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What’s Nu @ Sydenham Shul?

At the Forefront of Jewish Life

Your Family Shul Where Everyone is Welcome

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Dear Friends,


Mazel Tov! Zuma is gone! This morning we said Hallel in Shul! Ok, it happens to be Rosh Chodesh, but you must admit G-d runs the world (and He also has a sense of humour!). Not only did JZ resign on Rosh Chodesh, the time of the New Moon, representing new light and new hope, but he did it on Rosh Chodesh Adar of which the Talmud says, "When Adar comes in, we increase in joy!" What a great prelude to Purim! Indeed, the whole country is singing Hallelujah!

What should I say? I know it's not right to say "I told you so," but I have been telling you for over 30 years, and I will continue to tell you, and remind you again in future - if and when we have a hiccup - that the Rebbe of righteous memory said repeatedly that we in SA should stop worrying and have a little faith. He said explicitly that it would be good for us in SA until the coming of Moshiach! (Please understand that I'm not saying that Cyril Ramaphosa is the Messiah!) So, I thank G-d that we are all happy, buoyant, and in confident - even euphoric - mood again about the future of our country. Please keep that mood as your default setting, come what may. I remember how after 1994 and our miraculously peaceful elections and transition to democracy, one of our community's lay leaders called me to say that "the Rebbe has been vindicated." Well, for those who had still been doubters, the Rebbe has been vindicated yet again. G-d bless South Africa!

Listening to JZ last night, I was convinced he was challenging the ANC to a vote of no confidence or even impeachment, and then suddenly... he resigned! Here's Howard Sackstein's succinct summary of Zuma's address last night:

"I am not going anywhere, there is no reason to resign, Parliament elected me, and Parliament should, if it wants, remove me. I do not fear Parliament removing me and I am not worried about losing my perks if I get booted out rather than resign. So, I resign."

Baruch Hashem! To quite Zapiro, it is the "end of an error."

And I'm afraid things aren't great in Israeli politics either. The Police have now recommended that charges be brought against Prime Minister Netanyahu for "bribery and corruption." I must say I wish they would have waited a while so that he could serve out his term simply because he is performing so successfully for Israel. No one else has the connections, the flair, the experience, and the reputation that has helped Israel strengthen its diplomatic relations with so many countries around the world. Obviously, justice must be done. But I can't see it being good timing now. Perhaps the Attorney Generalwill agree.

And to those who see a hypocrisy here, while I will never condone bribery and corruption anywhere, I would argue that there is a big difference between JZ and BN in that Zuma was ruining the country while Bibi is building his. I don't think anyone would accuse Netanyahu of "State Capture," even his enemies.

And today came the news of yet another horrible school shooting in America, this time in Florida in a school attended by some 40% Jewish students. So far, I have heard from the Chabad Rabbi there of the agony and pain for the families of the4 young Jews fatally injured there. We wish all the injured a speedy recovery, and their families, strength, comfort and hope. May G-d save us from the madmen of the world!

Thank G-d, Cape Town had some rain, and the terrifying Day Zero has now been moved to June. Please G-d, the rains will come by then and this terrible crisis will be averted. Keep praying!


We start with this Monday night's Symposium for our Annual Learning Launch which kicks off CAJE and our full Adult Education Programme for 2018. "Education in Crisis" features a distinguished panel of experts. Prof Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor of Wits, Mr Elliot Wolf of King David Schools fame, and Rabbi Dovid Hazdan, Dean of The Torah Academy Schools. I myself will serve as Moderator. It promises to be a very high-level, stimulating evening. Please diarise Monday 19 February in the Sydenham Community Centre, Seeff Hall.

We recommend pre-paid reserved seating to ensure you get a seat. Call Shirley on 011 640 5021 or you may book on lineat www.sydshul.co.za or directly at https://sydenhamshul.nutickets.co.za/7266. Thank you to Octagon Asset Managersand the Isaacson Family for kindly sponsoring this event.

Attached here please find the poster for our new JLI Adult Ed series. It's called "Great Debates" and unwraps some of themost fascinating issues in Jewish history. Suicide at Masada, the Maimonides Controversy, (did you know they burned his books?) Why is there no Sanhedrin today? And what about that famous argument between Chassidim and Misnagdimback in Lithuania? Is the battle over? It begins on Monday 26 February.

Here's a quick teaser just to whet your appetite:


Please note that payment for CAJE lectures cannot be charged to Shul accounts. Payments at the door in cash. If you make a pre-booking and pay by EFT, please bring proof of payment with you.

Have you booked your tickets yet for SOUNDS OF CELEBRATION V? This year's show features 180 young South African performers and Singing Star "Choni G" on Tuesday 27 February, 7:45pm, at Emperors Palace, Theatre of Marcellus. Tickets from only R60 – R120. Bookings: www.ticketpro.co.za, Spar outlets, Postnet Glenhazel and other selected stores.DON'T MISS IT!

