Sign In Forgot Password

Posted 13 Menachem av 5781 / 22 july 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,

Is there such a thing as a great Tisha B’Av?! Sounds rather incongruous. But guess what? At SydShul we had one! That’s according to all the reports and feedback we received from congregants who “enjoyed” our special programmes and Shiurim. May we never have to observe Tisha B’Av again as the Holy Temple will be rebuilt very soon, please G-d.

And we’re all hoping and praying that our Mini-Temple, our Shul will be allowed to reopen next week. Waiting with bated breath for the President’s announcement soon. Stay tuned because it’s looking good. And please get ready to resume davening in a proper Minyan! Can’t wait to see you all in Shul in person once again very, very soon!

Until we do reopen though, the Sandringham Gardens Minyan continues to say Kaddish for people who are currently unable to do so. The Minyan also does a Mi Shebeirach for sick people on a daily basis. You are welcome to use this service by submitting details for Kaddish or Refuah at www.jhbchev/miracle-minyan.

Speaking of Sandringham Gardens, the Chev has just been approved by the health authorities for a Vaccination Centre to be established at Sandringham Gardens. This is wonderful news and will, hopefully, speed up the vaccination of our entire community as quickly as humanly possible. Now 35 years olds and up may register for the vaccine. For all our sake, the sooner the better for everyone! Please vaccinate without delay!  Click Here to read all about it.

So proud to know that our Shul’s Seeff Hall was used by our dedicated volunteers for packing parcels of donations to our brethren in KZN. Thank you to Jonty Cohen, the Tobias and Porter families, Alan DeCosta, Reb Shlomo Wainer of Chabad North Coast and Ram Couriers. Well done guys!

I guess all good things come to an end, sooner or later, so I do hope you will ALL join in the Farewell to Yudi, Dina and Family on Monday evening next week. Join us for An Evening of Music and Memories as we reflect and reminisce on Yudi Cohen’s 16 years at Sydenham Shul. Monday 26 July 8pm, Zoom ID: 813 028 4050 Password: sydshul. Hope to see you there.

Anyone wishing to place either a corporate advert or generic greeting in our eagerly anticipated Sydnamics Magazine to please contact Jonty (072 836 5041). As per last year, we will be publishing an electronic version of the magazine (print copies will be available as well).   

Our daily learning opportunities on What’s App, with our new “Parsha Pods” as well as our daily 2-minute Maimonides’ Daily Dose continue. If you haven’t yet signed up, you are always welcome. Scroll down below to click and join immediately.

Rabbi Stern has just resumed his popular Practical Parsha Shiur on Wednesday mornings at 10 am. Here’s a link to this week’s class

And your link to Good Shabbos Sydenham is also at the bottom of this email. Download and print it up for some good Shabbos reading.

Tomorrow, Friday, we will enjoy another Pre-Kabbalat Shabbat Zoom programme with the Shul Team to give you a beautiful and uplifting “Taste of Shabbos.” We start at 4:30 pm this Friday. Hope to see you there.

The Shul Office will be open for part of the day next week. Jonty is available to assist with any queries and to help anyone wishing to make donations and / or pay fees. You may reach Jonty on 011 640 5021 or on his mobile 072 836 5041. Thanks Jonty.

This Shabbos is Shabbos Nachamu named for the Haftorah which is always read after Tisha B’Av.

MAZEL TOV to Les Sandler on his 83rd birthday today. I attended a Zoom 2nd Bar Mitzvah celebration today and listened to Les recite his Maftir of Shabbos Nachamu perfectly! I must confess I heard him more clearly today than all the years he’s done it on the Bimah in Shul which is a long way from my seat up front. Many happy, healthy returns together with Maureen!

MAZEL TOV to Stan Woolf on his 93rd birthday on Monday. That’s 80 years since his Bar Mitzvah. I hope to be at your 3rd Bar Mitzvah Stan! Zei gezunt!

And Stan was meant to share his occasion with his great grandson Aryeh Simchah Hummel on his 1stBar Mitzvah this Shabbos. Please G-d, they will still celebrate together. Mazel Tov to him and his parents Joshua and Elana Hummel, grandparents Fiona Katz, Lawrence and Janine Hummel, and great grandparents Stan and Miriam Woolf.

MAZEL TOV to Yonatan and Michal Zinman on the birth of a son, Judah, and to the grandparents Dr Tzvi and Betty Slowatek. Muchas nachas!

We wish a Refuah Shleimah to Joan Porter, Itz Ginsberg, Adi Lurie, Meyer Slonim, Alec Mintz, Clive Bedell, Eleanore Jubiler, Leib Milun, Connie Chitterer, Cecil Resnick, Michael Levitan, and Shaun Karpelowsky. Complete and speedy recoveries to all please G-d.

We extend our sincerest condolences to Rochelle, Mandi, LeAnne, Jason, and Marlene on the passing of Gordon Grossman. Gordon had been at SydShul since the days of Rabbi Altschuler and enjoyed 55 years of marriage to Rochelle. The man definitely had staying power! Gentle, caring, peaceful and honest. Bless his soul. Long life to you all.

