19 April 2018

Dear All,

The weather has been a ‘biesel’ nasty, with rain and colder days…..very little sunshine around in the ‘Ou Transvaal’……strange weather for this time of the year….usually very sunny days and warm…?????

The Super 15, 9th round was good, with some strong plays, and GR88888 Rugger, especially the Hurricanes –Chiefs game .. Beauden Barret was at his best, and even Mc Kenzie could not dazzle the Hurricanes….who won a good battle, and their defence was rock solid… The Blues were kept under control by the Sunwolves, who again played their hearts out, and kept the score line VERY respectable…24-10

The Jaguares 25-22 win over the Rebels was a shocker, as the Rebels should have taken it, BUT….took a scrum at the Final whistle instead of kicking it over and lost the scrum…and lost the game….Well played Jaguares….. The Highlanders thrashed the Brumbies with a 43-17 win, in a wishy washy game….no great shakes…..The Waratah’s Tukka took the Reds apart with a convincing 37-16 win….. Foley has Tukka lifted his game and should be the Aussie Fly Half this year….

Gatiep was sitting reading the Cape Argus while his wife, Meraai was busy in the kitchen. 
He called through to her "Skattie, there's a word here I don't understand. 
What does 'propaganda' mean?" 
She came in dusting the flour from her hands. "Propaganda means like this Gatiep ," she said. "I had three kids from my eerste husband and two kids from my tweede husband. 
From you I have had niks .....no kids. You had no kids from your eerste wife and no kids from your tweede wife. Also no kids from me. 
That shows Gatiep, that I'm a proper goose, but you're not a propa ganda." (Ag neeeee,,,)

The Bulls moered the Sharks at the Sharks home ground…..The weather was not very kind, BUT…..the Bulls went on attack from the first minute and never stopped…. Tukka was very rainy weather……. 40-30 away from Fort Loftus is a VERY big win……are the Bulls back to their dominant Scrum/forwards…??? Methinks they could be a force going forward…..

Liverpool had a good win against Bournemouth and could still overtake Man United for second place (Well done Martin & Brian…)……….. and Man City beat Spurs in a lively game…….Come Sunday , and Manchester United gave a display of note against West Brom, and do not deserve a Top 4 place this year….what a ‘Kak’ performance…….….Last night was a ‘Biesel’ better against Bournemouth, BUT……

While sports fishing off the Florida coast, a tourist capsized his boat. He could swim, but his fear of alligators kept him clinging to the overturned craft. Spotting an old beachcomber standing on the shore, the tourist shouted, "Are there any alligators around here?" 
"Naw," the man hollered back, "they ain't been around for years!" 
Feeling safe, the tourist started swimming leisurely toward the shore. 
About halfway there he asked the guy, "How'd you get rid of the gators?" 
"We didn't do nothing,'" the beachcomber said. 
"Wow," said the tourist. 
The beachcomber added, "The sharks got 'em." (Einaaaaaaaaaaaaah….)

Souff Effrikka has done very well @ The Commonwealth games, BUT…. the ‘Blitzbokke’ were a let-down and failed to win a medal….Losing to their ‘Bogey’ team Fiji, and then losing to England for the Bronze….. NZ beat England 14-0 to take the Gold…..

Those in the USofA can get their supply of Biltong, Droe Wors and other Souff Effrikken 'Gerichten' from Joburg Kosher Foods www.joburgkosher.com  details at http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15'

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it 
Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing. 
Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing and conveys much. 
The virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea. 
'You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.' 

Integrity, the choice between what's convenient and what's right. 
Concealed talent brings no reputation. 
Regret is an appalling waste of energy, you can't build on it - it's only good for wallowing in 
If the human body recognized agony and frustration, people would never run marathons, have babies, or play baseball. 
The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury. 
"Procrastination is like a credit card: it's a lot of fun until you get the bill." 

Israel…….The time is now……
http://m.jpost.com/Opinion/Israel-the-time-is-now 549185/amp?__twitter_impression=true 

The Cape Jewish Board of Deputies remembering the Holocaust….was on National TV, in Afrikaans…..Very moving….

Something Israeli…something special … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxzR9Z-kG6Q&sns=em 

Israel's 70th - Do You See The Miracle?...Just come out

Reporter fails to stump Netanyahu spokesman ………..

