A haphazard story

Dear Friend,

Life never comes in neat packages. Unlike storytelling, events don’t get neatly wrapped up in a bow of circumstance; they occur haphazardly and on top of each other.

So it was, as we entered into the month of Av, Judaism’s saddest month, that we celebrated a baby naming and a daven e special!

Mazel tov to Trevor, Dalya & Becca Abromowitz on the birth of their daughter & sister, Sara Nava. And a special thank you for bringing in an element of joy into this season of the our calendar. May you have much nachas and may your ever growing family bring joy to all around you.

And in another expression of joy, we wish mazel tov to Adi, Ally and Azriella Kaimowitz on the birth of their son and brother! We look forward to the bris, which will also shine a light of joy into the ‘Nine Days’. Much nachas!

And in a further injection of joy, mazel tov to Terry & Adrienne Berelowitz on the birth of their grandson! Much mazel and nachas on your bundle of joy.

Our Shtibl is hosting its monthly service again, this Shabbas- all welcome! Shiur by Rabbi Hecht at 8:30am and service starts at 9.

Mommy and Me restarts this Shabbas with Rebbetzin Chani. 10:30-11:30am RSVP 0825339724.

Join Rebbetzin Sara this Shabbas for Ladies Tehillim Circle and a shiur: “Temple Rubble & misplaced humility”. 5pm in the Shul Hall.

Next Saturday night and Sunday will be the fast of Tish’a b’Av. Please diarize a special event next Saturday night: The Light of Fire – A powerful contemporary film on one person’s destruction & renewal. Created by noted filmmaker Bentzi Avtzon. 7pm Eicha, 8pm Film followed by guided discussion.

Learn. Love. Pray. Ladies, connect deeply to the High Holy Days in my 6 week course. Tuesday mornings 9:15-10am in the Shul Hall. Part of the PBMW course offerings. For more info nechama@torahcitywide.co.za.

Condolences to Ronnie Levin & Tamara Lenoff on the passing of their father, Benny Levin and to Pamela Koonin on her loss.

Have you had any interaction with ‘our’ Bachurim? Well. It’s time to say “thank you and lehitraot”. (This is where the sadness of the nine days kicks in…)

While we are sad to see them go, we are so appreciative of the contribution the Bachurim and the Chief Rabbi Cyril and Ann Harris Yeshiva of Cape Town has had on our community.

Please diarize August 15 7:30-9pm in the Shul Hall as we reflect on an awesome year together with Shabtai, Yakov and Amitai (who will be extending his stay until December!).

Mazel tov to Dinky Braun on her Special Birthday! Lester and Dinky are Shul stalwarts and we’re thrilled to celebrate this happy moment with them. Only brocha and mazel!

Mazel tov to Arnold and Hillary Murcia on the engagement of their grandson, Wade Miller to Dani Meyer. Hillary brings such joy and commitment into our Shul office and we’re happy to celebrate this simcha with you. Much nachas!

Shabbat shalom and happy reading!

Rabbi Dovid Wineberg

How did Man land on the moon?

Dear Friend,

 What do the ancient Moabite king Balak, Johnny Clegg & Neil Armstrong have in common? Come hear the drosho tonight to find out!

 Happy milestone birthdays to Advocate Doron Goldberg on his 50th, Wardeness Sheila Wagenheim on her 70th and Mel Marshall on his second Bar Mitzvah…83 years old! Mazel tov and many years of good health and nachas.

 Learning at Marais Road Shul is back in full swing! Our Bochurim of the Yeshiva of CT are back, invigorated from a tour of much of SA. Contact Rabbi Hecht to book some time to learn with one. Monday’s Yeshiva night is on again and Lady’s PBM (Professional Beit Midrash) starts Tuesday Morning July 30. See the Shmooze for details.

 Daven e caffe will take place on Friday August 2 7-8:15am.

 Next Friday night is children’s blessings. Please send in your young ‘uns names to hillary@maraisroadshul.com.

 Shabbat Shalom and happy reading!

 Rabbi Dovid Wineberg


Rabbi’s letter: Drive safe

Mazel Tov to Matthew Grevler on his Bar Mitzvah this Shabbos! Matthew actually turns 13 (Jewish date) on Shabbas so he truly becomes a Bar Mitzvah (responsible for the Mitzvos) tonight.

Mazels to his parents, Asher & Lauren Grevler and grandparents, Perez & Wendy Bloom and Dr. Bernard & Ruth Grevler. Much nachas!

