Rabbi Moshe Sher passes on

  • Sher
Rabbi Moshe Sher zt”l passed away three days prior to Rosh Hashanah, after a long illness.
by ISAAC REZNIK | Oct 22, 2014
Rabbi Sher loved Hashem and His mitzvoth, loved all Jews and lived a worthwhile life preparing for the next world - as written in a book he wrote: “The moment of death, is the crown of life. It is the moment that the King invites one to come visit Him and what greater privilege can one have than that!”

He had a positive influence on many people, not because he preached to them, but because they felt his true love and concern for every Jewish neshama. When he saw or felt that a person was in need, it was his pleasure to give assistance and provide sensitive encouragement with a smile.

One facet of this deep Jewish concern manifested itself in his association with bereaved families, guiding them with their loss and arranging the tombstone for their loved one.

He was a calligrapher par excellence and did his best to ensure that every memorial stone be a tribute for the family member who had passed on.

He was born in Johannesburg to Jack and Marjorie Sher in 1942 and grew up in Kensington, Johannesburg.

At the age of 10 he expressed a keen interest in his Jewish heritage and his excitement therefor influenced his parents and siblings to embrace a Jewish observant life. During these formative years he absorbed the teachings of his local rabbi, Rabbi B Rabinowitz and became an expert in leining and shofar blowing.

After matriculating he attended the Hebrew Teachers Training College in Johannesburg where he received his degree. He then travelled to Rabbi Marcus in Cape Town to learn the laws and art of kosher slaughtering.

In 1965 he enrolled at the Keren BeYavneh Yeshiva in Israel; he also spent three months in Jerusalem, learning to be a mohel by day and a scribe by night. Over the next 49 years he performed 6 500 brissim for Jewish children, south of the equator.

He became an expert in all facets of doing a bris, so much so that he was sought out by surgeons to share his expertise with them. In 2002 he published a book “It’s a Boy” - a practical guide to the ceremony of the bris.

Still while in Israel, he wrote a beautiful Purim Megillah and upon his return to South Africa, presented it to his father. The then Chief Rabbi Louis Rabinowitz commended him for this work.

Later in congregational life he checked numerous sifrei Torah and made them kosher by painstakingly reviewing every letter in them.

Rabbi Sher acted as the rabbi in Springs, both before and after his marriage to Judy and thereafter was the assistant rabbi to Rabbi Nachman Bernhard of the Oxford Shul. He became rabbi of the Germiston Hebrew Congregation for many years and then occupied the pulpit of the Etz Chaim Shul in Berea, Johannesburg for 15 years.

Even after he did not officially have a congregation, he remained focused on the general South African Jewish community. Wherever he saw a congregational need, he would fill it, such as beautifying the aron hakodesh in numerous shuls, arranging sifrei Torah for shuls and donating shiva chairs for the Ohr Somayach Congregation.

He is survived by his wife Judy, six children and their spouses, many grandchildren, brother Bernie and sisters Orlene Bar-Chaim and Heather Bloch. 



  1. 4 Abe Goldsmith 02 Nov
    Did someone take over his tombstone services ?
  2. 3 Dov 04 Nov
    @Abe - Rabbi Ryan Goldstein is now running Eternal Memories (Rabbi Sher Z"L's company). His details are: 083-458 9965 Email: [email protected] 
  3. 2 modechai Hellman 19 Dec
    I  would be very greatfull to get in touch with this wonderfull beloved persons family since I had a great grandfather from Lithuania named Moshe Sher as well ---- from the town/city "Kretinga " ----- it would be fantastic if you can relay this message to  them (along with  my  email address 

    With appreciation 
    M Hellman
  4. 1 mordechai Hellman 06 Jun
    On Dec 19 of this year i left a note wondering whether any family member of Rabbi Moshe Sher ztl would like to  contact me ------  I erroneously left out my  contact info ------------- My email address   [email protected]   ( My Great Grandfather whose name is Moshe Sher  was from Lithuania as well )----------- I would be very Thankfull and Appreciative    


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