Shalom <<First Name>>   
Wednesday, July 27th, 2022
Friday, July 29th ~ KABBALAT SHABBAT
Sponsored by Boris Apel & Ella Pavlova
with Rabbi Cohen & Cantor Baruch

Saturday, July 30th ~ SHABBAT MATOT-MASEI
10:30 AM - Shabbat Morning Prayers & Songs with Cantor Baruch
11:00 AM - Torah Study with Rabbi Cohen

We're back with all services IN PERSON and ON-LINE.
 אִישׁ֩ כִּֽי־יִדֹּ֨ר נֶ֜דֶר לַֽיהֹוָ֗ה אֽוֹ־הִשָּׁ֤בַע שְׁבֻעָה֙ לֶאְסֹ֤ר אִסָּר֙ עַל־נַפְשׁ֔וֹ לֹ֥א יַחֵ֖ל דְּבָר֑וֹ כְּכׇל־הַיֹּצֵ֥א מִפִּ֖יו יַעֲשֶֽׂה׃
If a person makes a vow to God or takes an oath imposing an obligation on himself, he shall not break his pledge; he must carry out all that has crossed his lips.

                                                               -Numbers 30:3
In discussion with a colleague about great Jewish movies, I mentioned that there was one Jewish movie that I loved but was actually a really bad film. That movie is The Jazz Singer, the story of Jess Robin, formerly Yussel Rabinovitz, who returns to his home synagogue to sing Kol Nidre on Yom Kippur evening. Jess had fled his Orthodox upbringing to become a jazz singer and, in doing so, shattered his father’s dreams that he would follow in his footsteps as a cantor. The father disowns his son, but then, in a highly emotional moment, as his father lies dying, the son comes home to sing Kol Nidre in his father’s place. The movie ends with the words, “The seasons pass—and time heals—and the show goes on.”
I was referring to the 1980 version of the movie, starring Neil Diamond. The original 1927 film, starring Al Jolson, followed the same story line, based on an earlier play by Samson Raphaelson. Ironically, that same year, something fascinating happened in Jewish synagogue life, also to do with the chanting of Kol Nidre. While Al Jolson’s version of Kol Nidre was being heard in movie theatres all across North America, Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist movement and one of the 20th century’s most original and influential Jewish thinkers, decided that Kol Nidre would not be chanted in his synagogue. To quote Kaplan, “If we were to make use of music instead of words as a means of prayer, we could not conceive of any music more appropriate for the Yom Kippur mood than the music of Kol Nidre… But as prayer is also to depend upon the use of words, no text could be more inappropriate and less in keeping with the spirit of Yom Kippur than the text of Kol Nidre. It is a vow; a dry, legalistic formula couched in ancient Aramaic to be recited in matter-of-fact fashion in the presence of an improvised Beit Din of three men for the purpose of absolving one from ritualistic vows.” Kaplan wanted to keep the music but throw out the words. Kaplan’s synagogue in New York went along with their rabbi and abolished the wording of Kol Nidre. Instead, the melody was chanted using a selection of Psalms as the lyrics. But the change lasted for only one year. The next year they brought back the traditional Kol Nidre. There is something about those controversial words and that unattributed melody that invoke an emotional resonance in Jews that is just way too strong to be vanquished. It touches Jews’ hearts rather than their heads. As the Catholic philosopher Blaise Pascal famously said, “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”
We learn from this week’s double Torah portion, Matot-Masei, that vows are serious business. It states, “If a person vows a vow to God or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth”
(Numbers 30:3). With a vow, we are articulating a commitment, which, in Jewish tradition, has great power. If declared, a person must do everything possible to fulfill their vows, whether to God or to others. Kol Nidre, however, gives us an opportunity to be released from our forgotten or unfulfilled vows. It gives us a chance to be human. Not rational and intellectual, but, for a moment, purely emotional.

Rabbi Jordan Cohen
Our next HAVDALAH with FRIENDS will take place on Saturday night, August 13th, 7:30 PM -10:00 PM, with hosts Bill & Fortunee Shugar. RSVP for directions:
Let's enjoy some backyard parties at our member's homes this summer! Join us on any of these upcoming Saturday nights:
August 13th & September 3rd
Please choose at least ONE to come out to. We want to meet and mingle with our new and longstanding members. All you need is a portable lawn chair and a treat to share with others. We'll supply the beverages (BYO wine or beer if you wish!), great music and a brief Havdallah service! Hope to see all of our members there:)
The Clergy Liaison Working Group is again active and is now available to contact.  In the interest of keeping our leadership up to date with the interests of our members, we are encouraging any and all feedback (held in the strictest confidence), that can be addressed by the Working Group.  We will be communicating regularly with Rabbi Cohen and Cantor Baruch.  We look forward to hearing from you.  

Contact Richard Levy Chair at: OR 905-528-0121 ext 25


  • THANK YOU to Boris Apel for baking our delicious Challah this past Shabbat
  • THANK YOU to Leah Ainsworth for preparing our Oneg Shabbat 
  • THANK YOU to Norm & Glenna Eby for Sponsoring the Oneg Shabbat this past week.
  • THANK YOU to Rob Murdoch & Chris Foley for our serving as our Tech team and to Michele Gunn for serving as our online host
  • THANK YOU to Roy Pollington for serving as the lay leader at Kabbalat Shabbat services
  • MAZEL TOV to Megan Popper and Brandon Mathieson on their wedding this week!
  • MAZEL TOV to Dave & Bonnie Loewith on the birth of a new grandchild!
IF YOU KNOW OF A MEMBER celebrating a milestone, please let us know! We'd love to celebrate them! 

Birthdays - July 27 to Aug 2
Temple Anshe Sholom wishes a very Happy Birthday to: Luba Apel, Sam Bader, Tom Gorsky, Dan Wertman
We are grateful for the following donations to Temple Anshe Sholom:
  • SHLOMIT ACCIAROLI for her donation to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund in memory of Philip Cohen
  • CARL LOEWITH & SANDI KATZ for their donation to the Sisterhood Flower Fund
  • MARIE MCKEARY for her donations to the Sisterhood Flower Fund in memory of Joann Gareis and Jessie McKeary

Norma Matchen
Paul Hanover
Sharon Naiberg
David Naiberg

Abraham Paikin
Ada Singer
Alfred Mendes da Costa
Emmy Dreyfus
Ernest Armstrong
Esther Goldstein
Ethel Seltzer
Harry Gerofsky
Irving Rosen
Paul Lederer
Robert Arnold
Sarah Morris
If you are are looking to volunteer with people coping with cancer or with their caregivers, please consider signing up for a new peer support program organized by Wellspring Cancer Support Network in collaboration with L'Chaim Cancer Support for Jewish Women (funded by the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada). This program is intended to be a resource for Jewish patients and families coping with cancer and they are currently offering online training for volunteers. Applications can be submitted at and if you have any questions about the program, please get in touch with Ilene Shiller at 
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Our mailing address is:
215 Cline Ave North, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 2A1

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Temple Anshe Sholom · 215 Cline Avenue North · Hamilton, ON L8S 4A1 · Canada

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