Mazel Tov to Kevin & Tamara Isaacman on Alon’s Engagement to Gabi de Koker. Enjoy this special time & enjoy the nachas!

Professional Beit Midrash has been offering structured Torah learning in CT for many years, under the incredible direction of Rabbi & Rebbetzin Brett. Our Shul is proud to be hosting the Women’s program, and I’m pleased to be offering a course in the next semester. Please see Shmooze for info. Hope to see you there!

As it’s before the funeral, one does not yet wish condolences, but we are deeply saddened by the passing of Anita Shenker and our hearts go out to her husband Maurice & daughter Nadine. Anita was well known to the community through her decades of service at the Jewish Chronicle & she will be greatly missed.

Are you in Johannesburg July 27 & 28? Don’t miss the Zionist Fed Conference! The line-up is truly superb including Isaac Herzog (Chairman of the Jewish Agency), Daniel Limor (former senior member of the Mossad), Gal Lunsky (humanitarian activist in Syria) and Gusti Braverman (senior executive of the World Zionist Org) and of course HE Lior Keinan (Israel’s Ambassador to SA). We have a superb ZF Cape Council and I’m sure they’d appreciate your support as well. Click here to book https://sazionfed.co.za/upcoming-events/

Mazel Tov to Alec Cohen on his 90th Birthday! Alec is a committed regular in Shul & my Friday night is never complete without a good Shabbas handshake from Alec & his crew. May you have many happy healthy years & together with Thelma, may you enjoy much nachas.

To all those driving back from holidays, pls keep it safe on the roads and travel well. Welcome home!

Shabbat shalom & Happy reading!

Time ot reflect

Dear Friend,


On England’s ancient roads, every mile is marked with a stone, telling the traveller how far they’ve come.


Milestones are also crucial life markers that give us pause to reflect & appreciate. To consider where we came from & to where we are headed.


Tonight is the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s 25th yohrtzeit, which for me is a significant life marker. I invite you to read my brief personal reflection on page 2 of the Shmooze.


Click here for further reflection by liberal writer & activist Yossi Klein Halevi & here and here for thoughts from Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


And thank you Hymie Dorfman for offering to say Kaddish for the Rebbe who left no biological children of his own.


Mazel Tov to Arnold Swiel on his 90th Birthday! May HaShem to grant you, together with Joy, much gezunt & nachas.


Oops, I neglected last week to wish Mazel Tov to May Sher on the birth of her great granddaughter, Josi (Chaya) Rudnick. Sorry, may you be blessed with lots of continued nachas!


Mazel Tov to Justin & Pia Munitz on the birth of a girl! Mazals to the new grandparents, Jenny & Milton Munitz and Robyn & Ezio De Biaggi. Justin & Pia made it to the cover of last year’s Shul magazine, will little M make it this year? Stay tuned…but in the meantime we wish the mishpocho much nachas and joy with the new generation!


Mazel tov to Percy Tucker on his 91st Birthday. Percy is a groundbreaking tech entrepreneur with tech knowledge that makes him 50 years younger. Many years of good health and nachas!


Condolences to Nora Chinn on the passing of Hans Kahn and to his sons, Jeffrey & Walter Kahn on the loss of their father. Hans was a shul dependable and will be sorely missed.


Condolences to Julius & Alex Lebi on the loss of their mother, Gabriela (Csopi) Lebi.


May Hashem grant you comfort and strength in this time.


Please note that Mincha NOW starts at 5:45pm- you’ll still be out of Shul tonight by 7pm!


Shabbat Shalom and happy reading!


Rabbi Dovid Wineberg


How do you pray?

Dear Friend,


Asking HaShem for your needs is one of the essential components of Prayer and an expression of faith.


But saying ‘thank you’ to G-d is equally fundamental to prayer & is an expression of mentchlichkeit, human decency (a great Torah value!).


While it’s common for people to come to Shul for the former reason, the latter opportunity to thank HaShem is only rarely a reason for someone’s visit.


How special it was then, this morning, to welcome Shawn Rudnick to Shul as he came to give thanks to HaShem for Zara’s giving birth yesterday to a healthy baby girl. Baruch HaShem & Mazel Tov!


Mazel Tov to proud grandparents Alan & Elana Rudnick and Beverley Zetler and to Wolfie & Glickie Bloom on the birth of their great granddaughter. Much nachas!


