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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,

So the plot sickens. A local model posts a comment pointing out that Hamas also bears some responsibility for the deplorable situation there and is attacked mercilessly, viciously, threatened with death, and the BDS makes a whole media conference as she tearfully apologises. The whole scenario is quite unbelievable. Is there no objectivity left in our country? Will every sane, reasonable person now be petrified to post any objective reasonable comment on social media for fear of being murdered!? Is this what we’ve come to? And where are all the millions of supporters and lovers of Israel out there? I am so disappointed that there was no one to take her side and guide her correctly in the opposite direction.

At least the POTUS whom everyone loves to hate has now taken the USA out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council as Ambassador Nikki Haley describes it as a “cesspool of political bias.” Haley minced no words calling the global body “a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.” The Council, she added, has a “chronic bias against Israel.” Haley said that only if the Council reforms, the United States “would be happy to rejoin.”

And meanwhile, Israel just carries on doing its thing, getting stronger militarily, economically, and even diplomatically. Newrocket technology, new direct airline flights from Georgia in the former Soviet Union, and an upcoming first-ever British Royal visit. We carry on building and creating opportunities for the living, while our enemies focus only on hate, death, and destruction. G-d bless Israel!

And hot off the press now is the story that the infant who was reportedly killed by IDF tear gas at the Hamas border has been confirmed to have died of a blood disease and was just used as a prop. Of course, the international media pounced on it and Israel was demonised yet again. As always happens, but only after considerable PR damage has been done, the Arab lies are revealed. So it was at the time of the alleged “Jenin Massacre” which was proven to be a complete and utterly false fabrication and so it, invariably, turns out time and time again. Oh, by the way, what was an infant doing at those “peaceful”demonstrations anyway?

Back at the ranch, Gabi Wineberg, our new Function & Events Co-Ordinator, now has an e-mail and can be contacted on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call her in the office on 011 640 5021. She’s already meeting with families and arranging for their simcha to be memorable and well-run. Gabi is ready to welcome you in her new, comfortably decorated office here at Shul and offer you a cup of coffee as she helps you plan your simchas and other functions. She will assist you in organising a stunning function that runs 100% smoothly. And don’t forget that if you’re a SydShul member, you will get a discount on hire of all Shul halls including the new Bayit and Garden which is ideal for a smaller function.

I have been watching our Rabbinic Interns hard at work teaching the JLI Hebrew Reading for Beginners course to dozens of individuals and small groups. JLI has created a card system which makes learning Hebrew easier than ever!

And CAJE continues with “The Prime Ministers.” This partnership with The Academy now focuses on the life and personality of Benjamin Netanyahu. Presented by Rabbi Ramon Widmonte, it concludes on Monday. Bookings through the Academy.Tel. 010-140-2099, or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or at www.theacademy.org.za.

The 75th AGM of our Shul will take place on Thursday 26 July at 7.45 p.m. Please diarise the date and make every effort to attend. Get involved. Show an interest. Come, hear, and participate in person. Hope to see you there.

Big double Mazel Tov to Rabbi and Estee Stern. Earlier this week Estee’s brother got married in New York and next week Rabbi’s brother will be getting married in Israel. May you always go from simcha to simcha! Best wishes to your respective parents and families from all of us at SydShul. Enjoy!

Thank you to Rabbi Hylton Herring for being in the Shtibl last Shabbos and welcome to our Guest Rabbi in the Shtibl this Shabbos, Rabbi Zevi Weinberg.

MAZEL TOV on his BAR MITZVAH in the Shtibl to Jared Gordon, his parents Nicole Gordon and Larry Gordon, grandparents Ivan and Brenda Blecher, David and Nurit Gordon. We all wish you much nachas from Jared.

MAZEL TOV to Adam and Genevieve Solomons on the birth of their first-born son, and to the grandparents Selwyn and Janice Nathan, and Barry and Chantal Solomons. Lots of nachas. Enjoy!

