7 December 2017

Dear All,

The weather has been up and down, with those thundering afternoon showers, which have been a ‘Miechel’…..with the drought in the Beloved Country, all rain is welcome…..This week we have had a humongous amount of solid rain in the ‘Ou Transvaal’….long time since we have had soooo much

The last TEST of the year is over, and hopefully the Boks get a break, and then starts the hard task of teaching the backline the basic’s’ like catching a pass, catching the high ball and tackling…..3 basic requirements for any National team….

Everyone is questioning, where the Bokke went wrong…??? Methinks fitness levels are pooooor, and coaching is just as poor…….the current Bokke don’t know the basics…The first two try Wales got, were just gifts….nothing else can be said, and we had chances, BUT….fumbling, fumbling, fumbling lost us the Test….If Cronje gets another game @ ‘Scrummie’, I believe that the Coaches have lost the plot, as for Jantjies, and for 10 minutes and fumbles two very good chances….The two should never have been Bokke, and definitely not future Bokke

Let me tell you friends that one simple spelling mistake--even a typo--can make your life hell. 

I recently texted a short, romantic note to my wife while I was away on a fishing trip, and I missed one small "e".  

No problem you might say. Not so.

This tiny error has caused me to seek Police protection to enter my own house.

I wrote, "Hi darling,  

I'm enjoying and experiencing the best time of my whole life, and I wish you were her!”

I suppose we can always become Blitz Bokke fans…..they have Tukka done well, and made Souff Effrikken’s proud…..Must say that ‘Kwagga’ Smith is a ‘killer’ on the field and should have been on the Bok tour……. His speed and fitness is something that is missing in the Bok Scrum…….He might be a bit small, BUT….makes up with ‘Rugger’ Schiechel…….


The second Ashes test ‘amper’ a white wash….. What a ‘Klap’ they nearly gave the Poms…. BUT….by the fifth day, the Pomss ‘amper’ won….. Stokes would have made a difference ….. 


A man has to leave the country on business and he entrusts with his best friend Koos van der Merwe the job of keeping an eye on his wife. 

If anything out of the ordinary should occur, he was to be notified immediately.  

After about a week of no news the business man received a telegram: ……..

"The man who comes to visit your wife every night didn't show up yesterday..."

One day, a mailman was greeted by a boy and his dog. The mailman said to the boy, "Does your dog bite?"

"No," replied the boy. 

Just then, the dog bit the mailman.

"Hey, "he yelled. "I thought your dog doesn't bite!"

"He doesn't," replied the boy, "but that's not my dog." (Ja Neeeeeeee….)

Manchester United’s win against Arsenal was Tukka what was needed, after a few sloppy performances……and has kept them in the hunt …. BUT, City have got the title and are playing good positive Sokka….Liverpool were on fire with their 5-1 win even though it was against Brighton…… Chelsea are winning, BUT…..no one with get near to Man City….. Even Liverpool got 5 goals (Well done Martin& Brian)….

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' …

“All we know about the new economic world tells us that nations which train engineers will prevail over those which train lawyers. No nation has ever sued its way to greatness. ”  

"It is easier to do what is right than to right what is done." 

A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. 

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. 

Opportunity is rare, and a wise man will never let it go by him. - Bayard Taylor

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” 

PAST :           Forget the past. No one becomes successful in the past.

JUSTICE :      Every man loves justice at another man’s expense.

FEAR :            Fear gives intelligence even to fools.

FOCUS :         Nothing focuses the mind like a lack of options 

MONEY :        The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money. 

WOMEN :       A youthful figure is what you get when you ask a woman her age.


The Zeit Museum is a must for visitors to Slaaaaaaapstad this season…..


All of a sudden, Mandla Mandela is a Authority on the ‘Mozzies..


Those going to Slaaaaaaapstad for the Holidays, take plenty of water with…..The highlight of the December holidays is the trek up Signal Hill with the Rabbi’s etc . from Marais Road putting it together…….December the 20th. is the annual trek up Lion’s Head. It's the last day of Chanukah and this year is going to have a crowd like never before! Make sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring water, as well as a (small) siddur. For the guys, shlep your Tallis and Tefillin as well! …GR88888888 experience my Zunnele Martin tells me who has been a few times……

A Jewish man was leaving a convenience store with his espresso when he noticed a most unusual Italian funeral procession approaching the nearby cemetery.  

