4 July 2019

Dear All,
The weather in the ‘Ou Transvaal’ is Bakgat for the middle of winter…..the expected Freeze form Slaaaaaaapstad never arrived, and the days are really warm….. Off to Umhlanga for a few days, soooo hopefully we have GR888888 July (summer) weather ….as the Snow hits Souff Effrikka…. NO LETTER NEXT WEEK
…. https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/snow-falls-in-the-eastern-cape-as-
… Tukka
Climate change…..

The semi-finals of the Super 15 were the REAL thing…. Rugger at its best…. It’s why I sit and watch all the drivel over a few months… The Crusaders –Hurricanes game was a blinder ….It had everything, with by mid first half the Crusaders looking like where going to Moer the Hurricanes, BUT…..The Hurricanes scored just before half time and then just after half time…and it was game on…..Both Fly Halves Barret and Mo’unga were is brilliant form, and for me RJ was King, BUT….the Crusaders held on for a narrow win against a Hurricane team that refused to give in……Just look at the 3 Barrett Boers how well they played……..When I look at the two teams, they could beat most International teams……Looking forward to the World Cup, I cannot see the rest taking the ‘Mighty’ All Blacks down, BUT…..the oval ball does strange things….

Wat noem jy ‘n 30-jarige Boksburg girl? ………..Ouma.
Wat noem jy ‘n Boksburg girl in ‘n wit sweetpak? …….Die bruid.
Wat is die eerste vraag tydens ‘n Boksburg pub quiz? …… Wat kyk jy?
Twee Boksburg laaities in ‘n kar sonder enige musiek - wie bestuur?... Die polisieman.
Wat noem jy ‘n Boksburg ou in ‘n pak?............Die beskuldigde
Versamelnaam vir Boksburg; Benoni; Nigel en Brakpan …….. Boknaaipan

The Jaguares – Brumbies was not on the same level, BUT…..still a GR888888 game to watch….with the Jaguares running rampant against a very poor Brumbies performance….. 39-7…. In the first half they laid the foundation for the win, and seemed to slow down a bit at the end…… What a win for the Jaguares

The Final, Crusaders versus the Jaguares….???? Travelling is the killer an dteh Crusaders, was not had to do any travelling the last few weeks……. BUT….teh Jaguares are not a NORMAL team, and they will give it everything……BUT…..I still believe the Crusaders should be able to win comfortably…..Methinks by 15 points at least…….. ‘Gonna be a GR8888888888 game

A wedding takes place in Elsie's River.( Coloured area in the Cape…)
To keep tradition going, everyone gets extremely drunk and the bride's and groom's families have a fight and begin wrecking the reception room and generally kicking the hell out of each other.
The police are called in to break up the fight.The following week, all members of both families appear in court. The fight continues in the courtroom until the magistrate finally brings calm with the use of his gavel, shouting 'Silence in court!'
The courtroom goes silent and Rodwell, the best man, stands up and says,
'Jou Honour, ek was die beste man by die wedding en ek dink dat ek jou moet vertel wat gebeur het.'

The magistrate agrees and asks Rodwell to take the stand. Rodwell begins his explanation by telling the court that it is traditional in Elsie's River that the best man gets the first dance with the bride.
'Continue,' says the magistrate.
'Well,' said Rodwell, 'toe daa'i eerste dance klaar is, the music kept going, so I mos carried on dancing to die tweede song, and after that, the vibes kept going and I was getting down to die derde song, when all of a sudden die blerry groom jumped oor die tafel, ran towards us and gave the bride a moerse skop right between her legs.'
Shocked, the magistrate responded, 'G-d, that must have hurt!'
'Hurt?' Rodwell replies.'Hurt se moer.....die moerskon het drie van my vingers gebreek.'

