Shabbat Bulletin‎ > ‎






June 24-July 8, 2018

Let yourself be blown away by the biggest annual Jewish music festival in the world in old Krakow, spend a Shabbat in the ancient Kabbalistic town of Tzfat, relax with a glass of wine in upper Galilee, admire the grottoes of Rosh ha-Nikra, float in the Dead Sea, feel alive in Jerusalem like never before - all that, in the company of our Rabbi and Cantor, enjoying their warm personalities; enhanced stories; inspiring presentations; entertaining programs; and much more.

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


May you live in interesting times...

Shabbat Bulletin - October 21, 2017


George Fox (1916 - October 13, 2017)

went from serving in the Polish army to surviving the hell-hole of Auschwitz

George Fox was born in the Ukraine. His mother moved his family to Breziny, Poland, to join his extended family, after his father was killed in the Russian Revolution.

George was in the Polish army when the war broke out. On September 9, 1939, his division was all but wiped out by the invading Nazis. Although badly wounded, he made his way back to Breziny. In early 1940, the Nazis forced the Jews of Breziny into a ghetto and began to systematically starve and kill them. After the Nazis liqudated the Breziny ghetto, George, his mother, and those Jews still alive were shipped to the Lodz ghetto. In 1944, he and his mother were shipped to Auschwitz. When they arrived at this death camp, the infamous Dr. Mengele waved him one way and his mother the other way. She was killed within an hour of arriving at Auschwitz.

With the Russian army advancing in 1945, George was forcemarched to various concentration camps and, on May 3, 1945, was liberated by the American army. Only a handful of the more than 200 members of his extended family survived the war.

In 1946, George met and married his wife, Fanny, who is also a Holocaust survivor, and together they arrived in Canada in 1948. Making his home in Ontario, George went on to start his own retail store business. George has two sons, both of whom have professional degrees, and six grandchildren. Since his retirement, he has spoken to hundreds of Ontario schoolchildren about the Shoah. He has been active in helping others in his community through, among other efforts, work at the Baycrest Centre and Earl Bales Community Centre. inContext  crestviewVideos

“We [Jews] are the best in the whole wide world.

You don’t have to love me,

but you do have to live in peace with me.”



When Holocaust Survivors Die

We Remember



Many of our Yazidi community will be gathered in front of the office of the Minister of Immigration on Thursday.   Let's show up in large numbers to support their pleas to our government.

Make Your Life Interesting


We are the Lodzer Morning Minyanaires


Always a good breakfast following!

The phrase “May you live in interesting times,” references a [well known] curse.

According to Jewish tradition, such a phrase could be seen as a blessing. It is normal to question why people suffer through challenges - both large and small - but Judaism views these tests, known as nisyonot, as opportunities that God provides each individual to grow and meet his/her true potential.

Judaism asserts that every individual has a purpose and a potential to meet--a goal that cannot be accomplished by sitting back and letting life take one where it will.

... whenever the term “vayeshev,” and he dwelt or settled, is used in the Torah, trouble follows shortly thereafter.  



Genesis 37:12: “And Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan...and Joseph brought to his father their evil report.”

Numbers 25:1: “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab.”


Genesis 47:27: “And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they got them possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly.”

I Kings 5:5: “And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon.”


The implication of “vayeshev,” which shares the same root as the verb “to sit,” implies settling down to passively experience life. One who is passive in his/her life is unable to achieve his/her full potential in life.  inContext

Israel seems to live in a perpetual state of “Interesting”

always on the edge and always innovating.

