Dear Friend

On Tuesday, the Shtetl came alive. We all exist: we scheme, we plot and plan, we operate on a level of activity, and so we exist. But to live? Living is when you are infused with purpose and direction. To live is to know not just the ‘how’ of life, but the ‘why’ as well. So, on Tuesday, our Cape Town Shtetl came alive.

Can you imagine waves of hundreds of people with a single purpose? Can you imagine minute upon minute and hour upon hour accumulating processing power of millions of bits of info? A gesture, a comment; a look. Connecting with this personality or that idea. Hearing something new and the light bulb in your head going off. You know, coming alive.

So I say, long live Sinai Indaba! Endless kudos to our Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein for his vision of bringing these great Jewish personalities to our doorstep. And kudos to each of you who made the effort to come, to hear, to sample authentic Judaism. The question now is: will you come alive? Will you be willing to continue to explore with your local teachers? Will you call them up or email to discuss this reflection or ask that question? Will you stay alive? Please say, “yes”? Your Rabbis and Rebbetzins are waiting for you!

And tonight we bring the Shtetl to life once again with Shabbat Unplugged: the Shtetl! From the Shtetl Stop (horse and buggy on corner Marais and Main Road!) to a musical Kumzitz with Russian dancers and hot soup, to great giveaways and an awesome surprise- our Shtetl will come alive tonight so be a part of it! Of course the Friday Night Shabbat service will be infused with your favourite Yiddish melodies, blending with the traditional tunes that we’re all so attached to. See you in the Shtetl!

Mazel tov to Jessica Kaplan on her Batty this Shabbas! Mazels to Drs. Davin and Hayley Kaplan on the beautiful simcha. Also, Mazels to Grandparents Alan and Val Ipp who are pillars of the Gardens Shul. Jessica has been an avid participant in the Shul and it’s exciting to see her coming of age at Marais Rd. Shul. Our Shul has been the proud host to a Kaplan Family Torah. How moving it will be when it’s read this Shabbas. Mazel tov!

Yey! Mazel tov to Lara (Fish) and Ivan Resnick on the birth of their daughter! Mazel tov to proud grandparents Jeff and Adele Fish and great granny Zelda Fish. The whole mishpocho is in Johannesburg to celebrate the birth and to be present for the baby naming at the Sydenham Shul this Shabbas. To top it all off, Jeff (who is a daily Shul presence @ Marais Rd.) turns 60 this weekend! Turning 60 and becoming a grandfather sounds like a pretty productive week. Mazel tov!

Freddy Hirsch informed me the other week that he and Aggie were traveling to London to celebrate their grandson’s Bar Mitzvah this Shabbas. Mazel tov to Freddy and Aggie Hirsch and to Sheila Friedman on their grandson Max Unterhalter’s Barmy. Lots of nachas!

Dr. Harry and Shooshy Buchinsky are celebrating 2 Bnot Mitzvah- in Cleveland and Boca Raton. Shooshy, you should only travel for simchas and together with Harry derive much nachas. Mazel tov, Mazel tov!

Carol Marks, Terrence Felder, Brian and Karen Zolty, Beverly and Chorister Mervyn Nick, are all celebrating births of granddaughters- asach nachas and mazel tov!

Mazel tov to Adam Closenberg on his 40th birthday to veteran community leader Gerald Kleinman on his 90th birthday. As I’ve said before, Gerald’s simcha is the Cape Town Jewish Community’s simcha. Mazel tov and many years in good health and nachas.

Mazels to Rory Gruss on his son Gidon’s engagement!

What a week of joy and life in our community. So, let’s cap it off with a little more joy: see you in the Shtetl!

Shabbat Shalom and happy reading!

Rabbi Dovid Wineberg