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



Marc Chagall, The Feast of the Tabernacles (Sukkot), c. 1916

Today’s Israel is a living embodiment of what it is to exist in a state of insecurity and still rejoice. And that is Sukkot’s message to the world.

Rabbi Sacks

Shabbat Bulletin - October 7, 2017

Teshuva: A Four-Step Approach

Dvar Torah for Yomim Noraim

Rabbi Yuval Kernerman, M.Ed.

Menahel, Eitz Chaim Schools, Viewmount Branch

Rebbe Chanina remarked, “I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students” (Ta’anis 7a).

Those of us involved in the holy endeavor of Chinuch HaBonim know how profound this statement is, and how our students can teach us things, even when, supposedly, we are teaching them. This past year, I learned an extension of Rebbe Chanina’s principle- that we can learn from our Talmiddim even by the way that we teach them.

In schools today, we try to adapt various learning strategies to help students not only learn their subjects, but also to help them change their behaviours. The strategies are often based on sound, logical premises- and they often work. Why, I asked myself, can’t I try to apply some of these strategies to myself, in my own Avodas Hashem?

Every Ellul, it seems, there is anxiety and disappointment; we reflect on our attempts of self-improvement from the year before, only to feel that there has not been any progress. Teshuva might seem like only a temporary step forwards, only to fall right back to exactly the same place. The mere attempt of Teshuva might seem like an exercise in futility.

So, last year, I decided to do something different. I decided to look at some of the strategies that we give our students, and try them out myself. I hope that by sharing these strategies with you, you will feel some benefit from them.

1.     Be Selective.

Don’t try to change all of your character flaws, or areas of Avodas Hashem at once. Try picking just one thing- or at most three. Chazal teach us: “Kol haschalos kashos”- (all beginnings are difficult.) I have suggested in the past that when it comes to learning something, the ‘beginning is difficult’ because we focus on the ‘all.’ That is to say, when a person stares at the ominous breadth of the subject that he is learning, he can become overwhelmed- and his beginning is therefore difficult.

I think the same thing can be said for the process of Teshuva. We tend to look at Teshuva as an “all or nothing” proposition. “If I want to be a Tzaddik, I have to do everything properly—and there is no margin for error.” When we look at the enormity of that task- to do everything properly- ‘kol’- the ‘haschala’ will be ‘kasheh.’

Therefore, we have to be selective- maybe just start with one task. Try to improve in one area- and focus all of your energy and attention to that one thing.

2.     Prepare for Battle: develop a strategy—at a time of peace

Parshas Emor begins by saying: “Hashem said to Moshe: Say to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and you shall say to them….” Rashi notes the apparent redundancy of the word ‘emor’ (say) and brings the famous words of chazal: “L’hazir gedolim al haketanim.” ([the word is repeated] to enjoin adults with regard to minors.) Rashi is saying that Torah is teaching us that adults are charged with the formidable task of teaching their youth. In the case of this posuk, it is the Kohanim who are charged with teaching their children about the laws of ritual purity and impurity.

The Shemen HaTov, Rav Weinberger, has a fascinating insight from this posuk, that has relevance to our discussion of Teshuva. He understands the posuk homiletically to refer to ‘gedolim’ as ‘moments of greatness,’ and ‘ketanim’ to ‘moments of struggle.’ Thus, explains the Shemen HaTov, a person needs to prepare in his moments of elevation for the times when he will struggle. He has to create strategies- in other words, to prepare for battle.

When a person is in the throes of battle, he is often ill-prepared to fight. That is when his spiritual defenses are down; he is setting himself up for failure. He has to anticipate, in a moment of calm, what his trial is going to be- and has to come up with a plan that will give him better odds to succeed.

To give a seemingly benign example- one that doesn’t even qualify as a sin- take the morning battle with the alarm clock. Many people struggle with the dreaded snooze button, and end up coming late for davening. Conceptually, a person may know the importance of coming to Shul on time, but at the time of the struggle, it is very easy to rationalize why “I just need a few more minutes of sleep.” A person has to prepare for battle before the struggle. Perhaps he will put the clock out of arms reach, forcing himself out of bed to turn it off- maybe that will work. Or, maybe he will find a clock without a snooze button at all!

3.     Track your Progress

Realize that even in that one area of growth, it is not an “all or nothing proposition.” Expect that success will be accompanied by failure. This is a critical part of behaviour modification, when we create an action plan for a student.

When we try to help a child modify a specific behaviour, we often do so by creating a chart. In this chart, we will note carefully how many times an undesired behaviour occurs. By tracking the behaviour, we can learn much about it. We can start asking questions such as: “what causes it?” “when is the student more likely to exhibit the behaviour?” And significantly, “what strategy will be effective to give the student to overcome this challenge?”

When we apply the strategy for improvement to the behaviour, and track it over weeks and months, the goal, realistically, is not to see the behaviour disappear altogether- certainly not right away. The goal is to see a gradual decrease in the frequency of the behaviour, as the strategy of attack becomes more set in place.

