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Posted 7 Kislev 5779 / 15 November 2018


What’s Nu @ Sydenham Shul?

At the Forefront of Jewish Life

Your Family Shul Where Everyone is Welcome

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Dear Friends,

Gaza explodes. Israel responds. ‘Premature’ ceasefire leads Defence Minister Liberman to resign, new Israeli elections loom, and the UN and world media are still going on about ‘hostilities’ and the need for ‘restraint from both sides.’ People are killed, houses destroyed, entire cities and communities traumatised and hiding in shelters. Can you imagine over 400 missiles being launched on any country in the world and not getting a major lethal response?! And in the USA, we now have a newly elected Muslim Congresswoman in open support of BDS. But more disappointing is that here in SA, two of Cape Town’s Herzlia students decided to protest against our own homeland by ‘taking a knee’ during the singing of Hatikvah. And it sounds some people are kleibing nachas from this ‘courageous’ moral stand! What a disgrace! And now we have columnists in the Jewish Report defending their ‘constitutional rights.’ Yet again, I will state that some people are so open-minded that their brains have fallen out! G-d save us…from ourselves! Of course, news travels fast and the non-Jewish media are lapping it up. There is a word for this in Hebrew and it’s not nachas. It’s called Chilul Hashem! A flagrant desecration!

On a happier note, Rochel and I just got back yesterday from the USA via London. Thank you for all your good wishes for the Bar Mitzvah of our grandson Levi Goldman in Philadelphia last Shabbos. Baruch Hashem, we enjoyed lots of Yiddishe Nachas from Levi who read the whole Parsha and spoke very articulately. Rabbi Yochonon and Leah’le are, thank G-d, raising a beautiful family. (Not easy when the kids must travel over an hour to school each way every day!) It was very special and made even more special by having such a meaningful representation of the family present with us. From Joburg, Mendel, Devorahle and Ezer (who put on his new Tefillin for the first time there last Thursday in the Shul at the Rebbe’s Ohel), Michoel from Hawaii, and his daughter Moussia from her school in Florida, from Cape Town, Rabbi Oshy Feldman and his two boys, Menni and Chaim (who attended the Children’s Kinus Hashluchim in NY the Shabbos before), and my siblings and Rochel’s joined for the Simcha in Philly on Thursday night. Please G-d, may there be simchas by all of you and your families!

So, it was quite hectic with only two and a half days in New York and lots to get done there and then 4 days in Philly. It never ceases to amaze and frighten me to see how lost American Jews are. One woman asked Rochel in Shul there if she raised her children Orthodox?! I think it was her first time in an Orthodox Shul! Rochel told her we don’t believe in labels. A Jew is a Jew. I like to use an expression I read once from a rabbi who said he prefers to call himself Classical rather than Orthodox. You know like Coke Classic, the “real thing!” I thought it was a great line. All I can say is that my colleagues have their hands very full on that side. Compared to their issues, for us here in SA, it is a breeze, the Herzlia story notwithstanding. Thank G-d for Chabad which is reaching out to every nook and cranny in America, but the job is still enormous!

In London for a day on our return, we took a cab from Heathrow (only about R1500!) to Stamford Hill to visit Rochel’s only surviving uncle, Reb Yehoshua Raskin who is 95 years old and a Master Shochet who still visits the abattoir a few times a week! He has trained generations of Shochtim and still checks the lungs himself to this day! Kayn Ayin Hora! G-d bless him! (My only problem was that I didn’t have WiFi in his house! ). Then we popped into our niece and nephew, Rabbi Bentzi and Rochie Sudak, in Hampstead Gardens Suburb and spent some time with Steven Herring there too before taking an Uber back to Heathrow. Mohammed was very friendly and professional and suggested that Pakistan would be a good mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. I changed the subject. Flew back on the latest giant Airbus, the A380 with over 500 passengers! Very impressive and very quiet!

So now it’s back to SydShul business. Thanks to Rabbi Stern for minding the shop in my absence. Yasher Koach! I was pleased to hear that the Chanukah Fest at SydShul went well last Sunday with Rabbi Stern and The Academy. Shkayach to all.

Last night, tired as I was, I had to go listen to the Profetti Della Quinta perform. What a sound! And it comes from just 4 or 5 adult male singers! A flawless performance. My personal opinion is that a baritone or bass would add even more to the flavor. Colin Band? They ended with a very interesting Kaddish and got a standing ovation (and not because people thought they had to stand for Kaddish!) Well done to Adam Golding (and family?) for making all the arrangements.

