• SuzanneCommunalSeder2

    Looking for a communal Pesach seder?

    Mar 22, 2018 Go comment!
    South Africa is fortunate to have a close-knit and caring Jewish community whose members ensure that no Jew need be alone for the Pesach seders.
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    • RecipeJTADarkChocTruffles

    Dark Chocolate Espresso Truffles

    Mar 22, 2018 Go comment!
    Most of us need few excuses to make a batch of chocolate truffles, especially when coffee is involved. This recipe combines a velvety chocolate base with just enough espresso flavour to give you your caffeine fix. The fact that this version is vegan, kosher for Passover and healthy (no added sugar!) is more reason to try it.
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    • Matitiani

    A focus on free will, repentance and forgiveness

    Mar 15, 2018 Go comment!
    In traditional betei midrash, children begin their Torah studies with Sefer Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus. It contains all the laws of the priesthood and the sacrificial offerings.
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    • ParshaRabbiRichard

    The true test of one’s faith lies in day-to-day living

    Mar 08, 2018 Go comment!
    We read in the parsha of Pekudei, with reference to the completion of the Tabernacle, that “Moshe (Moses) saw all the work and behold they had done it; as Hashem had commanded so had they done; and Moshe blessed them” (Shmot 39:43).
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    • ParshaRevMatzner

    The half shekel of service delivery

    Mar 01, 2018 1 Comment
    Service delivery is a sacred obligation in our religion. You could say that it is illustrated in the mitzvah of giving the yearly half shekel. This obligation devolves on every Jewish family and has been loyally adhered to for well over 3 000 years by rich and poor alike.
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    • PurimRabbiDeren

    A tale of two presidents – lessons in (our) leadership

    Mar 01, 2018 Go comment!
    “Thank you for the blessing – it worked!” With his trademark beaming smile our newly inaugurated President Cyril Ramaphosa thanked me outside Parliament following the #SONAReply last week. His gratitude was for the blessing I was privileged to give him just a few days earlier, at the #Mandela100 rally prior to his election.
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    • RabbiWidmonte1

    Our Purim moment lies in Jewish education

    Mar 01, 2018 Go comment!
    I was sitting at breakfast with a friend whose daughter is enrolled at one of our Jewish schools. He related the following story to me: A week or so ago, a Jewish Studies teacher (whose identity is not known to me) was teaching the class about Purim. During the lesson, the teacher turned to the pupils and asked a stunningly honest question: “Be honest with me: am I boring you?” My friend’s daughter, who has no doubt inherited her parents’ authenticity and confidence, replied: “To be honest, you are. We have learned Purim for the past 10 years – there’s nothing new here!”
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    • AdinaRoth3

    Politics, power and personhood in the Story of Purim

    Mar 01, 2018 Go comment!
    These past few months in South Africa have felt extreme. We have had waves of hope, interspersed by disappointments, as we’ve seen a corrupt and selfish leader be replaced by someone upon whom so much hope is pinned.
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    • RabbiStern

    Heaven and earth – two worlds or one?

    Feb 22, 2018 Go comment!
    On the second day of creation, G-d separated heaven and earth. This was something so uncharacteristic of Him, because in His world the focus is on unity and harmony rather than on separation and division. In fact, it is for this reason that the Torah does not mention the words “and it was good” on the second day of creation, although it was mentioned regarding all the other days – because when there is division, it is not good.
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    • Parshas Ki Tetze - Rabbi Yossi Goldman

    Sinai or sanctuary?

    Feb 15, 2018 Go comment!
    And in the beginning G-d was homeless, and so He asked His People to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G-d instructed Moses “to tell the people They shall make for Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them”.
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    • RabbiGreg

    The difference between seeing and perceiving

    Feb 08, 2018 Go comment!
    What does G-d look like? If you ask most people this, they would be hard-pressed to give you an answer, while kids would probably draw a sunbeam or an old man on a cloud. Our Torah portion describes Moses and Aaron and 70 elders of Israel going up Mount Sinai, “and they saw the G-d of Israel” (Exodus 24). What did they see? The rabbinic commentators were puzzled because we are told later that you cannot see G-d and live (Exodus 33). How was it possible for this group of leaders to see G-d and live?
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    • ParshaRabbiPink

    Teach your children well

    Feb 01, 2018 Go comment!
    While most in-law jokes target the mother-in-law, in this week’s portion, it is the father-in-law – specifically Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses – who interferes to tell Moses how to run his business.
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    • ParshaRabbiasherDeren

    It’s raining in Cape Town!

    Jan 25, 2018 Go comment!
    Yes, that’s the impression you’ll get from your Capetonian friend’s Facebook timeline every time there’s the slightest drizzle – when, in reality, it doesn’t make the slightest difference to the dam level. But just like we save every drop, we need to say thank you for every drop, no matter how small.
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    • ParshaVayeitzeiRabbi

    Parshat Bo – Tragic indecision

    Jan 18, 2018 Go comment!
    As the process of redemption moves towards its climax, our Sages tell us that great tragedy occurs. A terrifying number of Jews perish during the plague of darkness, and it is a diminished nation that leaves Egypt in triumph.
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    • JTASephardiInspiration

    From Israel to America: Sephardi inspiration for Chanukah

    Dec 15, 2017 Go comment!
    For many years, I worked in the most special place I could imagine. It’s a radical beit midrash (house of study) in Jerusalem, Memizrach Shemesh, the Social Action Beit Midrash, inspired by the traditions of Jews from Arab lands.
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    • Chanukah-e1418312502553

    Answering some oft-asked Chanukah questions

    Dec 12, 2017 Go comment!
    How do you pronounce Chanukah? Is there a correct spelling for the holiday? Why does Chanukah last eight days?
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    • Nossel

    What on earth was Jacob thinking?

    Dec 07, 2017 Go comment!
    Jacob was not only a father, he was a forefather, a patriarch, a giant. Yet, the verses point out how he openly showed his affection towards Joseph and the problematic consequences thereof:
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    • RabbiJohnathanSacks

    The Festival of Lights that signifies an inextinguishable faith

    Dec 07, 2017 Go comment!
    What I find fascinating about Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights we celebrate at this time of the year, is the way its story was transformed by time.
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    • Parshas Ki Tetze - Rabbi Yossi Goldman

    Don’t give up the search!

    Dec 07, 2017 Go comment!
    Everyone knows the story of Chanukah. The Maccabees defeated the mighty Greek armies and reconquered Jerusalem. When they wanted to kindle the menorah in the Temple, they could only find one jug of oil - enough to burn one day - but, miraculously, it continued burning for eight days until new oil could be procured. Because of the miracle of the oil, the sages established an eight-day Festival of Lights.
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    • JTABudapest

    In Budapest, Chanukah comes out of the shadows and onto the ice rink

    Dec 07, 2017 Go comment!
    The outdoor ice skating rink - the largest in Central Europe - in Budapest's city centre, has been part and parcel of Hungary's Christmas tradition for nearly 150 years.
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