Dear Friend,

Complacency and fatalism are close cousins. Recently I started hearing, “it is what it is”. Then I started hearing, “if it gets you, it gets you”. 


While it’s practically impossible to completely avoid Coronavirus, following the guidelines against gathering, amongst others, does prevent the spread and saves lives. 

In Johannesburg, complacency set in as the virus delayed in reaching Gauteng. So people started gathering- Shabbas meals together, sleep overs for the kids, etc. etc. Today the Joburg Jewish community has been severely hit and too many are in hospitals, even on ventilators- May Hashem protect each one of them. And not just the elderly but previously healthy, younger people too. 

The scientific models predict a slow down in the Western Cape within a few short weeks. There is now serious talk of opening our Shuls soon in a limited fashion. None of this should be a sign to lessen our respect of this foe. Professor Kramer, who is working with Shuls to open responsibly, made the point that in 1918 there were 3 waves of the Spanish Flu. It was the second wave that claimed the most lives, as complacency set in. 

We in South Africa have benefitted from lagging behind the world in this virus and learning form their example. Today we are witnessing many countries, including our beloved Israel, going through the second wave. 

While it may be fashionable to be “chilled” about the virus, I implore you to set an example by taking it seriously and following Government laws, including not gathering socially, wearing masks outdoors and limiting one’s time in public spaces. 

Balance is equally important. There are times when one must go out. Don’t avoid the doctor, for example, if needed. Go to work, if you must. Do your shopping, but briefly, or, reach out to me if you are elderly and would like a Buddy to do it for you. Step outside (with a mask!) for exercise and the like. Do not panic, but rather take responsible measured steps in protecting yourself and those around you. And have faith in HaShem.

Hashem’s blessing flows when we follow medical advice. May He protect us all and bring a speedy resolution to this global malady. 

In the meantime, life DOES go on. Mazel tov to Dennis Cope on his 70th birthday! May Hashem bless you with many more decades of good health!

Shout out to Sam and Pat Abrahams, whose son, Gary, was awarded top honours at the University of Exeter, in the UK. Mazel tov and Much nachas!

Condolences to Elana Skop on the passing of her father, Solly Isaacson. Solly was very involved in his Shul in PE and we wish her and the whole family strength and comfort in this time. 

On Tuesday, I spoke for the Pretoria community about faith and trust in Hashem. We were joined by psychologist Lara Noik who brilliantly spoke on the 5 steps to emotional wellbeing. Click here to watch this program. https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/5PQpAL3aznlOHpXM6B_FBI0GO7zOaaa8hCMdq_BYzB3N2hoav5wCSN_w2dVBsE26?startTime=1593537521000

On Wednesday night I presented on a Chabad Webinar on the struggle of heart & mind and finding solutions in this crazy time. I was joined by my friend, businessman and Hotelier Marc Wachsberger, who spoke so movingly and inspirationally on what has helped him deal with this crises. Click here to watch. https://youtu.be/-Gy1KLdFqPw

The Zervice continues! 4:30pm today. https://zoom.us/j/4545201917

On Thursday, we observe the fast of 17th of Tammuz, which begins the Three Week mourning period in our calendar. Please see the Shmooze for details. 

Shabbat Shalom and happy reading!
Rabbi Dovid Wineberg