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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,

Shirley tells me the switchboard at Shul is ringing incessantly as people want to know when Shwekey tickets will go on sale. We surmise it will be late next week. But do watch this space and you'll be the first to hear. I can announce that tickets will start at only R150 to allow people to bring their families and will go as high as R600. But remember, it's first come, first served. We have always enjoyed sell-outs and we anticipate another so as soon as they become available we recommend you get your tickets without delay. Watch this space!

You heard it here first....

SHWEKEY is Back!

Carnival City....28 August.

Yesterday was Mandela Day and Barack Obama came to town. That he is an excellent public speaker we know. Beyond that, I really can't think of much that he achieved as American President. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is hardly in his league as an orator, but with all his bad-mannered, embarrassing vulgarities it seems like he is actually achieving many things. It appears that he may yet prove his many detractors wrong. Of course, he may also blow himself out of the water completely. As always, only time will tell.

We were reminded of our fascinating family meeting with Madiba about 25 years ago. He was taking a walk just around the corner from our home in Oaklands. I noticed him as I was driving by and quickly called the kids to come out and greet him. The security was laughable. Two uniformed policemen and that was it. Mandela, in his characteristic warmth, greeted every child, asked them their names and about school. When Yisroel said his name was Israel, the great man said he was going to visit Israel soon with Chief Rabbi Harris, which he duly did. By the way, have you seen the outstanding billboard up now on the airport highway? A photo of Mandela with his quote about Israel having secure borders. Well done to the organisers!) When Nissen, who was then a baby being held by Choni refused to turn around to answer the President he quipped "this one is still fighting old battles." He then walked up African Street for a while holding the hands of Yisroel and Sarah'le. How many Presidents would make so much time for children? A great man indeed. May he rest in peace. (In case you don't believe me, we have the photos to prove it!)

I was pleased to read about Investec's Stephen Koseff's confidence in the future of our country. It's one thing for a Rabbi to get up at the pulpit and preach faith, hope and optimism, it's another when a seasoned banker and businessman does it. The 'Boy from Benoni' who made it to the top of the banking industry certainly has the ear of many, and I hope also the ear of our current President.

I must say that after listening to a talk by a top Security expert in Israel at our recent Rabbinic Conference in Jerusalem I have a heightened sense of purpose and commitment to the work of our CSO. This anonymous gentleman oversees security for the entire Diaspora. He travels the world and was full of praise for our own CSO. Having been around the world myself, I can also tell you that there are few communities, if any, that have the level of organisation, professionalism, and dedication that we enjoy and should be very proud of. I therefore am happy to give an enthusiastic plug for you to join one of the CSO's upcoming Security Training Courses. Every single one of us should do it! See the announcement at the end of this email.

Our first students of the JLI Hebrew Reading for Beginners course with our Rabbinic Interns have now graduated. Mazel Tov! If you still want to become a more literate Jew, please hurry! Call the office on 011 640 5021 or write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Rabbi Hanoch Teller is an accomplished author and master storyteller. He will be joining us here at SydShul for a special talk on Tuesday 24 July at 7:45 pm. "Cecilia's Story: Our Mission" is dedicated to our dearly departed Cecilia Boruchowitz, a Holocaust Survivor, talented musician, and unforgettable personality. We thank the Boruchowitz and Brasg families for helping us arrange this talk during Rabbi Teller's upcoming visit to SA. Please do RSVP. There is no charge. Call 011 640 5021 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The 75th AGM of our Shul will take place next Thursday 26 July at 7.45 p.m. Please do join us and get involved. Show an interest. Come, hear, and participate in person. Hope to see you there. You don't have to join the Council to attend the AGM. Just come, listen, ask a question if you like. Be part of your Shul family!

Gabi Wineberg, our new Function & Events Co-Ordinator, is now busy helping our Bat Mitzvah moms plan for their girls' big day in September. Gabi 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 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.

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:

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 .

It gives me much pleasure to advise that my book, From Where I Stand, is now available in the book shops and also at the Shul office. Great for your Shabbos table or as a gift. In fact, I recommend it! 😊 Will be happy to sign it for you on request.

Welcome to our Guest Chazan Reb Eliezer Auerbach, who will be davening for us over Shabbos. He is an accomplished Baal Tefilla with a very nice voice. Come and hear! In fact, we will all be davening together on Shabbos morning as Rabbi Stern and the Shtibl will join us for a Unity Shabbos!