Our deepest condolences to Sylvia Aberman, Helaine Schneider, Ivan Aberman, Lynne Glauber and Ariella Bailey on the passing of David Aberman. Though he was not a SydShul member, I’ve heard many fine things about Dave from many people. Wishing you all long life.

And today we heard of the passing of Brenda Blecher. The funeral will be tomorrow at 10 am. Brenda was a regular at Shul for years and years. In recent years, as she struggled with her deteriorating health, she still made the effort to come every Shabbos. Ivan was very devoted, and not only in pushing her wheelchair. We wish long life to Ivan, Justin, Andrea, and Nicole. Please G-d, simchas in future.


Pre-Kabbalat Shabbat on Zoom 4:30 pm.

Shabbos starts: 5:19 p.m.

Shabbos ends: 6.11 p.m. 

Weekday Mincha 5:30 p.m. from Sunday on Zoom. All welcome.


This week’s Parsha is Vaetchanan in Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11.

Moses tells the people of Israel how he implored G‑d to allow him to enter the Land of Israel, but G‑d refused, instructing him instead to ascend a mountain and see the Promised Land.

Continuing his “review of the Torah,” Moses describes the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah, declaring them unprecedented events in human history. “Has there ever occurred this great thing, or has the likes of it ever been heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of G‑d speaking out of the midst of the fire . . . and live? . . . You were shown, to know, that the L‑rd is G‑d . . . there is none else beside Him.”

Moses predicts that in future generations the people will turn away from G‑d, worship idols, and be exiled from their land and scattered amongst the nations; but from there they will seek G‑d, and return to obey His commandments.

Our Parshah also includes a repetition of the Ten Commandments, and the verses of the Shema, which declare the fundamentals of the Jewish faith: the unity of G‑d (“Hear O Israel: the L‑rd our G‑d, the L‑rd is one”); the mitzvot to love G‑d, to study His Torah, and to bind “these words” as tefillin on our arms and heads, and inscribe them in the mezuzot affixed on the doorposts of our homes.


Quotation for the Week:

There is no better test of a man’s integrity than his behaviour when he is wrong.

Marvin Williams


Hoping to see all of you, and all of us, back in Shul LIVE, very soon! In good health!

From Rochel and our family, I wish you a Gut Shabbos.

Zei gezunt! Don’t let your guard down, even if you’ve been vaccinated.

Stay safe!



Posted 22 July 2021 / 13 Menachem Av 5781


The Never-Ending Voice

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

And Charlton Heston came down from Mount Sinai and gave us the Ten Commandments. Oops! Sorry, make that Moses. And he was carrying the Tablets with the Big 10, repeated this week in Deuteronomy as part of Moses’ review of the last 40 years. He describes how G-d spoke those words in a mighty voice that did not end. Rashi writes that Moses is contrasting G-d’s voice with human voices. The finite voice of a human being, even a Yudi Cohen, will fade and falter. It cannot go on forever. But the voice of the Almighty did not end, did not weaken. It remained strong throughout.

Is this all the great prophet had to teach us about the voice of G-d? That it was a powerful baritone? Is the greatness of the Infinite One that he didn’t suffer from shortness of breath, that He didn’t need a few puffs of Ventolin?  Is this a meaningful motivation for the Jews to accept the Torah?

Moses was the greatest of all prophets. He foresaw what no other prophet could see. Perhaps he saw his people becoming caught up in the civilization of ancient Greece, in the beauty, culture, philosophy and art of the day. And they might question, is Torah still relevant?

Perhaps he foresaw Jews empowered by the Industrial Revolution where they might have thought Torah to be somewhat backward. Or maybe it was during the Russian Revolution where faith and religion were deemed to be absolutely primitive.

Maybe Moses saw our own generation with space shuttles and satellites, teleprompters and technology.  And he saw young people questioning whether the Good Book still speaks to them. 

And so, Moses tells us that the voice that thundered from Sinai was no ordinary voice.  This was a voice that was not only powerful at the time, but it did not end. And it still rings out, it still resonates, and speaks to each of us in every generation and in every part of the world.

Revolutions come and go but revelation is eternal. The voice of Sinai continues to proclaim eternal truths that never become passé or irrelevant. Honour Your Parents, revere them; look after them in their old age. Live moral lives; do not tamper with the sacred fibre of family life. Dedicate one day every week and keep that day holy. Stop the madness.  Turn your back on the rat race and rediscover your humanity and your children. Don’t be guilty of greed, envy, dishonesty or corruption.

Are these ideas and values dated? Are these commandments tired or irrelevant? On the contrary. They speak to us now as perhaps never before.

Does anyone know this today better than us South Africans?

The G-dly voice has lost none of its strength, none of its majesty. The mortal voice of man declines and fades into oblivion. Politicians and spin-doctors come and go but the heavenly sound reverberates down the ages.

Moses knew what he was saying and whom he was talking to. Torah is truth and truth is forever. The voice of G-d shall never be stilled.



Meeting ID: 813 028 4050

Password: sydshul

Meeting ID: 813 028 4050

Password: sydshul

Meeting ID: 813 028 4050

Password: sydshul





Sat, 31 July 2021 22 Av 5781