshon was devised.
The name "Operation Nachshon" was derived from the biblical personage Nachshon Ben Aminadav who was the first to jump into the Red Sea when the Jews fled Egypt. . Operation Nachshon was a first in many respects. It was the first major Hagana operation and it was the first time that a "brigade force" was employed.
Before this the Hagana had operated in company-size only. The brigade force, comprised of three battalions and numbering 1,500 men, was and specifically organized for this operation. These men were armed with Czech weapons that had been smuggled into the country on April 1 at a hidden airstrip in the south. These weapons were covertly issued to Hagana members who were desperate for arms. inContext

[At some point it became] obvious that the armies of the surrounding Arab states were poised to join the war. That awareness changed the nature of the warfare completely. In preparation for the anticipated battles, the Jewish army “cleansed” large areas of its Arab population, in order not to leave concentrations of Arab civilians behind our lines. It could be justified on tactical grounds.

There were hours in which all seemed lost. But then, slowly, our luck began to change. [We saw] mass expulsions of Arabs from the cities and villages. It was clear that this was an intentional policy by the Jewish leadership.

When both sides were completely exhausted, the war ended with a series of cease-fire agreements and the Green Line – the 1949 Armistice Line marking Israel’s de facto borders – was created.
Relatively few Arabs remained within Israel’s post-1948 borders, but the forgotten fact is that not one single Jew remained in the territories conquered by the Arab side. Luckily for us, these territories were small relative to the territories conquered by our side. Both sides engaged in ethnic cleansing before the term had been coined.  inContext

Palestine, a Twice-Promised Land,

but for whom?


Isi Davis’ Uncle Shlomo/Solomon was born in Romania. During the war he was sent to a Hungarian slave labour camp. After the war he went to Israel.


Isi’s Aunt Sheva, (in uniform,) and his two uncles, Solomon and Baruch .

Sheva and Baruch stayed in Israel. Solomon emigrated to Canada in 1953 and had two children.


In the field. Golda Meir and the first prime minister David ben Gurion came to inspect the troops before they went into battle… giving them a pep talk.

In Solomon’s own words:

2. When I was 21 years old, 1940, I was in the Romanian Army. After Hungary occupied Romania, I was allowed to go home. I stayed home until 1942 with my parents and 8 brothers and sisters. After 42, I was sent to go to the Hungarian Forced Labour Camp.

3. The Bricha were at the Czech/German border secretly taking Jews by night over the border, through Germany. After crossing I registered to go to Palestine. First I went to German Kibbutz and waited 6 weeks. From there we travelled...

4. In Tel Aviv we landed, the Israelis came to take us off the boat. I was dressed as a soldier after 5 days. I was ready! I was happy to volunteer as a soldier!

5. First I was stationed for 2 months training in Machne Davide. We moved after 2 months to Nesher Haifa and trained again. We used English rifles from WW2, French machine guns (Bren,) hand grenades, and bazookas. I was sent north to the Galil in the mountains, we made bunkers and camped against the Arabs.

6. I especially remember the 10 days of attacks. I remember the time before we attacked. We prepared for the order, we sat in position for 4 weeks. We patrolled 3 or more times per week the area, looking for Arabs, protecting the Kibbutzim. I remember everything from the moment I was dressed as a soldier, in the bunkers and in the mountains. I recall our last attack, we captured Arabs and German officers. We took them and blindfolded them until the police took them for espionage. Interrogation.

5. They (the Arabs,) were attacking the Kibbutzim. They had Syrian rifles. There I received a new Czechoslovakian rifle. I carried also a “Sten” machine gun day and night, grenades and bandages. I spoke Yiddish at first, and began to learn Hebrew. I was in the Galil 1 year and we made heavy attacks. We attacked 4 major bases - Lebanese bunkers.

  1. Miron - The first major attack - the worst, and then we went forward to

  2. Tarsheecha - 1 day later

  3. Sassa - 3 days later, finally…

  4. Malchia - inside Lebanon, about 5 miles in.

This whole venture took 10 days of day and night fighting, non stop. Very heavy. We slept little.

6. The first attack I travelled with the Kernel. I protected him all night with another soldier and our Jeep driver. We delivered special letters to the Front in the middle of the night.

Bullets were flying. The driver was swerving and it was heavy battle. The machine guns didn’t stop.

The driver wanted to stop, and the Kernel insisted he had to continue and deliver the messages.

In the morning we took Maron. Then I took position with my land bazooka and missile gun.


Galil -- I’m the one with the cap.

I remember seeing Ben Gurion. He came to see us up north and spoke to us for 20 minutes. I saw him again in Eilat with Golda Meir.

7. After the war of independance… They sent us to Haifa and gave us 4 pounds per week. We looked for work and told we were free to go. We had no families. We could go back to the Army to eat and sleep. I found carpentry work in Beit Shan. And got married.

8. How did your experiences of 1948 change you?  A lot! My life was changed, I always think about what happened and my friends who fell, close to me. And the injured.

9. Young people today… They should volunteer in Israel to protect our Israel. They must understand we have a Jewish land. -- VOLUNTEER

10. Peace is essential and necessary. When I came back from the 2nd world war, I felt I had to go fight for the Jewish State.

Thanks Isi and please thank your cousin Leah

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.


The facade of the Sakramentki Convent in New Town Square 2, Warsaw, 1946


Old Town Square 32


Boni Fratres Church in Bonifraterska Street 12, Warsaw, 1947

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


Last Train Ride for Many
One type of railcar used for deportations to the camp.


Old Gas Railway Light
A old railway gas signal beside the tracks.


Birkenau Rails of Death....
We were only here for a very short time and I had to run to see what I did.

The main railway tracks and entrance gate of Auschwitz II - Birkenau concentration camp, it was by far the largest killing center of the Nazi.

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

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

Photo and story Credits: Dennis Jarvis

They expected the worst - Not the unthinkable


the gate house which is the main entrance into Birkenau, also known as the Auschwitz II concentration camp. Beginning around the middle of May 1944, freight trains that were 40 to 50 cars long rolled through this gate, day and night, bringing thousands of Hungarian Jews to be gassed at the four Birkenau gas chambers. The prisoners called it the "Gate of Death."

At the height of the deportation of the Hungarian Jews, during a 10 week period, up to 12,000 Jews were gassed and burned each day.


The railroad siding inside the camp, called the ramp, where the Jews exited from the trains and the selection process took place. Those who were fit for work were allowed to live for a few months, until they inevitably died of disease or overwork. The others were sent immediately to one of the four gas chambers at the far end of the camp.

The railroad tracks extend about a mile into the camp, all the way to the gas chambers… some of the Hungarian Jews were immediately gassed without going through a selection process, even though the Nazis were desperately in need of workers for their munitions factories. This photo was taken in the early morning, looking west from the gatehouse tower.

The group selected to die, about three-quarters of the total, included almost all children, women with children, all the elderly, and all those who appeared on brief and superficial inspection by an SS doctor not to be completely fit.


Jews selected by the SS for immediate death in the gas chambers of Crematoria IV and V were herded along this road  inContext

The town of Auschwitz was a major railroad hub, with many train tracks coming into it, and a large marshalling yard near the Auschwitz station. Standing on the railroad overpass in 1941, Himmler realized that Birkenau was an ideal location for transporting people by rail from all over Europe, although the plans for exterminating the Jews were not finalized until the Nazis were confident that they would win their war against the Soviet Union. inContext