Love, Heaven and your Dog…

Alan J. Schwarz
7 min readSep 22, 2021

Jack Levy never considered himself the most religious man in the world. He didn’t mind going to Synagogue and went about once a month for a spiritual shower. He loved participating in community events and he did everything he could to contribute to the growth of the Beth Israel Synagogue.

In Jack’s town of Gerton, Ontario there were about twenty Jewish families, out of a population of forty-five hundred. When the community got together it was always a joyful celebration.

Jack was married to Tsipi Finestein who was born in Israel. The thing about Tsipi was that she was not religious at all. She was proudly Jewish but attending Synagogue was not her thing.

The Rabbi in Gerton, was also the Rabbi for a bunch of smaller Jewish communities in the North and as a result, he was always traveling. Rabbi Mordechai Silverman was constantly quoting the Great Chabad Rabbi Shneerson. He would say ‘’We don’t believe in labels, they are only good for clothing, not people. We treat everyone with respect.’’ Jack and Tsipi really liked him and his wife Sarah. The Rabbi and Rebbitzen cared about being available for the Jews of the north for any thing they might need or require.

One of the things the Rabbi liked to do was answer questions from the community. He had a weekly Zoom meeting and if he didn’t know the answers, he would get back to people after checking with Rabbinic authorities.

Jack and Tsipi enjoyed the question and answer sessions because some of the questions were highly entertaining and Rabbi Silverman had a great sense of humour. The weekly Zooms kept the Northern Jewish community together.

The ‘’Back and Forth with Rabbi Mordechai’’ was held on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm and lasted an hour. One of the people who always participated and had questions was Earl Manlow. Earl was in his early seventies. He was married to Fayge Weilman and they had four children, eight Grandchildren and two Great Grandchildren. Earl owned a mill and he was a very hands-on, guy. He was respected by everyone who knew him.

When Tuesday Evening rolled around the Rabbi gave some answers to different people in the community about things like what makes a fish kosher. He was talking about checking the Mezzuzahs on doorposts when he was interrupted by Earl…



Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.