Therefore, try to keep a physical log, on a piece of paper, of your daily battles in your area of growth. Create a ‘check’ for every victory, and a ‘check’ for every failure. Take stock every Erev Rosh Chodesh: how many victories did I have this month? How many failures? And- more importantly- how did these numbers compare to last month, and the month before? As we will see in the next section, this is the key analysis.

4.     Redefine the terms “success” and “failure”

Rav Hutner, Zt”l, in a famous letter to a talmid (in Pachad Yitzchak, Iggeres #128), wrote that we often make a mistake in defining the terms ‘success’ and ‘failure.’ Rav Hutner explains a posuk in Mishlei (24:16): “Sheva yipol tzadik v’kam…” (The righteous one falls seven times, yet gets up). Rav Hutner notes that it is not just that a righteous person falls and gets back up- rather, it is because he fell, that he rose to greater heights.

If I can add an embellishment to Rav Hutner’s approach, I would note that the posuk doesn’t say “Sheva yipol v’kam tzadik” (after seven fallings, he arises righteous), but rather “Sheva yipol tzadik- v’kam” (the righteous one falls seven times- and gets up). That is to say, Shlomo HaMelech is describing the person as a Tzadik even when he is falling. He does not wait until the person arises to give him that title.

This teaches a profound lesson: We cannot punish ourselves for our failures; Hashem, in His infinite love for us, views us as tzaddikim not only when we arise victorious from our struggles, but even in the process of stumbling.

So, in this last step of our process, hopefully by tracking our progress in overcoming our difficulty, we will see fewer failures over time, and more successes. We shouldn’t expect the challenge to disappear overnight- but we should recognize that even the ‘failures’ are part of our ‘success’ as we improve over time.

I want to share two powerful stories that focus on this principle.

The story is told of a Rov who approached a man in his town who kept his store open on Shabbos. The man confided in the Rov, and explained that he was a heavy smoker- he smoked 40 cigarettes a day- and couldn’t stop smoking on Shabbos. So, he felt, if he couldn’t stop smoking, what good would it do to close his store, like all the other yidden in town? He was a mechalel Shabbos. The Rov asked him if he could try smoking 39 cigarettes the next Shabbos? The man replied ‘yes,’ he was sure he could do that. The Rov then said something astonishing: “smoke 39 cigarettes- and you’ll be a Shomer Shabbos!” With this inspiration, and new title of honour, the man went on to smoke just 39 cigarettes the following Shabbos. The Rov then asked if he could try smoking 38 cigarettes the following week- which the man did. Eventually, of course, he stopped smoking on Shabbos altogether, and closed his store, and became fully Shomer Shabbos- all because this Rov had the greatness to see that this man could do Teshuva- one step at a time.

A similar lesson is gleaned from the famous inventor, Thomas Edison. Most people know that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Most people don’t realize, however, that until he succeeded, he had over 2000 failed attempts at creating a light bulb. He was once asked by a reporter how he could go on after failing 2000 times? His answer was profound: “I didn’t fail 2000 times; I succeeded in completing a project that had 2000 steps in it.”

This is the message that Rav Hutner finds in Mishlei: Nefila (falling) is part of the process of achieving greatness- and may make us greater than we would have been without falling.

I would like to end by revisiting the seemingly trivial struggle I mentioned above: the challenge of the snooze button. The Shulchan Aruch begins, in Orach Chayim, with the statement that “A person should gird himself like a lion to arise in the morning and serve his creator.” It always struck me as odd that we speak about the ‘strength of a lion’ when it comes to arising. To be sure, the lion is ‘strong,’ but he is hardly an early riser! In fact, lions sleep around 20 out of 24 hours in the day! And the male lions are not even the main hunters in the family unit! They seem hardly to be the models of alacrity and vigour!

I think that the Shulchan Aruch is pointing to a different quality of the lion, perhaps. Anyone who has seen a lion up close is struck by its confidence. The lion shows little fear or concern for other animals. He truly is “king of the jungle.” Perhaps this is what the Shulchan Aruch is telling us: when we arise in the morning, we have to face every challenge in the day with the confidence of a lion- with the knowledge that Hakadosh Baruch Hu gives us tests- but He also gave the fortitude to overcome those tests. So, the example of arising in the morning becomes a profound paradigm for the way a Jew has to ‘attack’ each and every challenge in his day.

If we approach the task of Teshuva in these steps, accompanied with the confidence in knowing that Hashem has given us the ability to overcome our challenges, then G-d willing, we will see slow and steady growth in at least one area (at a time) of our Avodas Hashem.

Wishing you all a gmar v'chasima tova,

Rabbi Yuval Kernerman, M.Ed.