After soooooo many ‘Blapses’, the Protea’s finally managed an excellent win against Sri Lanka, where the bowlers excelled and the Batsmen did well to get the total with only one wicket down…NO we are not back, far from it….. There have been a few very good games, with no more rain, and the NZ v Aussies game was Tukka a good example of GR88888 cricket, and planning by the Aussies after a low score, and then defending it brilliantly……

A guy receives an ad in the mail for a golf resort where everything costs one dollar.
He jumps at the offer and heads off for a weekend of fun in the sun.
He arrives and plays a round of golf. It cost him a buck.
When he goes for dinner that evening, it costs him another buck. His room is only a buck a
The day before he's to check out, he heads out to play a last round and stops by the pro shop
and charges a sleeve of three balls to his room.
When he's checking out next morning, he looks at the bill and sees:

Golf: $1.00
Dinner: $1.00
Room: $1.00.
Sleeve of golf balls: $3,000.00
He asks the Manager, "What is this all about? Everything is supposed to cost one dollar, and
you charged me three thousand for three golf balls?"
"I'm sorry, sir, said the manager, but you didn't read the fine print in our promotional brochure.
That's what our golf balls cost."
"Well, said the man, If I wanted to spend that kind of money, I could've gone to that luxury hotel across the street and paid them a thousand dollars a day for a room. At least I would've known what I was paying for!"
"That's right, sir, you could have," said the manager.
"Over there they get you by the room. Over here we get you by the balls!"

Wimbledon has started , and I think many fans are hoping for the Impossible…That Federer wins another Wimbledon….would be quite unbelievable…..And Serena Williams must also be on her very last chance…????

You should never marry a tennis player, because to them, love means nothing……
What did the tennis ball say when it got hit? …. Who's making all the racquet?
Where is the first tennis match mentioned in the Bible?
When Joseph served in Pharaoh's court.
What did one tennis ball say to the other tennis ball? “See you round...” (Mmmm)
What do you serve but not eat? ….. A Tennis Ball.

Durban July is this coming weekend, and as I have said over the past decade, the race is not what it used to be ‘Amolikke Yoren’….People used to battle to find accommodation/flights etc….No more, it’s still a fancy race day, BUT…… The ‘Magic’ is gone…. Every office had a Durban July pool…..this year I don’t think anyone even knew who the ‘donkey’s’ were, never mind favourites …The days of Sea Cottage are long gone….

Old Joke, BUT….what a Classicccccccc……
A rabbi was walking down the street when, suddenly, a strong gust of wind blew his streimel
(fur hat) off his head. The rabbi ran after his hat but the wind was so strong it kept blowing his hat farther and farther away. He just couldn’t catch up with it.
A young gentile man, witnessing this event and being fit than the Rabbi, ran after the hat and caught it. The young gentile man handed the hat over to the Rabbi. The Rabbi was so pleased and grateful that he gave the man twenty dollars, put his hand on the man’s head and blessed him. The young man was very excited about both the tip and the blessing.
The young gentile decided to take his new found wealth to the racetrack.
He bet the entire $20 on the first race that he could.

After the races the young man returned home and recounted his very exciting day at the races to his father. "I arrived at the fifth race," said the young man.
"I looked at the racing program and saw a horse by the name of Top Hat was running.
The odds on this horse were 100-to-1. It was the longest shot in the field."

"You must have made a fortune," said the father.
"Well yes, $2000. But wait, it gets better," replied the son.
"In the following race, a horse by the name of Stetson was running.
The odds on the horse were 30 to 1" Stetson being some kind of hat and again thinking of the Rabbi’s 'blessing and his hat, I decided to bet all my winnings on this horse."
"What happened?" asked the excited father.
"Stetson came in like a rocket. Now I had $60,000!"
"Are you telling me you brought home all this money?" asked his excited father.
"No," said the son. "I lost it all on the next race. There was a horse in this race name Chateau,
which is French for hat. So I decided to bet all the money on Chateau.
But the horse broke down and came in last."
"Hat in French is "Chapeau" not "Chateau"; you moron," said the father.
"You lost all of the money because of your ignorance. Tell me, what horse won the race?"