Your Life Moments


Oct. 16  Michael Sacks

Oct. 19  Ben-Zion Moshe

Oct. 21  Myrna Lichter

Oct. 24  Alisa Schwartz

Oct. 24  Debbie Spigelman

Oct. 25  Eda Kardonne


Oct. 16  Frank & Esther Steiman

Oct. 19  Jim & Nina Rubin

Oct. 20  Meir & Alisa Schwartz


Oct. 14  Sala Ber, mother of Josef   

Oct. 14  Hanna Jackson, mother of simon

Oct. 17  Frank Feldman, father of Sheila Winston  

Oct. 18  Tzvi Geisler, father of Ben

Oct. 19  Ede Manley, sister of Honey Hellreich

Oct. 20  Harry Liberman, father of Rebecca Greenberg

Oct. 21  Hilda Gold, mother of Carole Abrahams  

Oct. 23  Luba Greene, mother of Charles

Oct. 25  Ryan Rotstein, husband of Fay

Oct. 27  Alfred Freedman, father of Hugh



Heroes of Faith

Small Miracles of the Holocaust

 When a train filled with a large transport of Jewish prisoners arrived at one of the Nazi killing centers, many Polish gentiles came out to watch the latest group as they were taken away. As the disoriented Jews were gathering their possessions to take with them into the camp, a Nazi officer in charge called out to the villagers standing nearby, "Anything these Jews leave behind you may take for yourselves, because for sure they will not be coming back to collect them!”

  Two Polish women who were standing nearby saw a woman towards the back of the group, wearing a large, heavy, expensive coat. Not waiting for someone else to take the coat before them, they ran to the Jewish woman and knocked her to the ground, grabbed her coat and scurried away.

 Moving out of sight of the others, they quickly laid the coat down on the ground to divide the spoils of what was hiding inside. Rummaging through the pockets, they giddily discovered gold jewelry, silver candlesticks and other heirlooms. They were thrilled with their find, but as they lifted the coat again, it still seemed heavier than it should. Upon further inspection, they found a secret pocket, and hidden inside the coat was .... a tiny baby girl!

 Shocked at their discovery, one woman took pity and insisted to the other, "I don't have any children, and I'm too old to give birth now. You take the gold and silver and let me have the baby." The Polish woman took her new "daughter" home to her delighted husband. They raised the Jewish girl as their own, treating her very well, but never telling her anything about her history. The girl excelled in her studies and even became a doctor, working as a pediatrician in a hospital in Poland.

 When her "Mother" passed away many years later, a visitor came to pay her respects. An old woman invited herself in and said to the daughter, "I want you to know that the woman that passed away last week was not your real mother ..." and she proceeded to tell her the whole story. She did not believe her at first, but the old woman insisted.

"When we found you, you were wearing a beautiful gold pendant with strange writing on it, which must be Hebrew. I am sure that your mother kept the necklace. Go and see for yourself.” Indeed, the woman went into her deceased mother's jewelry box and found the necklace just as the elderly lady had described. She was shocked. It was hard to fathom that she had been of Jewish descent, but the proof was right there in her hand. As this was her only link to a previous life, she cherished the necklace. She had it enlarged to fit her neck and wore it every day, although she thought nothing more of her Jewish roots.

 Some time later, she went on holiday abroad and came across two Jewish boys standing on a main street, trying to interest Jewish passersby to wrap Tefillin on their arms (for males) or accept Shabbos candles to light on Friday afternoon (for females). Seizing the opportunity, she told them her entire story and showed them the necklace. The boys confirmed that a Jewish name was inscribed on the necklace but did not know about her status. They recommended that she write a letter to their mentor, the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT"L, explaining everything. If anyone would know what to do, it would be him.

 She took their advice and sent off a letter that very same day. She received a speedy reply saying that it is clear from the facts that she is a Jewish girl and perhaps she would consider using her medical skills in Israel where talented pediatricians were needed. Her curiosity was piqued and she traveled to Israel where she consulted a Rabbinical Court (Beis Din) who declared her Jewish. Soon she was accepted into a hospital to work, and eventually met her husband and raised a family.

 In August 2001, a terrorist blew up the Sbarro cafe in the center of Jerusalem. The injured were rushed to the hospital where this woman worked. One patient was brought in, an elderly man in a state of shock. He was searching everywhere for his granddaughter who had become separated from him.

 Asking how she could recognize her, the frantic grandfather gave a description of a gold necklace that she was wearing.