This year, Sounds of Celebration theme is "going to the movies." From Johnny Clegg's 'Spirit of the Great Heart' to 'Shaka Zulu' and Walt Disney's majestic 'The Lion King'; from 'Star Wars' to 'Pink Panther;' from 'Schindler's List' to The Wizard of Oz – all these varied themes will be vibrantly brought to life through their respective musical suites.

The Sydenham Shul junior choir, and the Yachad instrumental ensemble from Yeshiva College, will join Zulu Dancersfrom Motheong School in Atteridgeville in Pretoria. Can you just imagine the Grand Finale with 180 kids from different schools all on stage together?! Rousing stuff! Don't miss out. Book now!

Sydenham Shul invites you to celebrate Israel's 70th Anniversary and spend Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'Atzmaut in Israel! DATES: 16 – 22 April 2018. "Israel 70" Tour Highlights: Visit the Jews of Sderot on the Gaza Border; IDF Air Force and Tank Museums, Sde Boker, home of Ben Gurion; enjoy the Dead Sea Spa and some Serenity; watch a breath-taking Air Force flyover; Friday night at the Kotel; Shabbat in Jerusalem; Hi-Tech Industry Insights; the famous Blind Museum and much, much more.

The cost is US$1438 p/p sharing. (Excluding airfare with airline of your choice). CONTACT our experienced Tour Convenor Louis Goralsky on 083 310 6140 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Make your reservation with Louis Goralsky NOW or the Tour will not go ahead!


Wednesday night 28 February and Thursday 1 March. The Shul is planning fantastic events for all ages. A Carnival for Kids will be on Wednesday night after the Megillah reading. Around the World with Sydenham - Your Passport to Purim. Booking through the Shul office. Food on sale. See the poster for all the exciting details.

On Thursday evening, starting before sunset (6:15 pm), we are busy planning a fantastic combination of happy happenings. We'll be celebrating our Shul's 75th Anniversary on the actual date, exactly 75 years from the first Minyan on Purim. Come in a Black & White outfit for our Purim Seudah with a Cocktail Dinner & Drinks. We'll also have the Grand Opening of our newly renovated Youth Bayit. And...there will be an array of Shul members of all ages demonstrating their skills in "Sydenham's Got Talent." Yes, we're showing off, and it's all very exciting! See attached poster. Join us inCelebrating the Past while we Shape the Future!

All our regular Shiurim are back in action! A new calendar year is a great time for new resolutions and more learning!Remember, go to the Shiur of your choice, but go to a Shiur! Both Rabbi Stern and I are beginning new books, so it is anideal time to welcome new members (even though they are always welcome).

And in addition to all our existing Shiurim, we are now offering private, one-on-one classes with our newly arrived Rabbinic Interns. You can choose to learn the subject of YOUR CHOICE! Anything from HEBREW READING for absolute beginners to Talmud and Philosophy. You can even finally get around to re-learning your Bar Mitzvah Maftir and Haftorah to sing it in Shul again. And you needn't wait for your 2nd Bar Mitzvah either! Please see the Shul Notice Board for all our Shiurim details plus all the learning opportunities with our Rabbinic Interns.

I would really like to see whoever needs help with HEBREW READING FOR ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS approach us and we will get you reading the Siddur in a matter of weeks. SPEEDREADING Classes also available. It's a great opportunity and it's free of charge to SydShul members only!

To book your personal class, please contact Rabbi Stern or myself at the Shul, or call Rabbi Levi on 065 806 0264 orRabbi Mendel on 067 000 1045.

This Shabbos we will welcome Rabbi Josh Green who will be doing Shachris and Leining for us and Levi Singer will be doing Musaf.

The Shtibl will welcome Rabbi Doron Kline of Telfed in Israel, who will be speaking on Shabbos morning.

The Brocha in the Seeff Hall followed by our monthly Social Shabbos. Please join us for another opportunity to meet and mingle with each other. I hope you will indeed use this special opportunity to interact socially with others and to make new friends as well. If there's someone new in Shul please consider yourselves as Ambassadors of SydShul and go over towelcome them, whether in Shul or at the Brocha. Let's be friends!

Mazel Tov to Bernice Tradonsky on her granddaughter's wedding in the USA. Much nachas.

We wish a Refuah Shleimah to Wolf Tepper, Gerald Lichter, Rita Sieff, Charmeon Seeff, Joan Porter, Joe Rosen, Brenda Blecher, and Freda Neimann.

Last chance to book for this year's Bar/Bat Mitzvah Families' Friday Night Dinner with our Rabbis & Rebbetzins and youth directors - Friday night 23rd February. Bookings on line or through the office. Bookings close on Wednesday 21 February at midday.

Mazel Tov! Our Youth will be moving into the newly renovated Youth Bayit next door from THIS SHABBOS! Just a little bit of work still to be done. We look forward to the official Grand Opening on Purim! Hope you'll be there!

