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Posted 12 elul av 5779 / 12 september 2019


What’s Nu @ Sydenham Shul?

At the Forefront of Jewish Life

Your Family Shul Where Everyone is Welcome

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was 18 years since that terrible, terrible day known simply as 9/11! The news sites were full of commemorations, photos and reminiscences. I read one by a Hatzolah responder which was horrific. You would think the world would have gotten it then but, sadly, the world still doesn’t get it.

I remember how desperate I was as I tried to contact my brother Shmuly who was working right across the street in Manhattan at that time. The lines were all down and I couldn’t reach anyone in the whole family. Knowing how close he was to the World Trade Centre I was agonising and very anxious about him. It was only that night that we managed to make contact and learn that he was, thank G-d ok, but that he had to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to get home with something covering his mouth and nose so he didn’t inhale all the smoke. May Hashem protect us from the madmen and murderers of this crazy world!

And in Israel, the murderers continue to fire rockets from Gaza. PM Netanyahu himself had to run for cover as he was giving a speech in Ashdod! And next week Israel goes to the polls again. Let’s hope we get a result, and may it be the right result! (Pun intended!)

On Sunday night I attended the Jewish Achievers Dinner at Sandton Convention Centre with over 900 other guests. Big shkayach to Howard Sackstein, the main man behind the event. The guest speaker and entertainer was Maestro Benjamin Zander of the Boston Philharmonic. Quite a personality! He’s 80 years old but to watch him conduct the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra was a meichel. And his message was excellent too. Another highlight was the short speech given by Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery, who was presented with the ABSA Business Icon Award. He said that, somehow, he has become the ‘poster boy’ for preaching positivity about South Africa. Indeed, we are publishing his article on the subject in our upcoming Sydnamics Rosh Hashanah magazine. Look out for it soon.

Some of the other winners were Sir Mick Davis who received the Capricorn Lifetime Achievement Award. Mick and I go back decades. He was a student at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, and I ran a Shabbaton there back in my Chabad House days amolige yohren. Michael Gewer won the Kirsh Family Entrepreneur Award for his innovative company, CellVault. Our friends Bernie and Rose were kvelling big time!

Another intriguing irony of the evening was the acceptance speech by the Co-Winner of the ABSA Business Award, Greg Solomon the Chief Executive of McDonald’s SA. Of all the winners and speakers, who should make the most frum speech of all? The guy who runs McDonald’s! His burgers may not be kosher but he himself sounded Mehadrin Kosher! All in all, it is always fascinating and inspiring to see the massive contribution to our country made by such a small community. G-d bless us!

And I just picked this up today from Chabad.Org. The state of California has just taken an enormous step forward in ensuring that Jewish residents are able to practice their faith freely with the Governor signing into law a bill that protects their right to place a mezuzah on their doorposts.

When Meir Lang moved into a new apartment in Mountain View, Calif., with his wife a few years ago, they affixed an ornate glass mezuzah case on their doorpost. Soon afterwards, the building management informed them that they had to take it down or be found in violation of their lease agreement as it didn’t fit in with the aesthetics. Known as the “Mezuzah Bill,” Senate Bill 652 establishes that property owners “shall not enforce or adopt a restrictive covenant or any other restriction that prohibits one or more religious items from being displayed or affixed on any entry door or entry door frame of a dwelling.”

Baruch Hashem, we don’t have such problems in South Africa. Only California is so meshugga that you need legislation to put up a Mezuzah!

Thank you to all who have already contributed to the The RABBI’S YOM TOV APPEAL. Again, I request of you to Help Us Help the Needy to have an easier Rosh Hashanah and Yom Tov season! Please give generously and ASAP as there are many more people needing assistance this year. Regrettably, the banks are charging a fortune in fees for every cheque, so please help by either doing an EFT or bringing cash into the office. Please don’t wait for the last minute.

Rabbi Goldman Discretionary Fund. FNB. Norwood Branch Code 258 624. Account Number 503 600 89 202.

Thank you and G-d bless you!

This Shabbos, we will have the very first SydFams Shabbos Lunch for families with children in school or university. Some 200 souls are booked. Our interesting guest speaker is Setlogane Manchidi, Head of Corporate Social Investment at Investec. Thank you, Rabbi Stern! (Sorry, but booking has closed.)

CAJE: The final session in our JLI Course – This coming Monday night. Towards a Meaningful Life, A Soul-Searching Journey for Every Jew has been outstanding. Book on-line after Shabbos or in the office on Monday morning. All welcome.

YOM TOV SEATING: Please contact Jonty if you want to confirm or change your seating. And please do it sooner than later. Remember to bring your friends and family! Chazan Yudi, Doron and our singers are very busy preparing wonderful Yom Tov services for us. It’s gonna be great!

SEATING SUNDAY: The Shul office will be open on Sunday 22 September from 10.00 a.m. to 12 noon Please take advantage of this opportunity to sort out your seating needs.

And I just heard that the Lions Shul in Doornfontein is not having Yom Tov services this year. If you, or people you know, would like to join us at SydShul, please do. We’d love to have you.

Our big Rosh Hashanah Sydnamics Magazine is now in production. It looks like another great read.

I am pleased to report that our Shul Halls are now getting busier by the week! We’ve had some stunning décor at some functions here lately. To book your simcha in the Seeff Hall or Elk Hall, call Gabi on 011 640 5021. Shul Members are eligible for a discount.