Teshuva (“turning”– that is, from sin to God)

Yomim Noraim (The high holy days - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur)

Chinuch HaBonim (passing the Torah tradition to your children)

Talmiddim (disciples)

Avodas Hashem (a person’s development of his Torah, midos(character traits) and relationships to Hashem, and his responsibility to his children)

Chazal (all Jewish sages of the Mishna, Tosefta and Talmud eras)

Tzaddik (merely an extension of G‑d here in this world to help people)

haschala (start)

kasheh (harsh)

L’hazir (to warn or caution with urgency; shine or enlighten)

Gedolim (famous revered rabbis admired by Jews; great)

Ketanim (small; humble)

Posuk (a verse, usually from the Torah)

homiletically (a religious discourse that is intended primarily for spiritual edification)

mechalel Shabbos b'farhesyah (one who desecrates Shabbos publicly)

Shomer Shabbos (observes the mitzvot associated with Shabbat)

Shulchan Aruch (the Code of Jewish Law)

Orach Chayim (Jewish law primarily pertinent to the Hebrew calendar)

gird (surround; encircle)

alacrity (brisk and cheerful readiness)

Hakadosh Baruch Hu (The Holy One, Blessed Be He)

paradigm (a typical example or pattern of something; a model)

gmar v'chasima tova (an idiom for the sealing of a good judgement)

Thanks CyK - My homework: I had to look up a few words.

<read the official High Holy Day Bulletin here>

Emor v’Amarta: Like & Share, Favorite & Retweet


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires


Always a good breakfast following!

The opening verse of Parsha Emor reads: “Say to the Kohanim, sons of Aaron, and tell them…”

Rashi, in his first commentary on this Torah portion asks: Why does this verse repeat Say AND Tell? In Hebrew its Emor v’Amarta. Why the double speak? Rashi explains: The first “Say” is for the adult Kohanim. “Tell them” is for the adults to L’HAZIR their young Kohain children.

Now, what does L’HAZIR mean?

a) Literally it means to warn or caution. Something urgent. Like the road signs in Israel which say “Zehirut!” be careful!

b) a Chassidic twist translates L’HAZIR to mean shine or enlighten. Like the Hebrew word Zohar.

Educationally, these two interpretations are worlds apart. How do we transmit values and guidelines to our children: Is it through caution and warnings? or via enlightening and illuminating? or both?


This brings me to social-media. I was thinking about the double expression in the verse and realized it's somewhat similar to a Like and Share on Facebook, or a Favorite and Retweet on Twitter.

Unless people are especially prolific on Social-Media, most people “Like” a lot more than they “Share.” Likes can mean a lot of things. It can mean acknowledge (as when someone shares sad news, that no one really “likes”) or it can mean that you find it interesting or cute, often its that you really liked what they shared, but don’t love it enough or isn’t personally relevant enough to share the same on your own newsfeed/timeline.

It usually takes a lot for a person to Share or Retweet. Either it’s something really urgent or distressing or worrisome, like the first literal explanation of L’Hazir; or maybe its something so delightful and uplifting or exciting as the second Chassidic explanation suggests. To Share/Retweet it has to become your own, it's not enough that you really like what the other person shared.

In Judaism, there’s a lot of emphasis on Share and Retweet. Liking it yourself without passing it on doesn’t help Jewish continuity. We are part of a chain, a long linking chain from generation to generation. We have to feel urgent enough about it, or better yet, like it enough, to pass it on, and keep it going. Make it viral!

Students often tell us how much they’ve enjoyed or internalize a Jewish experience at Shabbos House Chabad, be it a holiday, a message, a word of Torah, or whatever… but while that itself is huge, the next step is how to share that, how to retweet it, how to pass it forward. How do we make this a part of our own newsfeed and timeline, that’s shared with others…

Like the verse says: First “Say” and then “Tell them”.

Rabbi Mendel Rubin, Shabbos House

I like the Lodzer Shabbat Bulletin!

You can help share it.


These everyday Lodzer, musical moonlighters, came together and, through their passion and careful preparation, produced something extraordinary.

For those of you who were unable to attend Yom Kippur services at the Lodzer this year, you missed some of the most beautiful choral music in the city.

Under the tutelage of our cantor, David Young, the 26-member choir – including Lodzer members – kept the congregants wanting more as choir members harmonized and blended together the Kol Nidre services.

If you missed them, not to worry – after the High Holy Days, they will be at the Lodzer every Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh.


Kol Nidre cuts to the very heart and soul of humanity.

Your Life Moments


Oct. 1   Arlene Moshe
Oct. 3   Arie Epstein
Oct. 6   Etia Malinowski

Oct. 7   Irving Spitzen

Oct. 9   Nina Rubin




Oct. 8    Lillian Coretsky, mother of Barry Corey

Oct. 9    Bela Goldberg, mother of Rita Eskenazi

Oct. 11  Molly Heller, mother of Esther Bloch

Oct. 11  Bessie Tobias, grandmother of Sonny Martin

Oct. 12  Sam Heller, father of Esther Bloch

Oct. 12  Martin Salve, brother of Minnie Peters

Oct. 13  Gertrude Markowitz, mother of Sydney

Oct. 13  Mitchell Sapers, father of Tammy Remez

I thought growing old would take longer.