We wish a very sincere Refuah Shleimah to Sharon Sawitzky, Denise Suttner, Hannah Sachs, Danny Nussbaum, Larry Nussbaum, Janette Kahn, and Morris Lemmer.

Please help us communicate with you better! If you have still not yet updated your important family information on to our new ShulCloud database, please do so ASAP. Kindly fill in your family details, Yahrtzeits, etc, and preferred methods of correspondence so you get all our Shul communications accurately and effectively. Please include everyone in the family. Get them all involved!

All you need to do is Click Here and then do the following when prompted to update your data in ShulCloud:

  1. Create a new password that you will use from now on.
  2. Review and update your profile information. Please make any changes necessary by clicking on the view and edit your profile button.
  3. Update your contact information and choose what information, newsletters, communications etc. you wish to receive from the shul.
  4. Please ignore any account balances as this part of the system will only be implemented at a later stage.

If you are struggling, you may feel free to email   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Chazan Yudi Cohen and the Choir are on this Shabbos. The Brocha is in the Seeff Hall. and following the Brocha I will be giving the Halacha of the Week Shiur on “Doctors & Healing” in the Main Shul. All welcome.

My book From Where I Stand, is now back in print. It is available from the publishers, KTAV, on line and is now on sale inAmerican bookshops. It will hopefully be in SA very soon! If you can’t wait, try


I recommend you watch this short JLI Video with an inspiring message from the word Chukas, the title of this week’s Parsha.


Hey, if you are 35+, single, divorced, or widowed, and looking for fun events and an opportunity to meet new people then you should definitely join the Facebook singles group everyone is talking about. There are hundreds of people signed up already between the ages of 35 and 76! It’s called Joburg Jewish Singles 35+. Enjoy! Who knows where it may lead? Hopefully theChupah!


This week’s Parsha is Chukas and begins with the statutory decree of the whole Torah, the Red Heifer. It is something no one could understand. Why being sprinkled with the ashes of a red calf should make a person who came into contact with the dead pure again is beyond human reason. Judaism is a very practical and reasonable religion. Most things do have logical and rational explanations and meaningful value and symbolism. But, I guess at the end of the day, it is still all about faith and some Mitzvahs need faith. Not only the Red Heifer but also Kashrut, Mikveh, Shatnez etc.

We then read of the passing of Moshe’s sister, Miriam. Without her, the water supply of the miraculous Well of Miriam dried up and the people clamoured for water. Moshe is told to speak to the rock but strikes it instead. Although water gushes forth for everyone and their animals, Moshe himself will not enter the Promised Land for this minor infraction.

Aaron, Moshe’s brother, also passes on in this reading, but not before he sees the nachas of his sacred vestments of the High Priest being handed over to his son, Elazar.

After yet another eruption of unwarranted discontent, the people are again punished, this time by an attack of venomous snakes. Moshe is told by Hashem to fashion a copper snake on a tall pole and when the people who were bitten will look up at the copper snake they will be healed. This is, of course, the universal symbol for medicine and healing to this day, a snake on a pole. Now you know where it comes from, the Torah.

The Parsha concludes with Moshe leading the people in stunning military victories over the mighty Emorite kings, Sichon and Og.


Shul Schedule

Friday Candles: 5:07 pm (FINALLY STARTING TO GET LATER NOW.)

Friday Mincha5:20 pm

Shachris: Big Shul 8:30 am; Shtibl 8:45 am

Brocha: Seeff Hall

Halacha of the Week Shiur: “Doctors & Healing” by Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Shabbos Mincha4: 50 pm followed by Pirkei Avos (Chapter 5).

Shalosh Seudos

Shabbos ends at 5:59 p.m.

Mincha next week at 5.20 p.m.

G-d bless. Hope to see you in Shul over Shabbos. Zei gezunt!

Rochel and I wish you all a Gut Shabbos.



Posted 8 Tamuz 5778 / 21 June 2018