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J u l y  6,  2 0 1 9                                                                 3 Tammuz, 5779 
Lodzer Shabbat Bulletin

Shabbat Shalom

Light Candles: 8:44 PM Friday
Shabbat Ends: 9:55 PM
Triennial Year 3 
Parshat Korach: Numbers:
  1. 17:25 - 18:07  pg645
  2. 18:08 - 18:10
  3. 18:11 - 18:13
  4. 18:14 - 18:20
  5. 18:21 - 18:24
  6. 18:25 - 18:29
  7. 18:30 - 18:32
Maftir:  18:30 - 18:32 
I Samuel 11:14 - 12:22  pg649


July 7  Esther Friedenrich
July 8  Simon Jackson

July 7  Barry & Nancy Corey
July 7  Ben-Zion & Sarah Moshe

July 9   Esther Malet, mother of Dennis
July 9   Rose Stolberg, mother of Esther Steiman
July 11  Max Anidjar, brother of Morris
July 11  Henry Berger, father of Robert
July 11  Nayim Dagan, father of Isaak
The Lodzer Congregation
People Prayer Possibility
A priestly test - firepans and incense.
Moses informs Korach, “In the morning God will show who is holy.”
“He who has nothing to die for has nothing worth living for.”
God in Leviticus 19:2 actually commanded the entire congregation to be holy, *Ye shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy?" 

Korach's rebellion, centered around the issues of structure vs. anarchy. Korach taunted Moshe by asking him if a room full of scrolls needs a mezuzah, and if a garment entirely made of the blue color required in classical tsitsit threads, needs tsitsit strings. These are not just clever "kuntz kashes." (punches?)
They describe the nature of Korach's challenge. Korach is saying that we do not need structure, leadership, teachers, or mitzvot. Everyone is holy, everything is holy, and people should just do whatever they want to achieve holiness because of this.

Moshe's response is essentially that we all indeed do have the potential to be holy, and God wants us to achieve our potential as religious beings. But this must be done through the framework of the Torah. Religion without some structure runs a great risk of going haywire, justifying all sorts of terrible things in its name. The end result is the possibility of being swallowed by the Earth. Religion is not meant to be so dry that spirituality is lost, but it is also not a free-for-all. The Torah's command to be holy attempts to strike that balance between being part of a Divine community religious system that fosters holiness and achieving a personal sense of holiness.
Common Ground: The Weekly Torah Portion Through the Eyes of a Conservative
Where in the world is Rabbi Eli?
Two Towns, Two Synagogues
Belmonte – Castelo Branco, Portugal
The history of Jews in Belmonte goes back to the 12th century. Of course, after 1498 it became a very hushed history. Rather than simply submitting to baptism and living as “cristãos novos”, they went deep underground, practising the customs of their ancestors in secret for centuries to come. (Not all the customs, naturally. The first ones to go were those that would blow their cover; shofar, circumcision, and synagogue were no-no from now on.) They would congregate in deepest secret, just a few times a year, each time switching to the home of yet another of the community, always remembering the fires of the inquisition that were never far away.

The conspiratorial ways of the Crypto-Jews of Belmonte had such an imprint on their lifestyle that for centuries after they went in hiding, they believed themselves to be the last remaining Jews on earth. In fact, when Samuel Swartz, an engineer from Poland, came here in 1917(!) to supervise the operation of the mills, he had a hard time to convince them he was Jewish as well. It was not until he told them how he celebrates Yom Kippur and Shabbat, and recited part of Shema by heart, that they accepted him, with difficulty, as one of the tribe.
A few months ago, our very own Isi Davis visited Belmonte and wrote an excellent piece about his visit.

As you can see, he was unable to get inside the Bet Eliahu synagogue. (Old habits kinda die hard. You do have to arrange for a visit, or know the “secret number” to call. ;) It is very pleasant and heimische, but you shouldn’t expect medieval imposing architecture, nor any unique traits of an old Portuguese community (as you would in Amsterdam, for instance). This synagogue is a mere 23 years old, consecrated in 1996.
Ironically, now that the Crypto-Jews came out of hiding and lead an openly Jewish life, what with the Jewish museum, a Rabbi, a Synagogue, and a kosher hotel in town – between the tourism revenues and the grants they’ve been receiving from international Jewish organizations, the town of Belmonte finds most of its sustenance from the tiny Jewish community it once worked so hard to erase.

The city of Tomar, one of the oldest historical and architectural jewels of Portugal, was born inside the walls of a 12th century convent, a Templar stronghold. By the early 15th century, the Jewish population of the city numbered hundreds. Many Jewish tradesmen and artisans came here to find refuge after the exile from Spain, and were largely undisturbed (counted as nominal Christians under the census) until the establishment of a Tribunal of Portuguese Inquisition in 1536. Once the active persecution began, the wealthiest Jews managed to flee while the rest were forced to convert.

There was no major pocket of crypto-Jewish life in Tomar that we are aware of. Yet, amazingly, it is here that you will find one of the best preserved old Synagogues of the Iberian peninsula. Built between 1430-1460, it has had a colourful past; after the Jews were forced out by the decree of king Manuel I, it has served, consequently, as a prison, a Christian chapel, a common cellar, and a grocery warehouse, before being classified as a national monument in 1921, and eventually purchased by Samuel Swartz (remember him from the story of Belmonte Jews?), who had finally converted it into a Jewish museum in 1939. The museum bears the name of Abraão Zacuto, a Rabbi and historian who served as the royal astronomer to King Joao II.

