Dear Friend

A warm, hearty and joyous mazel tov to Stephen and Rene Gore on the engagement of their son Neil to Terri Haarburger! Stephen is a former president of our Shul and Neil is one of the first people I met after moving to Cape Town- and he was super helpful in helping us settle down. Lots of nachas- mazel tov!

Although we are in the three Weeks of mourning, Jewish Law stipulates clearly that we must not delay an engagement announcement (the formal party is another story). Another simcha that wasn’t avoided last week was when our son Mendel started laying Tefillin in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah! click here for photos of the moving Shachrit service near the ‘Ohel’, resting place of the Rebbe, whose influence on our life’s mission is profound. Most special was the presence of my parents and much family- and that it was jointly held with Mendel’s cousin who’s Barmy is only 2 days after his. mazel tov Mendel!

While on the topic of Bar Mitzvah, mazel tov to Joe and Bernice Rubinstein and to Riva Bloch on the barmy of their grandson Ben Michael Sharon. Lots of nachas!

Mazel tov to Jack Rubin on the birth of his granddaughter, born to Bianca and Doron Shifrin! I was privileged to officiate at their wedding some two years ago. Doron’s grandmother Anita Shifrin is also a member of our Shul and we wish her mazel tov on the birth of her great-granddaughter. mazel tov!

On Friday, we begin the intense mourning period of the Nine Days, leading up to Tish’a b”Av when we mourn the destruction of both Temples some 500 years apart. Check the schmooze for details and insights into his time in the Jewish calendar.

On Sunday I was saddened to hear of the passing of two beloved members and friends: Cyril Prisman and Elaine Goss. Abe and Elaine’s son Raymond has been a dear friend since my early Johannesburg days and through him I had already met his special parents. But it was only when I moved to Cape Town that I learned how special these people are. Elaine was a complete Jewess and family stalwart and will be deeply missed; her passing comes as a shock. Our deepest wishes of condolence to Abe, sister Marjorie Milwidsky and sons Raymond, Avron and Daniel.

I had the distinction of being Cyril and Maureen Prisman’s next door neighbour and Sara and I could never have been more fortunate. Cyril’s warmth, accessibility and deep intelligence marked him as unique a man there ever was. He was both respected and loved by members of his law profession and left an indelible mark on all who knew him. Our hearts are with Maureen and daughters Lorraine and Desire in Vancouver.

Condolences to Ellis Henen on the passing of his brother Selwyn.

On Sunday July 19 (7:45pm) we bid farewell to our inaugural group of Bachurim at the Yeshiva of Cape Town in Marais Road Shul. The Chief Rabbi Cyril and Ann Harris Yeshiva of Cape Town has been a huge asset to our community with many dozens of members seizing the opportunity to learn with the amazing bachurim. It seems only yesterday that we welcomed them into our community and hearts and I encourage everyone to join our evening of appreciation. We also will look forward to the new group of motivated young men who will be joining us in the coming months.