CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF PYTHIANISM
Knights of Pythias
Domain of Quebec
Located in the city of Laval, just a short drive from Montreal, is our
Pythian Cemetery. The Association invites Jewish members of the Knights
Of Pythias of Quebec that are in good standing to join our cemetery
association, and to reserve a single or double plot. The fees are
extremely reasonable. The Cemetery is run according to strict Orthodox
Jewish laws and is recognized as such by the Orthodox Jewish Rabbinate
Pythian Memorial Day
September 27, 2015
Every year, around the Yom Toviem,
we have the honour of welcoming members to our Memorial
Service. Family and friends have the time to visit the graves of
their loved one. Our Cemetery Secretary had the opportunity to
speak to those assembled. Below is a copy of his welcoming speech.
Dear Friends: We are gathered here this morning for a special
memorial service to remember our loved ones, and to say hello to our
departed family and friends. We know that anyone who is lovingly
remembered has never really left us as they will always remain dear to
us in our hearts and minds. When physical life ends, only the
body dies, but the soul ascends to the realm of the spirit where it
attains higher levels of purity and holiness.
It is said by our sages that when ever some one observes the Mitzvah of
visiting the grave of a loved one, the soul of the departed person will
soar up in the heavens. Performing the deed of visiting our
departed loved one is considered to have special virtue. It helps
us to remember the people who gave us life, or whom we have shared our
lives and inspire us to perform good actions. Moreover, Jewish
mystics believe that visiting the graves of dead relatives encourages
them to intercede with God on our behalf.
This cemetery represents the history of the Knights of Pythias, as it
is the final resting place of so many great and dedicated
Pythians. These people helped build our Pythian Order and make it
what it is today. As well, many of these dear departed worked so
hard to develop this cemetery association into the first class
organization that it is today.
Many Pythians that we remember today at this ceremony should be an
example for all of us to follow, as we continue to work for our Pythian
Order and the Jewish Community of Montreal. I want to thank our
president Sir James Indig, vice President Michael Berman; our Grand
Chancellor Donald Lieberman, members at large Marvin Goodman, Gerald
Gould and Calvin Finkelstein. At this time I would like to
remember the late Cecil Labow, the late Ivor Schwartz and Harry Shucker
who have worked hard and have given great dedication and devotion to
this cemetery transforming this land into a highly respectable Jewish
final resting place.
There is a connection between the Knights of Pythias and our Jewish
religion. Our Pythian motto, our code of conduct, of Friendship,
Charity and Benevolence, what does this mean in our Jewish religion and
In the Torah we find the commandment "Love your fellow being as you
would love yourself." Most of the Old Testament words for
"friend", "friendship" or "be friendly" comes from two Hebrew roots
meaning "one who loves G-d” is commanding us to be friendly, to
show friendship to our fellow men, just as it is in our Pythian Motto
of Friendship, Charity and Benevolence. Thus, by definition, just
being a member of the Knights of Pythias indicates and characterizes
the Pythian as a very special human being, who truly cares about the
needs and concerns of others.
In so many ways the many Biblical stories of friendship remind us of the love and friendship of Damien and Pythias.
Charity is so much a part of our Jewish faith. In the period of
our Holiest Day, we are reminded of three important duties for Jews to
perform, Tefilia, (prayer) Tsuvah (Repentance) and Tzavah
(Charity). Again, by following the motto of the Pythian Order, we
obey and follow the cornerstone of our Jewish religion.
A great deal of the money we raise for our Pythian Appeal goes to
Montreal, Jewish or Israeli Charities, the evenings many of us spend
with the sick, the elderly, our war heroes, the injured, and the poor,
all in the name of Pythian charities, fulfill greatly the commandments
of Tzavah. The volunteering of our time, energy and skills all go
to make our community a better place to live in.
To memorialize the lives of such dedicated and devoted Pythians
members, is a great honour and mitzvah, especially now that we ushered
in the New Year of 5776 of the Hebrew calendar. In honour of
these precious holy souls who have left our world, to reap the heavenly
reward, we beseech the All Mighty to indeed bless each and every one of
us and our families and friends with a happy, healthy and prosperous
New Year. May we all merit the coming of the Messiah when the
Good L-rd will bring true peace and brother hood and
At this time I would like to make a special presentation to a very special and dear Pythian Brother.
The late Brother Eddie Kasner was a Brother who a a true Pythian.
He was a kind, decent, charitable man who always looked forward to our
meetings, to greet his Brethren in a spirit of friendship.
Last December, I received a call from Eddie telling me he won’t be able
to attend our Annual Chanukah Party because he wasn’t feeling
well. He felt awful missing this meeting, but I told him we will
look forward to seeing him really soon. Regrettably, he passed
away and his presence was always missed at our meetings. He
reminded all of us that we should never putting off telling our loved
ones how we feel about them!
With this in mind, I would like to dedicate a plaque in his loving
memory, telling everyone that we miss him and will always to thinking
of his kindness, friendliness and his charitable nature.
On behalf of Donald Lieberman, Grand Chancellor of the Domain of
Quebec, and his Cabinet, and the executive and members of our Knights
of Pythias Cemetery Association, I would like to extend best wishes for
a Shanna Tova.