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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Making magical memories

Making magical memories

Seeing twenty terminally ill kids enjoy life to the fullest on the Hope Tour is like watching life, unfiltered. And it’s catching.   By Chandrea Serebro The sound of Benny Friedman’s Toda!, the title track off his hit album, reverberates around Waverly. It’s around ten in the morning and looking around you’ll see a bunch of guys dancing and singing with the tune at a decadent breakfast hosted by a gracious member of the South African community who has gone all out, as is done here in South Africa, for…

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Weapon of mass destruction

Weapon of mass destruction

It’s not just the pen that’s mightier than the sword   By: Robert Sussman The Torah tells us that, after the Jewish people left Egypt, Balak, the King of the nation of Moav, saw how powerful we had become, crushing other nations, and he was afraid of us. One of the great rules of battle is to “know your enemy”, and Balak was desperate to find a strategy to defeat us. And, as is even the case with the present-day military victories of the Jewish people, Balak and the Moabite…

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Chesed Around the World – LINKed together

Chesed Around the World – LINKed together

  Catering to the needs of children and teenagers who are faced with the devastating loss of a parent   By Ilan Preskovsky Like so many great ideas, LINKS – an organisation dedicated to helping Jewish children and teenagers who lost one or both parents – came from the most humble of beginnings. Sarah Rivkah Kohn was nine years old when her mother passed away and, as an only child, she always sought out other children who were in a similar situation – children who could understand what she was…

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Kosher Gourmet – Passionate cooking

Kosher Gourmet – Passionate cooking

  Some scrumptious ideas for Yom Tov Text by Jade Singer, recipes by Sharon Newfield Sharon Newfield, mother of two wonderful boys, works for Hatzolah and is an avid chef in the kitchen. Despite not being employed as a chef, her meals are always wholesome, delicious, and made with her passion for cooking. Whether it’s a supper during the week, a pop-by cup of tea, or a meal on Shabbos and Yom Tov, all of her guests are excited to be part of her table. Sharon’s love and warmth cannot…

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Finding light in the darkness

Finding light in the darkness

The incredible story of Der Blinde Chazzan, Cantor Abe Immerman By: Moira Schneider Being blind virtually from birth and orphaned from the age of five was no bar to Cantor Abe Immerman’s lifetime of service to the Jewish community. Known as “Der Blinde Chazzan”, he had memorised the entire Torah off by heart, including, quite incredibly, the trop (its musical cantillation), as well as all the synagogue services by the time he was in his mid-twenties and went on to lead many congregations around the country. And now broadcast journalist…

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The world that was

The world that was

The memories of Yeoville of yesteryear are ingrained in the psyche of many South African Jews today. No faribles please – we remember just the tip of this much-loved South African shtetl’s iceberg.   By Chandrea Serebro Yeoville. What started out advertised as a “sanitarium for the rich” where the air was clearer because it was upper-middle class aspirations high on the ridge overlooking the dirt of the smoky mining town of Johannesburg, the city of gold, soon became a hive of multi-culturalism with a distinctly Jewish flavour. While the…

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Hugo’s Heroes

Hugo’s Heroes

An invaluable community service to make our schools safer   By Ilan Preskovsky There’s probably no one in our Jewish community unfamiliar with Hugo Paluch; no one who wasn’t touched by how this fourteen-year-old boy tragically died from injuries sustained by a freak accident at school or how the community pulled together as one to daven for Hugo and to provide emotional and physical support for his family. It wasn’t just the Johannesburg Jewish community either, as his story has truly gone global – incredibly, so widespread is his impact…

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