International Court of “Justice.” …. We hold YOU in contempt! ……

Zuma's scheming the sign of a trapped, desperate man .. By Justice Malala …

Big Shabbos @ Sandton Shul, with an early celebration of Yom Haatzma’ut….They had pre-shul snacks to welcome Rabbi Leron Bernstein, who spent Shabbos with us, and was representing Mizrachi ….. Lekker service by the Chazzan , Maish & the Choir, who were very ‘Lebbedik’ with a type of Bnei Akiva service……. This coming Shabbos is the ‘Black Tie’ Brocha in Honour of Rabbi & Mrs Suchard , followed by the Banquet on Tuesday in their Honour…..

Yom Ha’atzmaut saw a big turnout, and it reminded me of the old days when it was held at Balfour Park…… Eishhhhhhh, can still remember the trained dogs exhibiting what they could do to a ‘Gunnif’, and the Lighting of the Independence emblem each year….. Late Colonel Colin Kursman and his Manne walking around making sure everyone was safe…… with his trusted Sergeant Harold Jankelowitz at his side…..It Tukka was a highlight for us ‘Jungsters’ Amolikke Yoren….. Balfour Park was the centre of the Jewish world in Joburg , those days, it just down the road in the Shtetl ..The set out last night was fantastic, and the event was VERY well arranged…..GROOOOT surprise was that no ‘Mozzies’ arrived with ‘hate’ signs …Was it to cold..?????? A really ‘Balabatishe’ evening……Pity about the weather which looked very dismal the whole day……

Eli is a Genealogist of note……….. Eli Rabinowitz – 'Gib A Kuk' at his blog…E-mazing news from 'Der Heims' & The 'Beloved Country'…. http://elirab.me/  ..
‘Zog nit kayn Mol’ featured on Simcha programme on TV on Sunday… https://www.leahteddyandthemandolin.com/single-post/2018/04/16/The-Partisans-Song-Project-and-Herzlia-Vocal-Ensemble-keep-Yiddish-alive 

Got an interesting E-mail from John Abel, who played his Cricket at Balfour Park…. John was with UA (United Artists) Amolikke Yoren, and in those days he used to use the Carlton Hotel to entertain overseas artists…… Sent me a  few Pikchaaaaaaaa’s of some of the Greats who came….. WWW ..What Was, Was Pictures; http://www.stantgsm.com/category/pictures/4 

A guy offers to buy a drink for an attractive young woman seated at a bar. 
She gives him the green light, so he goes to the end of the bar and whispers to the bartender to make up a Martini for her and to put some Spanish-fly in the drink. 
The bartender whispers back to say he's all out of Spanish-fly and all he has left is Jewish-fly. 
Shrugging his shoulders, the guy says, OK, put some of that in her drink. 
As she sips on the drink, she gets more and more cozy, really warming up to the guy. 
Finally, she finishes the drink, leans over and whispers in his ear.
"Let's go shopping."  ( Those that went to the ‘Old’ Indian market will remember that as you walked in you were offered ‘Spanish Fly’,)

Anyone going to Manchester in the next few weeks please let me know, I need to send a few Magazines to an old Chaver…. smookler@netactive.co.za  

Little Moishie Markowitz knocked on Mr. Sugarman’s door.
“I think you have something of mine in your garage,” Moishie said.
Mr. Sugarman opened the garage door and noticed two additions: a baseball and a broken window sporting a baseball-sized hole. 
"How do you suppose this ball got in here?" Mr. Sugarman asked Moishie.
Taking one look at the ball, one look at the window, and one look at Mr. Sugarman, Moishie exclaimed, "Wow! I must have thrown it right through that hole!"

My Chaver Stan Gordon, who spent Pesach in Israel, with his wife Debbie, bumped into Dovie Chrysler at his work place in Tzfat, Mikedem Fine Arts Gallery …gosh what a chance meeting….Dovie is the Einingkel of my Late Chaver, Mannie Rubinstein, who was Tukka the Mayor of J(M)uizenberg in every December/January holiday…..Mannie did almost 50 continuous visits to J(M)uizenberg …. Picture; http://www.stantgsm.com/category/pictures/4 

A policeman is walking down the street one day when he notices a very small boy trying to press a doorbell on a house across the street.
However, the boy is very small and the doorbell is too high for him to reach.
After watching the boy's efforts for some time, the policeman moves closer to the boy's position.
He steps smartly across the street, walks up behind the little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on the child's shoulder leans over and gives the doorbell a solid ring.
Crouching down to the child's level, the policeman smiles benevolently and asks, 
"And now what, my little man?"
To which the boy replies, "Now we run!" ( Eishhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…)

