The Late Heinz Warschauer, while our Director of Education, spent considerable time researching the source of our name. After many false starts, he found what we agree to be the source. The yad on our first Torah bears a Hebrew inscription which clearly says the yad, scroll, and all the Torah ornaments have been given to “Pirchay Kodesh” in Toronto by the Asher family of Montreal. Mr. G. I. Asher was the father of Mr. A G. Asher, in whose home the first meeting was held to form this congregation.
The translation of “Pirchay Kodesh” is Holy Blossoms. Apparently, the name originated with Mr. Asher in Montreal. There is some basis to assume that the Ashers consider themselves to be Kohanim (priests) but probably consulted with the Rev. Dr. Abraham de Sola, the learned rabbi of the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue, to which he belonged, about the name before he had the yad inscribed.
In the Talmud, young men preparing for the priesthood are called “Blossoms of the Priesthood” and sometimes were referred to as “Holy Blossoms”. This name implies that this new congregation consisted of dedicated religious people, about to bloom into a larger congregation. It is possible they used the English translation because some of the early members were born in England and wished to be known by a name the general public would understand as one suitable for a House of God. In order to have a name that applied to a congregation, rather than its members, it was changed to the singular “Holy Blossom”.