Remember - Don’t Forget - Take Action

Synagogue General Fund

Susan Yellin

Prayer Book Fund

Barry & Nancy Corey

Remember with your mouth, don’t forget with your heart,

take action as not to forget.


There is an old Yiddish proverb—love is wonderful, but love with noodles is even better. The modern world offered the Jewish people love with noodles. The noodles were unprecedented economic, political and cultural advances for them and for all people. The love was human dignity, equal rights, peace, and the end of war. The remarkable offer proved overwhelmingly irresistible to Jews.

“Sages, be very careful in choosing your words. … This is an especially wise directive nowadays, where slips of the tongue or spontaneous , foolish segments or misspeaking are blasted around the world via the internet.”

Zingers from Pirke Avoth - Perek 1, Mishnah 11




October 3

7 PM

Book Launch

Shul Kiddush


Books can be

purchased for


Sorry we cannot accept credit cards. Cheque or cash only.


Book Launch

Proceeds will go to Magen David Adom, toward
the purchase of a medi-cycle emergency scooter.


The scooter, which is driven by a paramedic, can get through traffic faster than the Standard Ambulance or MICU and provide pre-hospital care. It contains life-saving equipment, including a defibrillator, an oxygen tank, and other essential medical equipment.

CAD $32,000

From Yellow Star to Yellow Rose

By Franka (Freda) Kon

Co Written by Bev Birkan


Freda tells of how she, her mother and sister managed to survive after German troops invaded Lodz in 1940 when it was closed off as a ghetto for Jews.


October 4


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


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.


When God created the first human beings, God led them around the garden of Eden and said: Look at my works! See how beautiful they are - how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it.


October 6



Yom Kippur War


The Yom Kippur War

On Saturday October 6th, 1973, as all of Israel came to a standstill to observe the High Holiday of Yom Kippur, Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a surprise attack against Israel knowing she would be caught off-guard.




October 7

17 Tishri


Rabbi Eli



David Young

B’aal Koreh:
Harvey Bitterman



9:12 AM

Led by

Frank Steiman


9:30 AM

Please help us out by coming early…

We need a minyan to start!


Torah Times

Triennial Year 1

Shabbat chol Hamo’ed Sukkot

1. 33:12 - 33:16 (pg. 362)

2. 33:17 - 33:19      

3. 33:20 - 33:23

4. 34:01 - 34:03

5. 34:04 - 34:10

6. 34:11 - 34:17

7. 34:18 - 34:26

Maf: Numbers 29:17 - 29:22 (pg. 697)


Ezekiel 38:18 - 39:16 (pg. 979)

Candle Lighting:

6:30 p.m. – Friday


7:36 p.m. – Saturday

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot

Moses requests to behold the Divine presence. God instructs that no human being can see the face of The Eternal, but constructs a means for Moses to see God’s back.

Sunday, October 8

1 - 3 pm

Shul Kiddush


Project Abraham

volunteer meeting

… there are more Yazidi families soon to be settled in Richmond Hill and we have a huge need for more volunteers to help support them.  Please contact your network to see if anyone would be interested in helping out.

Our monthly meetings are an important opportunity for everyone involved with Project Abraham to catch up on the latest news on the Yazidis overseas as well as Project Abraham's activities, needs, and updates.  People are also finding it to be an invaluable opportunity to network with other volunteers.  Please mark you calendars.

Slaves of Isis:

the long walk of the Yazidi women


October 9

Week 38

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, is leading the class

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

Wear sneakers and non-restrictive clothing.

Karate for Seniors

Learn a Dynamic new skill for Fun and Focus - at YOUR own pace!

Safe, friendly,
keep fit exercise classes
Build strength and vitality
Learn Self-defense

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

Karate Kata 4 - Heian Yondan

Focus, Respect, Self-Control

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

Seniors - Tough as glass




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.




October 14

9:30 AM


Shabbat Bereshit

After reading the final words of the book of Deuteronomy, we turn back to the very beginning, to creation. This week we will read about the creation of the earth.


October 19

7 - 8 PM

Kiddush Room


Hebrew Classes

We re-convened after the summer break on September 7.  This was actually a make-up class from the 1st session, class #10.

The remaining classes of the first 5 classes of the next 10 class session are:  October 26 and November 2.

Next 5 TBA.


If you, or someone you know is interested in joining this fun, interactive learning group please contact


October 19

8:00 PM

Book Chat

with Cathy Zeldin

Shul Kiddush


If you haven't attended before, please feel free to join us.  Having read the book is not a prerequisite to come out and enjoy this group, share thoughts and pick up ideas on books you'd like to read.

Book Chat got off to a great start on September 7 with 10 people discussing "House of Wives" which most of us agreed is a good book and a fascinating story with much to discuss and learn.