Every original detail has a symbolic meaning; the four columns supporting the vault represent the four matriarchs, and there are twelve corbels, one for each tribe.
The Synagogue is fully functional – various organizations and private donors sent in donations in money and kind from all around the world (the Torah scroll came from a congregation in Australia). Alas, there are not enough Jews for a minyan in Tomar; the three remaining families go to Lisbon for the holidays (about 90 minute drive). If you want to bring a group to pray here, you have to arrange for it way in advance (this is the voice of experience).

In a sense, this is a mirror image of the Jewish stage in Belmonte; the synagogue was preserved but the community is largely gone. Last week, the wonderful Dona Tereza, an elderly lady who took it upon herself to maintain the Schule and the museum after the passing of her husband Luiz, peacefully passed away and was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Lisbon. Her amazing energy, love of all things Jewish, her kindness and positivity remain an inspiration to everyone who ever met her. (I haven’t seen her for over a year and was looking forward to another encounter – which, as we just found out, was not meant to be. May her soul be bound up in the bond of life eternal.)
Next on “Where in the World”: in the footsteps of Marranos
Fast of Tammuz 17 + 1

Sunday, July 21 (Tamuz 18)
Because of the holiness of Shabbat, the fast of Tammuz 17 is this year postponed to today, Sunday, Tammuz 18.

The fast day mourns the breaching of Jerusalem's walls and the other tragic events that occurred on Tammuz 17.

Moses destroys the Golden Calf, and re-ascended Mount Sinai to plead G-d's forgiveness for the Jewish people.

During the Three Weeks, from 17th of Tammuz to the 9th of Av, we commemorate the conquest of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Holy Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people.


Rabbi Eli's Class for Women

Monday, July 22, at 7 pm.

The Sisterhood third discussion of medical Halachah
will focus on surrogate motherhood and human cloning.

As the session is intended for Sisterhood members only,
Rabbi Eli is promising, by popular request, an open-door rerun for anyone interested, date TBA.

12 Heaton Street, Toronto
Please enter back door off parking lot. Door will be open.
Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Service
with Cantor David Young.

Saturday, July 27 - Av, August 2

The choir will return after Summer Break in September.
Erev Tisha B’Av

Saturday, August 10  (9 Av)

Destruction and a Time to Build
The Romans set the Temple aflame on the afternoon of Av 9.
August 25 - 31
City of Łódź
Official commemoration of the
75th Anniversary of Liquidation of the Litzmannstadt - Ghetto.

Main Commemorations
29 August 2019
11am - Jewish Cemetery, 40 Bracka St.
12am - March of Remembrance from the Jewish Cemetery to the Radegast Station.
12:30pm - Museum of the Independence Traditions in Łódź, Radegast Station.
8pm - Survivors Park, 83 Wojska Polskiego St.
We Long for a Home… Jazz concert inspired by music 1945-1949 by artists who survived the Łódź ghetto.

Please join us for this milestone event...

Syd Markowitz / Freda Kon (survivor)
Book Chat
Thursday, September 19
7:30 PM
Lodzer Kiddush Room
September 19 - “Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love"  by Dani Shapiro
In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her.
Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.
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.
If interested contact:
Lodzer on tap

Morning Minyan

Sunday - Friday: 9:00 am
Run by Arthur Zins
Breakfast following services
Come Daven, Fress & Schmooze


Summer Break - See you in September.
Wednesday evenings from 7:30 - 8:30 PM
Please join this lively group,
led by Judy Hazan


Fridays 9:30 am
With warm-ups for joints and boxing drills. Free.
Led by David Birken.

Last class Friday, July 26 and will resume Friday, Sept. 6


Shabbat Services

Birkot ha-Shachar 9:12 am
Yishtabach 9:30 AM
Led by Cantor Young & Rabbi Eli
Kiddush following services
1953 - 2019
12 Heaton Street, M3H 4Y6  (416) 636-6665


We invite you to experience the Lodzer Congregation
Please join us for weekly Shabbat Services

Saturday Mornings
Birkot ha-Shachar 9:12 am
Yishtabach 9:30 AM
Led by Rabbi Eli & Cantor Young
Kiddush following services


and special musical Rosh Chodesh Shabbat Services
with Cantor David Young and his choir.


July 27 - Av, August 2 **
Aug. 31 - Elul, Aug.31 - Sept.1 **
Sept. 28 - Tishrei, September 30
Oct. 26 - Cheshvan, October 29 - 30
Nov. 23 - Kislev, November 28 - 29
Dec. 28 - Tevet, December 28 - 29

(** Choir on summer break)

Where in the world is Rabbi Eli?

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.

Making a difference to our shul
The Board along with Rabbi Eli are setting a new direction for our shul. "We are making changes to shul services and programming, and becoming more of a community." The Board discusses procedures and suggested innovations on a monthly basis. "We're not alone in this and would greatly appreciate your help."
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."

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.

Team Lodzer

Office Manager
Sarah Senior: 416-636-6665

Office Hours
Monday through Thursday:
9am - 1pm & 2pm - 4pm
Friday: 9am to 1pm

Rabbi Eli Courante
Cantor David Young
Ba’al Koreh Harvey Bitterman
Gabbai Arnold Yudell
Gabbai Sheni Rafi Remez

Board of Directors
Jeff Shabes, President
Harvey Storm, 1st VP
Morry Nosak, 2nd VP & Treasurer
Rafi Remez, Secretary
Josef Ber
Roz Greene
Syd Markowitz
Marilyn Richmond

Honourary Board Members
Eli Batsre (refuah shleimah)
Leon Pasternak
Frank Steiman

The Lodzer Sisterhood
Please Contact:

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.

Editor: Charles Greene
For submissions/feedback:

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Copyright © 2019 LODZER CENTRE CONGREGATION, All rights reserved.
Charles Greene,
2 Jul 2019, 14:53