A black hearse was followed by a second black hearse about 50 feet behind the first one.  Behind the second hearse was a solitary Italian man walking a dog on a leash.  

Behind him, a short distance back, were about 200 men walking in single file.

The Jewish man couldn't stand the curiosity.  He respectfully approached the Italian man walking the dog and said: 

"I am so sorry for your loss, and this may be a bad time to disturb you, but I've never seen an Italian funeral like this.  

Whose funeral, is it?"

"My wife's."

''What happened to her?"

"She yelled at me and my dog attacked and killed her."

He inquired further, "But who is in the second hearse?"

“My mother-in-law. She came to help my wife and the dog turned on her and killed her also."

It was a very poignant and touching moment of Jewish and Italian brotherhood.  

Silence passed between the two men.

The Jewish man then asked "Can I borrow the dog?"

The Italian man replied, "Get in line.  ( Einaaaaaaaaaaaaah……..)

The TRUMP move was E-mazing, BUT….methinks there is going to be a lot of Tzorres from our friendly Arab neighbours…..The Violence that could start will be Shreklach….and the Israelis will have to clamp down quickly …Soooo many jokes since the announcement….. http://www.stantgsm.com/category/jokes/5 and some even suggest TRUMP moves to Yerushalayim… quickly & permanently…. https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/broad-majority-of-americans-support-moving-trump-to-jerusalem 

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/

Marc Latilla and I visited the SABC earlier this year. We were given a tour by Florence Moshatana, the music archivist. I was looking for recordings of my dad, Harry Rabinowitz, a cantor and singer, and his sister Rachel Rabinowitz, a concert pianist"…Very interesting….

Next week is Chanukah, and if you look on www.Chabad.org you will be able to pick up where the nearest communal Candle lighting is to you….In Jozi, it is at Sandton City every night, except Shabbos of course and in Durban…www.chabadnc.com Umhlanga Chabad has some E-mazing activities over Chanukah, and also the new Mikvah, and daily services…..See  http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15 and see the World Chabad site…Very interesting    http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/601579/jewish/Menorah-Lighting-Guide.htm 

There are many misconceptions about the differences between Christmas and Chanukah. This should clear them up!

Christmas is one day, same day, every year: December 25th. Jews also love December 25th. It's another paid day off work. We go to the movies and out for Chinese food.

Chanukah is eight days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that is. No one is ever sure. Jews never know until a non-Jew asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don't look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher, or the local Jewish funeral home.

Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us. We survived. Let's eat. 

Christians get wonderful presents such as jewellery, perfume, stereos. Jews get practical presents such as underwear or socks. 

There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, etc.

Christmas is at time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah. 

Christmas brings enormous electric bills. Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis. 

Christmas carols are beautiful – Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful. Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the horah. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by Jews. And don't Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully. 

A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful. The sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people gather around in festive moods. A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes, and onions. The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once. 

Women have fun baking Christmas cookies. Jewish women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkes. 

Parents deliver to their children on Christmas. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights 

The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus, Judah Maccabee, and Matta whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, we can tell our gentile friends anything and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history. 

Many Christians believe in the virgin birth. Jews think "Joseph, Bubela, snap out of it. Your woman is pregnant, you didn't sleep with her, and now you want to blame God. Here's the number of my shrink.

The 'Koppie' & Mountain climbers, Jeff & Jenni are still climbing every 'Koppie' & Mountain... http://lazarowhike.blogspot.com/     'Gib A Kuk’

El Capitan, San Diego County's toughest: a challenging, testing and nearly 'brutal', in heat. And, a short walk for the birds. …..Worcester, Western Cape: Tierkloof Kop, a little 'beaut' tucked away and Gariep Dam….Iron Mountain in the early morning: A time and place when and where mind, body and soul unite in tranquillity. Reunion: A Hike to Marla, a town in a cirque with access per foot only..…Waterfall near Cilaos.

