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What’s Nu @ Sydenham Shul?

At the Forefront of Jewish Life

Your Family Shul Where Everyone is Welcome

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Dear Friends,


SHHHH.... The Secret is Out!

SHWEKEY is Back!

Carnival City....28 August.

Diarise now and watch this space to know when BOOKING will open so you don't dare miss out!!!

I just returned from Israel today after attending the Annual Chief Rabbi Harris Rabbinical Conference in Jerusalem. The Conference is an annual event but usually takes place in SA. Every now and then, however, we do make an exception and special arrangements are made to meet in Israel. And it really was exceptional! The quality of speakers and presenters available in Israel is simply breath-taking. We enjoyed a virtual all-star line-up of guest speakers, including the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau; Rav Herschel Schachter, the Head of the Kollel at Yeshiva University and a world famous Gaon whose familiarity with every area of halacha was simply mind-blowing as he fielded questions on dozens of topics with no advance notice; the well-known author and historian Rabbi Berel Wein; the highly respected halachic authority Rav Osher Weiss, who dealt with the most complex issues of Genetics and Medicine; Rabbi Prof Avraham Steinberg, the Director of the Talmudical Encyclopaedia and the author of the Encyclopaedia of Jewish Medical Ethics for which he was awarded the Israel Prize; Justice of Israel's Supreme Court, Judge Neal Hendel; and many more interesting experts in Politics, Law, Leadership, and Kashrut to name but a few.

A personal highlight for me was to introduce and thank the distinguished author and psychiatrist Rabbi Dr Abraham Twerski, whom I invited to SA back in 1991 and who wrote a very kind testimonial for my book when it was first published. He is now deep in his 80's (having authored no less than 84 books!) and in a wheelchair, but he made the effort to come to the Ramada Hotel to speak to us for which we were all deeply grateful.

We also did an interesting tiyul along the Jordan River Valley. Our distinguished guide was Gen. Uzi Dayan, a nephew of Moshe Dayan and a former Deputy Chief of Staff of the IDF. His insights on the strategical absurdities of Land for Peace were most enlightening. We also stopped at the place thought to be where Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River to conquer Jericho. Interestingly, he described it as "the First Aliyah!" We just did that whole story in my Gemorra Shiur.

We also witnessed the pulsating life that is Israel today with tourists from across the entire world, where every conceivable nationality and language was represented. I was also gratified to learn that the unusually large number of secular Israeli women we saw who are expecting a child is supported statistically as well as anecdotally. The Jewish birth rate in Israel is today higher than the Arab birth rate! We are now at 3.5 children per family and that is not only because of the chareidim! Thank G-d!

Of course, there is much, much more to share, which we will hopefully do over Shabbos in Shul. All in all, it was a jam-packed three days and the only time I had to breathe and do my own thing was on Wednesday before returning to SA.

The first students of our JLI Hebrew Reading for Beginners course with our Rabbinic Interns are already graduating now! If you still want to become a more literate Jew, please hurry! Call the office on 011 640 5021 or write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The CAJE final lecture on "The Prime Ministers" takes place this Monday 16 July. Benjamin Netanyahu will be presented by Rabbi Ramon Widmonte. Bookings through the Academy.

Rabbi Hanoch Teller is an accomplished author and master storyteller. He will be joining is here at SydShul for a special talk on Tuesday 24 July at 7:45 pm. "Cecilia's Story: Our Misssion" is dedicated to our dearly departed Cecilia Boruchowitz, a Holocaust Survivor, talented musician, and unforgettable personality. We thank the Boruchowitz and Brasg families for helping us arrange this talk during Rabbi Teller's upcoming visit to SA. Please do RSVP. There is no charge. Call 011 640 5021 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The 75th AGM of our Shul will take place on Thursday 26 July at 7.45 p.m. Please diarise the date and make every effort to attend. Get involved. Show an interest. Come, hear, and participate in person. Hope to see you there.

Gabi Wineberg, our new Function & Events Co-Ordinator, is getting busier with functions and simchas in our Community Centre. Tomorrow there is another Bris and lots more is on the cards. Gabi now has an e-mail and can be contacted on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call her in the office on 011 640 5021. She will assist you in organising a stunning function that runs 100% smoothly. And don't forget that if you're a SydShul member, you will get a discount on hire of all Shul halls including the new Bayit and Garden which is ideal for a smaller function.

Please help us communicate with you better! If you have still not yet updated your important family information on to our new ShulCloud database, please do so ASAP. Kindly fill in your family details, Yahrtzeits, etc, and preferred methods of correspondence so you get all our Shul communications accurately and effectively. Please include everyone in the family. Get them all involved!

