Dear Friend

Social Media has become the virtual reality of relationships. It’s no coincidence that Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2015 wasn’t even a word- it was an emoji ;-)! Today, the world shares feelings, wisdom, rejectionism (leading to revolutions)- and hate, all in a digital space.

So when a social media guru visits town, we should sit up and listen. Avi Mayer isn’t selling us a product- he hasn’t come to town for VC startup funding- he’s here to teach us how to defend Israel, truth & justice in the new virtual world we inhabit. Marais Road Shul, Thursday February 4 at 8pm. The event is cosponsored by the Zionist Federation of the Western Cape.

Speaking of social media, a warm mazel tov to Michael and Sara Abel on Jake’s Bar Mitzvah! Mike is a passionate defender of Israel in social media (in addition to his day job!) and together with Sara, they are proud members of our community. It was thrilling to give Jake his first Aliyah on Thursday morning and we’re looking forward to a special Shabbas. Mazel tov to Grandparents Bernie Abel and Benjy and Michelle Lapiner- much nachas!

Mazel tov to in-house caterer Hadassah Friedman on the engagement of her daughter Sarah to Greg Stern! We are so happy for you guys and share deeply in your joy. I’m sure this week’s brocho will be dancing off the tables!

Stan Katz sits in the same seat every Friday night and is a stalwart of our community. Yet it was a shock to hear he was turning 80! Mazel tov Stan, may you and Merle have much nachas in the coming decade and beyond.

Condolences to Anne Lewis and her sons, Mark and Steven, on the passing of their husband and father, Harry. It was only recently that Harry and Anne moved back permanently to Cape Town and he will be fondly remembered by so many.

Condolences to Evelyn Sacks on the passing of her brother, Meyer Reingold. We wish both families much comfort in this time.

Yeshiva Night restarts this Monday! To join this growing program, contact rabbihecht@maraisroadshul.com and be a part of the Torah renaissance in Cape Town!

This past Monday night, the bachurim hosted a Tu Bishvat evening and it was wonderful! Shkayach to the bachurim and to all who attended!

Speaking of the Bachurim, they will be hosting a lively youth Friday Night Kabbalat Shabbat experience under the stars! Next week, February 5 at the Miller residence 309 High Level Rd. Rabbi Hecht, the Bachurim and the entire Friday Night Youth service will move to High Level for a service under the stars!

This morning we had the first daven e caffe of 2016 and it was great to see everyone “back in the saddle”.

They’re off to the big apple! Mazel tov to Jordan Arelisky and Anna Miller for winning the Cteens competition and receiving a free trip to New York! An international phenomenon, Cteens is a foundation dedicated to igniting Jewish Teen’s passion for Torah and Judaism. They have opened a chapter in Cape Town and 3 lucky kids from Herzlia have been selected to join thousands of teens at a shabbaton in NYC. Our very own Rabbi Hecht will be chaperoning the group. Pass the pastrami!

Mazel tov to Tony and Lynne Jamieson on the birth of grandson and to Shul trustee Hilton and Rosalyn Saven on the birth of a grandson. Much yiddish nachas!

Farewell to Debra Levin who has given so much to our community over the past few years. Personally, Debra has been a strong support in my work at the Shul for which I am deeply grateful. I wish her much success in her future endeavors and we look forward to seeing her in Shul as a private citizen!

Shabbat Shalom and happy reading!

Rabbi Dovid Wineberg