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Posted 27 iyar 5780 / 21 may 2020


What’s Nu @ Sydenham Shul?

At the Forefront of Jewish Life

Your Family Shul Where Everyone is Welcome

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow is the 53rd Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem which occurred during the Six Day War in 1967 (in the Hebrew calendar). How I still remember the stirring words of General Motta Gur, Head of the Paratroopers, “Har Habayit b’Yadeinu!” “The Temple Mount is in our hands!”

Here are the exact words of General Uzi Narkiss, commander of the liberating forces of Jerusalem describing the moment of his arrival at the Western Wall: “In the narrow space were paratroopers, begrimed, fatigued, overburdened with weapons. They wept… tears of joy, of love, of passion, of an undreamed first reunion with our ancient wall...We clung to its stones, kissed them. Silently, I bowed my head and uttered the words Shema Yisrael…”

We will be marking this important day tomorrow in our Pre-Kabbalat Shabbat event on Zoom where we have managed to secure two iconic personalities for our own Shul event, famous author and historian Rabbi Berel Wein of Jerusalem, and singing superstar Avraham Fried from New York. Don’t miss it! See the poster below.

We had another excellent and busy week on Zoom this week. Last week I said that I thought our Shul was in the forefront of digital events, virtual services, and educational programming. This week, I’ve received so many calls, emails, and What’s App messages with such impressive feedback from all our events that I am now convinced! In fact, people are now eager to sponsor our Zoom events. Thank you to all who have volunteered. If you’d like to sponsor a Shul Zoom event please contact Rabbi Stern at

Last week’s Pre-Kabbalat Shabbat event with New York City’s Lincoln Square Synagogue team of Rabbi Shaul Robinson and Chazan Yanky Lemmer was a winner. Yanky’s duet with Yudi was my personal highlight!

And Rochel and I haven’t stopped getting compliments for our Monday night “Rabbi Goldman X 7” event with 6 of our sons from around the world. Yisroel (Izzi) in Melbourne was fast asleep at that time and Benc is in Israel working awfully hard on his exciting, new start-up initiative. We had a lot of fun and people all around the world enjoyed it. And just so you know, it was Rabbi Stern’s idea! 😊

Nissen participated even though it was his son’s Bris the next morning. Mazel Tov! They named him Nochum Shimon for his two great grandfathers, Nochum for my mechutan’s late father, and Shimon being for my own father obm.

My CAJE/JLI lesson on Sunday, “The Mourning After” - Grief & Consolation, was very well-attended and many people found meaningful comfort and solace.

This Sunday 24 May, Rabbi Stern will conclude the Journey of the Soul series with “The End Game” – The Ultimate Destination. What is the final destination on this voyage? Is death permanent? Is Resurrection Jewish? Is it possible that we may one day be reunited with our loved ones?

Remember: For those who booked for the original course: No charge.

New students: R50 per Lesson or R75 for both lessons. New students will receive the Student Handbook by email.

Please RSVP by clicking HERE (LINK:

Next week is jam-packed with Shavuot preparations.

Rebbetzin Estee Stern will be giving another of her popular Pre Yom Tov shiurim this Sunday, “Uplifting the Lockdown” – Rebooting our Hard Drive the Torah Way starts at 10:15 am. Bring your own refreshments. All welcome. See the poster below.

On Monday night we will have our very own Pre-Shavuot Tikkun Leil event with 6 speakers of under 10 minutes each on The Ten Commandments and Shavuot themes. TEN Talks will feature Guest Rabbis Oshy Feldman and Ricky Seeff as well as myself, Rabbi Stern, Rav Doron Chitiz, and Rebbetzin Estee too.

On Tuesday at 4 pm, in honour of Shavuot, Rebbetzin Rochel will be doing a Cheesecake Demo for our Bat Mitzvah girls. You are, however, all welcome to come along and watch at the same time. Trust me, it’s delicious! Kills my diet all the time!

On Wednesday evening we will have a big Pre-Shavuot Special with Music & More, and even a symbolic Yizkor and Duchening! Details to follow next week.

Then, starting on Sunday 31 May, our own Rav Doron Chitiz will be leading a new series by The Academy of Jewish Thought & Learning in partnership with SydShul. It’s a 5-week course called, The Anatomy of Halacha. How does Halacha work? How did a law get from Mt. Sinai to today? It’s a fascinating subject. See the poster and booking details below.

Remember, Rabbi Stern is giving daily learning at 10:30 am as well as continuing with his Wednesday night Gemorra Shiur. My own Mishna and Gemorra Shiurim continue with excellent numbers participating, and I am enjoying my Thursday afternoon series on Pirkei Avot called Ethics From Sinai. Owing to Shavuot starting on Thursday evening, next week we will have Ethics from Sinai on Tuesday starting at 4:45 pm. All welcome!

And if you didn’t know about all the above events, then you only have yourself to blame. If you still have not yet joined our special What’s App group called SydShul Corona Care, what are you waiting for?! Here’s the link:

And now that you have more time to connect to Hashem, please Daven. The men should not miss a day putting on Tefillin. Ladies, please light Shabbos candles on time (this week it is 5:11 pm). We can all recite extra Tehillim. The Book of Psalms is so powerful. Keep Shabbos! And don’t forget to call and keep in contact with the lonely and elderly. It’s a time for extra kindness and compassion, respect and sensitivity.

We continue to publish our popular weekly reader, GOOD SHABBOS SYDENHAM, but we will not be printing it. Please download and print so you can have your own copy to read over Shabbos. You may download the latest Good Shabbos Sydenham by clicking here. Enjoy a good read!