The Inconvenient Indian

“While the hardware of civilization - iron pots, blankets, guns - was welcomed by Native people, the software of Protestantism and Catholicism - original sin, universal damnation, atonement, and subligation - was not, and Europeans were perplexed, offended, and incensed that Native peoples had the temerity to take their goods and return their gods.”

“Or, if you want the positive but somewhat callous view, you might wish to describe Christianity as the gateway drug to supply-side capitalism”

“We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.”

by Thomas King

Several Book Chat regulars worked over the summer researching books for us.  From this diverse and thorough list we chose books for meetings until June 2018.

October 19, The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King.


December 7, The Extra by Yehoshua.

Jan. 18, City of Women by Gillham

March 8, Stranger in the Woods by Finkel.

April 26, The Painter from Shanghai by Epstein.

June 7, The Break by Vermette.


October 22

12:30 pm

Temple Sinai


210 Wilson



416 633 5100

By Oct. 1

Please join us…

National Council of

Jewish Women of Canada

120th Anniversary Celebration

Reach for the Stars



Dr. Roberta Bondar

keynote speaker

Dr. Roberta Bondar was born in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario on December 4, 1945.

In 1983 Dr. Bondar was chosen as a member of the first Canadian Astronaut Program. In January, 1992 she became the second Canadian and the first Canadian woman astronaut in space with her flight aboard the shuttle Discovery. Following her space flight Dr. Bondar left the space agency to pursue her research and her interest in photography.


October 29

2 pm

Beth Tikvah


3080 Bayview


RSVP Lillian

416 783 3603

By Oct. 25



… cordially invites community members to a fascinating and enjoyable Yiddish Concert featuring Cantor Deborah Staiman, vocalist and narrator; accompanied by Reuven Grajner, piano and Lenny Solomon, violin.


Avek fun dem Tzar!

Gut Morgn Amerike!

Goodbye to the Czar - Hello America!

 tells the emotional journey of our Immigration Experience during the early 20th Century with Yiddish songs and well researched explanations in English.


November 1

8 PM

Toronto Centre

for the Arts,

Lyric Theatre

5040 Yonge St.




... a melding of live on-stage action, accompanying documentary film, songs, dance, and an insight into little known history.  All in one unique entertaining production.

The Balfour Declaration

... issued by the Government of Great Britain on November 2, 1917, acknowledged the 4,000 year old connection of the Jewish People to the land of Israel and the right to the reconstitution of a Jewish homeland there. That Declaration was incorporated into the Mandate for Palestine which ultimately led to the creation of the Jewish State, the State of Israel, in accordance with accepted International Law.


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

They expected the worst

Not the unthinkable


“If there is a God,

he will have to beg my forgiveness.”

Anger, sadness and confusion,

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



November 5

2:30 pm

Shul Sanctuary

Director Helene Klodawsky is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. In this personal point-of-view film, she explores the healing power of love.


Undying Love is a bittersweet romance set in war and peace, death and rebirth, in the ordinary struggles of daily life and, perhaps, in the unknowable workings in Heaven. The documentary is a testament to survivors' collective desire for a normal life and their pains to create beauty out of despair through future generations.

Undying Love:

True Stories of Courage and Faith

by Helene Klodawsky

… intimately recounts the loves lost and loves found immediately after World War II among Jewish Holocaust survivors, either living in Displaced Persons camps or searching the globe for family and home.

… survivors, most of whom were in their teens, twenties and thirties, struggled to reconstruct personal identities and forge intimate relationships.

… love blooming out of the ashes of the Holocaust

“We were young when we were liberated. With no place to go we turned to each other… Some might say, Hitler was our matchmaker.”

… captures both the irony of Holocaust survivors’ plight and the picture of a culture so devastated - wiped out.

deja vu


November 10



6 pm Service

6:45 pm Dinner

Members $40

their children $15

Non-Members $50

their children $20

Under 5 yrs $5

Call Sarah

to reserve


Did you know?

‘Oneg Shabbat’ became the codename for the secret archive in the Warsaw Ghetto. Oneg Shabbat (Joy of the Shabbat in Hebrew), is a celebratory gathering held after Sabbath services, often with food, singing, study, discussion and socialising. The name was selected by a group of Jewish community leaders who usually met secretly on Saturdays to discuss the progress of their collection and documentation efforts.

The Oneg Shabbat Archive is the most significant collection in the world, of sources documenting the Holocaust. The documents were created, gathered, and written by the victims themselves, at the time when they were experiencing the horrors.

The collection of documents gathered by the archive staff is of inestimable value to historians in documenting the life, the creativity, the struggle and the murder of Polish Jewry. The documents are also a testament to the indomitable spirit of the archive staff who made tremendous efforts to ensure that future generations would have an accurate picture of Jewish life and death during the Holocaust.  inContext

Join your Lodzer friends

for a Delicious

Oneg Shabbat


Cantor David Young


and his family

Special Musical Service

Delightful Shabbat Dinner

What will you talk about?


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.