Anne Brest, the Photographer and family history creator, has sent me a picture of an elderly gentleman, and she would like to know if anyone knows who it is as she took the picture awhile back and cannot remember the family name…. Drop Anne an e-mail  digitalphoto@icon.co.za See ; http://www.stantgsm.com/view-post/does%20anyone%20know%20the%20people%20in%20the%20picture/5470


The 'Koppie' & Mountain climbers, Jeff & Jenni are still climbing every 'Koppie' & Mountain... http://lazarowhike.blogspot.com/ 'Gib A Kuk’
Still climbing every “ Koppie” and posting the most E-mazing Pikchaaaaaaa’s on their website ……
Still climbing in Patagonia, Argentina, and the Pikchaaaaaaaaaaa’s are E-mazing….Turquoise blue water in a lake, with a snow covered mountain…what scenery 

Got a very nice ‘Meisa’ on Yom Hashoah to Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut!!  It was sent to me by Gail Perez who is the mother of Doron (Laurence) Perez , head of World Mizrachi….. Some very nice points made by the Perez family…… See http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15 ...

A Yom Hashoah commemoration took place in Pretoria at the Pretoria Shul organised by the Pretoria Jewish Board of Deputies. The main guest speaker was Mrs Marlene Bethlehem who gave an excellent talk on her family, some of whom had survived…Mr Ivan Sive spoke on the behalf of the SA Jewish Ex-Servicemen’s League and present on their behalf were Ivan and Willie Pokroy, both Ex South Africa Air Force veterans from World War 2, both now in their nineties. Victor Gordon was MC and Louis Pearlman delivered an address on behalf of the Board. Present also were two Holocaust Survivors Veronica Phillips and Mordechai Perlov. Veronica also lit a commemorative candle on behalf of the Survivors….The Pretoria Hebrew Congregation Choir sang the Partisan Song and Ani Maamim and the national anthems of Israel and SA.

Thanks to my Pretoria Columnist Julian Pokroy for sending me the ‘Meisa’ and the link to the pictures he took….. Julian’s dad is Willy, who was in WW2…. https://www.flickr.com/photos/30277059@N08/albums/72157695006312684 

Life is like this………….
A teacher asks a student:
"What kind of woman would you like to be with when you're all grown up?"
"A woman like the moon!" Answers the kid
"That's beautiful," breathes the teacher, "what a choice! Because you'd like her to be beautiful and radiant like the moon?"
"No,  I'd like her to appear at night and disappear come morning!"
After Bob died, everyone gathered at his funeral. Then the minister started to speak: 
"He was a model husband, a decent man, a terrific father..."
The widow then makes a motion for her son to come to her.
"What is it mother?" he whispers.
"Dear, go check the casket, I think we're at the wrong funeral..."
"The new neighbours are so in love," remarks Susan to her husband, "he hugs her, kisses her and strokes her hair. 
Why don't you do that?"
"Because I don't know her that well." 
Knock on the door.
"Hello sir, would you like to contribute something to the old folks home?"
"Yes, actually." Beams the old man. 
"Inge, put your jacket on and pack a suitcase!"
An elderly couple is walking in the city, hand in hand, when they pass a jewellery store.
The wife turns to her husband with a smile:
"Love, would you buy me a chain?"
"Why?" Asks the husband, "Tired of being free?"
A woman asks her husband:
"What do you like about me the most? 
My beautiful face or my sexy body?"
The husband gives her a long, appreciating look.
"Your sense of humour.

A Good Shabbos reader, Leon Moss , who is ‘Amper’ 85, lives in Israel, and as a past time, writes about the goings on in his retirement village in Israel ( not Protea), near Netanya ……….. Leon is also an ‘old’ boy of Highlands North High School………he mentioned that he has a few ‘Meisa’s’ and I said send them to me .I have put it on the info section…Click here; http://stantgsm.com/category/info/15 

When Old age is around the corner………….
My grandpa started walking
five miles a day when he was 60.
Now he's 97 years old
and we have no idea where the hell he is.

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.
I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing...  
I joined a health club last year,spent about $1,000.
Haven't lost a pound……Apparently you have to go there!

Every time I hear  the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.  
I do have flabby  thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say,
'Well, he looks good, doesn't he.'

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.
I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,.......just getting over the hill.  

We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a pub with a Happy Hour
and by the time I leave, I look just fine.