 Eventually, they finally found her among the injured patients. At the sight of this necklace, the pediatrician froze. She turned to the old man and said, "Where did you buy this necklace?”

"You can't buy such a necklace," he responded, "I am a goldsmith and I made this necklace. Actually I made two identical pieces for each of my daughters. This is my granddaughter from one of them, and my other daughter did not survive the war.”

 And this is the story of how a Jewish girl, brutally torn away from her Mother on a Nazi camp platform almost sixty years ago, was reunited with her Father.

Source: Yad Vashem - Adapted from the book "Heroes of Faith"

Courage and Strength

Holocaust Education Week - November 2-9

Remember - Don’t Forget - Take Action

Synagogue General Fund

Mr. & Mrs. J. Hertzberg

Laura Catz

Mr. & Mrs. F. Bloch

Helen Gould

Dorothy Tessis

Jared Tessis

Prayer Book Fund

Esther & Fred Bloch

Siddur Dedication

In Loving memory of my very good friend


Holocaust survivor and proud Canadian

by Arthur Zins

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

take action as not to forget.


Emperor Franz Joseph I and King Edward VII

The monument commemorates a meeting of the two rulers, in August 1904.

Hey Simon, are you and your buddies heading for the spa?

Mariánské Lázně, (Mariin Spring,) in the Czech Republic is a city where famous kings, nobles, artists and scientists took a break. It is one of the most important and recent spa resorts in the Czech Republic. The ruler of the most powerful empire, the British Empire, literally loved Marianske Lazne.

Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I (1830-1916)

At the beginning of the 20th century the threat of war with Russia persuaded the emperor to seek reconciliation between the Poles and the Ukrainians in Galicia. His efforts led to the signing of an agreement by parliamentary delegations representing the two camps on 24 January 1914. The outbreak of the First World War, however, prevented the implementation of the agreement.

Franz Joseph's German identity was made explicitly clear during a meeting in August 1908 between himself and Edward VII when the latter tried to persuade him to abandon Austria-Hungary's alliance with Germany for cooperation with England, Franz Joseph replied that he was a "loyal ally" and "I am a German prince.

King Edward VII (1841-1910)

Britain had enjoyed "Splendid Isolation" from continental Europe thanks to the English Channel. However, in the modern, globalised world of the 20th century this policy was no longer realistic. Despite being a big, fat junkie Edward decided that he was well-placed to pacify the increasingly aggressive German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Unsurprisingly, the King's attempts at diplomacy were a disaster.

“Handsome I cannot think him, with that painfully small and narrow head, those immense features and total want of chin. Obese he shall almost certainly be, with such an appetite for all and any of God's creatures, and such reluctance to take any form of exercise. To call him a halfwit would be generous, and his charisma is akin to that of a city rat. Apart from that's he alright.”  ~ Queen Victoria on her son

King Edward VII was the King of the United Kingdom after Queen Victoria (finally) died. Edward had been waiting ages to be King and was so excited when he was told 'mah-maar' had popped her royal clogs that he wet himself, explaining that "even my old chap weeps for our departed Queen". He is best remembered for his failure to secure peace in Europe and his fondness for cigars and drugs in general, especially psychedelics.

As if his taste for chemicals wasn't bad enough, the King was a ferocious eater and once ate an entire giraffe at a state banquet which was particularly embarrassing for the British government as the giraffe was a gift from an African client-king and had been intended for the London zoo rather than the royal belly.

a great historical past always shapes a great historical future


We spend four years—and more—in college to train ourselves for a career…in self-respect and conscience, we must spend at least one year working full-time at becoming a mensch…Only a year of full time student of Torah, deepened by encounter with the holiness and pulsating life of Jerusalem and Israel, can begin to give the inspiration and knowledge of authentic Jewish living to illuminate a lifetime.

“A Torah scholar is not one who studies everything, but one who studies every day. Torah study should be a way of life, not an occasional or erratic activity”

Zingers from Pirke Avoth - Perek 1, Mishnah 15




With Judy Hazan

Come learn about some of the 200-500 different flood stories

that exist in cultures around the world!