A doctor, a civil engineer, and a computer scientist were arguing about what was the oldest profession in the world. The doctor remarked 

“Well, in the Bible it says that God created Eve from a rib taken from Adam. 

This clearly required surgery so I can rightly claim that mine is the oldest profession in the world.” The civil engineer interrupted and said 

“But even earlier in the book of Genesis, it states that God created the order of the heavens and the earth from out of the chaos. 

This was the first and certainly the most spectacular application of civil engineering. Therefore, fair doctor, you are wrong; mine is the oldest profession in the world.” 

The computer scientist leaned back in his chair, smiled, and said confidently, 

“Ah, but who do you think created the chaos?????

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 

Popped into Eden & Ian Marks’s Chasene at Kyalami, and I was E-mazed how they had fixed their Function facilities…..In the ‘old’ days, I used to Cater for the Arcadia Box ‘n Dine there, and they had a tent covering over, and boy when it rained, it was Shreklach…..Toilet facilities etc were very poor….The Late Donald Goldman, who lived for boxing and was a resident at Arcadia used to organize the evenings, always dressed in a Tux & bowtie……. I did a few ‘Frum’ weddings there also, BUT….it was not a GR88888888 venue in those days……. Must say I was impressed with the whole facility….I met my old Chavers, The Pillay family, who were at the Chasene….Jerry used to work with my Chaver Simon Teperson, and his Zunnelle Kamlesh, still works with Simon…..Go back many years with the family…..Jerry also worked with Anthony Marks’s Dad for many years….

The Perth ‘Yiddisher’ community celebrated the 99th. birthday of Emeritus Chief Rabbi Shalom Coleman….This was a special occasion for a special Rabbi, who served in World War ll, and received numerous war medals, one of them in the Battle of Britain…….he still continues to give his weekly shiur and studying the Talmud….Thanks to Martin for the update, and please G-D ‘Biz Hundred un Tzvantzig’………

Why does the Bar prohibit lawyers from having sex with their clients? 

To prevent clients from being billed twice for the same service.

How many lawyer jokes are there?  ….. Just two ... all the rest are true.

What's the difference between a stork and an attorney? 

One can stick its bill up its ass, the other one should.

What do you get when you cross a bad politician with a crooked lawyer?.. Chelsea Clinton.

What's the difference between a lawyer and a trampoline? 

You take off your shoes before you jump on a trampoline.

Trust me, Benaters are a 100% Home grown group, and have good ethic’s…Shaun Benater (Benny) was with my Kinderlach @ King David, Victory Park ……

It is Chasene season the next few months and Benaters Attorney’s offer a ANC ( not them) …who needs an ANC contract…??? Whether you marry in SA or overseas, you will need one…. Some tips from Benaters .. https://www.benaters.com/news-and-insights/2017/11/28/its-wedding-season-heres-why-you-need-an-anc-whether-you-marry-here-or-overseas  

A man has a habit of hitting lawyers with his car every time one crosses 

his path.

The man sees a priest hitchhiking on the side of the road, so he picks 

him up and says, "Where to father?"

The priest replies, "the church." 

On the way, the man sees a lawyer and swerves to hit him. 

He then remembers he has a priest in the car and tries to miss the lawyer but he still hears a thud.

The man says to the priest, "I'm sorry father, I almost hit that lawyer."

The priest says, "It's ok, I got him with the door." ( Ag Neeeeeee…..)


Anne Sclar's saying for the week….. Travelworx ; travelworx@telkomsa.net

Making mistakes is what everyone does…Learning from them is not ….

Setting :  During Apartheid-years : 

A bunch of rich ‘Vicers’ were on a huge cruise boat about to sink …………………..

So they started looking at each other to find someone who could pray for them, but none of them were suitable………….

So finally they see the COLOURED cleaner, nogal, and ask him to pray for them!!

