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Posted 29 shevat 5781 / 11 february 2021


What’s Nu @ Sydenham Shul?

At the Forefront of Jewish Life

Your Family Shul Where Everyone is Welcome

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

 Dear Friends,

So, tonight, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the State of the Nation virtually with only 50 MP’s in Parliament in person. Sounds like Shul! Maybe they should introduce a Shtibl in Parliament too! The good news is that it prevented Malema and the EFF from interrupting the proceedings. There didn’t seem to be any real sense of anticipation in the country though. What ever happened to that Smart City idea he suggested last year? Of course, he did have some more pressing matters to be worried about this year. But one can be forgiven for wondering if SONA stands for Speech Only, No Action! Anyway, I do wish him well. Please G-d, there should be some action!

I was pleased to see Trevor Manuel wiping the floor with Jesse Duarte for her comments against the Zondo Commission. Some 26 years ago, some of us at SydShul organised a Drive Against Crime where hundreds of cars drove in a motorcade from the top of Norwood Mall to Jesse Duarte’s offices in town. She was then MEC for Safety and Security. She was not very welcoming or at all sympathetic to our issues of crime having become completely out of control then. It generated a lot of publicity though, and even the 702 Traffic Helicopter covered us from above. Well, we tried.

This Shabbos we have quite a rarity - 3 Sefer Torahs will be read from in Shul! The Parsha of the Week (Mishpatim), Rosh Chodesh Adar, and Parshas Shekalim (about the half shekel tax which was always collected from the beginning of Adar).  Of course, on Rosh Chodesh we have the beautiful Hallel too! There’s also a special Musaf Amidah.

I hope you’ve booked for Shul as it seems both the Big Shul and Shtibl are now full. But who knows? Maybe there will be some cancellations and you can still get in. Do try. We are all very eagerly awaiting the change in regulations to allow bigger numbers than 50 at Shul! Meanwhile, we have arranged for a second Minyan in the Shtibl to accommodate as many people as possible. 

There are two Shachrit Services on Shabbos, both starting at 9.00 a.m. in both the Big Shul & Shtibl, starting from the beginning of the Service. At 10:30 a.m. there will be a Minyan for Musaf in the Bayit – Youth only.

We ask people not to just arrive without a booking on Shabbos as we would really hate to have to turn anyone away, but we must follow the health protocols strictly – and we do!

Our Shul is as safe as can be and you may all feel safe to confidently come to Shul. I look forward to seeing you all in due course, and as soon as possible, please G-d.

Although the 2-hour limit per Shul Service has fallen away, we will still keep our Services quick and crisp.

Our weekday services have resumed and are back on full schedule, morning and evening. We will also keep the Zoom Mincha & Maariv during the week for those who are unable to get to Shul.

And our Adult Education programme for 2021 is gathering momentum. It was very gratifying to see such a wonderful response to this week’s events. Both Rebbetzin Estee’s Sunday morning Shmooz and my new Monday night lecture series on the 13 Principles of Faith attracted over 100 devices which translates to a few hundred participants each.

My opening talk on Maimonides’ 13 Principles is a A Basic Primer of Jewish Philosophy and Theology. You don’t have to be a Talmudic scholar or a philosopher. It is absolutely required knowledge for every Jew! What do Jews actually believe? All welcome. All levels. Did you know that the hymn Yigdal, sung in Shul every Friday night, is all about these 13 Principles? It’s much more than a song, it’s a whole philosophy! If you missed it on Monday, you can find it on YouTube on the Shul channel. Every week will focus on different principles so each week is self-contained, and you may still join us on Monday regardless.

Our PRE- SHABBAT Zoom event tomorrow with your Rabbis and Chazanim will start tomorrow at 4:45 pm and end by 5:30 pm in time for those going to Shul. This week we will have another Guest Teen sharing a vort with us. Thank you, Josh Sachs of Grade 11 Yeshiva College. We will also be dedicating the programme to those whose Yahrtzeit occurs this week at the beginning of the programme. Make sure you join on time.

Meeting ID: 813 028 4050. Password: sydshul. Here is the link:

And with Shul Services having resumed. I am now once again able to recite Kaddish for all those observing a Yahrtzeit who cannot come to Shul. Please contact Shirley at the Shul office in the morning on 011 640 5021 and give her the dates and Hebrew names and I will do it for you gladly. It will be my honour and pleasure. Of course, if you can come in person to observe the Yahrtzeit that is always best.


And all our Shul’s regular Shiurim have now resumed. Please feel free to join a new Shiur in this new year. Don’t be shy. Most of us have more time on our hands these days. Let’s use it well.  See the poster below for details.

  • MISHNA & MYSTICISM with Rabbi Yossy Goldman, on Sundays at 9.15 a.m. (Mishna Shabbos).
  • KABBALAH OF THE ALEPH-BET for moms of children in school or university, with Rabbi Yehuda SternTuesday 8.30 a.m. (bi-weekly). Contact Rabbi Stern for more information.
  • TALMUD BAVA METZIA, classical, logical Gemorra, with Rabbi Yossy Goldman, Tuesdays at 7.45 p.m.
  • TALMUD CLASSES with Rabbi Yehuda Stern, Explore the depths of Jewish Law & Philosophy!  Wednesday nights at 8.00 p.m.