7:30 – 8:30 pm

Wednesday October 18, 2017

The Lodzer Centre Congregation

12 Heaton Street





October 18


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


October 19

7 - 8 PM

Kiddush Room


Hebrew Classes

The next 2 classes 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

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

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 21

1 Heshvan


Rosh Chodesh


Bat Mitzvah


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!


Fancy Hats


Bow Ties

Kiddush Lunch

This week’s Kiddush

is sponsored by

Ilan and Alejandra Baldor

on the Bat Mitzvah

of their daughter Sofia


Party On!

Torah Times

Triennial Year 2

Parashat: Noach

1. 8:15 - 8:22  (pg. 31)

2. 9:1 - 9:7

3. 9:8 - 9:17

4. 9:18 - 9:29

5. 10:1 - 10:14

6. 10:15 - 10:20

7. 10:21 - 10:32

Maf. Numbers 28:09 - 28:15 (pg. 695)


Isaiah 66:01 - 66:24 (pg.944 )

Candle Lighting:

6:06 p.m. – Friday


7:13 p.m. – Saturday

Shabbat Noach

Genesis 6:9-11:32

This week we read of a man named Noach who is blameless in his age. Our tradition is unsure what to make of this statement. Does it mean that Noach was an outstanding person in his time, or does it imply that the rest of society was so bad that Noach was merely the best of the bunch?


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 23

Week 39

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 26

7:30 PM

Beth David

CIJR Event

No charge



Presented by


Dr. Lawrence Hart

Professor and pro-Israel Advocate at McMaster.

Founded the Jewish Faculty Assoc.

CJN columnist.

The McMaster Experience

CIJR Event

Lessons learned from 15 years of pro-Israel Advocacy on a University Campus.


Stand with Israel

Stop the Delegitimization

of Israel

on University Campuses

Peace, not hate.

Shared Values & Freedom

Stop the hate

Every two minutes a new lie about Israel is shared online.

You can put an end to this.

Influence the conversation!



October 28

8 Heshvan


Shabbat Lech Lecha

Genesis 12:1-17:27

Lech Lecha begins with the narrative of Abram who departs from his native Haran to an unknown land. Abram and Sarai are unable to conceive. Sarai invites her maidservant, Hagar, to have a child with Abram. He is named Ishmael.


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

Movie (87min.)




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

Help us Sell Ad Space in the

Lodzer Synagogue

Sixty-fifth Anniversary

Tribute Book

To Volunteer, contact:

Jeff Shabes


The Still Small Voice - The Story of Jewish Ethics

William B. Silverman

(1913–2001), of Nashville’s The Temple Congregation Ohabai Sholom

“outspoken support for civil rights

will NOT bring harm to the Jewish community”

The Bed of Torture

God was very angry with Sodom and Gomorrah because their inhabitants were unbelievably cruel. When a stranger came to town, they starved him. But they gave him bags of gold and many jewels. After the stranger died of starvation, they congratulated themselves on their cleverness as they took the gold and jewels away from him.

And when a stranger appeared, they put him in a bed they had placed in the town square. If he was too short for the bed, they would stretch and pull his legs and body until he was the length of the bed. If he was too long for the bed, they cut off his legs to fit him into it. They delighted in torture and the suffering of their victims.

There is a lesson behind this story of the torture of strangers. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah insisted that everyone think as they did, and act as they did. There could be no differences in Sodom and Gomorrah no differences of worship, or belief, or action. According to the rabbis, this is why the cities were doomed to destruction.

You probably agree that these cities deserved their fate. Yet Abraham tried to save them. Even though they were his enemies, even though they were cruel and evil, Abraham pleaded for them.

Should this fate fall upon Isis; most Islamic countries; most ultra-orthodox of all religions; and committed atheists?

