Letters Discussion Forums

Was it Rabbi Suchard who decided on his retirement?

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Your article in last week’s issue, “Honouring the longest-serving rabbi in SA”, refers. No valid justification seems to exist for Rabbi Zigmund Samuel Suchard’s retirement from Sandton Shul at this stage.
by Chonnie Romm, Israel and Johannesburg | May 10, 2018

Did he ever speak any word from the pulpit which was less than the truth of the Torah to those who cared to hear? There was never any attempt at self-aggrandisement. In essence, it was he who put Sandton Jewish life on the map with all his efforts and activities over many years.

What went on behind the scenes at the shul to ensure that a rabbi of his calibre should leave after 46 years?

I would have liked to believe that appropriate encouragement could have been given and effort made to ensure that he would remain in office at least until the milestone of 50 years – only four more years – blessed as he is with good health.

Was the decision about his retirement left entirely to him? The shul is not a commercial company with set parameters regarding retirement age. What consideration and compassion were put into this decision?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the rabbi’s retirement dinner. Even so, I probably wouldn’t have wished to attend so as not to endorse this premature retirement event.

Let whoever was instrumental in the good rabbi going on what I believe is an unnecessary retirement, know that Sandton Shul and the wider South African Jewish community will now be deprived of a rabbinic treasure that is rarely seen.




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