The son answered, "A long shot from Japan named Yamaka." (OY…………….VY)

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

Mike Tyson born June 30, 1966 Nickname : The Baddest Man on the Planet
28 June 1997 Mike Tyson bites off part of Evander Holyfield's ear ….
So, Be A Good Sport Then ……..
“I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.” ― Yogi Berra
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' ” ― Muhammad Ali
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. ― Bruce Lee
Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first. ―
Frederick B. Wilcox
Complacency is a continuous struggle that we all have to fight. — Jack Nicklaus
Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be
careful. ― John Wooden

“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ― Anaïs Nin
“When I was 5 years old my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ― John Lennon
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. ― Henry Ford
“And we learned that you don't have to be famous or rich or physically healthy to be a leader. You just have to try to be a true person. We learned that helping other people brings out the good in everybody.” ― Joan Bauer
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Trust is not a matter of technique, tricks, or tools but of character. ― Lolly Daskal

Is the U. K. losing it …??? Or have they lost it…???

Nikki Haley: ‘The better and stronger we make Israel, the safer we make the world’ ..

Rolene Marks…… Lay of the Land….. News/views from ‘The Land of Milk & Honey’
Goings on in Israel, from a wide angle of views…..
The Zuma Chronicles….How he will try and dodge Judge Zondo……

Went to my Late Chaver Reg Shlagman’s funeral on Friday, and it was at the Boksburg Cemetery ….. Reg’s Late wife Lea was a Bental, and she is buried there…..I have never been to the Boksburg Cemetery, and was really surprised to see such a well looked after Cemetery…..Whenever I visit a new Cemetery I always walk around to get a feel, and there were quite a few graves marked 1910, which were in immaculate condition …..There were also a number of graves as recent as 2010-2019…… saw some names that I remember….. Was a big crowd for an out of town funeral…..

Herman Himmelman recently took up fishing and one Sunday he sat in the blazing sun all day without catching a single one. On his way home, Herman stopped at the supermarket and ordered four bass.
Herman told the fish salesman,"Pick four large ones out and throw them at me, will you?"
"Why do you want me to throw them at you?"
"Because I want to tell my wife that I caught them."
"Okay, but I suggest that you take the trout."
"Because Mrs. Himmelman came in earlier today and said that if you came by,
I should tell you to take the trout because that’s what she wants for supper tonight." (OY…)

The SAZF are holding their National Conference… This Conference is held every 4 years and is the official platform for electing new leadership…. “We encourage the community to attend this event, which will be addressed by incredible international guest speakers”. ….If you haven’t booked yet, seats are limited, so book today! There will be events hosted in Joburg , Cape Town and KZN. For more information, see ; http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15' …some of the E-mazing speakers  lined up are Daniel Limor (Former spy), Gal Lusky- Humanitarian & Isaac Herzog- Visionary leader…….

The greatest scientists of all times were invited to a conference ...
* Newton said he'd drop in.
* Descartes said he'd think about it.
* Ohm resisted the idea.
* Boyle said he was under too much pressure.
* Darwin said he'd wait to see what evolved.
* Pierre and Marie Curie radiated enthusiasm.
* Volta was electrified at the prospect
* Pavlov positively drooled at the thought.
* Ampere was worried he wasn't current.
* Audobon said he'd have to wing it.
* Edison thought it would be illuminating.
* Einstein said it would be relatively easy to attend.
* Archimedes was buoyant at the thought.
* Dr Jekyll declined - he said he hadn't been feeling himself lately.
* Morse said, "I'll be there on the dot. Can't stop now, must dash."
* Gauss was asked to attend because of his magnetism.
* Hertz said he planned to attend with greater frequency in the future.
* Watt thought it would be a good way to let off steam.
* Wilbur Wright accepted, provided he and Orville could get a flight.