And Purim is only two weeks from tonight! We are very busy working an innovative programme. Watch this space! PURIM is on Thursday night and Friday, 26 February.

Here is my monthly column in the latest issue of Jewish Life magazine which has just been published. HERE             

MAZEL TOV to Natanya Joseph and Jonathan Palay for their wedding next week, and to their parents Avi and Avril Joseph, Dan and Tracey Palay, and grandparents, Doreen Bensaul, Lionel and Rhoda Joseph, Sheila Berkley, Judy Palay, Jim and Sandra Apple. May you build a Binyan Adei Ad! Natanya has been very involved in our Youth programmes over the years.

MAZEL TOV to Ian and Romi Saunders on the birth of a daughter, and to the grandparents Mervyn and Melissa Genende, Harvey and Jennie Saunders, and great grandparents Celia Genende, Sandra Seeff and Edie Frischoll. Much nachas.

MAZEL TOV to Noel and Sheila Twersky for their 50th wedding anniversary. Wow, I would never have guessed! Many more happy and healthy years, and as they say at the Shabbos Project…keep it together!

MAZEL TOV to a centurion! Herman Rothenberg escaped Germany in 1934 via the Kindertransport. He is our Treasurer Larry Smith’s 100-year-old Zayde! We wish Herman many more years of health and happiness. You can read more about him in this week’s Jewish Report.

We wish a Refuah Shleimah to Connie Chitterer, Marianne Ginsberg, Tessa Kibel, Bryan Diamond, Jonty Cohen, Chonie and Laurain Romm, Cecil Resnick, Stan and Jocelyne Friedman, Rhona Scheftz, Arthur Hurwitz, Michael Levitan, Sholem Treger and Shaun Karpelowsky. Complete and speedy recoveries to all please G-d.

Rosh Chodesh Adar is on Friday and Saturday.  Remember, “When Adar comes, we increase our joy”

It’s Purim at the Selwyn Segal Gift Shop too. They have beautiful Mishloach Manot starting from R60. Do a Mitzvah and bring some smiles and happiness into the lives of friends and family while making a difference in the lives of the Selwyn Segal Residents.   011 640-6413, 011 485 1344, or email them at


The Parsha is Mishpatim in Exodus 21:1–24:18.

Following the revelation at Sinai, G‑d legislates a series of laws for the people of Israel. These include the laws of the indentured servant; the penalties for murder, kidnapping, assault and theft; civil laws pertaining to redress of damages, the granting of loans and the responsibilities of the “Four Guardians”; and the rules governing the conduct of justice by courts of law.

Also included are laws warning against mistreatment of foreigners (xenophobia?); the observance of the seasonal festivals, and the agricultural gifts that are to be brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem; the prohibition against cooking meat with milk; and the mitzvah of prayer. Altogether, the Parshah of Mishpatim contains 53 mitzvot—23 imperative commandments and 30 prohibitions.

G‑d promises to bring the people of Israel to the Holy Land, and warns them against assuming the pagan ways of its current inhabitants.

The people of Israel proclaim, “Naaseh v’Nishma,” We will do and we will hear all that G‑d commands us.” Leaving Aaron and Hur in charge in the Israelite camp, Moses ascends Mount Sinai and remains there for forty days and forty nights to receive the Torah from G‑d.

As Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh Adar, we take 3 Sefer Torahs out for the readings of the Parsha, Rosh Chodesh, and Shabbos Shekalim.



“There is a fine line between a long sermon and a hostage-taking situation.”



Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim, Shabbos Rosh Chodesh, & Shabbos Shekalim

Pre-Shabbos Zoom Programme: 4:45 – 5:30 pm

Candle lighting:  6.15 p.m.

Friday Mincha: 5.40 p.m. Big Shul followed by Evening Services at 6.00 p.m. in both Big Shul & Shtibl.

Youth only: Bayit at 6.00 p.m.

Shabbos morning:  9.00 a.m. Big Shul & Shtibl

Musaf etc for Youth only: Bayit at 10.30 a.m.

Shabbos Mincha & Maariv: 6.25 p.m. in the Shtibl followed by an interesting Shiur by Rabbi Yehuda Stern.

Rosh Chodesh Adar: Tomorrow, Friday 12 & Shabbos 13 February

Shabbos ends: 7.24 p.m. 

Weekday Shachris:  5.40 a.m. & 7.00 a.m.

Shachris Sunday: 6.30 a.m. & 8.00 a.m.

Mincha: 6.00 p.m.

Remember: SydShul is open and our Minyanim are growing. But we still offer Mincha & Maariv weeknights over Zoom, Sunday – Thursday at 6 pm. All welcome.


Hoping to see YOU in Shul in person soon!

From Rochel and our family, I wish you a Gut Shabbos, Gut Chodesh, and a very happy Adar!



Posted 11 February 2021 / 29 Shevat 5781

Meeting ID: 813 028 4050

Password: sydshul

Meeting ID: 813 028 4050

Password: sydshul

Meeting ID: 813 028 4050

Password: sydshul

Thu, 25 February 2021 13 Adar 5781