All you need to do is Click Here and then do the following when prompted to update your data in ShulCloud:

If you are struggling, you may feel free to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Finally! My book, From Where I Stand, is now in South Africa, and here in Joburg! It will take a little time until it is available in the book shops but thank G-d it's here in town.

Welcome to our Guest Chazan Mark Samowitz who will be davening with the Choir over Shabbos.

Ladies Shabbos morning Shmooze with Rebbetzin Estee Stern 10 – 10.30 a.m. in the Community Centre. Coffee, tea & refreshments.

The Brocha is in the Seeff Hall and will be followed by our Smorgasbord of Shiurim. My Halacha of the Week will be on The Nine Days; and Rabbi Stern continues with Tanya.

This Friday is Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, which means we are entering the calendar period of The Nine Days. And that means no meat, chicken, or wine except for Shabbos until after Tisha B'Av which is on Sunday 22 August.

Mazel Tov to Joel & Gina Smookler on the birth of a daughter, and to the grandparents Stan & Ava Smookler and Paul and Elaine Levin and great grandmothers Edith Grunbaum and Annette Levin. Much nachas.

Mazel Tov to Ken & Jennifer Pearce on their 50th wedding anniversary. Many happy, healthy returns.

We wish a sincere Refuah Shleimah to Peter Michels, Philip Milner, and Jeff Lieb. Hope to hear of your complete and speedy recoveries.

On Sunday we will hold the Consecrations of the Tombstones for the late Craig Marcus at 10.30 a.m. and for the late Neil Jacobson at 11.00 a.m. We wish both families Long Life.

It gives me much sadness to report the passing today of our stalwart Chorister of many years, and a gentleman of note, Hymie Sacks. Hymie celebrated his 90th in grand style only a few short weeks ago with the Haftorah and a big Brocha. Sadly, he was deteriorating quickly. The funeral will take place on SUNDAY at 11:45 am. We wish David and Victor and their families and all Hymie's special Shul friends strength and comfort.

It's holiday time and people are away, so if you are able to come to Shul during the week especially in the morning and on Sundays to help us make a minyan, please do so. We would be pleased to welcome you. Thank You.

A Memorial Plaque in blessed memory of Craig Marcus has been put up by his wife Nicci, daughter and family. Thank you. If you would like to perpetuate the memory of your loved ones, please call Shirley at 011 640 5021.

Jewish Women's Benevolent invites you to Breakfast with esteemed businessman Stephen Koseff & insightful MC Howard Sackstein at Investec on Tuesday 17 July. Bookings contact Gloria 011 485 5232.

A mere stone's throw from Sydenham/Highlands North Shul.
Three-bedroom, 2-bathrooms (main en suite) well maintained apartment, walk in pantry, plenty of built-in cupboards, sizeable balcony. Kitchen with double sinks (milk and meat), space for a washing machine and fridge. Open plan lounge and dining area with space for a full 8-seater dining table.
For those starting out, kosher appliances, dishes and dinner services – as well as some furniture can be included in the price.
Very well-built complex. Excellent 24-hour security with security guards. Elevator, beautiful gardens and swimming pool. Call Mike on 083 6313760 or Sue on 083 5555100.


This week's Parsha is a double one, Matos and Massei. We thus conclude the 4th of the Five Books, Bamidbar-Numbers. It deals with vows and keeping one's word; the war against Midyan after which Moshe will be gathered unto his people; the spoils of that war; the request by the tribes of Gad and Reuven to settle on the west side of the Jordan River where there was very fertile grazing land for their huge numbers of livestock, and Moshe's condition that they must first join their brothers in the conquest of the Promised Land and only then return to these lands.

Massei lists the journeys of the Israelites from the Exodus from Egypt to the borders of Israel. There were 42 stops in all. we also read of the exact Biblical borders of Israel, the establishment of Cities of Refuge for those guilty of manslaughter to find safe haven from the wrath of the victim's family. The book of Numbers concludes with the condition stipulated to the daughters of Tzlafchad who desired to inherit their father's share in Israel. It would pass over to them as he had no sons, however they would be required to choose husbands only from the same tribe as their father, Menashe. Indeed, they all did.

Chazak, Chazak, v'Nischazek!


Shul Schedule

Friday Candles: 5:14 pm (SLOWLY GETTING A BIT LATER NOW.)

Friday Mincha: 5:20 pm

Shachris: Big Shul 8:30 am; Shtibl 8:45 am

Brocha: Seeff Hall

Smorgasbord of Shiurim

Shabbos Mincha: 4: 55 pm followed by Pirkei Avos (Chapter 2).

Shabbos ends at 6:06 p.m.

Mincha next week at 5.20 p.m.

G-d bless. Hope to see you in Shul over this Shabbos and next. Zei gezunt!

Rochel and I wish you all a Gut Shabbos.



Posted 29 Tamuz 5778 / 12 July 2018