GR8888888 news for seniors the Garden Place in Oakland’s/ Gardens ,Joburg….has accommodation available for Senior Citizens with all the amenities available onsite….. VERY centrally situated, with transport available for shopping, and full board….. It is run by an old Chaver of mine, Mike Cline….see http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15

Yankel succumbed to eating small piece bacon one day.
He felt so remorseful that he had nightmares and couldn't sleep at all for a whole week.
In the end he became quite depressed about it.
He decided to go and see the rabbi.
"Hmm, a small piece of bacon" said the rabbi, "you must start regularly attending shul, and
after each prayer during the day you must say three chapters of tehillim."
Yankel agreed.
As soon as he could he went to shul and joined in the Mincha prayers. Then he sat down on a bench, picked up a sefer and started to read his three chapters of tehillim.
Yankel couldn't help noticing a Chassid sitting next to him, with the full garb - black hat, payot, long beard, dressed in a black frock coat. The Chassid was also reading from the sefer tehillim, but not three chapters, It looked like 20 or even more the way he was whizzing through them...no it was forty chapters!
Yankel was shocked.
He thought to himself, "Such a pious Jew, with his black hat, payot and beard - and he could
eat so much bacon!" ( Einaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah….)

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 Pichaaaaaa’s on their website …..…..
Ketchum (north of), Idaho…. Introduction to Staggering Peaks in Idaho and Reflections from Two Neighbouring States. Utah: Introductory Highlights from Provo and some colour in the south………

Minsker the Shlepper”… Paul Minsker has been singing in the Sandton Shul choir,
and he does ‘Shlepping’ ….Besides Airport runs, Sun City etc., he also does

‘Shlepping’ of confidential documents…… 083-5426480 see
http://www.stantgsm.com/view-post/businees%20card---paul%20minsker/5860 for

Einstein said to Chaplin: "What I most admire about your art, is your universality.
You don't say a word, and the rest of the world understand you."
 "It is true", answered Chaplin, "but your glory is even greater:
The whole world admires you, even if they don't understand a word of what you say."

The E-mazing Coffee Table book, ‘The Road through the Grove’, which calls back the past, of the history from the Johannesburg Drive In along the BIG LB (Louis Botha Avenue) to Hillbrow, and anything on either side from Highlands North High to KES, very few copies left, and I am selling them at R500 in the Johannesburg area and will get them delivered to you….. Don’t miss this E-mazing book….What a gift!!!!!!!!! Drop me an E-mail at smookler@netactive.co.za …..
Book got to Sydney, anyone going to Perth….????
smookler@netactive.co.za .. Must be someone going to Perth….

The judge frowned at the tired robber and said,
“Then you admit breaking into the same store on three successive nights?”
“Yes, your honour.”
“And why was that?”
“Because my wife wanted a dress.”
The judge check with his records, “But it says here you broke in three nights in a row!”
“Yes sir. She made me exchange it two times.” ( Figures……………)

Eli is a Genealogist of note……….. Eli Rabinowitz – 'Gib A Kuk' at his blog…E-
mazing news from 'Der Heim’s' & The 'Beloved Country'….
In Israel busy ‘Shmoooozing’…

I am not getting into any political discussion on the Limmud storm in a T-Cup…… It is quite E-mazing how the minority always get the top publicity, and what started out a decade ago, of the Orthodox Rabbi’s being diplomatically moved away from participating in the Limmud sessions has again blown up……It has been the rule of thumb for a decade, why has it started all over again….???? Worldwide, Orthodox Rabbi’s participate, so why not here…..???Looking at the Issue Methinks that in the ‘Beloved Country’ the BDS are ‘Krieging aryan’ everywhere, and last year, when a few undesirable speakers were going to speak, and were withdrawn, methinks a line had been drawn….Not sure what happens worldwide, if they allow the ‘Galeria’s’ to also speak……????? Not sure……BUT if they do, then all Yidden should withdraw, not only the Orthodox Rabbi’s……Where in the World would you find any group allowing Yidden to give their viewpoint at something like a Limmud…??? It does not happen….. Methinks that to listen to various viewpoints and be tolerant is very ‘Lekker’, BUT….when you are asking Yidden to listen to poisoned enemies, a line must be drawn…. On the other hand Methinks that a Rabbi who has studied for many years to get ‘Smicha’ would be learned enough to make up his own mind whether to attend or not…????? Not sure what the whole fuss is about…..Those that feel they want to go, will go, Limmud will manage with 80/90 Learned Rabbi’s not attending, and if Limmud can’t, then they should give up……. Got a very interesting Koch today from Rabbi Lopez ….This is what pressure from the other side does…. Again, I am not commenting, just posting the article…


