Bringing the Torah alive

Bringing the Torah alive

Touch history and history touches you By Ilan Preskovsky Whether reading through the weekly Torah portion or intensely studying a page of Talmud, it’s hard not to sometimes feel like you’re reading about alien worlds that bare only a passing resemblance to our own. It’s hard enough to get one’s head around the world in which the Talmud was compiled some fifteen hundred years ago – slavery was the basis of the world’s economy, Christianity was still in its infancy, and Jews were always, at very best, second-rate citizens in…

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Give praise and thanks… for what?

Give praise and thanks… for what?

Measuring our fortune and Chanukah’s lesson of appreciating our very own miracles By: Rabbi Dovid Samuels The symbol of the Menorah – or the Chanukiah – has become synonymous, not only with the festival of Chanukah, but Judaism in general. Not believing in coincidence, this festival must therefore have some fundamental connection with our religion, and us as Jews. So, if we ask what the main aspect of Chanukah is, surely we would say the lighting of the Ner Chanukah. After all, it is referred to by some as the…

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Working the system

Working the system

Why doesn’t Hashem do more miracles? By: Aron Ziegler The gemara asks[1], “What is Chanukah?” and it answers, “Our Sages taught…when the Greeks entered the sanctuary (of the Temple), they defiled all the oils, and when the kingdom of the House of the Chashmonaim overpowered and defeated them, they checked and only found one jar of oil that was left with the seal of the Kohen Gadol. There was only enough oil in (the jar) to light (the Menorah) for one day, but a miracle was done with it and…

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Everything is gonna be okay!

Everything is gonna be okay!

Don’t be so certain By: Robert Sussman One of the greatest mistakes that a person can make is having too much confidence that, despite how bad or threatening things may look at the moment, everything will be okay in the end – that his prayers will surely be answered and everything will work out just fine. Our Sages teach[1] that it was pronounced upon Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) ten times that he would not enter the land of Israel, and, yet, this harsh decree was not actually finalised and sealed until…

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The man who moved mountains

The man who moved mountains

Enriching the lives of residents of Selwyn Segal By Chandrea Serebro Described by the Chevrah Kadisha a “the man who moved mountains”, Lionel Stein is a self-imposed patriarch of the residents of Selwyn Segal, a role which began out of an inability to say no and not a small amount of fear and trepidation over 45 years ago. “My personal involvement with the Selwyn Segal started by evolution. The late Jack Shapiro, who ran the Selwyn Segal, invited me to come and make Kiddush on a Friday night for the…

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Light and easy Chanukah suppers

Light and easy Chanukah suppers

Welcome to summertime in South Africa By: Orit Taback of Orit’s Bakery When I think of Chanukah suppers, I think summer! The children are all home, relaxed; there are no Afrikaans orals to prepare or natural science tests to learn for! No one needs a lift to soccer or an extra maths class after dinner. The buzz that accompanies us for most of the year at the dinner table has lifted. We like to have friends and family joining us for a braai on the patio or a traditional Chanukah…

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A unique exile

A unique exile

Trying to make Israel the same as all the other nations By: Robert Sussman In 3448, Alexander the Great, who had previously conquered Persia, conquered the Middle East with the assistance of the Kutim. The Kutim then asked for permission from Alexander to destroy the Beis HaMikdash (the Temple) – less than 40 years after it was finished being rebuilt following the well-known events of Purim! – and, in gratitude for their help, Alexander granted their request. As the Kuti army advanced on Yerushalayim, Shimon HaTzadik, the Kohen Gadol and…

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No walk in the park

No walk in the park

After their car flipped over in the Kruger, they had no choice but to walk, injured and bleeding, for almost four hours through dangerous lion territory at night, surviving thanks to a chain of miracles By Chandrea Serebro The Kruger National Park is renowned worldwide for its excitement and adventure and the chance for a real bush encounter, up-close-and-personal. Millions visit the Park every year, but I am sure that few have experienced this promise so literally as Rabbi and Rachel Ehrman and their children. Very few people can say…

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