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Last Of The Old Time North End Rabbis, Peretz Weizman, Passes Away

Rabbi Peretz Weizman Z'L" was born in Lodz, Poland in 1920 and the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust. He made a profound and everlasting impression on generations of Jews in Canada for 67 years until his passing on Holocaust Remembrance Day in Toronto, just months before his 100th birthday.

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Peretz Weizman, rabbi, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on July 19, 2016, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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He returned to Lodz after the war, alone after 60 relatives were murdered. He met and married in 1946 and Riva had their first child, Sam, in 1947 in Poland. They moved to Israel and a daughter Tzila was born but quickly, they immigrated to Winnipeg.

“I love Winnipeg,” he once told the Canadian Jewish News . “I feel very comfortable there. It has a very nice, comfortable element there. It’s heimishe, a cold climate, but warm people.” Arriving in 1953 he worked as a Jewish school teacher while completing rabbinical studies. Weizman became the Rabbi of Bnai Abraham Synagogue in 1960 in the growing suburb of West Kildonan, and would be in his pulpit for over 50 years.

This is where his connection to my own family was cemented when he formed a legenday davening team, leading the congregation in prayer with my grandfather’s first cousin David Boroditsky, a world-famous Cantor. They packed the sanctuary for years. Later he provided the Rabbinate in Israel a letter verifying my sister was Jewish to enable her marriage to a Sabra.

The tributes to his wisdom, knowledge and manner flowed in not only from Winnipeg, but from Toronto where he retired to the Kensington seniors residence and continued to impact lives.

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“He was a very righteous man who scared the crap out of me when he would bang his hand on the pulpit and demand quiet from the congregation when we were young” wrote a fomer congregant.” I really appreciated him later in life and was proud to have have had him marry us. So many good memories.”

Bnai Abraham Synagogue

Another couple called him “one of the great Rabbis, thinkers and orators of our generation. His ability to give the most meaningful Divrei Torah on any subject with no notice was unparalleled.”

Even in retirement he continued to harken back to the dark days before freedom and liberty.

Israel and Limore Ellis wrote: “A couple of years ago I went to see the Rabbi at Kensington. I told him that I was recently in Lodz and described three backfilled unmarked graves at the cemetery. These graves were the favor the Nazis were going to give to the remaining survivors of the ghetto. Fortunately for those survivors, the Russians came in and the Germans ran away. Those who survived collected all the Sheimesh and buried the books and Torah scrolls in these graves.”

“The Rabbi slapped my knee with excitement and “you know who vas there? That vas my first eulogy!”

Another person remembered him quietly sharing that “while in the Lodz Ghetto, the Germans, NO Nazis, took note of his name and that of Chaim Weizmann, a staunch Zionist and a prominent Worldwide Jewish leader. Rabbi Weizman suggested for us that he felt that perhaps the Nazis treated him differently better? than others on account of their believe that they were related.”

Despite the hardship and horror he lived through, “The Rabbi never complained, except once when answering a question how is the food, he made reference to a certain simple soup that they made at the residence, and how bad it was, stating that even that simple soup they managed to ruin.”

Claudia Hoskins interviewing Rabbi Weizman

Jack & Marla Samuel shared thoughts of both his yiddishkeit, and of his inexorable link to Yom Hashoah. “We came to know Rabbi Weizman (at) Kensington Retirement Home. We discovered a man who could regale audiences of young and old with fascinating stories, clever jokes and the most thought provoking, learned words of Torah. Though humble in nature he was incredibly brilliant when it came to Jewish history, liturgy and law.”

“On two occasions we witnessed Rabbi Weizman recite the Yizkor prayer for the six million Jewish souls murdered in the Holocaust. His was no ordinary Yizkor.”

“The power of the words he chose in the version of this ancient Jewish prayer which he himself composed were matched only by the intensity of his voice as his heartfelt words penetrated our hearts and ascended to heaven. Rabbi Weizman never forgot where he came from.”

A longtime Winnipeg colleague, Rabbi Neal Rose and his wife Carol addressed the family: Dearest Tzila, Sam, Yacov, Angie – children & grandchildren – Our sincerest & heartfelt condolences. As you know, Peretz was part of our professional & personal Wpg “chèvre”. More importantly, Peretz was always a person we learned something from – “a vort, a niggun, a Maiseh” – something that enriched our lives … We wish we could be there to escort him to the higher realms – where he will surely be greeted with affection & respect.”

BARUCH DAYAN EMET

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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