I was sent to prison and I said to my cell mate,
"I won't be in here long."
He replied,
"Well the judge did give you 6 years."
"Yeah I know, but I think my wife will break me out,
She's never let me finish a sentence before.

A Haredi man in Israel wanted to play chess daily but he couldn’t find anyone willing to play without prior conditions.
His Gur Hassid friend across the hall would only play if the queen were removed from the board since it was not appropriate for a woman to be in such a public position.
The Yeshiva University musmach in the next building refused to play if the bishops remained on the board and the cross removed from the king’s crown.
The Mossad HaRav Kook graduate on the floor below wanted assurances that the chess board contained no shmita materials.
The Yisrael Beiteinu office worker wanted to pay him in advance to let him win every game.
The chozer bitshuva on the floor above refused to play until each castle had a miniature mezuzah in place.
His Shas friend from work insisted that the Black pieces must always move first and be situated on the eastern side of the room.
The yeshiva bochur next door refused to play until the army pieces were removed.
His American baby-boomer friend from California down the hall refused to play Blacks versus Whites.
His cousin, a Chabad Chassid, claimed that the king could never die, so what’s the use in playing at all (Says it allll…..)

Road works have really been a hiccup lately with the Big LB (Louis Botha) still in a mess after a few years…..The Balfour Park station is in an absoluuuuuut mess, with water leaking all over and very narrow roads to pass through …….. Reckon it will take a good few years to complete the mess, and it will be a total waste once completed…….. Now they have started patching the M1 near Glenhove/Killarney, and the traffic is horrendous, and after closing the highway in town for bridge repairs, it was reported that they have virtually done nothing since the closure in January …… and the mayhem continues… with school holidays coming up, hopefully they will get some of the work finished…….. This week the Gauteng Premier declared that he wanted E Tolls scrapped……..????? It is a mess with some Schmucks (like me) still paying Tolls…. … If they do scrap it.???? Will we get our Geld back….Nooooit….

Anne Sclar's saying for the week….. Travelworx ; travelworx@telkomsa.net
When it comes to apologies no one gets a pass in this life. Everyone deserves one and everyone needs to give one….

The Public Prosecutor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, continuous aggressive attack on Cyril is quite unbelievable, that she can waste all her energy on trying to pin the R500,000 donation from from Bosasa as money laundering and everything else under the Sun….How much money is she blowing, running after R500,000 when there are ‘Zillions’ that she should be chasing…..Quite E-mazing is that Watson has not even been arrested and charged, with all the evidence out in the open….???? BUT….chase after the ‘Buffalo’ she will, and it’s hard to believe that ‘Ace’ has not got an ACE up his sleeve…… https://www.biznews.com/leadership/2019/07/01/public-

Chappies.. Did U know ……….
http://stantgsm.com/view-post/chappies%20 %20fascinating%20story/5408
Cape Town is the only city in the world situated on both the Indian and Atlantic oceans.
The Nokia tune is based on a 1902 Spanish guitar melody.

Julio Woznica is doing E-mazing tours ….and his Soweto tour is a winner….Julio can
speak many languages and is a very good tour guide…..It’s for locals and
tourists….It’s quite E-mazing how many locals have not toured locally… See

FOR the MOST 'Jacked up' 'Yiddisher' Wedding registry, 'Gib A Kuk' at;
www.binuns.co.za …… Online Helpdesk … 0861 772 665 … see
http://www.stantgsm.com/category/simcha-extras/33 for details...