He Prays:

Ek sê Lord, jo onner, when I wanted to cross da bridge at da station, it said: "Whites only"

When I wanted to sit on da chair, it said:"White's only"

When I wanted to go to da ‘kakhuis’ it said: "Whites only"

When I tried to enter da front door of da post office it said: "Whites only"

So my Lord, jo onner as this boat goes down Lord,  

Tjy wiet  mos : - "Whites only" neh! ;   (Yislaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaik…)

Eishhhhhhhhhhhh, time this ‘Gasershe’ ANC conference finishes, as it goes on and on, and the amount of topics they have is Humungous, BUT……they have found sometime to debate Israel, and give their opinion of the situation, and of course to discuss the taking away of diplomatic ties…….Going to be an Electric conference, if it ever takes place….Hopefully the Comrades are well behaved….

No Nativity Scene in DC....

The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene on Capitol Hill this Christmas season.

This isn't for any religious reason.

They simply have not been able to find Three Wise Men in the Nation's Capital.

A search for a Virgin also continues.

There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.. ( Oy Vy…)

The voting for the New Presidente of the ANC, and then President in waiting to take over from JZ, is hotting up, with many saying it will be too close to call……’Ooooom’ Cyril seems to have more followers , BUT…DN Zuma has JZ, who could ensure her path to victory….. Cyril is Schvitzing it out on his own, and hopes to win it……. http://newsletters.m24pro-mail.com/public/messages/view-online/M3cMW7ntYtPBPpvl/f0K9OLodStKlWTXK/eea1e1fc6de87e20 

The position in Zim-BOB-We is unchanged, with many starting to say that nothing has changed ,and THE New Chief, is as bad as Uncle Bob……More and more local ZimBOBweans are starting to say that they are not going back, as very little has changed……????

Eishhhhhhhhhhh, they reckon the multi Choice TV ‘gunavis’ is big, and all the Manne are denying that anything was actually wrong with the deals……..One day, someone will be accused, and admit to it…??? Noooooit in the ‘Beloved Country’ ….

One day a boy saw a farmer selling a donkey for R100.00. 

The boy told the farmer he would pay the money if the farmer could deliver it to his house. 

The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day but when he arrived at the boy's house there was no donkey. 

He told the boy that the donkey died during the night. 

Saddened, the boy asked for his money back. "I'm afraid I have already spent the money." 

the farmer said.  "Well, then just give me the donkey." said the boy. 

"What are you going to do with a dead donkey?" asked the farmer. 

The boy told the farmer he would think of something, so the farmer delivered the donkey the next day. 

The next month the farmer saw the boy and asked him what he ever did with the donkey. "I made R895.00 off of that thing." the boy said. " 

How could you make that much money off of a dead donkey?" the farmer wanted to know. 

The boy said, "I didn't tell anyone he was dead at first. I just put up signs around town that said I was going to raffle off a beautiful donkey for raffle tickets that cost R5.00 and I sold 200 tickets." "Wait a minute", said the farmer, 

"You said you made R895.00 but if you sold 200 tickets at R5.00 each that's R1,000.00. 

After you subtract the R100.00 you paid me you should have made R900.00". 

"You're right", said the boy, "But when the winner found out the donkey was dead he was a little upset so I gave him his money back." 

(The boy grew up and became the CEO of Eishhhkom.)

Very sad to read that even at ‘Madiba’s’ funeral the ‘Galeria’s’ were busy STEALING…..there is no way other to put it….. All kinds of Schemes to ‘skim’ off the money put aside for the funeral….A total of R300m was put aside, which is huge and unnecessary, BUT….The ‘Manne’ soon found ways to STEAL the money, and Millions were spent on rubbish like T-Shirts for the Comrades, etc., and soooooo many items billed for teat were not delivered….BUT….in the end the Gunovim will get away with it….’cause no one cares……..

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 for the refua sheleima umehira of Chaya Leah Bas Yafa
“A caravan of Ishmaelites was coming - their camels bearing spices, balsam and lotus - on their way down to Egypt.”
~ Genesis 37:25
Joseph’s brothers sold him to Arabs who took him down to Egypt in their caravan of camels.
How he got there is important, but what’s the relevance of their cargo?
The main commodity of Arabs merchants has always been fuels - which stink.
However, it ‘just so happened’ that this caravan’s load was sweet-smelling spices.
Difficult times are part of life but they are not random. Keep your eyes - and nose - open for the sweet signs of meaning along the way.
The secret to life is in a relationship with its source.

