Who’s on first?

Dear friend,

Are you a South African Jew, or a Jewish South African? Does it even make a difference?

Perhaps the nuanced distinction is that the first word seems to imply priority; What comes first, Jewishness or South Africanness?

 I thought of this question when I called up our Barmy boy for his first Aliyah on Thursday morning and I called Mikey Hendler, “Jewishly eager”. After the service, a friend corrected me, saying that ‘eagerly Jewish’ is more grammatically correct. Well, my dear friend, perhaps it’s a question of emphasis: what comes first, his eagerness or his Jewishness?

 So, mazel tov to Mikey Hendler on his Bar Mitzvah this Shabbas! Mazel tov to his parents, Stuart and Andi Hendler and grandparents, Sharon Levy and Mathew and Toni Hendler! While the family is super excited to be celebrating this special young man’s coming of age, Mikey is Jewishly eager to assume the responsibilities of a Jewish adult.Shkayach Mikey on leading the service yesterday morning, I know it’s just a taste of what’s to come!

 Happy happy birthday to ‘Mr. Education’ Geoff Cohen on celebrating his 60th! May Hashem give you the continued ‘kayach’ to lead, educate and inspire the youth of Herzlia to even greater Jewish heights. Mazel tov!

Mazel tov to Balfour & Connie Valkin on their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Many years of love, good health and continued nachas!

Condolences to Greg Bortz on the passing of his mother, Evrille Bortz, in San Diego. Even though she hasn’t been well of late, Evrille was just here visiting the family and her passing must come as a great shock. May Hashem comfort you and the family amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

On Monday we celebrate Tu Bishvat, New Year for the trees. Check out the Shmooze for more info on this popular Jewish Chag.

Next Friday is the last Friday of the month so get ready for children’s birthday blessings (& chocolates!) on Friday night and daven e caffe, earlier in the morning!

Shabbat Shalom and happy reading!

Rabbi Dovid Wineberg