My old Chaver Milton Levin in Melbourne’s Zunnelle Justyn is in the top 10 students from Aussie studying Worldwide, in Tennis …… Must say Chip off the old Block….Milton, who stayed across the road from my Cuzzies, the Weitzmans in Klip Street, Observatory, was an E-mazing Shpieler, and is still a VERY good Shpieler…. Well done Justyn, and of course Milton & Ilsa…….Lots of Nachus… Picture; http://www.stantgsm.com/category/pictures/4 

Following the tragic death of the Human Cannonball at the Kent Show, a spokesman said "We'll struggle to get another man of the same calibre." 
Chappies Moment ….
Did you know that all the blinking in one day equates to having your eyes closed for 30 minutes
Did you know that rain contains vitamin B12

I went to the doctor the other day.
He told me to take all my clothes off.
Looking me up and down, he said 
"You'll have to diet".
I said "what colour?" ( The Kaylikka’s will get it eventually…. Dankie Hilton for the ‘Yoke’)

Anne Sclar's saying for the week….. Travelworx ; travelworx@telkomsa.net
Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don’t even remember leaving open ………..

A guy was getting ready to tee off on the first hole at the local golf course when a second golfer approached and asked if he could join him.

The first said that he usually played alone, but agreed to the twosome.
They were even after the first two holes. The second guy said, 
"We're about evenly matched, how about playing for five bucks a hole?"
The first guy said that he wasn't much for betting, but agreed to the terms.

The second guy won the remaining sixteen holes with ease. As they were walking off number eighteen, the second guy was busy counting his $80.00.
He confessed that he was the pro at a neighboring course and liked to pick on suckers.
The first fellow revealed that he was the Parish Priest.
The pro was flustered and apologetic, offering to return the money.
The Priest said, "You won fair and square and I was foolish to bet with you.
You keep your winnings."
The pro said, "Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?"
The Priest said, "Well, you could come to Mass on Sunday and make a donation.
And, if you want to bring your mother and father along, I'll marry them."

Still think that Justice Malala is one of the best writers around and captures the MOOD soooo well. https://select.timeslive.co.za/news/2018-04-16-ancs-attempts-to-honour-winnie-just-dont-wash/ 

Ja Neeeeeeee, it Tukka was ‘Ma Winnie’s’ week, with soooo many revelations coming out…..No question, she was ill treated by her ‘own’, and the Struggle Government, BUT….. Some things do not add up, and it will become the ‘Never ending Story’, with the ANC using Mama’s funeral to try and consolidate the ANC, with overtures being made to ‘Young Julius’…..who Tukka took FULL advantage of the Funeral to make his feelings heard……He Tukka makes a good speech, although most of the rhetoric is flawed….what surprises me is that the ANC have been in power for 24 years, and surely, IF Mamma was not involved in Stompie’s murder it would have come out…. To believe that the Nat STRATCOM group were that good, that they could blame Winnie, and in the end Winnie admitted it, only to be told now that she was not involved….This is Tukka a ‘Meisa’…… and I always say that a Meisa is only true 50% of the time, BUT….even it is not true, if must be a GOOD STORY, which this one is……. ‘Young Julius’ in Tzorres again…???? No problem, nothing happens anyway… https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/i-wouldnt-do-that-malema-over-assault-claim-at-winnie-burial-20180415 

These below are real, not funny ………….
Never indicate - it gives away your next move. A real Souff Effrikken driver never uses indicators.
Under no circumstance should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, this space will be filled by at least 2 taxis and a BMW, putting you in an even more dangerous situation.
The faster you drive through a red light, the less chance you have of getting hit.
Never, ever come to a complete stop at a stop sign. No one expects it and it will only result in you being rear-ended.
Braking should be as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving you a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to stretch your legs. 
Never pass on the right when you can pass on the left. It's a good way to check if the people entering the highway are awake.
Speed limits are arbitrary, given only as a guideline. They are especially NOT applicable in South Africa during rush hour. That's why it's called 'rush hour....'
Just because you're in the right lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn't mean that the South African driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn't think he can go faster in your spot.
Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tyre. Never stop to help - you will be mugged.
Learn to swerve abruptly. South Africa is the home of the high-speed slalom driver thanks to the government, placing holes in key locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.
It is traditional to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light turns green. This prevents storks from building nests on top of the traffic light and birds from making deposits on your car.
Remember that the goal of every South African driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary. (These are soooooooo true…………)