10c-w590.JPG interpreted by Jonathan Usher

The Ninth  Commandment - Excerpt

Chapter 9 - Our Communities, Ourselves.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

But the false witness, I suggest, attacks  not only his victim but his entire community. He is, in fact, the paradigmatic destroyer of communal life. Here is the first time we encounter the phrase ‘your neighbour’ in the Ten Commandments, the first time man is presented not just as an individual but as part of a collective, a neighbourhood.

Community depends on mutual responsibility, which in turn depends on mutual  trust, which in turn depends on reputation. By fostering a discourse of slander, the false witness threatens the foundations of the community.

The gossiper, the rabbis taught, ‘talks in Rome and kills in Syria.

… community begins not with involvement but with taking responsibility. Community is alive when the redemptive self turns outward beyond his loved ones and best friends, caring for and nurturing and protecting the people and institutions that community is made of.  

The Ninth Commandment tells us to protect, defend, and advance the community as a whole, and every individual in it ….

But all this begins with a basic attitude toward those around us, which comes from seeing our friends and peers - especially those we disagree with - as a part of ourselves. This in turn, has to come from somewhere. Creating a redemptive society requires a certain frame of mind, a psychological disposition, a spiritual poise and self-affirmation. People who are hesitant to take on the commitments of community often are too busy protecting their jobs and families and achievements and resources,

or too afraid of the unknown burdens the commitments of community might entail.


The Furnace has arrived.

The Best of Pirke Avoth

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? and if I am only for myself, what am I? and if not now, when?”

Perek 1 Mishnah 14 (Bunim)


Jewish Ethics in Torah and Customs

the after Shabbat discussion group led by Jonathan Usher

Based on A Code of Jewish Ethics II by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin.

The theory  behind the text is that ethics in Judaism has been de-emphasized and that being religious has come to mean being observant.

Telushkin believes in the primacy of ethics - that being religious and following G-d’s commandments  is done by acting morally  - that is, to follow Hillel’s dictum of “What is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah. All the rest is commentary.”

Future discussion sessions will deal with specifics, that is, how to deal with gratitude, forgiveness, truth, envy, revenge, respect, and other features of character development - all in accordance with Torah.

We will meet next on October 21st.

There will be no discussion group on October 28th. We will resume November 4th.

In future, the group will begin at 1:00 p.m. and continue for 45 minutes.

The discussion group leader is spending the Oct 28th weekend in meditation.


What Do You Associate With This Flag?

Group of ultra-Orthodox Jews marks Independence Day

by burning Israeli flag

Some segments of ultra-Orthodox society refuse to recognize the State of Israel and oppose Zionism, because of their belief that the establishment of a Jewish state should only come after the arrival of the Jewish Messiah.

Some also burn Israeli flags during the holiday of Lag B’Omer, the traditional date of the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a first-century CE sage, marked with celebration, bonfires and feasts.


Bravery - Strength - Confidence

Netanyahu Praises US Withdrawal from UNESCO

Says Israel Will Follow US Lead

Netanyahu praised the US withdrawal from UNESCO as a “courageous and ethical decision,” adding that Israel will also leave the organization.

The State Department announced its withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday, citing “continuing anti-Israel bias” among the reasons.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

“This is a courageous and ethical decision because UNESCO has become a theater of the absurd and instead of preserving history, distorts it,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated.

He has instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO in parallel with the US, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a press statement.

“In recent years, UNESCO has transformed itself into a delusional organization that lost its professional path in favor of the political interests of certain countries,” said Israel’s representative Carmel Shama-Hacohen.

In July, UNESCO voted to designate Hebron’s Old City and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian World Heritage Sites.”

In May, Israel called a UNESCO resolution passed on Israel Independence Day, which rejects Israeli sovereignty and jurisdiction over Jerusalem, “fake history” and “absurd.”

US-Israel Alliance ‘Stronger than Ever’

“UNESCO has become a battlefield for Israel bashing and has disregarded its true role and purpose. Today’s decision is a turning point for UNESCO.. The organization’s absurd and shameful resolutions against Israel have consequences. Today is a new day at the UN, where there is price to pay for discrimination against Israel,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny declared.