This morning Dovi Porter had his first Aliyah to the Torah in anticipation of his Bar Mitzvah celebrations next Shabbos. Hearing Dovi lein this morning I look forward to hearing more on the big day, PG. Mazel Tov to Dovi, Benjy and Amanda and the Porter and Braude families.

And now our Annual Dis-Chem Golf Day is finally happening. Our Golf Day Committee, led by Chairman Selwyn Kahlberg, has been hard at work and we look forward to another outstanding success PG on Wednesday at Killarney Country Club. This year we will be partnering with the Smile Foundation. Thank you, Hedley Lewis, CEO. It’s a full field of players. If you just woke up and want to get involved, speak to Ingrid Seeff on 083 377 1111. Maybe she can squeeze you in. Thank you to everyone for all their support. We are hoping, PG, to launch a bigger and better amazing raffle next week. Watch this space!

Our CAJE programme in partnership with The Academy is going nicely. It’s not too late to join and find out “How to Live a Good Life” with guest lecturer Batya Bricker. Booking via The Academy at Or call 010 140 2099.

Our Rabbinic Intern, Zevi Chaiton of Sandton is making an excellent impression in Shul whenever he speaks and with congregants who are learning with him. He is available at selected times during the week for small groups and individual learning sessions. He is also happy to start new students with our very successful Hebrew Reading for Beginners course. To book your slot with Zevi, please call Shirley on 011 640 5021 or email her at But do hurry before he’s all booked up!

I must make up for some happenings last week in my absence, so…

Happy 75th birthday to young Dovi Crouse. The new clock behind the Bimah in Shul has been presented in honour of Dovi’s birthday by his wife Bernice and his children. Thank you.

Happy 83rd birthday to Hymie Krut. Zei gezunt!

Mazel Tov to Leon and Sharon Epstein on the birth of a granddaughter. Much nachas.

Deepest condolences to Jenny Feinstein on the passing of her father Jack Franks in Klerksdorp. Jack was 95 and flew Spitfires for the RAF in WW2! He also volunteered to help the fledgling Israel Air Force back in the early days.

And I was so sorry to have missed the funeral of my landsman Phillip Shulman. Phillip was related to Rabbi Aloy and came from the same shtetl in Belarus as my late mom o”h. I had visited him the other week and we chatted for a while about his memories and our family connections. He told me about his Bar Mitzvah in the old Chassidishe Shul in Doornfontein. We wish long life to his children Jeff Shulman, Marlene Goldberg and Lesley Brickman, his grandson Benjy who is one of our regulars here at Shul, and the entire family.

And now that I’m up to date, welcome to our guest Chazan this Shabbos, Mark Samowitz.

The Brocha will be in the Seeff Hall.

Then we will have our Smorgasbord of Shiurim. Rabbi Goldman’s Halacha of the Week is on “Mixing Simchas?” Rabbi Stern does Tanya for Beginners; and Rebbetzin Estee Stern continues with Kings & Prophets: Tales from the Book of Samuel.

Mincha is at 6.00 p.m. followed by Shalosh Seudos sponsored this week by Steven Herr (in honour of his father Isaac Herr z’l).

MAZEL TOV to Alexander Modlin, for his Bar Mitzvah this Shabbos and to his parents Russel Modlin and Lara Modlin, and his grandmother Lynne Modlin. Much nachas from Alex.

Mazel Tov to Lionel and Rhona Karpelowsky on their grandson Idan’s Bar Mitzvah. Wishing you all lots of nachas.

Happy Birthday Harry Rosmarin on his 76th birthday. Many happy and healthy returns.

Mazel Tov to Joshua & Natalie Gavronsky on the birth of a son, and to the grandparents Tracey & Dion Abrahamson. Much nachas.

We wish a Refuah Shleimah to Trevor Gerson, Brett Goldberg, Joe Rivkind, Nimy Kahanovitz, Arthur Hurwitz, Ted Tobias, and Zita Solomons.

We extend our condolences to Elaine Youngelson, Colin and Alan Steinberg on the passing of their father Morrie Steinberg, who was 99 and a Foundation Member of the Shul. Long life and only simchas, please G-d.

There won’t be a Young Adults Spiritshul & Social this week. Join Rabbi Stern for the next session of “Ancient Ethics for People of Today” next Tuesday 27 November at 7.45 p.m. in the Bayit. Finger food & drinks. No charge. All welcome.