Mazeltov to Sarah Price (New York) & Adam Plet…..Mazeltov to parents Mandy-Ann and Hilton Plet (Tooo-Run-Tooo ) and Barry & Lisa Price (NY)…….Hearty Mazel Tov to Ada Plet (Brakpan). Always remembering the late grandparent’s Sidney Plet and Sydney & Sylvia Aizicowitz (Johannesburg) …. The Plet family are originally from Brakpan, and are very well known on the East Rand…….. Ada is still in South
Africa…Mazzies to the whole Mishpocha…. http://www.stantgsm.com/

Mazeltov to Alexa (Rapp) & Gabi Bender on their Chasene @ Emperor’s Palace on Sunday….. The Chuppa was at Colin Goldstein’s house, and was a very special ceremony ….Young Garber with Ezra Altchuler sang at the Chuppa…..The speeches by the various Rabbis’ very touching….. The Simcha was very ‘Lebbedik’ just like the ‘Benders Boys’ always are….Mazzies to Avril & Israel Bender & Emma & Lawrence Rapp….Mazzies to Bobba’s Barbara Bartkunsky & Marion Rapp …The Function was Co-ordinated by Michelle Gordon (Finer Details) and Baruch Raff’s band did the Music and they danced and danced……. The Catering was by Gary Friedman, and was superb….The whole evening was lovely…. Go back Baie Jare with Israel ( Local ‘Yiddisher’ Chuck Norris) & Avril, having done their Chasene, and many others for the Bender/Bartkunsky family…… Knew his Late Dad Rabbi Bender
& Mom Doren well….and worked a lot with them….. With all Israel’s Talk, he Tukka
 s a very learned man religion wise, and has put many a religious person on the right track….. Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha…. Pictures…. http://www.stantgsm.com/

Mazeltov to It's Tali (Serman) and Shmueli Bartkunsky …. On their Chasene on Sunday in Israel…..Quite E-mazing is that Avril (Bartkunsky) Bender, whose Zunnelle Gabi also got married on Sunday is related to Shmueli Bartkunsky….. Mazzies to Reeve & Caron Serman (Toooo-Run-Tooo) and Colin & Corinne Bartkunsky (Joburg) …. Tali’s Late Mom Tobi grew up with us in Lichtenberg and her sister Naomi (Shapiro) Levy…..was in my Class at School in Lichtenberg …. Caron’s Brothers are Joel & Martin Katz, who started the Famous Grill House in Rosebank ………Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha….. Pictures; http://www.stantgsm.com/

Sincere condolences to the Turner family on the passing of their Beloved Jeff…… Met Jeff 45 years ago, and we always discussed Lichtenburg, as his late Dad was there during the mining days, and Jeff spent a few years there…..Jeff was always involved with sport, and was with Maccabi for many years….. Jeff was staying in Pretoria……. Sincere condolences to Lance and the family…. Sincere condolences to the Solomon family on the passing of their Beloved Berrie….We did a lot of business with Berrie ‘Amolikke Yoren’ when he was in Textiles, and I still have some of the Pink clothes he made for his kids Simcha 35 years ago….Berrie’s Boet David was in my years at Highlands….and his sister Diane was involved with Francesco Caterers ‘Amolikke Yoren’…..Sincere condolences to the whole family……


MANTIS SECURITY TIP (Call 011- 487-1000 for any assistance) of the week
  • With holidays season upon us, always be alert.. Don’t drop your guard..
  • Different places on holiday, always ‘SEEM’ to be safer and when you are
    relaxed, you forget…..
  •  Remember to Cancel all deliveries when away…Papers piled up in the
    driveway are a dead giveaway…..
  •  Check alarms, battery backups and if driving the Tracker units….
  •  If driving, TRY and drive during the day…always have a torch available…
  •  When stopping to put in Petrol, be VERY aware, as these MUMZERS prowl
    the filling stations and motorists are very lax, leaving doors open, cars running
  • Holiday season these days, is always hard to workout with 3 and four term
    schools now operating, and then of course some of the PRIVATE schools
    also have different breaks… 

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

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

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


Eerbare Makelaaaaaar van Suid Afrika ………

Cell- 082-454-7860

Parsha of The Week 

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


Sportsmen or Spectators?