May 27, 2018






We need volunteers

to work on the

Lodzer’s 65th anniversary

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

Rabbi Eli’s Yom Kippur Discussion Group

Rabbi Eli facilitated a discussion on moral dilemmas which was interesting and

thought-provoking.  Much participation by those in attendance.

Suggested reading:

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman: "Thinking, Fast and Slow" | Talks at Google


  • We use resemblance as a simplifying heuristic to make difficult judgment, causing predictable biases in predictions.

  • Social scientists in the 1970s broadly accepted that people are generally rational, and emotions such as fear, affection, and hatred explain departures from rationality.

  • People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory, which is largely determined by the media.

  • Accurate intuitions of experts are better explained by the effects of prolonged practice than by heuristics.

  • Valid intuitions develop when experts have learned to recognize familiar elements in a new situation and to act in a manner that is appropriate to it.

  • When faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.

  • When intuition fails, because neither an expert solution nor a heuristic answer comes to mind, we resort to slower, deliberate, and effortful thinking.

Part 1: Two Systems

Ch 1: The Characters of the Story

  • System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with no effort and no voluntary control.

  • System 2 allocates attention to effortful mental activities. It's associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration.

  • All operations of System 2 require attention and are disrupted when attention is drawn away.

  • System 2 has some ability to change the way System 1 works, by programming the normally automatic functions of attention and memory.

  • System 1 generates impressions, intuitions, intentions, and feelings. Those endorsed by System 2 turn into beliefs and voluntary actions.

  • Most of what System 2 thinks and does originates in your System 1, but System 2 takes over when things get difficult, and it normally has the last word.

  • One of the tasks of System 2 is to overcome the impulses of System 1. System 2 is in charge of self-control.

  • System 2 is too slow and inefficient to substitute for System 1. The best we can do is to recognize when mistakes are likely, and to try harder to avoid significant mistakes when the stakes are high.

Ch 2: Attention and Effort

  • Pupils are sensitive indicators of mental effort. The more System 2 exerts mental effort, the more they dilate.

  • We decide what to do, but we have limited control over the effort of doing it. The task at hand decides this.

  • Orienting and responding quickly to the gravest threats or most promising situations improved the chance of survival.

  • In the economy of action, effort is a cost, and the acquisition of skill is driven by balancing benefits and costs. Laziness is in our nature.

  • System 2 is the only one that can follow rules, compare objects on several attributes, and make deliberate choices between objects.

  • A crucial capability of System 2 is that it can program memory to obey an instruction that overrides habitual responses.

  • Multitasking is effortful. Time pressure is another driver. Any task that requires keeping several ideas in mind simultaneously has the same hurried character.

Ch 3: The Lazy Controller

  • Mihaly's flow is a state of effortless concentration so deep that people lose a sense of time, of themselves, and of their problems. (a mental state of complete absorption in the current experience)

  • This flow separates the two forms of effort: Concentration on the task and the deliberate control of attention.

  • People who are cognitively busy are more likely to yield to temptation, make selfish choices, use sexist language, and make superficial judgments in social situations.

  • Controlling thoughts and behaviors is one of the tasks that System 2 performs.

  • If you exert self-control for a task, then you are less willing or able to exert self-control for a following task. This is called ego depletion.

  • When you are thinking hard or exerting self-control, your blood glucose level drops. The implication is that you can undo ego depletion by ingesting glucose.

  • When people believe a conclusion is true, they are also very likely to believe arguments that appear to support it, even when those arguments are unsound.

  • Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.

  • "Engaged" people are more alert, less willing to be satisfied with superficially attractive answers, and more skeptical about their intuitions.

  • People who are not "engaged" are impulsive, impatient, and keen to receive immediate gratification.

Ch 4: The Associative Machine

  • The responses by System 1 are associatively coherent, yielding a self-reinforcing pattern of cognitive, emotional, and physical responses.

  • Cognition is embodied. You think with your body, not only with your brain.

  • Ideas are nodes in a vast network called associative memory, where causes link to effects, things to their properties, and things to their categories.

  • Priming is not restricted to concepts and words. Events that you are not even aware of prime your actions and emotions.

  • The influence of an action by the idea is called the ideomotor effect. It also works in reverse. For example, thinking of old age makes you act old, and vice versa.

  • Money primes individualism: a reluctance to be involved with others, to depend on others, or to accept demands from others.

  • Feeling that one's soul is stained triggers a desire to cleanse one's body, an impulse that is dubbed the Lady Macbeth Effect.

  • System 1 provides the impressions that often turn into your beliefs, and is the source of impulses that often become the choices of our actions.

Ch 5: Cognitive Ease

  • Cognitive strain is affected by both the current level of effort and the presence of unmet demands. This mobilizes System 2.

  • A repeated experience, clear display, primed idea, and good mood all increase cognitive ease. This in turn makes things feel familiar, true, good, and effortless.

  • When strained, you are vigilant, suspicious, invest more effort, feel less comfortable, and make fewer errors. But you are less intuitive and less creative.