Mazel Tov to Esther Schwartz on the marriage of her granddaughter, Simone Abel to Itai Tamar.


Mazel Tov to our dedicated children service staff Leah & Batya Hepple on celebrating their 18th birthday!


This Shabbat is called “mevarchim” because we bless the new month (Tammuz). As in each Shabbat Mevarchim , Rebbetzin Sara will host the Ladies Tehillim Circle in the Shul Hall @ 5pm.


Condolences to Denise Dogon on the passing of her husband, Mark (Smiler) Dogon, and to Maureen Summerfield and her children Richard, Charles, Amanda & Suzanne on the passing of their husband & father, Royalton Summerfield.


May HaShem give you strength & comfort in this time.


Please note that from next Friday, July 5, Mincha services will be at 5:45pm.


Shabbat Shalom & Happy reading!


Dear Friend,

Sara & I are still trying to absorb the events of the last few days as we merited to experience our oldest daughter Esther’s wedding.

The one highlight that keeps jumping out at me is the Chuppah on Marais Rd. If it would have just been a chuppah on the road, dayenu. If it had been just in front of the magnificent Marais Road Shul- our community’s spiritual home- dayenu. If it had been just the choir & Cantor Joffe electrifying Sea Point with their welcoming, ‘Baruch Haba’- dayenu!

But it was that and much much more: You.

The love & pure joy of our community embraced us in a bear hug that took our breath away. You formed a protective ring of love & care around our family that transformed our family simcha into a holy moment in time. It will live with us forever.

Thank you dear community for your presence, your messages, your participation in our simcha, whether physically near or far. If the whole wedding had been just that: dayenu!

Due to the time pressures of the simcha, I’m unable this week to comment on the various important goings on in our community. Pls see the Shmooze for all the info.

What didn’t make into the Shmooze was the sad passing of Dominique Eisenberg’s mother, Thea Bonnici. We wish her and the entire family long life and only good things to accompany you in the future. May HaShem grant you strength & comfort in this time.

Sneak Peak

Dear Friends,


Here’s a sneak peak at what’s inside this week’s Shmooze:


It’s been a rough couple of weeks as our community has lost some precious members.


Saturday night is Yom Yerushalayim, 52 years since Jerusalem was liberated and united. See the Shmooze for a great event tomorrow afternoon.


Shavuot dinner plans underway! Make sure to book your seats for this great event.


We also has some smachot! Check the shmooze to find out who is celebrating 50 years of marriage. Mazel tov!


What couldn’t get into this week’s Shmooze, as it was too late for printing, is last night’s AGM and election of Shul office bearers. Thanks to Lynton Cassel and Ian “Kappie” Kaplan for joining the Shul Committee and a warm mazel tov to David Gordon and Jonathan Gershuny on election as President and Vice President of the Committee.


Shabbat Shalom and happy reading


Rabbi Dovid Wineberg



The day I lost a debate (thank G-d!)

Dear Friend,


About 15 years ago I was invited by SABC to participate on a debating TV program on the subject of morality. The position I was asked to defend was that “Jacob Zuma was the right person to lead the moral regeneration project” (which he was in fact heading at that time).  Don’t laugh! I knew it was the wrong position but that is the nature of debate, to argue your side as best you can. Needless to say my partner and I lost the debate hands-down!


With hindsight it was certainly not my finest moment. Thank G-d our country has had the debate and the right side has won, although there is much work to be done in healing and fixing South Africa.


So, when I was asked to offer a prayer at the opening of the National Council of Provinces, I jumped at the chance to speak for the right side of history; to acknowledge the damage done, the challenges that face South Africa’s legislators- and to offer a blessing on behalf of the Jews of our country to encourage them along the right path.


It was a great honour to participate in the opening of the NCOP and I look forward to sharing my impressions and experiences in Shul, over Shabbas. Click here to watch my prayer at yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony. May Hashem bless South Africa!


Lag B’omer was a huge hit at the Green Point Cricket Club, where hundreds participated in the simcha of Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai!


This year we’re going THAI @ SINAI! For this year’s Gala Shavuot Dinner, in addition to great food, Dean Murinik will share his family’s experience surviving the terrible 2004 Tsunami. Dean recently did a TV program on this and you can see the show’s trailer here.


Saturday night June 8, 7:30pm. To book your and your family’s seats visit www.maraisoradshul.com or call the Shul office today!


daven e caffé this Friday 31 May. Davening @7am, followed by breakfast and life message by yours truly.


