On a Mensch You Can Rely!

Getting it done, not for the honour By: Rabbi Yossy Goldman “Sadly, too many of those volunteering to serve the community are themselves less than competent.” So, what’s the difference between a shlemiel and a shlemazel? Everyone knows the shlemiel is the inept fool who never fails to spill the soup. And the shlemazel? Why, he’s the born loser who, somehow, always gets the soup spilled on his lap. And then there’s the nudnik who insists on knowing what kind of soup it was, but that’s for a different essay.…

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Bitter Herb

The curse of comparison By: Rabbi Dr David Fox “He sensed that he, as their oldest shared child, had been doomed to be ‘the Contrasted Kid’.” A reserved adult, he surprised me during his therapy session when he finally discovered the roots of his chronic depression. “I never felt special. Since I was young, I sensed that my parents were disappointed in me. They would compare me with other children, and I was never good enough.” This intrigued me, for I knew him to be an accomplished rabbinic scholar and…

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Defending Israel

Who, what, where, and how By: Ilan Preskovsky “When dealing with antisemites, engaging with any more than a couple of choice words is a complete waste of time.” Since the horrific massacre of October 7th and the explosion of antisemitism of October 8th, it’s hard to imagine any Jew with even the slightest connection to their Jewish identity not having spent the past four months feeling, quite literally, under attack. As both our homeland and we as Jews have come under fire from far-left academia, far-right white supremacists, Islamists, relatively…

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Don’t Panic

Kosher Gourmet Pesach made easy…and tasty By: Sharon Lurie PRETZEL CHICKEN AND CHIPS 8 chicken schnitzel  (skinless, deboned breast, butterflied, then cut in half along the dividing seam) 1 cup KLP Italian Salad dressing (I used Tonelli Italian salad dressing) ½ cup KLP mayonnaise 2 eggs 2 cups Hadar* honey pressed KLP pretzels or fine matzah meal Crush the pretzels really well. Not as fine as powder, a little more texture. Combine the salad dressing, eggs, and mayonnaise and pour over chicken breasts, ensuring they are well coated. Marinate for 2 to 3…

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Room for All

Finding space in a world of holiness By: Rabbi Dovid Samuels “Where there is holiness, there is space!” The Yomim Tovim are not, for us, a mere recollection of past events. The times on the Jewish calendar have within them great spiritual potential, and through our observance of the laws and customs of that particular day, we can unlock and download much of this wealth. Our holy books are full of ideas that help us to connect to the spirit of the day, so that the opportunities available to us…

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Justice

Fixing the world, and fixing ourselves By: Bev Goldman “Only those who think out of the box can pull this looming disaster together.” “I will not let anything stand in my way to obtain justice for those most deserving of it.” “The lack of real ideological support from the USA is creating an existential threat to the survival of Israel. The country is facing a catastrophic monsoon both now and in the immediate future, but is there a solution, and if so, what is it?” Very powerful words from a…

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Jewish Unity

The Key to Peace in the Middle East By: Paula Levin “Only one nation is capable of destroying the Jewish People – and that is the Jewish People.” Mark Twain once said that “History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme”. And the song that was playing before October 7 was eerily familiar – the chords of discord. Before the destruction of the Second Beit Hamikdash, with Jerusalem besieged, factions within the city were fighting… each other! The city had enough food in storage to withstand years more, but…

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Confluence: Without a leg to stand on

…but yet, uplifted By: Rabbi Dr David Fox “…beyond that is my way of serving G-d by serving those in need.” Having said farewell to her children and leaving them some cash, she made her way to the airport in a cab, unable to drive after breaking three toes from falling during her visit. A heavy boot braced her foot and her leg but made it impossible to operate a vehicle’s accelerator or break pedals. She had called the airline and ordered a wheelchair to take her to the plane…

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Israel In Context: Silence!

Where are the Women’s Voices? By: Bev Goldman “The UN’s disregard and tone deaf response to Hamas’s attack is woefully unsatisfactory and consistent with the UN’s longstanding bias against Israel.” Rape and other forms of sexual violence are prohibited under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in international and non-international armed conflict. Humanitarian law clearly prohibits rape in internal conflicts. Rape committed or tolerated by any party to a non-international conflict is prohibited by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions insofar as it constitutes “violence to life and person”, “cruel treatment”,…

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Kosher Gourmet

For the Purim Palate By: Sharon Lurie …a pinch of Persia FRESH BASIL INFUSED TOMATO SOUP AND KREPLACH Kreplach are traditionally eaten 3 times a year: Yom Kippur, Hoshana Raba, and Purim. After many a frustrating attempt at making kreplach, I now purchase them from my favourite Butcher or Kosher supermarket! I suggest you do the same… it just makes life less stressful! As with the symbolic secret little pockets of meat hidden in the dough representing the unrevealed secrets of Purim, so too there must be a secret to…

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Pause!

…and notice the miracles By: Rabbi Dovid Samuels “She hesitated, she contemplated, she sought advice, she prayed. That is how a righteous person responds. Slowly, carefully. Pause.” Printed with the Vilna Gaon’s commentary on Megillas Esther is a sefer called Yosef Lekach. Written by Rabbi Eliezer Ashkenazi in the 1500s, he goes through each and every verse in the Megillah and explains how every detail played a part in the great miracle that was the Purim Story. Besides for being a phenomenally enlightening work, it serves as a lesson for…

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Young blood

Israeli youth making a difference By: Paula Levin “Ordinarily, specific government departments would tackle each of these challenges and deploy the necessary resources – but this is no ordinary time.” Who said youth is wasted on the young? Israeli teens and adolescents are stepping up in a big way to make a real difference in a country at war and still reeling from October 7th’s devastating attacks. The need is seemingly endless, with humanitarian challenges on all fronts, but young people are using their idealism, ingenuity, and (much coveted) energy…

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Matric Feature

Final Thoughts Matrics reflect on the past and look to the future By: Ilan Preskovsky “What school has done for me is equip me with skills that I can use when I enter the ‘real’ world, but the rest is up to me to figure out.” King David Victory Park: Erin Wasserman: What are the most important things you learned at school outside of class? My time on the Johannesburg Junior Council showed me the importance of creating connections with people from completely different backgrounds. I realised that it is…

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