18 going on 70

18 going on 70

The story behind Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah and the day that forever changed the world By: Robert Sussman We say it every year at the Pesach seder; in fact, it’s one of the most well-known lines from the Haggadah: Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah said, “I am like a seventy-year-old man…” But what does it mean? Why did he say it and what was his point that he was “like” a seventy-year-old man? He needed an afternoon nap? He was suffering from aches and pains? And why would he think his…

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A Truly Wealthy Man

A Truly Wealthy Man

A Tribute to Eric Samson By Ilan Preskovsky During the more than two-hour-long tribute video to Eric Samson that was hosted by Chief Rabbi Goldstein to mark the end of Samson’s shloshim (the thirty-day mourning period), Phillip Krawitz of the United Jewish Campaign summed up just why there was such a lengthy tribute to Eric Samson in the first place. In what is probably an apocryphal tale, Krawitz tells of how a certain king approached the patriarch of the famous Jewish banking family, the Rothschilds, and asked him, “So, tell…

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A final year like no other

A final year like no other

Making matric work over miles (and Zoom) By Chandrea Serebro Yeshiva College Boys, Matan Kaplan What was your biggest challenge writing matric during COVID-19? Every human being on this planet has had challenges and missed opportunities due to Corona. The biggest hardship for me was that it fell during my final year at school. With syllabi to finish and ideas for school projects and innovations to be launched, everything was brought to a screeching and dramatic halt in March.  My school adjusted and pivoted with incredible flexibility and fluidity and,…

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Boomerang

Boomerang

Whatever we do…comes back to us By: Robert Sussman Regarding the sotah[1], a married woman who behaved in a way that gave rise to a suspicion of her having committed adultery, the gemara teaches a fundamental lesson: “B’middah sh’adam modeid, bah modi’deen lo – With the measure that a man measures, with it, he is measured.”[2] In other words, we are judged according to how we judge – and we are rewarded, or in the case of the sotah, punished – for the way that we behave. But more than…

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Fashioned in the Furnace

Fashioned in the Furnace

The vaccine of our great suffering By: Rabbi Dovid Samuels The night of the seder is designed to instil in us, and all of those participating at the seder, belief and faithfulness to the truth that Hashem is completely in control of every aspect of our lives, both on a national and individual basis. Even the matzah is referred to as the bread of emunah – faithfulness. As with every mitzvah, the more we prepare ourselves beforehand, the more effect it will have on us when we fulfil it. But,…

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Simply Irreplaceable

Simply Irreplaceable

Remembering Rabbi Desmond Maizels By Ilan Preskovsky Rabbi Desmond Maizels, ztz”l, passed away suddenly on 15 January 2021 and it’s hard to overstate just how much of a void he has left behind in the South African Jewish community, but most especially in the Cape Town community that he served for decades. To say nothing, of course, about the gigantic loss felt by his family and friends and, really, anyone who knew this universally beloved giant of South African Jewry. Rabbi Maizels was born in Port Elizabeth in 1949 and,…

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Cherish the moment

Cherish the moment

Brief encounters of the present kind By Maria Beider A few weeks ago, my dear uncle, the patriarch of our family, succumbed to our contemporary, common enemy, Covid. While he is one of many thousands to have lost his life to this horrific virus, I was personally heartbroken – not just for myself, but for my mother and her siblings, who could not see him face-to-face for months, and for my aunt, his wife, who was also suffering from the virus at home and was unable to say goodbye to…

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