Birthday blessings & chocolates Friday night 31 May. All children celebrating their birthday during April & May PLEASE let us know. Email: hillary@maraisroadshul.com or call 021 4397543 to make your child’s birthday extra special


It’s been a rough week in our community. And rougher still for two young families.


Condolences to Rita Effune and to Sean Effune &Talya Ressel on the loss of their husband and father, Raymond Effune. Raymond was a Shul Jew through and through and a very beloved member. His loss is a blow to his family and to us as a community.


Condolences to Nikki Kagan and to Rabbi Eitan, Jenna, Cara & Mikaela on the loss of their husband and father, Selwyn Kagan. Condolences also to Raymond, David and Jeffrey on the loss of their brother. Selwyn was literally loved by all and will be sorely missed.


May Hashem grant both families comfort and strength.


Yom Yerushalem Pancake Breakfast with the Yeshiva of Cape Town Sunday 2 June 8am

Davening followed by pancakes and coffee. Everyone welcome!


Mazal Tov to Ida Surovsky on the birth of her great granddaughter & on her 85th birthday. Lots of nachas- in good health!


Shabbat Shalom and happy reading!


Rabbi Dovid Wineberg



Your ‘get out of Shul EARLY card’!

Dear Friend,


Woohoo! Mazel tov to Chorister Norman and Sharlene Katzeff on the engagement of their daughter Michaela to Eli Green, son of Rabbi Coleman and Nicole Green (and my former student!)! Mazels to the proud Granny, Ruth Katzeff and the gantze mishpocho. A true Cape Town simcha. Much nachas!


PBM for women winter session started on Tuesday. Ladies, these are many great options to choose from so diarise this coming Tuesday morning and treat yourself! See Shmooze for details.


Lag B’omer starts next Wednesday May 22 and we are going all out!! Green Point Cricket Club from 5pm. Book on website or just show up with your family or friends!


Young Professionals, don’t be left in the cold! ‘Lchaim & a Lag’ on Lag B’omer for you!  Pier Place Rooftop, includes a comedy lineup and Kosher Shnitzel Dinner by Yaron. Lekker! May 23, please email rabbihecht@maraisroadshul.com for further info and to book.


Condolences to Ralph & Yaron Rabinowitz, Orly Levetan and Daphne Jacobs on the loss of their mother, Esther Rabinowitz.


Condolences to Barry Levin on the passing his sister, Blume Myerson.


Yes, we’re in the thick of winter and no one likes getting up while it’s still dark outside. With sunset so early, we now move Mincha services to 5:30pm. The good news is you’ll be out of Shul before 7! It’s your get out Shul early card!


Shabbat Shalom and happy reading:)

Please note: Mincha now starts at 5:45pm


Dear Friend,


I’m not sure why it takes murder and mayhem to place a Rabbi on the front page of every major news outlet. That’s the way of the world.


Regardless, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein’s simple message has been broadcast everywhere- from the lofty liberal heights of the New York Times to the dizzying towers of the White House: This is a time for Jews to be PROUD of our Jewishness.


The world over is embracing this Shabbas as a chance to show our pride and solidarity with Chabad Poway by coming to Shul. Help us DROWN out the horrific sounds of gunshots with a torrent of Shul attendance that will tell the world: we will not be deterred!


Services start tonight at 5:45pm and tomorrow morning at 8:45am. Special prayers will be recited for those injured in the Antisemitic attack on Chabad Poway, California.


This Shabbas, please make every effort to attend Shul!


Condolences to Merle Rubin on the passing of her beloved husband, and to Brett and Clint on the passing of their dear father, Sam Rubin. We wish you Hashem’s blessed comfort and strength in this time.


Yesterday’s Yom Hashoa commemoration ceremony, which is organized by the Jewish Board of Deputies,  featured Marais Road Shul’s Honorary life member Miriam Lichterman who delivered an astounding keynote address. Cantor Ivor Joffe and the Shul Choir created the right setting and melodious mood for the somber occasion. Thank you for making our Shul proud!


Mazel tov to Ettie Buch on the birth of a great Granddaughter. Asach yiddishe nachas!


Mazel tov to Mel and Norma Marshall who are celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson in London, this Shabbas!


Enough talk, See you all in Shul.


Shabbat shalom and happy reading!


Rabbi Dovid Wineberg

Marais Rd. Shul

Cape Town

021 439 7543