There will be a fleishig Brocha is in the Seeff Hall and will be followed by our Smorgasbord of Shiurim. My Halacha of the Week will be on Tisha B'Av. Rabbi Stern continues with Tanya and Rebbetzin Estee with Kings & Prophets.

We will daven Mincha straight after the Shiurim at 12:40 pm and then we can come back for Tisha B'Av services after Shabbos by car.

There are specific practices this year with Tisha B'Av falling on Shabbos and the Fast being delayed until Sunday. Look out for this week's Good Shabbos Sydenham or come to my Halacha Shiur on Shabbos, or both.

Here is our Tisha B'Av Schedule:

This Saturday night and Sunday. Fast begins on Shabbos at 5.33 p.m. and ends at 6.00 p.m. on Sunday.

Saturday Night: Maariv & Eichah at 6:30 p.m. At approximately 7.30 p.m. (after the Shul service) we will go to the Elk Hall for the screening of the video – "Feeling the Pain of Another" featuring Rabbi Yechiel Spero, Dr David Lieberman & Mr Charlie Harari of the USA.
Sunday Shachris – one Minyan at 8:00 a.m. (No Tallis & Tefillin). After services, approximately 10.00 a.m., we will be showing the Video "Feeling the Pain" Part 2" featuring Rabbi Yissocher Frand and Rabbi Paysach Krohn.
Mincha Sunday, 4:50 pm (with Tallis & Tefillin)
Fast ends at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Wishing you well over the Fast.

MAZEL TOV to Neil and Terri Gore on the birth of a daughter, to the new grandparents Brian and Brenda Haarburger, and Steven and Rene Gore of Cape Town. Much nachas!

Mazel Tov to Les Sandler on his 80th birthday and Stan Woolf on his 90th birthday. Many happy, healthy returns! As I have become wont of saying lately, our Shul is not aging. It is simply good for longevity. Come to SydShul and enjoy a long, happy life!

Our sincerest condolences and wishes of long life to Victor and David Sacks and their families on the passing of our beloved choir stalwart and gentleman of note, Hymie Sacks. Please G-d, only simchas and fond memories in future.

We wish long life and our sincerest condolences to Irene Fine, Ivor Garlick, and Shirley Kramer on the passing of their mother Sally Garlick, a woman of dignity and selflessness. Only simchas, please G-d.

We wish a Refuah Shleimah to Philip Milner, Jeff Lieb, and Ashne Ephron. Hope to hear of your complete and speedy recoveries.

Here is a link to a new video in anticipation of Tisha B'Av called "Redefining Redemption."



This week's Parsha is Devarim which begins the 5th Book, Deuteronomy. Moshe begins a series of sermons, lectures, a sort of Ethical Will before he takes leave of his flock forever. It is on Rosh Chodesh Shevat and he will pass away on 7 Adar, some five weeks hence. He recaps the experiences of the last 40 years, good and bad. He chastises the people for their mistakes and appeals to them to learn from them when they will soon enter the Promised Land under Joshua. No one can be faribeled with the great leader as he has looked after them so faithfully all this time. Furthermore, no one will be embarrassed either as he is going to breathe his last in a few short weeks.

The Haftorah is the famous Chazon Yishayahu, the Vision of Isaiah. This is why this Shabbos is known as Shabbos Chazon. The prophet records G-d's disappointment with His people who have turned away from Him. "The ox knows his owner and the donkey its its master... but Israel has forgotten?!" Yet he speaks of Teshuvah too, of the people returning to Hashem. "If your sins be like scarlet, they will whiten as snow." And he concludes optimistically. "Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and her returnees with righteousness."


Shul Schedule

Friday Candles: 5:17 pm (SLOWLY GETTING A BIT LATER NOW.)

Friday Mincha: 5:20 pm

Shachris: Big Shul 9:00 am. One Minyan only. A "Unity Shabbos."

Brocha: Seeff Hall

Smorgasbord of Shiurim

Shabbos Mincha: 12:40 pm (no Pirkei Avos).

Shabbos ends at 6:09 p.m.

Mincha next week at 5.25 p.m.

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

Rochel and I wish you all a Gut Shabbos and Well Over the Fast.



Posted 7 Menachem Av 5778 / 19 July 2018