I’m positive

I’m positive

Some points to ponder before making a hasty exit for seemingly greener pastures By: Robert Sussman As an American residing in South Africa, it’s certainly interesting living in a place where everyone has an “exit plan” – an idea of where to go when things reach the point that it’s “time to leave”. After nearly 14 years of living here, I still haven’t gotten used to this very foreign attitude. In America, if something’s broken, we work on fixing it, not jumping ship. Rabbi Azriel Chaim Goldfein, z”l, used to…

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Like an angel among men

Like an angel among men

Menachem Begin lived by the maxim that a Jew should never hate another Jew and, the truth is, we all should live by that adage By: Robert Sussman We have certain commandments that are bein adam l’chaveiro, between man and his fellow man: to love our fellow as we love ourselves; not to hate our fellow; not to bear a grudge against him; not to take revenge against him.[1] These aren’t easy mitzvos. In fact, I once gave a series of shiurim regarding them and one of the attendees turned…

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Putting on the brakes

Putting on the brakes

Sometimes the most important thing we can do with our mouth…is close it By: Robert Sussman There is an emphasis today in the Jewish world on learning about loshen hara, the laws related to proper speech, which include avoiding speaking slander, gossip, or in a derogatory manner about people. But there is another point that is even more important and fundamental than this. There is a general quality that’s call shtikah, silence, and not even necessarily from loshen hara, but total silence, ie. holding one’s tongue. When it comes to…

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A meal fit for a king

A meal fit for a king

Some very special dishes to share with your family and guests this Yom Tov season By: Karen Schneid of Ooh La La Confectionery Rosh Hashanah is my favourite Jewish holiday. With jasmine in full bloom and blossoms budding everywhere, the season of new beginnings is cause for a celebration of life itself. When we created our home, I knew I wanted a long table in both the kitchen and the dining room. A long table signals that we are ready at the drop of a hat for a dinner party….

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A Home for the Divine

A Home for the Divine

Building our own personal Temple and living in it all year round By Dovid Samuels It’s the end of a long fast. After drinking that first cup of water and enjoying the taste of food for the first time in 26 hours, we can chalk up another successful Yom Kippur. Instead of flopping into bed, the halacha calls on us to muster up some superhuman strength and do the last thing that would otherwise be on our minds: go outside and build a sukkah! The Rema[1] notes that those who…

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The power of speech

The power of speech

The unique quality of man to which so much of the Viduy – the confession that we recite repeatedly during the many days leading up to and on Yom Kippur – is devoted By: Aron Ziegler On Rosh Hashana we commemorate ‘the birthday of the world’. The first of Tishrei, Rosh HaShana, is actually the anniversary of the creation of man, who was created on the 6th day of creation.[1] The principle feature of man that distinguishes him as being in a totally unique class of creation from all of…

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The Shalva Band

The Shalva Band

Reaching people through music, while empowering those with disabilities By Ilan Preskovsky Taking place in Tel Aviv this year, the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 was an even more controversial, often contentious event than usual. From questions about the Jewish State hosting the competition over Shabbos to the usual brow beating by anti-Israel activists who wanted Eurovision to boycott Israel, it was a hot-topic conversation starter even for those who don’t usually care about musical talent shows in general, let alone the oft-mocked Eurovision Song Contest. With all of this going…

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The incredible story of the salvation of Bulgaria’s Jews during World War II continues …

The incredible story of the salvation of Bulgaria’s Jews during World War II continues …

The incredible story of the salvation of Bulgaria’s Jews during World War II continues, this time from a more personal perspective By: Ilan Preskovsky In the last issue of Jewish Life, we featured one of the most astounding, but far too little-known story of how Tzar Boris III of Bulgaria saved 48 000 Jews from certain death during the Holocaust. But, as we quickly found out, there was much more to the story. While there is a lot to recommend about the more objective, purely historical view of the heroic…

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An Emotional Band Aid

An Emotional Band Aid

Making the worst day of someone’s life a little bit better By Chandrea Serebro Hatzolah is one of the South African community’s greatest treasures, and when they add to their vault the entire community becomes richer. And now that Hatzolah has added the Crisis Response Unit (CRU) to its glowing chest, the community will be the one that benefits the most. Psychological First Aid is like an “emotional band aid” which helps in ways that medicine cannot, offered on-scene to the people who are the “collateral damage” at every emergency…

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The miracle of life

The miracle of life

It’s not over…until Hashem says it is By Chandrea Serebro It was late Thursday night, filled with anticipation. Moments before the birth, the monitors started to beep and blink, going crazy. The rhythmic sound of his heartbeat began to drop and then very quickly disappeared into an abyss of silence. He was born quickly. His mother hardly saw him. All she could see was her pale, grey baby lying limp, receiving resuscitation attempts by the frantic medical personnel in the room. She didn’t see any movement. She didn’t see the…

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