Dear Friend,

A new secular year, school year or calendar year? Whatever it is, it’s good. New beginnings are good. I think that’s why G-d created night and day (with day following night), giving us an opportunity each day for a new beginning. So, having ushered in a new secular- or calendar- year last week, and having launched a new school year this week, hope is in the air!

It was a great privilege to be so warmly welcomed by the Principal, Mr. Krupenia of Herzlia Weizmann at the first birthday assembly of the year. The kids are so full of hope and anticipation, it is a joy to experience. That’s why the weekly Weizmann assembly is the happiest time of my work-week!

Mazel tov to Cole Bortz on his new beginning as a Bar Mitzvah! Cole had his first Aliyah yesterday morning with quite an international team present. Mazel tov to Greg and Leigh on their son’s Barmy! Neville and Shirley Soll are old friends and neighbours from Johannesburg and we wish them and Cole’s granny Alma Soll and Joel and Evrille Bortz much nachas! Cole has quite a support team of friends and it was a joy to daven with all of them.

But if it’s a week of beginnings, why settle for one? Nicola Slot starts her Jewish adulthood this week as she and her family celebrate her Bat Mitzvah! Mazel tov to Ian and Denise Slot on Nicola’s Batty. May you have much nachas from this late blessing in your life!

Ladies, tonight you have permission to be late! Because of the peak summer days, the earliest candle lighting time is 6:32pm. So please light then and only come to Shul afterward (after Shul is too late as it’s already Shabbas and it’s forbidden to light fire). Since Mincha starts at 6:30 you will be necessarily late. Thank you for always bringing light into our world! (ps. The same rule applies for a man who lives alone. Light Shabbas candles, then come to Shul)

Shabbat shalom and happy reading!

Rabbi Dovid Wineberg