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

Mazeltov to Leon Druckman on reaching his 80th. birthday…what a milestone…. Fondly known as the ‘Black Label lid man’…Many more Leon in good health….

Happy 70th. to Ivan Solomon (AKA Ratman)….Ivan has been singing in the Sandton Shul choir for 40 years…..Many more in good health…..

Happy birthday to my Son In Law Sandy…..many more and lots of Nachus from all your Meidlach……

Mazeltov to Daphne & Norman Simon on the birth of their Granddaughter in Melbourne, Liora Bracha…… Norman is originally from Potchefstroom….. Mazzies to the whole Mishpocha…

Mazeltov to Ben Goss on his Barmitzvah at Sandton Shul on Shabbos….Mazzies to Kim (Ossip) & Raymond Goss….. and to Zaida’ s  Doc Mervyn Ossip & Doctor Abe Goss (Slaaaaaaapstad)……. I did Kim & ray’s Chasene ‘Amolikke Yoren’ and met Dr Goss at the Gorelik Chasene in Stellenbosch a few years ago….Mervyn has been a Pedestrian for many years, and they all come to Sandton Shul….Mazeltov to Ben and the whole Mishpocha……(PS, Kim’s Boet Anton is a ‘Ganser Macher’ @ Discovery Insure)…..

Mazeltov to Eden (Lurie) & Saul Marks on their Chasene at the Kyalami Race Track…….Mazzies to Heather & Anthony Marks and Sharon & Ian Lurie……

Ends up I know both families very well…. Ian’s Late Dad Shmuel & Roche bought Nussbaum’s Kosher butchery in Beat Street, Doornfontein, and a year or two after ,when I started Stan & Pete I started buying from them….That was in 1974 and all the Lurie Kinderlach, Michael, Phillip & Ian have worked at the Butcher….Michael & Phillip are in the USofA, and Ian runs it with his Zunnelle Baruch…….. Heathers parents, Effie & Elvira, were related to the Koval Brothers, and I did Anthony & Heater’s Chasene, ’Amolikke Yoren’………Sid & Alec Koval were staunch Jewish Guild members , and did all our refrigeration for 30 years…..Was a ‘Lekker’ vibe at the Chasene, and Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha…. Pictures; http://www.stantgsm.com/ 

Mazeltov to Romy (Genende) & Ian Saunders on their Chasene at the Sandton Shul……… Mazzies to Melissa & Mervyn Genende and Jenny & Harvey Saunders ..Mazzies to the Grandmothers, Celia Genede & Ida Frichol & Sandra Seeff ….

The Saunders are from the other side of the Yukskei (Pretoria) an it was good to see many old chavers FROM Pretoria there……. Mervyn Genende is an old Chaver, and I still remember ‘Amolikke Yoren’ when he was involved with the Bnei Akiva camps, him coming and driving me Mishuga for quantities, chefs etc…… Mervyn Tukka worked hard for Bnei…….. It was a very ‘Lebbedikke’ Chasene, with the dance floor full the whole night…. Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha…. http://www.stantgsm.com/ 

Sincere condolences to the Malbin Family on the loss of their Beloved Nita…Nita and her husband Sam stayed at Golden Acres, when my Mom was there, and Sam was always trying to get the Shabbos letter……Sincere condolences to Heather & Trevor and the whole family…….

Sincere condolences to the Stein family on the loss of Arthur…..Arthur was ‘Tukka’ one of the Manne in his day, and for those that remember, Arthur had the Video hiring store by the Capri Hotel ‘Amolikke Yoren’, and his assistant Peter was very clued up with the home Movies……Arthur was best friends with my Late Chaver Ruby (Rufka the bufka) Raik, and related to Nola (Fox) & Sandra (Ezra)…..who are related to me……. …. Sincere condolences to the family…..

