Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

The biggest nachas comment I got all week was from a dear friend who told me, “I’m so over the Shabbos Project”. Wait, whaat? So he explains to me how last year, at the Shabbos Project he and his wife decided to keep Shabbas, full stop. And now, after a year of keeping it, he just wants to be home with family and friends, not going to this ‘event’ or that one. “For me, Shabbos is a way of life, not a ‘project’”, he insists. Yes!

We’re at the centre of a revolution and we don’t even realise it. I’m not talking about student protests or even Rugby upsets, I’m talking about a homegrown movement that has gone viral to every corner of the Globe. I vividly recall the Chief Rabbi sharing his determination to affect change through a manageable bite-size commitment (a la Dan Ariely) and here we are celebrating Shabbos with over 550 communities in the world- over one million people- committing to keep the full 24 hours of Shabbas ‘from sunset to nightfall’. Wow.

And the excitement is palpable! Over 1500 women joined together for a Challah Bake this week, where our very own Zoe Cohen introduced the Mitzvah of candle lighting, which she sponsored for each participant in honour of her batty last week. Go girl!

The excitement continues tonight with an instrument based service, as we usher in the Shabbas with string and percussion. As we’re in entering summer and sunset isn’t until after 7pm, we can do the first part of the service- which is pre-Shabbas- with musical accompaniment. So join us for a Kabbalat Shabbat service like no other!

Checkers Picnic in the Park is sold out! For all those who have booked, please collect your picnic basket after the Shiur at 1pm. We’ll then make our way to the park, which is a 5 minute walk away. There will be child supervision and activities. A great program is planned for adults as well. Oh, and BYOB (bring your own blanket!).

The Wizo/Bnoth Zion Shabbas Dinner welcomes Rabbi Nissan & Ariella Goldman of the Kaplan Centre at UCT. This dynamic young couple has been transforming Jewish life on campus and we’re excited to hear about their experience and the opportunities that lie ahead.

A fascinating revolving shiur on Shabbas will be held after the brocho. “See, Hear & Taste Shabbat” will involve three stations manned by Rabbis Pini Hecht, Johnny Altman and Moi. Move around as you experience the different senses on a mystical or practical level. 12:15 in the Main Shul.

The Shabbas concludes with a unity Seuda at Weizmann Hall (there is no service at Marais Rd. this Shabbas afternoon). All 5 local communities are joining together for an experience like no other. Song, words of inspiration and personal messages from Project participants, will make for an unforgettable experience. Of course there will be enough food and drink for the whole Sea Point…

And we conclude with a Musical Havdalah ceremony led by our very own Cantor Ivor Joffe and friends! And then, a giant screen viewing of the Rugby! Who said you can’t have it all…?

Mazel tov to Andi and Stuart Hendler on Ryan’s Bar Mitzvah! I can’t recall the Small Shul being as full as it was on Thursday morning when Ryan had his first Aliyah- what a morning! Mazel tov to grandparents Sharon Levy and Mathew and Toni Hendler, who are soaking in the nachas! Zaide Philip’s presence is so felt and missed. Surely he is ‘shepping’ nachas above and we wish him a special mazel tov.

Mazel tov to Dale Smiedt and Romy Tyfield on their engagement! Mazel tov to parents (Shul Trustee) Alan and Eileen Smiedt and Lauren Snitcher and Jeremy Tyfield- as well as granny Phena Snitcher! Lots of nachas from this super couple…

Condolences to Lawrence Stein on the passing of his mother, Essie Stein. Many of Essie’s grandchildren are members of our Shul and we wish them comfort in this time.

A big mazel tov to Larry Gershowitz on celebrating his 50th birthday. Much blessing!

Huge Mazel tov to Arnie Pillemer on his 80th birthday! Please don’t tell his squash opponents as they’ll be mortified to learn they’re losing to an octogenarian! Many happy healthy years with Estelle and much nachas from the mishpocho.

While all simchos are special, I’d like to wish a special Mazel tov to Philip and Marion Marcus on Craig’s forthcoming wedding! Craig marries Nicci Ackerman in Johannesburg on Sunday and what a simcha it’ll be. This wedding is a triumph of hope and faith and I wish the entire mishpocho much mazel, joy & continued good health on this special occasion!