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Waking up on Mother’s Day

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I thoroughly enjoy spoiling my mother on Mother’s Day. There is something about having a special day that belongs to her (and me now, as a mom) that makes it an occasion. And I have to admit to loving the extra special attention my boys give me on this day.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | May 10, 2018

I do believe the mothers of this world need to be celebrated. We bring a nurturing to the world that moulds the future adults of this world.

Rosalie Bloch – a mother lost

While I look forward to this Mother’s Day, I am saddened by the fact that there is one particular family this weekend whose Mother’s Day will be devastating. Rosalie Bloch – mother of seven – and her husband, Aubrey Jackson (94) were brutally murdered in their home in Cape Town last weekend. She was 84 years old and the quintessential mother, both to her family and to South Africa. Rosalie taught her children to live according to the “Jewish values of justice, compassion and tolerance”, her son, Lance Bloch, told the SA Jewish Report.

Rosalie dedicated much of her life to fighting injustice in this country and helping people in need. As a member of the Black Sash and what was, at the height of apartheid, the Detainees Parents Support Committee, she looked after the welfare of those who needed it most. In fact, just days before her brutal murder, she was at a Black Sash meeting.

I am astounded at the brutality and horror of this and every other murder in this country. I am sickened that human beings can do this to another. And in the case of Rosalie and Aubrey, these criminals did this abhorrent act to elderly people, who were not a physical threat.

What has become of us?

I am not for one moment saying that all South Africans have stooped to this level, but I am saying violent crime and the killing of innocent people has gone too far. How did it happen that violent crime became ‘a norm’ in this country? How did we become almost blasé about rape, murder, hijacking?

As tough as life in Israel is, and as close to war as it is every day, a death or an attack of any sort horrifies the nation – and so it should. We cannot accept this situation. It is not normal. Yet we have lived like this for some time.

Will the murder of Bloch and Jackson be the tipping point that makes the government reignite a real fight against crime?

Just maybe the ANC government may recognise how this woman – who dedicated her life to fighting injustice – should not die in vain. Will this murder be the impetus to reignite specialised units that focus on murder and robbery, crimes against women and children – where dedicated policemen and policewomen are specifically trained in fighting certain violent crimes – go all out to stop these crimes?

I clearly remember in the early 2000s how the then commissioner of police, none other than Jackie Selebi – who himself landed up behind bars for corruption – closed down 503 specialised police units. He insisted that this would spread the crime load across all police and improve the chances of stemming crime. Well, violent crime is higher than ever, and we know how honourable Selebi turned out to be…

What can we do to get the government to take this situation in hand?

Mother’s Days should not be days of sadness and fear, but rather, days of lightness, love and laughter.

Bringing lightness and laughing at ourselves

A traditional way of celebrating Mother’s and Father’s Day is an outing to a restaurant and, in some cases, a special card or a gift. In our last edition of the SA Jewish Report, we brought you a story of what makes a kosher restaurant survive or not. I love the honesty and integrity with which the people spoke about their beliefs.

However, this week I was taken aback that there were people who misinterpreted something that someone said about how Jewish people can be difficult customers, and – as the restaurateurs – it was important to humour them. Come on, we all know that we are never going to be the simple customer who takes things off the menu as is. That’s not who we are.

I mean, who on earth has a normal burger? It has to be additional relish, hold the lettuce and make sure the bun is slightly toasted so it is crisp on the outside… or the like. We are like that and it isn’t bad, it is just real.

But for people to call the owner of a kosher restaurant – who simply admitted to the SA Jewish Report that Jewish customers can be difficult and want instant gratification – anti-Semitic, is taking things way too far.

This restaurant owner is the furthest thing from an anti-Semite; she is an integral part of the community. She is dedicated to her customers, no matter how complicated that can be, and wants to make sure they get what they want. Can I suggest that in this case we are perhaps taking ourselves too seriously? As far as I know, most of us pride ourselves on being unique and not simple. We are a complex people, but interesting nevertheless. We are loving, caring, but also inquisitive and hold people to high standards.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I ask that we relish the lightness of being able to laugh at ourselves, consider those who have lost their precious mothers and find a way to make our mark in changing the way the government deals with crime.

And most important, show your mother – or someone who represents those motherly qualities to you – that she is special!

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Mother’s Day!

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