A Summary of our Shul Survey and our SydShul Vision 2025 is available from the Shul office. Just call Shirley on 011 640 5021 or email her on and she’ll give you your copy. It will also feature in Sydnamics.

We have a few spaces left in our Bat Mitzvah Programme for 2020. If you have a daughter turning 12 next year, please call Ingrid on 083 377 1111 for more information. I cannot recommend our Batties Programme and Ceremony highly enough. You will love it!

Yudi, Doron and the boys are back after a free Shabbos last week. They really are getting better and better by the week. Come see and hear for yourself!

The Shul Brocha is in the beautiful Garden of the Bayit this Shabbos.

Following that, please join me for Rabbi Goldman’s “Halacha of the Week” Shiur in the big Shul.

MAZEL TOV on his BAR MITZVAH to Yonatan Horowitz (aka Yoni), his parents Mark Horowitz & Caryn Rachbuch, grandparents Thelma Horowitz, John & Patricia Flaum. We shall soon know whose voice Yoni has inherited. 😊 Much nachas!

Mazel Tov to Liron Mindel for his Bar Mitzvah last week and to his parents Errol and Tracy. Wishing you all much nachas.

Mazel Tov for her Bat Mitzvah to Eden Dworcan, and her parents David & Rikki Dworcan, and grandparents Henry & Moira Dworcan, Joe & Joan Gaddie. Loads of nachas!

Mazel Tov on their engagement to Justin Berman & Tanna Behrmann, their parents Adrian & Marcelle Berman, Wayne & Tracey Behrmann, and grandparents Annette Rosin, Vivian & Margo Epstein, Roscoe Berman. (Just slight change needed in Tanna’s ID book and Passport I see.)

Mazel Tov to Trevor & Tanya Gordon on the birth of a daughter, and to the grandparents Lionel & Gail Gordon, Michael & Jackie Bellon. Enjoy!

Congrats to Helen Stein on her big 70TH Birthday! Many happy and HEALTHY returns!

We wish a sincere Refuah Shleimah to Leslie Berman, Paula Joffe, Shaun Karpelowsky, Lorraine Rosmarin, Ronnie and Merle Kaplan, and Thelma Koz.

We wish long life to James Urdang and family on the passing of his brother Guy. only simchas, please G-d.

I see Harry Mintz has passed away. Long life to Bella and family.

This Sunday there will be two Consecrations and Unveiling of Tombstones.

11.30 a.m. late Phillip Shulman, (father of Jeff, Lesley and Marlene).

12.00 noon late Eric Brainin (father of Darryl).

You may download the latest Good Shabbos Sydenham clicking here, so even if you cannot be in Shul this Shabbos you can still enjoy a good read.

Please note: Proof of payments and all account related matters should be sent to and not to the Shul office.

Our daughter Sarah Feldman will be having a Yom Tov Pop Up Shop in Glenhazel on Sunday 15th, 2 pm - 5 pm, and Monday 16th September 8:30 am – 5:30 pm at 23 Long Avenue. Just in time for all our ladies to be well-dressed in Shul.

And if you are looking for a clever Yom Tov gift, my book, From Where I Stand, is available from the Shul office at only R350.

Have you heard of The MUG SHOT? Sid Scheftz specialises in printing photos or messages on mugs for memorable occasions. Can also be a nice Yom Tov gift. Call Sid on 011 640 3749 or email

Want to move closer to your favourite Shul? A new 3-4-bedroom simplex, 850m from Sydenham Shul is on sale now, as well as a vacant stand in Sydenham near Hatzolah. Call Barry Lewis on 082 450 1800.

Here’s another inspirational JLI short inspirational film. It’s under 2 minutes. It’s called “Unbeatable.” You can just click here to watch:


This week’s Parsha is Ki Teitzei which boasts no less than 74 of the Torah’s 613 Biblical commandments. The range of commandments is very broad, full spectrum – laws of warfare, burying the dead asap, returning lost property, no cross-dressing, to send the mother-bird away before taking her chicks or eggs, to build a guard-rail around a flat roof (or a swimming pool I would argue), not to plant wheat and grapes together, not to wear wool and linen in one garment (shatnez), marriage and divorce, rape, seduction and their penalties, laws against promiscuous behaviour (basically, anything out of wedlock), workers eating on the job, paying workers’ wages on time (is a Mitzvah of the Torah too!), to leave forgotten sheaves in the field for the poor, Yibum and Chalitzah (when a man dies married but childless and has a surviving brother who is expected to marry the widow), fair weights and measures, to remember what Amalek did to us when we left Egypt and many more.


Shul Schedule:


Candle-lighting Friday 5:42 pm

Friday Mincha 5:40 pm

Shachris: Big Shul 8:30 am; Shtibl 9.00 am

Brocha in the Garden of the Bayit

Followed by Rabbi Goldman’s Halacha of the Week Shiur in the big Shul

Mincha 5:20 pm followed by Shalosh Seudos

Pirkei Avos: Chapters 1 & 2

Shabbos ends: 6:32 p.m.

Mincha next week at 5:45 p.m.

Remember Shofar and Psalm 27 daily in Elul.

SELICHOS Services begin next Saturday night. Stay tuned for more details.

Rochel and I wish you all a Gut Shabbos and Shana Tovah.



Posted 12 Elul 5779 / 12 September 2019

Wed, 18 September 2019 18 Elul 5779