You are still welcome to call the Shul office on our new lockdown number, 064 326 6984, which number has been redirected and is now managed offsite. You may send emails to

Should you require advice or assistance from Rabbi Goldman you may contact him at or Rabbi Stern at

All account matters should be addressed to Jonty Cohen on Jonty has the Shul’s credit card machine and anyone who would be so kind as to want to pay their Shul fees or make a donation via credit card should please contact him. This will be deeply appreciated as our Treasury is seriously struggling to balance the budget. Please use the phone number 064 326 6984 or email One may also make payments online, including SnapScan, at Go to the bottom of the Home Page.

Remember, your Shul is here for you. Your Rabbis are available any time.

Please call if we can help in any way. Help someone else in need.

Keep the faith. Trust in G-d, and may He protect us all.

Mazel Tov to Asher and Dalya Marcus on the birth of their first child, a son, and to the grandparents Lorraine Marcus, and Stan and Claudette Rosen. Much nachas! I remember Asher, as a young man in our Shul and his first trip to Yeshiva in Israel. Of course, we remember Asher’s late father, Barry. Zayde Stan was a member of our Shul Choir way back when too.

Our sincerest wishes for a REFUAH SHLEIMAH to Itz Ginsberg, Nachi Kay, Rhona Scheftz, Michael Levitan, Sholem Treger, Arthur Hurwitz, and Shaun Karpelowsky. Complete and speedy recoveries, please G-d.

Remember that the Shul at Sandringham Gardens continues to operate faithfully for daily Minynim. The residents are ready and able to say Kaddish in a Minyan for your loved ones. Go to to submit names if you have a Yahrtzeit coming up and they will gladly do it on your behalf.

Generation Sinai is on tomorrow morning. They’ll be doing the Friday Night Kiddush this year. Enjoy it with your kids of all school-going ages. Shkoyach Chief Rabbi Goldstein for this excellent initiative.

Another fine edition of Jewish Life magazine is out now. Hard copies are available from selected shops around town. Or you can download it here.

My own column, Things I Learned…While Teaching Everyone Else is available here.

Here's this week's link to the SA Jewish Report.

Looking for a Mitzvah? You can help people in Alex stay warm. The CAN under the Angel Network are collecting used and new blankets, packets of soup, non-perishables, and warm clothing. Drop off (8 Long Ave Glenhazel) or call Heidi 082 4555 111.

And, finally, if you need excellent cloth face masks, I got mine from one of the ladies who is often at our Shul. Genevieve can do yours in the colour of your choice. Call her on 076 614 4629 and stay safe!


This week’s Parsha is Bamidbar as we begin the Book of Numbers. We start with a census of the Jewish People who numbered just over 600,000 but that was only the military census, males between 20 and 60 years of age. If you calculate the women, plus senior citizens, youth, and children we estimate some 3 million Jews stood at Mount Sinai for the Giving of the Torah and the Ten Commandments which we will commemorate next week on Shavuot.

The tribe of Levi was counted independently. They are called the King’s Legionnaires who served in the sacred Sanctuary and later in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The first-born, too, were counted separately and they were exchanged with the Levites and deconsecrated from their sacred status which was transferred to the Levites. The first-born had sinned at the Golden Calf episode while the Levites did not, hence the transfer of power.

We also read of the configuration of the 12 tribes around the Holy Ark while they would travel in the wilderness. There were three tribes on each side of the Ark. The Parsha concludes with the duties of the various families of the Levites and the family of Kehot had special responsibilities for transporting the sacred vessels and materials. This had to be done with the deepest respect and dignity and any mistakes would be severely penalised.



Parshas Bamidbar

Shabbos Mevorchim Sivan

Molad: Friday 22 May 11:42:12 a.m.

Friday: Yom Yerushalayim - 53rd Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem

Pre Kabbalat Shabbat Zoom event with global guests: Starts 4:10 pm

Candle-lighting: 5:08 pm (still getting earlier now!)

Pirkei Avot: Chapter 6

Shabbos ends: 5:59 pm

NB: Remember to Count the Omer nightly.

Sunday 24 May: Rosh Chodesh Sivan



  • Rebbetzin Estee Stern Sunday, Pre-Shavuot Shiur, 10:15 am.
  • Monday night 25th 8 pm: TEN Talks for Shavuot! With Guest Speakers
  • Tuesday 4 – 5 pm: Cheesecake Demo by Rebbetzin Rochel Goldman
  • Wednesday 4:45 pm: “Ethics From Sinai” – Insights from Pirkei Avot with Rabbi Yossy Goldman
  • Wednesday 8 pm: Special Pre-Shavuot Zoom event - Guest Speakers, Music & More, Pre-Yizkor Service, Virtual Duchening!

Shavuot: Thursday night 28th - Saturday night 30th May.

Remember to do an Eiruv Tavshilin on Thursday before Yom Tov to allow us to prepare food on Friday for Shabbos. See your favourite Siddur for easy instructions.

Candle-lighting Thursday 5:06 pm. (Blessings for Yom Tov & Shehechiyanu.)

Rochel and I wish you all a Good and Healthy Shabbos. We look forward to meaningful preparations for Shavuot next week.

Here’s my Quotation of the Week:

Food for thought. “After a game of chess, the King and the Pawn go into the same box.”

Stay well! Zei gezunt!

Missing you madly!


Warm regards,


Posted 27 Iyar 5780 / 21 May 2020

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NB: A new special "Unity" Sefer Torah will be written for the spiritual and physical protection of the South African Jewish Community and the world at large. Join in and participate in a first ever Torah written with the joint participation of every community in South Africa including the merit of 1000’s of children having the opportunity of owning letters in the Torah. Buy your letter today

Mon, 25 May 2020 2 Sivan 5780