Hello, world!

Hello, world!

This is my first post.

Why won’t she come to Jerusalem?

Dear Friend,

Only one reason my daughter won’t be in Yerushalayim this Shabbas- it’s not her off weekend.

Terror seeks to strike irrational fear in the hearts of its victims. In

Israel, on us Jews, it won’t work.

24 hours after the attack, it was Shachrit as usual in the Bnei Torah Shul. What was unusual was a sizable contingent of Government Ministers and MK’s who joined the service.

It won’t work.

Also unusual were the many regular Israeli citizens who joined the services on offer, horrified at the thought of 24 orphans created on one block in sedentary Har Nof. They came from all over to pray together.

It won’t work.

Ok, the bullet holes and shattered glass were also unusual. The determination of all present to have just another usual morning service was itself unusual when regular, saintly, worshipers had been murdered- in their Tallis and Tefillin- the day before simply for being Jewish.

So it won’t work.

Ask Dov Sorotzkin why he and his wife chose to hold their son’s bris in the same Shul- on the very day following the attack? His father Yosef explained that the Jewish response to anti-Semitic terror is to increase life- Jewish Life.

Ask the 5000 delegates at this week’s Chabad International Shluchim Conference (including over 1000 from Israel) in New York, what is their response to the horror? It is not words. Or sighs. Or protests (Although they also have their place). It is deeds. A determination to increase the Torah’s light & life in their respective communities in over 80 countries, especially Israel.

And that’s why it won’t work.

Because we’re not like them. We seek life- vibrant, shockling, thumb twisting, debating, caring, elevating life. And they- well, they don’t deserve any more space in this column.

Friends, embrace Jewish life. Make sure this week, to join one extra service. It could be on Shabbas, or during the week in the morning (7am) or evening (6:15pm). Add life as others have taken it away.

My daughter Esther has every second Shabbas, chofshi (off). This week she’s in school in Tzfat. So next week she’s off. And then she’ll be in Jerusalem, praying.

Because we Jews won’t let terror work.

What really happened in Jerusalem?

Baruch Hashem! Last Friday was truly magical as I joined 25,000 runners who set off to tread the streets of Jerusalem, the holiest place on earth. And amongst the sea of people- right at the starting line- I found myself embraced by our unique Cape Town crew. We had supported each other in the lead up and now the moment was at hand. What happened from that point until I left Israel, you can find out by coming to the shiur tomorrow at 12! Did I finish? What was my time? What amazing thing happened to me on my run? “On wings of eagles; Report from Jerusalem”, tomorrow at 12. Hope to see you there!

Thank you to all who showed their support with any size donation. It was heartwarming to see the list of sponsors, which spans the gamut of our community and beyond. I did get a number of reports that the link didn’t seem to work. It’s not too late! Click here to reach the payment page. Once on the page, you must click the orange arrow to the right of the box which will open a ‘drop down’ menu. Click on your amount and it’ll take you to the payment portal. Or just reply to this email with your pledge and the shul will contact you. The final tally will be made on Monday. Toda Raba!

Friends, landing this week, also brought the reality of Pesach! Yes, it’s around the corner (April 14-22) and thankfully, the Marais Road Shul team is getting things ready. Once again, our Shul offers a full Seder for both nights. Rabbi and Rebbetzin Hecht will be leading the first night and a special team from Joburg will be leading the second. Bookings at the Shul office (details in the Shmooze.) For all koshering info, including wonderful guides to help you prepare for Pesach, click here for the UOS website. If you still have questions, please ask me!

Can you imagine being incarcerated indefinitely- in the Bang Kwang prison in Thailand? Shani Krebs is coming to Cape Town for one night to share his tale of incarceration and personal redemption. It’s all part of our pre-Pesach learning experience on Tuesday April 8. At 7:30 choose from an awesome cooking demo, “Bring your seder to life” with yours truly and Rabbi Hecht, or Cantor Ivor’s Around the World Musical Seder, including multimedia. Enjoy a sampling of local Pesach wines and refreshments before Shani’s main talk at 8:30. Space is limited- book today!

Yesterday must have been the most joyous day I’ve had in Cape Town. Three smachot in one day! I had the honour of naming two babies at 2 separate britot- mazels to Grampa Monty Nadelman and parents Samantha and Dallas on the birth of Shmuel ben David Halevy! And mazel tov to Martin and Helen Bliden on the bris of their grandson Binyamin ben Chaviva! If that wasn’t enough excitement, that afternoon I was in Kirstenbosch celebrating with Marc Speechly and the boys as we prepared for his wedding to Tamar Ovadia (now Speechly). And what a simcha it was! Mazel tov!!

Mazel tov to Jeff and Beverly-Ann Kleinman on Stacey’s forthcoming wedding to Grant Kavnat! Special mazels to one of our royal couples at Marais Road, proud grandparents Rene and Gerald Kleinman. Much nachas! And of course to Grant’s parents Jeremy and Lynn. Looking forward to the simcha and the joy!
Brian and Karin Zolty are celebrating the birth of a grandson, as is Jeanette Coscia. Hymie and Barbara Gordon celebrated the birth of a granddaughter in the USA, as did Leon and Barbara Mandel- and Bubbles Harris is the great-grandmother- in London. I officiated at Romy and Brett’s wedding just about 2 years ago- mazel tov!!

While I was away, I heard the sad news of Ellen Grande’s passing. Condolences to her son Ken Lazarus. Ken’s wife, Cheryl is the principle of Alon Ashal nursery school and Ralph Bub’s daughter. May Hashem grant the family comfort.

As it is the last Friday of the month, I will be blessing all children celebrating birthdays in March and, more importantly, giving them a fat slab of chocolate! Please let the office know of your child or grandchild who will be present so we could include them in this wonderful Marais moment.

Shabbat Shalom and happy reading!
Rabbi Dovid Wineberg