Sincere condolences to the Posner family on the loss of their Beloved Shelley…..Shelley was a Doyen of Life Insurance, and was with Liberty Life for many years….. Her daughter Debbie is married to Jeff Podlas, who was at Highlands with us ( and Jeff’s Late Brother Ronnie was at Hotel School with me.) ….and her other daughter Andrea is married to Laurence Davis who was also at Highlands with us (In Calgary) …Sincere condolences to the family….


MANTIS SECURITY TIP (Call 011- 487-1000) of the week:
Be ‘Wakker’ & ‘StreetwiZe’ all the time…………
  • A Holiday warning from mark and his team at Mantis….
  • People tend to drop their guard during the festive season….
  • Remember to check all alarms and standby batteries, if you are going away…
  • Cancel ALL deliveries like daily newspapers….
  • Leave contact detail’s with neighbours where they can contact you …
  • Check the Car tracker systems with the company before going on a long road trip.
  • Leave a light or two on in the house…
  • If you have anyone staying home for the festive season, get them to check up on the house, BUT…..they must not go by themselves…
  • Quite a ‘SKRIKKY’ You tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUz6oe6AlFs 

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’   


Hello Howzit?

Would you believe that Hello Howzit can be a religious question? And that it even bears Biblical significance? 

This week we read the dramatic story of Joseph - the technicolour dream coat, his sibling rivalries and ultimately his descent to Egypt, sold into slavery. After being framed by his master’s wife for scorning her attempts at seduction, young Joseph finds himself incarcerated in an Egyptian jail. There he meets the Pharaoh’s butler and baker and correctly interprets their respective dreams. Later, when Pharaoh himself will be perturbed by his own dreams, the butler will remember Joseph and he will be brought from the dungeon to the royal court. His dream analysis will satisfy the monarch and the young Hebrew slave boy will be catapulted to prominence and named Viceroy of Egypt. 

How did it all begin? It began with Joseph in prison noticing that the butler and baker were looking somewhat depressed. “And Joseph came to them in the morning and he saw them and behold they were troubled. He asked Pharaoh’s officials…‘Why do you look so bad today?’” They tell him about their disturbing dreams, he interprets them correctly and the rest is history.

But why did Joseph have to ask them anything at all? Why is it so strange to see people in prison looking sad?  Surely in the dungeons depression is the norm? Wouldn’t we expect most people in jail to look miserable? 

According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the answer is that Joseph was exhibiting a higher sense of care and concern for his fellow human beings. Torn away from his father and home life, imprisoned in a foreign land, he could have been forgiven for wallowing in his own miseries. Yet, upon seeing his fellow prisoners looking particularly unsettled, he was sensitive enough to take the time to enquire about their wellbeing. In the end, not only did he help them, but his own salvation came about through that fateful encounter. Had he thought to himself, ‘Hey, I’ve got my own problems, why worry about them?’ he might have languished in prison indefinitely.

Sometimes, according to the Rebbe, a simple Hello Howzit can prove historic!

It’s a lesson to all of us to be a little friendlier, to greet people, perhaps even to smile more often. 

Some years ago, after studying in the Talmud how one of the great sages never allowed anyone else to greet him first but always made a point of initiating the greeting; I made a personal resolution to try and put it into practice. Every Shabbos, I walk quite a few kilometres to and from Shul. I pass by many fellow pedestrians, mostly black people. Rarely had any of them greeted me, but now I am the one to say Good Morning to them. They always respond, though I must confess that some do look rather surprised at the acknowledgment. In a country where for many years they were not recognised as full-fledged citizens, a simple Hello can become a very humanising experience. I heartily recommend the practice.

Certainly, we should not let a fellow Jew walk by without saying Good Shabbos. 

When we meet someone we know and ask, “Hey, how are you doing?” do we wait for the answer? Try this experiment. Next time you are asked how you are doing, answer “Lousy!” See if the other person is listening and responds or just carries on his merry way oblivious to your response.

Besides Joseph’s many outstanding qualities which we ought to try and emulate, in this rather simple passage Joseph reminds us to be genuinely interested in other people’s wellbeing. And that it should not be beneath our dignity - nor should we be inhibited - to make an honest and sincere enquiry as to their condition. Who knows? It may not only change their lives, but ours.

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