“The United States stands by Israel and is a true leader for change at the UN. The alliance between our two countries is stronger than ever,” Danon added.

By: Terri Nir, United with Israel, Oct 12, 2017


UNESCO's board is set to meet next week and had announced that the anti-Israel resolutions it had intended to bring to a vote would be postponed for six months. This is seen by sources as a possible attempt to stave off the actions of the US and Israel.

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.

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As everyone knows, with our shul’s new rabbi and new direction, we are making changes to our services and
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commemorative plaque.png

In response, Canada’s Heritage Minister said: “The National Holocaust monument commemorates the six million Jews as well as the five million other victims that were murdered during the Holocaust.

The plaque has been removed and we will replace it with language that reflects the horrors experienced by the Jewish people.

Although not the fault of Trudeau himself, it is actually the second time his government has been under fire for the same reason.

In a statement marking International Holocaust Day in 2016, Trudeau was criticised for not mentioning Jewish people when he said the day was one “to pay tribute to the memory of the millions of victims murdered during the Holocaust”.  inContext


Stop talking about ‘solutions’


start talking about truth and justice.

Our ‘target market’ is not the radicals who work to destroy Israel. Our market does include those on the fringes of the anti-Israel movement and those in the ‘mushy middle’ who have been misled by the radicals, but our most immediate and important market is those people who already love and defend Israel. It is often said that we should stop ‘preaching to the choir,’ but that is only really true when the choir is singing the right notes of the right song from the right book at the right time. Our job is to get our choir singing the same beautiful song.

Jews are owners, NOT occupiers.

Key points on which to stay focused

during any discussion of Israel’s land rights:

1. There can be no peace without truth. Jews have a land title deed from 1922 in which the world told Jews to rebuild their ancient ‘national home.’ It’s very existence proves accusations of stolen land are false.

2. This document returned all land west of the Jordan River to the Jewish people, including Jerusalem.

3. This document gave Jewish land east of the Jordan River to Arabs in what we call the original 2 state solution.

4. Many Jews died in the Holocaust because the world didn’t keep its promises in the Jewish land deed.

5. Now the world wants to unjustly divide Jewish land again in a new 2-state solution. It’s not fair.

6. Jews couldn’t trust the world’s promises from 1922, so why should they trust new promises today?

7. The world has a duty to help preserve Jewish honour, especially considering all the terrible things it’s done to Jewish people, so let’s acknowledge the original 2-state solution: the League of Nations Mandate For Palestine and its promises before talking about any new ‘solutions.’



Google Photos: 20171015_israelTruthWeek

Thank you so much to Lodzer for attending and documenting my first Israel Truth Week IN THE STREET event. Some of you may remember that Lodzer hosted my 2014 conference and tradeshow. I was very pleased with Sunday’s turnout and with the results; we got approximately 80-90 flyers about Israel’s land rights out to people right in the heart of Jewish Toronto.

I’ve personally trained nearly 500 Zionists about Israel’s land title deed—the Mandate For Palestine—and how to use it to defend Israel. The reason I emphasize ‘preaching to the choir’ (i.e. Jews & friends of Israel) is because, on average, only about 2% of my trainees have ever read the magnificent words of the Mandate before meeting me, and many find the experience of reading it for the first time to be quite moving. But, it’s not really about the legal details of this amazing instrument of international law; it’s about using it to create a moral narrative to help the world understand that Jews are, once again, being victimized by lies and violence. It’s about stopping the search for ‘solutions’ until the ‘occupation’ lie that underlies nearly all of today’s anti-Israel hate is destroyed. No Jewish child should ever go to bed believing their people stole land that didn’t belong to them.

Finally, I would like to note that the Mandate For Palestine never once mentions the word G-d, so it serves as irrefutable secular evidence for a secular world that the ‘occupation’ allegation is false, however, those of us who believe can see His fingerprints all over the pages of the document.

Mark Vandermaas

Israel Truth Week


Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin,
17 Oct 2017, 22:40