  • Predictable illusions occur if judgment is based on an impression of cognitive ease or strain. For example, frequent repetition makes people believe lies.

  • To craft a persuasive message, use high quality paper, bright colors, simple words, memorable verse, and quote the source with the simpler name.

  • Cognitive strain, whatever the source, mobilizes System 2, which is more likely to reject the intuitive answer suggested by System 1.

  • The mere exposure effect links the repetition of an arbitrary stimulus and the mild affection that people have for it. It's stronger for stimuli that we don't consciously see.

  • Mood affects the operation of System 1. When we are uncomfortable and unhappy, we lose touch with our intuition.

Ch 6: Norms, Surprises, and Causes

  • The main function of System 1 is to maintain and update a model of your personal world, which represents what is normal in it.

  • Norm theory is when a surprising event happens, and subsequent surprising events will appear more normal because they are interpreted in conjunction with it.

  • We have norms for a vast number of categories, which provide the background for the immediate detection of anomalies.

  • System 1 is adept at finding a coherent causal story that links the fragments of knowledge at its disposal.

  • We are ready from birth to have impressions of causality, which do not depend on reasoning about patterns or causation. They are products of System 1.

  • We are prone to apply causal thinking to situations that require statistical reasoning, but System 1 cannot do this, and System 2 requires necessary training.

Ch 7: A Machine for Jumping to Conclusions

  • Jumping to conclusions is efficient if the jump saves time and effort, the conclusion is likely correct, and the cost of an occasional mistake is acceptable.

  • System 1 bets on answers, where recent events and the current context have the most weight in determining and interpretation. Otherwise, more distant memories govern.

  • System 1 is gullible and biased to believe, while System 2 is in charge of doubting and unbelieving, but System 2 is sometimes busy and often lazy.

  • Unlike scientists, which test hypotheses by trying to refute them, we seek data that are likely to be compatible with the beliefs that we currently hold.

  • The tendency to like or dislike everything about a person, including things you have not observed, is known as the halo effect.

  • The halo effect increases the weight of first impressions, sometimes to the point that subsequent information is mostly wasted.

  • To derive the most useful information from multiple sources of evidence, you should always try to make these sources independent of each other.

  • The standard practice of open discussion gives too much weight to the opinions of those who speak early and assertively, causing others to line up behind them.

  • System 1 excels at constructing the best possible story that incorporates ideas currently activated, but it cannot allow for information that it does not have.

  • Jumping to conclusions facilitates the achievement of coherence and of the cognitive ease that causes us to accept a statement as true. It explains overconfidence.

Ch 8: How Judgments Happen

  • System 1 continually assesses the problems that an organism must solve to survive. We equate good mood and cognitive ease with safety and familiarity.

  • Faces with a strong chin and a slight confident-appearing smile exude confidence.

  • A judgment heuristic is falling back on a simpler assessment that is made quickly and automatically and is available when System 2 must make its decision.

  • Because System 1 represents categories by a prototype or a set of typical exemplars, it deals well with averages but poorly with sums.

  • System 1 allows matching intensity across diverse and unrelated dimensions. This mode of prediction by matching is statistically wrong, although acceptable to both systems.

  • The control over intended computations is far from precise, and we often compute much more than we want or need. This is called the mental shotgun.

Ch 9: Answering an Easier Question

  • If we can't satisfactorily answer a hard target question, then System 1 invokes substitution by recalling and answering an easier heuristic question.

  • After answering a heuristic question, System 1 uses intensity matching to translate this answer to an answer of the target question.

  • The dominance of conclusions over arguments is most pronounced when emotions are involved.

  • An affect heuristic is when people let their likes and dislikes determine their beliefs about the world.

  • While self-criticism is one of the functions of System 2, it is more of an apologist for than a critic of the emotions of System 1.

I, Michael Parker, own this book and took these notes to further my own learning. If you enjoy these notes, please purchase the book!

Full text ⇒  source

Lawrence Kohlberg's

Stages of Moral Development

Inspired by the work of Jean Piaget, developmental psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg was one of the first researchers to study the moral development of the individual. Kohlberg presented his experimental subjects with moral dilemmas in the form of little stories, then asked them to make moral judgments about the behaviour of the main character in each story. By analyzing the reasons that the subjects gave for their judgments (more than the judgments themselves), Kohlberg identified three major levels of moral judgment, each of which he divided into two stages, for a total of six successive stages in which each individual takes increasing account of other people in his or her decisions about how to behave.

The first two stages, at level 1, preconventional morality, occurs before the individual has even become aware of social conventions.

At stage 1 (from about age 2 or 3 to about age 5 or 6), children seek mainly to avoid the punishment that authority figures such as their parents can mete out to them.

At stage 2 (from age 5 to age 7, or up to age 9, in some cases), children learn that it is in their interest to behave well, because rewards are in store if they do.

The next two stages occur at level 2, conventional morality—so named because at these stages it is no longer individuals such as parents, but rather social groups, such as family and friends, that children perceive as the source of authority.