Fraud unfortunately is still being uncovered, and the amounts are huge….. Not sure how they will start getting the Beloved Country’ on the straight & Narrow..???? and some Schmuck took a Pikchaaaaaaa of Ajay Gupta in Dubai, and posted it on Facebook, and is now sitting in ‘Tjokkie’ …These Gunovim get away with everything …and at Denel, the struggling Arms manufacturer, things are looking ‘Baie sleg’ (bad)…. https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/r1m-denel-bursary-to-supras-son-solidarity-threatens-action-20180415 

Best friends graduated from medical school at the same time and decided that in spite of two different specialties, they would open a practice together to share office space and personnel.  
Dr. Smith was the psychiatrist, and Dr. Jones was the proctologist.  
They put up a sign reading:  Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones - Hysterias and Posteriors.  
The town council was livid and insisted they change it.  
The docs changed it to read:  Schizoids and Haemorrhoids.  This also was not acceptable, so they again changed the sign to read Catatonics and High Colonics.  No go! 
Next they tried Manic Depressives and Anal Retentives – thumbs down again.  
Then came Minds and Behinds.  Still no good.  
Another attempt resulted in Lost Souls and Butt Holes - unacceptable again.
So they tried Nuts and Butts - no way.   
Freaks and Cheeks - still no good.  Loons and Moons – forget it.  
Almost at their wit's end, the docs finally came up with  Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones - Specializing in Odds and Ends.

Everybody loved it. ( Ja Neeeeeeeee….)

‘Gotta LUV Brian (Saxonwold Sheebeen) Molefe….after all the ‘Gunavis’ he has been involved in with Eishhhhhhhkom / Gupta’s, he still wants his R30m pension, which he was not entitled to, and has just been declined again, and chances are he will keep trying……

Gerald David’s Taxi Service is available for reliable and friendly airport shuttles and more. Contact Gerald on either 082 907 5507 or 011786 6580 (The ‘Yiddisher Shlepper’) ………. davids2@telkomsa.net 


80 word ‘Vort’ by Rabbi Yosef Solomon

Dedicated to the Refua Sheleima of Chaya Leah bas Yaffa
“And on the day healthy flesh appears in it, it shall be pure.”
~ Leviticus 13:14

Tzara’as was a leprosy-like condition resulting from slander, which rendered someone
spiritually-impure. However, only a priest could determine their status, and until then, one
remains pure until further notice.

Why add the phrase “on the day”?

To teach that there are times - like festivals and the seven days of a wedding celebration -
when the priest shouldn’t check at all, so as not to dampen the joy. Instead we leave the
afflicted person in limbo.

Chill out. Your problems will wait.

FOR the MOST 'Jacked up' 'Yiddisher' Wedding registry, 'Gib A Kuk'   at; www.binuns.co.za    …… Online Helpdesk … 0861 772 665

 Mazeltov to Greg Landau on the occasion of his Barmitzvah at Sandton Shul… Mazzies Stanley and Gayle Landau, Grandparents Peter and Ettie Landau,

Denise and the Late Jack Shapiro and great grandmother Dora Seeff  ..Greg’s Dad Stanley is one of the ‘Boffs’ at the CDE (Diabetes centre) and they stayed around the corner from us ‘Amolikke Yoren’ ……and of course Denise & Dora Seeff I know very well….. Mazzies to the whole Mishpocha….

Mazeltov to Judd son of Matthew and Taryn Symanowitz, grandson of Milton and

Beryl Lutrin and the Late Hymie Symanowitz and Mervyn and Adele Shapiro on the occasion of his Barmitzvah on Sunday (Rosh Chodesh) @ Sandton Shul……… A lot of Beryl’s family were here for the Barmitzvah, as it was her Late Mom Anita’s unveiling on Tuesday…… My old Chaver Norman Seligman came from Sydney, as did his sister Wendy & family from Melbourne and his other Schvester, Jackie Samuels from Israel …… Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha…

Sincere condolences to the Katzeff family on the loss of their Beloved Morris….. Morris was a ‘Sparkie’, and did a lot of electrical work for us at Crossroads School, when his Zunnelle was there….. Morris was from the Emmerentia side of town…..Rest in peace, Chaver….. Condolences to the family…



MANTIS SECURITY TIP (Call 011- 487-1000) of the week:

Be ‘Wakker’ & ‘StreetwiZe’ all the time…………

  • Anti-Hijacking tips to avoid becoming a victim ….with Hijacking again becoming popular
    • Number one rule - always be aware of your surroundings! If you are aware and are on the lookout for suspicious individuals and vehicles nearby, you will be one step ahead of those trying to catch you off guard.
    • Before coming to a stop, take notice of people standing at intersections and looking at your vehicle. Be especially aware of people that do not seem to have a purpose.
    • When stopping off at a driveway look out for pedestrians near and/or approaching your vehicle. Scanning your surroundings and keeping an eye on your rear view mirror for suspicious individuals is vital. Ensure the radio volume is low enough for you to hear sounds in your immediate vicinity. Engineer your stop to be as quick as possible, do not allow yourself to become a target by remaining stationary for too long.
    • Be conscious of objects or events that make you stop your vehicle and urge you to get out of the vehicle before being behind closed doors. Criminals can easily place your dustbin in front of your gate to urge you to get out of the vehicle and then use this to attack.
  • Methinks that you must stay calm, and give them what they want, as the minute you show resistance, they shoot, as they are as ‘Skrikky’ & nervous as you….

Call; Mark Kramer @ MANTIS (011- 487-1000) for advice and sign up and discuss it with his experienced staff. 

Have a peaceful, restful Shabbos...From Stan and the Clan


Eerbare Makelaaaaaar van Suid Afrika ………

Cell- 082-4547860

Parsha of The Week 

Rabbi Yossy Goldman,’                                                                                BH    
Sydenham Shul,
C/O ‘Beloved Country’   


Speak Nicely, but Clearly 

That the Torah speaks in refined language is a principle of Biblical studies. The classic example is back in the story of Noah. There, when G-d tells Noah to take all the animals into the Ark, he speaks of the “clean” animals (hatehora) and the “animals which are not clean” (asher einena tehora). Although the Torah is generally exceedingly cryptic and sparse on words - every seemingly superfluous letter is expounded upon and interpreted by the Sages – here it uses an additional eight letters to avoid using the word teme’ah (literally, defiled or impure). From this, the Talmud teaches that we should never allow a shameful expression to pass our lips. If the Torah deliberately used eight extra letters that could have been avoided simply by saying the word teme’ah, then this sends a powerful message to us to watch our language.

And yet, a cursory look at this week’s readings reveals the word tamei occurring numerous times. Why is it that in the story of Noah the Torah goes out of its way not to use a negative word and here it uses it repeatedly, almost at whim?

The answer is that where it is a storyline one can afford to be subtler and not pronounce a negative word. However, when it comers to halacha, to determining Jewish Law, one cannot afford subtleties or flowery language; one must be crystal clear in laying down the law and, yes, we must call a spade a spade. The Law is sacrosanct and in matters of Law there may be no ambiguities. Noah and the Flood is essentially a historical narrative, whereas the laws of our Parsha deal with do’s and don’ts that must be expressed in no uncertain terms. When a Rabbi is called upon to answer a halachic question, he should not beat around the bush. His response must be clear and unequivocal. And if it is treif, then he must pronounce it treif!

Now, generally speaking, Rabbis should be gentle, nice and soft-spoken. They should suggest, not demand. The old ‘fire and brimstone’ sermons don’t work that well today. But sometimes Rabbis can be too gentle, too subtle, and too undemanding. And not only in halachic matters but even in counseling.

Psychologists and social workers will, in principle, never be directive with their clients. It is part of their professional code not to impose their opinions or personal values on those seeking their guidance. They will try to help them “see the wood from the trees” so they can make their own informed decisions. Rabbis, on the other hand, should have no qualms about giving direction. After all, it’s their job!

A fellow once came to see me about his therapist. “She doesn’t tell me what to do,” he complained. I explained that therapists don’t work that way. “You want someone to tell you what to do? Go to a Rabbi.”

If a couple goes for Marriage Counselling, a counsellor is likely to guide them based on their hopes and aspirations. Do they really want to work it out or are they going through the motions on the way to the divorce lawyer? And if it is the latter, the counsellor may very well help them on their way. A rabbi will not hesitate to explain that marriage is sacred and should be worked on and that divorce is an absolutely last resort when all else has failed. The counsellor might ask “would you guys like to stay married?” while the rabbi might say “you must stay married.”  Then, he may refer them to a professional counsellor who is committed to saving marriages.

Remember the kleptomaniac who bumped into an old friend? The friend remembered how guilty he had felt because of his compulsive shoplifting and asked him whether he still had the problem. “No,” said the fellow. “I went to a psychologist and he helped me solve my problem.” “That’s great, so you don’t shoplift anymore?” asked the friend. “Sure I shoplift,” he replied. “I just don’t feel guilty anymore.”

Please G-d; rabbis will be soft, supportive, friendly, loving and gentle. And, please G-d; they will give clear direction when they must.

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