Shining a light in the darkness

Shining a light in the darkness

  The battle between the physical and the spiritual   By: Aron Ziegler Unlike Purim, which occurred while there was still some remnant of prophecy remaining with the Jewish people, the events of the miracles of Chanukah could not be immortalised in our Holy Scriptures as our prophetic abilities were no more. In order to remind us of the extraordinary miracles that Hashem did for us in those days, the Rabbis chose to build upon the seemingly insignificant miracle of “the small jar of oil lasting longer than expected” and…

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Climb every mountain

Climb every mountain

  Bitten by the travel bug   By Chandrea Serebro Most often you don’t even feel it when the bug bites. You didn’t know it was coming, you never even knew it was there, and you only realise you’ve been bitten when you’re already somewhere you had never dreamed you would ever be. Lance Abramson realised how fully he had been bitten on a Shabbos walk one day, after a nice kosher lunch, revelling in G-ds world and enjoying just being. On mount Kilimanjaro, that is, the highest mountain in…

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Get your motor running…head out on the highway

Get your motor running…head out on the highway

Planning a road trip this holiday? Start thinking about how you can stay safe now. Here are a few tips from the experts to help you get ready for the big day.   By Chandrea Serebro Ilan Sommer, Auto Electrician, Martin’s Auto Electrical – 011 837 8428 A few years ago, I came across an article about a family who’d packed up their car and set off for a wonderful holiday and some good family bonding time. Shortly into the trip, one of the younger members of the family, who was…

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Sometimes we need to fight

Sometimes we need to fight

Waging an impossible battle: to fuse physicality with spirituality   By: Dovid Samuels On Chanukah, we celebrate a miraculous victory in our battle against the Greek Empire. The question is, why did we, as a people, decide to stand up against our tormentors and wage war with them, when so many other times in Jewish history, Purim being one of them, we made a national decision to avoid fighting and instead engage in more spiritual activities like communal fasting and prayer? What is the appropriate Jewish response towards our enemies:…

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Chesed Around the World – One GIFT at a time

Chesed Around the World –  One GIFT at a time

  By Ilan Preskovsky There are few acts in Judaism more fundamental and more important than the act of giving, and few qualities of character more fundamental and important than being someone who gives. The most obvious manifestation of this is the giving of tzedakah, charity, to those less fortunate than ourselves. But giving comes in many forms and takes on many different guises. Yes, there’s giving money, but there’s also giving someone employment; giving of your time as a volunteer; and even giving just enough of yourself to brighten…

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Living with pain

Living with pain

  Those suffering from a chronic illness know it’s the bane of their life and something that few people who aren’t experiencing this for themselves can truly understand. But there is hope, and ways to create light in the tunnel with positivity, support, and a change in perspective.   By Chandrea Serebro Lori Osrin Lori Osrin is 32 years old and is grateful to be here, well enough, to tell her story today. Years ago, she was told by a doctor that she must prepare for complete blindness and practice…

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Breaking the stigma

Breaking the stigma

Creating a sisterhood to help those suffering from post-natal depression   By Chandrea Serebro You’re alone. You’re in the room, your newest, sweetest addition to the family is gurgling at you, you’re surrounded by friends, family, and well-wishers, and yet, you have no one. The household routine buzzes around you like the muffled sound of a far-off dancehall. Your mind is racing, crazy thoughts, out of control. Like a train, derailed, little help as you watch the coach that is your thoughts twist this way and that. Nervous, edgy, anxious…and…

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Not for all the money in the world

Not for all the money in the world

Some things just can’t be bought   By Chandrea Serebro We Jews don’t know what sacrifice is these days…at least not since the Second Temple was destroyed anyways. Modern living has made Shabbos the heart and soul of Jewish life, so central to Jewish life that it takes precedence over everything, but Jewish life itself; so easy that we never really have to lack for much or feel like we are giving up too much either. With our Shabbos lamps, our Shabbos alarm clocks, our Shabbos lifts, our Shabbos belts,…

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Spending Shabbos in the hospital

Spending Shabbos in the hospital

Lifting the spirits of patients and their families   By Ilan Preskovsky As any even remotely shomer Shabbos Jew knows, Friday is a flurry of activity, a continuous rush to get ready for, ironically enough, our weekly day of rest. It’s incredible; it’s always a rush, and, even if you have to make use of those extra 18 minutes before sunset to finish your last-minute preparations, it almost always works out in the end. Best of all, it seems to make little difference whether it’s winter or the height of…

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Faith Accompli – When some things have to be believed to be seen

Faith Accompli – When some things have to be believed to be seen

  By Rabbi Dr David Fox Following my lecture, the woman approached me. An Orthodox nurse and midwife, she had attended my neuroscience course during a sabbatical from Israel. She asked if she might have a discussion about something puzzling her as a religious health professional. I immediately consented, always eager to explore the interface between health, science, and spirituality. She was a skilled paediatric nurse at a large Israeli hospital in a large charedi community. She specialised in neonatal intensive care, and was usually present during complicated deliveries. What…

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