At stage 3 (from about age 7 to about age 12), children feel the need to satisfy the expectations of the other members of their group. In so doing, children seek to preserve rules that will lead to predictable behaviour.

At stage 4 (from age 10 to age 15, on average), the conventions that guide the individual’s behaviour expand to include those of the society in which he or she lives. In examining the justification for a given course of action, the individual considers whether it is consistent with the norms and laws of this society.

Level 3, postconventional morality, is so named because in the last two stages, which it comprises, the individual’s morality goes beyond the frame of reference of any one particular society.

At stage 5 (starting as early as age 12, in some cases), individuals feel as if they have freely entered into a contractual commitment with every person around them. This commitment is based on a desire for consensus and a rational assessment of the benefits that everyone can derive from the existence of these rules.

At stage 6, individuals’ judgments of good and bad become influenced by universal moral principles. People at stage 6 agree that laws and societal values have a certain validity, but if these laws conflict with their own principles of human dignity, they will follow those principles, which they regard as an internally imposed imperative.

According to Kohlberg, people go through these six stages in the above order: most children have a preconventional morality, and most adults have a conventional one. Kohlberg estimated that only 20 to 25% of the adult population attains the postconventional level of morality.

Somewhat later in his career, Kohlberg described stage 7, the “mystic stage”, which he regarded as meta-ethical: in this stage, individuals become capable of problematizing (make into or regard as a problem requiring a solution) any action or intention by asking themselves why it might be moral.

Kohlberg’s model of moral development, though it can be criticized in many respects, is valuable in that it focuses on certain central issues that individuals must address in constructing their relationships with others.


10c-w590.JPG interpreted by Jonathan Usher

The Seventh  Commandment -  LOVE AND ECSTASY


We find three powerful statements about the bond between a man and a woman

woman is the answer to man’s inherent loneliness.

. the true love of a man and a woman is a kind of fusion.  a sense of reunion, something that completes  the missing parts of our body and soul, totally wrapping ourselves around and in one another, making the object of our love into a part of our inner being.

it seems clear ... that the love of man and woman, while unique in the human experience , is also a kind of paradigm for the relations human beings are to have with one another more broadly.

The first thing we understand from the story of Jacob and Rachel is that love is something that explodes into our lives, existing prior to, and independent of, marriage.

The purpose of marriage is love. Not an abstract, impersonal, or universal love, but a specific, consuming, focused romantic love of to human beings.... It defies philosophy and religion and wisdoms ancient or new. It ruins everything and fixes everything and fills everything with scent and taste. The love of God can be grasped only with reference to the passionate, redemptive love of man and woman.

Any love that does not include the merging of souls and also of bodies is incomplete. Only in sexuality is loneliness fully resolved…. love, a complete fusion of the body that is also of the mind and spirit, of memory and the intellect and intimate knowledge of another.

First , that we recognize intimacy as an act  of love, as the most intense expression of our humanity. By refusing to have sex where there is no love, we are refusing to relate to our sexuality as purely biological, and in showing this to our beloved, we infuse our intimacy with human meaning.  

Marriage however, is not merely love,  it is also an institution, a public declaration, and a contract. Its purpose is love, but as an institution it takes on a life of its own. It may be the most important human institution ever devised.

Every love, whether of friendship or family or even of God, is an expansion of the self to include another, seeing ourselves as responsible for his fate and committed  to his success.

Recognizing the problem of loneliness, look not to marriage but to love as the answer.

Quotes in need of a home.

When a person talks a lot about something, he deceives himself into thinking that he is doing it, even if he isn’t. There is an expression, ‘After all is said and done, more is said than done.’

Rabbi Moshe Goldberger

"Just remember, once you're over the hill ... you begin to pick up speed"

Arthur Schopenhauer

The Best of Pirke Avoth


“And if man should claim that his education and knowledge of the Law make it unseemly for him to engage in menial labour, let him please take note that our tradition extols physical work and considers any gainful honest activity to be preferable to becoming dependent upon the community.”

Perek 1 Mishnah 10 (Bunim)


Jewish Ethics in Torah and Customs

the after Shabbat discussion group led by Jonathan Usher

After a much needed short summer break, and discussing a phenomenal 81 sections of Pirke Avoth over a period of about 1 1/2 years, the after-Shabbat discussion group will continue the week after Sukkot beginning on October 14th. We will be studying Jewish ethics based on A Code of Jewish Ethics by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.


Take your Soul to Work, by Erica Brown

On Persuasion

“ Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.”

“Persuade someone you know to do something that will improve his or her life - even in some small way.”

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.

Want to contact the Rabbi?
Rabbi Eli is eager and very happy to speak to our congregants on a one-on-one basis about personal or shul issues. Please e-mail him at with your phone number and he will call you 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

Syd 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 2017

Rabbi’s Corner

Shabbat Bulletin

For submissions/feedback:

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Lodzer Office

Sarah: 416-636-6665

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday

9am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm


9am to 1pm