Are you a spectator or a participant? Will you only watch your favourite soccer side,
or do you sometimes kick a ball yourself?
A few years ago, it was decided to widen the seats at Wimbledon. Apparently, the
problem was rather simple – obesity. It appears that the fans that admire the tennis

stars in action don’t get much exercise. The Chairman of the British Sports Council
was prompted to state, “If only the admirers of sport would practice it themselves.”
The Parsha this week is named after Korach, cousin of Moses and a revolutionary
who attempted to usurp the authority of Moses and Aaron. His ill-fated rebellion
came to a bitter end when the earth opened and swallowed Korach and his
followers, demonstrating to all that Moses and Aaron were truly chosen by G-d.
But why name a Parsha of the Torah after a villain? Korach was a sinner and is
surely not a role model for us to emulate.
My saintly teacher and mentor, The Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose 25th yahrtzeit is
observed this Shabbos, offered a novel approach. There is one area, where Korach
can, indeed, be a good role model. What was Korach’s burning desire in life? It was
to be a Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. He coveted Aaron’s position of honor.
Now, being a High Priest meant much more than just fame and fortune, glory or
privilege. Many sacred responsibilities came with the job. It was no easy task to be a
Kohen Gadol. There were numerous restrictions; where he could go, what kind of
activities he could be involved in, whom he could marry, etc, etc. Yet, Korach was
single-minded in his aspiration to become the High Priest.
Said the Rebbe, this is something we can all learn from Korach; the yearning to
serve G-d in the holiest capacity, the craving to be a Kohen Gadol. Would it be that
all of us shared similar aspirations to holiness. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each one
of us longed for a life of sanctity and to be completely dedicated to the service of G-
How often we are only too happy to allow others to handle the sacred stuff. “You can
put on Tefillin for me, Rabbi.” And your Bobba can keep kosher for you and the
Board of Deputies can fight anti-Semitism for you and the Chabad’niks will save the
world for you. And what will you yourself do? Watch them?
It is interesting that in many parts of the world much of the financial support for
religious institutions comes from people who, themselves, are not religious. It has, in
fact, been suggested that this phenomenon may well be a form of vicarious Judaism.
These are fine people who really do believe in the truth of Judaism, but they haven’t
got sufficient commitment to practice it themselves. Nor do they believe their own
children will do it. Who then will defend the faith and perpetuate Judaism and the
Jewish people? So they sponsor a religious institution to do it for them.
I recall hearing a pertinent story from the late Prof Velvel Greene of Ben Gurion
University. A young man signed up to join the paratroopers. On his first training flight
the instructor has him in his parachute huddled at the door of the airplane and starts
counting down. 5, 4,3,2,1, - “JUMP!” The candidate is paralyzed with fear and
doesn’t move. “OK, it happens to the best of us,” says the instructor sympathetically.
“We’ll try again.” The second attempt, however, is no better; nor the third or the
fourth. The would-be paratrooper is simply too petrified to jump. Exasperated, the
instructor asks him, “Tell me, son, if you are so scared to jump why on earth do you

want to join the paratroopers?” The young man answered, “It’s true, I am scared out
of my wits. But I just love to be around people who are not afraid.”
As it is in sport, so it is in Jewish life. Let’s be more than mere spectators. It is
wonderful to support and encourage the activists among us. But let us learn from
Korach who wanted so badly to be a High Priest himself. Let’s not be content with
watching others. Let each of us participate in the Jewish idea. And let us do it

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