Remember, if you are a SydShul member and are having a function, be it a Bris, Engagement, Bar or Bat Mitzvah party, or even a Wedding for up to 250 guests we can accommodate your needs in a beautiful setting with very reasonable fees. Our two attractive halls are being seen as a desirable functions venue in the wider community too. To book your next simcha or function contact Gabi on or call her in the mornings at the Shul office on 011 640 5021. All SydShul members, receive a discount on hire of all Shul halls including the new Bayit and Garden which is ideal for a smaller function. A Chupah in the Garden and a Wedding Reception in the Seeff Hall will surely be a winner!

And here’s a brand-new portal for easy Shul payments using WalletDoc:

The Shul is also signed up with SnapScan to assist you with all your payments. Please send all account related matters and proof of payment to

Please remember to fill in your family details and preferred correspondence so you get all our Shul communications on ShulCloud. If you are struggling, you may feel free to email

My book, From Where I Stand, is back in print and is available in the Jewish book shops as well as from the Shul office. Happy to inscribe it for you. Makes a very nice gift for Chanukah and a wide variety of occasions.

Chanukah is coming! It’s early this year, starting on Sunday 2 December. Chabad House have launched a massive campaign to get the Menorah kindled in every Jewish home. For your FREE Chanukah Menorah go to or call 082 370 1770.

On Sunday November 25th there are two communal events.

Jewish Women’s Benevolent Book Fair, Sunday 25 November 8.30 – 12.30 at Jabula Recreation Centre. R10 a book.

The Kallah Fund: Women’s Brunch and Panel Discussion on the “Transformative Power of Prayer” with Rebbetzin Estee Stern, Aviva Glassman, Rebbetzin Mandi Kaufman and Shterni Weinberg. Sunday 25 November at 10.00 a.m. at the Base, 32 Sunny Road, Glenhazel. R250, students R200. For more information and to book go to / Nu Ticket 082 694 9696. Driven by and in the merit for a Refuah for Chaya Leah bas Yaffa.

As I am always happy to promote our Shul neighborhood, here are two relevant notices.

  1. 3 Bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom simplex in Roux Street, for sale. Spanish bars on all windows, security gates on all doors, storeroom, enclosed lock up double carport, maid’s room with built in furniture, garden with sprinkler system. Contact Ada Mandelstam, 011 485 1754 or 082 650 6519.


  1. We are resizing and therefore selling our beloved, large house in Highlands North/Percelia. 800-900 metres from Sydenham Shul. Well maintained home consisting of 6 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, open plan lounge and D.R. with vashing station. Large, well planned, kosher kitchen. Full 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, flatlet with separate entrance. Open plan lounge and D.R and lovely kitchen. Extras: State of the art CCTV and security, solar heating, time switch, insulation in roof, pre-paid electricity, Succah area big enough to seat 40 people. Please contact Ella Shishler - 082 804 8357.


The Parsha is Vayetze and tells the story of Jacob leaving Be’er Sheva in the Holy Land and traveling to Haran, home of Laban, his uncle and a notorious con man. Along the way he dreams of the ladder stretching from the earth all the way up to heaven with angels going up and down. Hashem promises the holy land will be for his descendants (good news as he hadn’t yet married!). When he gets to the well at Haran, he meets Rachel and it is ‘love at first sight.’ They have each found their bashert. He works for seven years as a shepherd for Laban for Rachel’s hand in marriage and when he finally gets to the Chupah it is Leah he has married (under a very thick veil) and not Rachel! (That’s why we check these days at the Badeken.) He then must work another seven years for Rachel. In this week’s reading 11 of the 12 Tribes of Israel are born and Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter. Leah bears 6, Bilha and Zilpah each bear two and, finally, Rachel who was childless for a long time gives birth to Joseph. Now it is time for Jacob to return home. In the ensuing deal he makes with Laban, Jacob becomes very wealthy. When he sees Laban’s resentment he decides to leave in middle of the night. Laban comes in hot pursuit, angry at his sudden departure. They make a peace treaty and agree to go their separate ways.


Shul Schedule

Friday Candles: 6:15 pm

Friday Mincha: 5:40 pm

Friday Night Service: 6:00 pm

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

Shabbos Mincha: 6:00 p.m. followed by Shalosh Seudos.

Shabbos ends at 7:09 p.m.

Rochel and I wish you all a Gut Shabbos!

We look forward to another great Shabbos@SydShul this week.

Hope to see you here!




Posted 7 Kislev 5779 / 15 November 2018

Wed, 21 November 2018 13 Kislev 5779