Hey, do you like a bargain? (Are you Jewish?!) Well, here's a metziyah for you! When looking for a venue for your private Simcha, be it a Bris, Barmy, Battie, Engagement, Wedding please consider your own Shul's beautiful facilities in our Community Centre. You may now use any Beth Din caterer of your choice at our venue. What I will add now is that allSYDENHAM SHUL MEMBERS WILL RECEIVE A DISCOUNTED RENTAL ON OUR SHUL HALLS! So, may I strongly recommend that you should now be booking your Shul's halls for all your simchas and functions. For smaller events, up to120 people, we have the lovely Elk Hall. Bigger events, up to 300 people can be accommodated in the Seeff Hall. To bookyour next function, call Shirley on 011 640 5021.

The Shul now has a new accounts telephone number: 010 312 5377 and the e-mail address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it free to query.

CSO Training: Any community member is eligible to attend. There is a Ladies only 4-hour security awareness workshopon 1 & 8 February from 8 – 12.30. Become fully qualified as a CSO member and protector and join the CSO Protector Programme starting 7 March. See poster in the Shul foyer for more details and how to register for these courses or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

JNF OF SOUTH AFRICA AND KEREN KAYEMET OF ISRAEL 2018 introduce THE BRICHA TRAIL. In 1945 hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors were stranded in a post-war Europe still smouldering with antisemitism. The Bricha (the Hebrew word for 'escape') Movement comprised a group of Holocaust survivors who had reached Israel despite the British Mandate and knew about the many displaced Jews still languishing in Europe. The Bricha Movement chose to return to rescue these forsaken people, galvanising their meagre resources to traverse Europe at huge risk. In the end the Bricha Movement succeeded in locating some 300 000 Jewish survivors, providing them with safe passage, food, clothing, and smuggling them into Eretz Yisrael with the help of the Hagana. Having reached the shores of Israel, the Bricha Movement secretly took them through the forest areas, placing them safely in kibbutzim and towns. The escape route was via the JNF Forests in the Haifa region right into the centre of Israel. The Bricha Trail is to be a commemorative historical trail. A 3 km educational loop-trail, it will be situated in one of Israel's most beautiful forests on the Hof HaCarmel. Along the trail the history of the Bricha Movement will be described and venerated for posterity. The trail is the new South African JNF-Keren Kayemet joint project which will involve laying out a walking trail and recreational areas, planting trees as well as placing informational boards and educational signs along the trail. Please contact Sharon@beyachad. co.za This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 011-6452541 to participate and receive a special commemorative certificate. Please follow the JNF of South Africa on Facebook and see our website. https://www.facebook.com/JNFSouthAfrica/?ref=br_rs

http://www.jnf.co.za/ here's a link to an interview that appeared in the Jerusalem Post featuring Isla Feldman, the Chairman of JNF South Africa by ex-South African journalist, Ilanit Chernick.


And here's some required watching from me. Please look at this and you will be very aware of the dangers of the so-calledTwo State Solution.


Looking to rent a grand home, in immaculate condition, right near our Shul? Here's one with 5 bedrooms on ½ acre stand, suitable for 'work from home'. Immediate occupation. Rental: R16,500.00 negotiable. Contact Gillian on 079 550 3662. The address is 11 Roux Street. We'd love to have you as our neighbours!


This week's Parsha is Terumah which tells the story of the very first Synagogue Appeal in history. G-d needed a Sanctuaryon earth and we were asked to build it for Him. And we did! We contributed gold, silver, copper, wool, linen, animal skins, spices and precious gems as needed. We read of the exact dimensions and detailed requirements of each one of theKeilim, the sacred vessels in the Sanctuary. First, we read of the Aron, the Holy Ark which would house the two Tablets, its golden cover with the Cherubs above, the golden Menorah, the Table, the walls of the Sanctuary which consisted of upright wooden beams overlaid with gold. The roof was formed by three layers of coverings; multi-coloured wool and linen, goat skins and ram and tachash skins (the tachash was a very colourful but now extinct animal). We read of the copper Altar and the Courtyard around the Sanctuary. Our Shuls today are called Mini-Sanctuaries. May we merit to feel the presence ofHashem with us.


Shul Schedule

Friday Mincha 5:40 pm

Shabbos Candles: 6:15 pm

Shacharit: 8:30 a.m. - Shtibl 8:45 a.m.

Brocha in the Seeff Hall.

Social Shabbos: Time to Meet & Mingle

Shabbos Mincha: 6.10 p.m.

Shabbos ends at 7.22 p.m.

Mincha during the week: 6:00 pm.

Shachris Sunday 6:15 am and 7:30 am

Shachris Monday – Friday 5:40 am and 7:00 am

G-d bless. Hope to see you in Shul.

Zei gezunt and Gut Shabbos.



Posted 30 Shevat 5778 / 15 February 2018


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