15 August 2019

GOOD SHABBOS 15 8 2019
Dear All,
The weather has been E-mazing, with Lekker warm days and the evenings not bad at all in the ‘Ou Transvaal’……Durban has also been GR888888, BUT …. Slaaaaaaapstad has been cold and very wet……
The end of the ‘Rugger’ Championships was exciting, as it was hedged on the Boks losing to allow the All Blacks to win the Competition….and it ended up totally ‘onderste bo’ (upside down)
The Boks-Puma’s was another hard fought game, BUT….was no “Battle of Salta”, as in the past with the Boks taking control and Moering the Puma’s…… GR8888888 performance, especially in Salta…..The Citizen Newspaper ‘My old Nationalist Newspaper’ today had a headline….” Boks off to World Cup” as champions….unfortunately there was no actual writer mentioned….That is the problem, as soon as a Shpieler has a good game….’ world beater ‘ and same with the Boks…..at this stage they are far from Championship material……BUT….have improved beyond belief…..BUT…can they keep it up….. Few Shpielers raised eyebrows…Faf was Shreklach, and Mapimpi not far behind….Cheslin Kolbe, although tiny, had a GR888888 game, always looking for work….Duane was solid and Steph was again a giant with Franco Mostert….Eban looks a bit suspect on fitness……. Give me Esterhuizen at Centre any day…… De Allende only knows one way and that’s straight into the opposition for a lose scrum…..not imagination….. ‘Waar is ‘n Danie Gerber’…..???? Haven’t had a centre close to him in years…..Well played and hopefully they can maintain the momentum against the Puma’s in the last practise game…….Should be a good game at Loftus this weekend, BUT….. Methinks they will get a ‘swak’ crowd……and not sure what THE COACH IS SMOKING, but ….to make Schallk Britz ‘Kaptein’ is a joke @ 38, as he should not even be there….. and the team looks a bit .swak. https://www.biznews.com/rugby/2019/08/14/schalk-brits-bok-captain-argentina?utm_  
A husband is watching a rugby game when his wife interrupts,
"Honey, could you fix the light in the hallway? It's been flickering for weeks now."
He looks at her and says angrily, "Fix the light?
Does it look like I have an electrician's logo printed on my forehead? I don't think so!"
The wife asks, "Well then, could you fix the fridge door? It won't close properly."
To which he replied, "Fix the fridge door?
Does it look like I have Kelvinator written on my forehead? I don't think so."
"Fine," she says, "Then could you at least fix the steps to the front door?
They're about to break."
"I'm not a damn carpenter," he says. "Does it look like I have Builders Hardware written on my forehead? I don't think so. I've had enough of you. I'm going to the club"
So he goes to the club and drinks for a couple of hours.
He starts to feel guilty about how he treated his wife and decides to go home and help out.
As he approaches the house, he notices the steps are already fixed.
As he enters the house, he sees the hall light is working.
As he goes to get a beer, he notices the fridge door is fixed.
"Honey", he asks, "How'd all this get fixed?"
She replied, "Well, when you left, I sat outside and cried.
Just then, a nice young man asked me what was wrong and I told him.
He offered to do all the repairs and all I had to do was either go to bed with him or bake a cake."
He said, "So what kind of cake did you bake him?"
She replied, "Hellooooo..... Do you see Winner of Master Chef written on my forehead?
I don't think so!" ( Otazay…………….)
The ‘Wallies’ now Wallaby’s V the All Blacks was a Seriaaaaaaaaas tussle, for the Rugger Championship and the Bledisloe Cup, and……the Aussie just got into it from the start and never stopped……. All credit to the Aussies on a GR88888 win…..and I will mention the Shoulder charge send off, as it was not worth a red, and the AB’s were always within reach of a win…..with 15 who knows……BUT that’s Rugger….. This is now 3 shocking games in a row for the All Blacks which is Tukka a first….. Can they come back…??? YES….. There overall play & plan & basics are there……Will they be favourites for the World Cup….??? Methinks yes, as a few changes and they should be back to normal….The centre has been dismal and the return of Ryan Crotty will make a big difference….In the Forwards, Ratallick will make a huge difference (might miss WC due to shoulder injury), and I said last week, bring Mc Kenzie on second half for the X factor and it will be a different story….. It was the Aussie OLD boys that did it for them ..Hooper, Nic White ( E-mazing) Leilifano, Beale & O’Connor…… They have improved, BUT…..I don’t see them as top contenders for the WC……  This weekend against the AB’s at home will tell how good they actually are…….
England-Wales….what a game, BUT…..England held on to beat the Welsh , and Methinks England & Ireland will be the ones to watch in the WC….. Will be a good return match, which I believe the Poms will win….????
After the E-mazing 5 days of the first Ashes test, can the rest of the Tests maintain such a high standard…?????
The English League got off to a lively start with Liverpool, City & Man United winning by good margins…….. Hopefully United can play attractive Sokka this season, as the past few have been at pedestrian pace, playing for the 1-0 win or draw…..???

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
“In order to have faith in his own path, a warrior does not need to prove that someone else’s path is wrong.” — Paulo Coelho
"Being convinced one knows the whole story is the surest way to fail." -  Philip Crosby
We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them. — William A. Ward
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else.” —  Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Desire is half of life. Indifference is half of death.” — Kahlil Gibran 
“Don’t wait until you are lost to evaluate where you are going.” — Brendon Burchard
 "Too often, our knowledge often gets in the way of our understanding." ― Rabbi Shraga Silverstein
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. ― George Bernard Shaw
The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear. – Socrates
Growth begins when we begin to accept our own weakness. ―  Jean Vanier
"You should not decide until you have heard what both sides have to say." ― Aristophanes Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. ― Arthur Conan Doyle
The weekly look at the world happening & also in Israel……
USA takes most medals at Maccabi games in Budapest…….
http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/ ….Lots of News from Israel as it happens……
Rustenburg High School Choir's version of Bohemian Rhapsody


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 …..….. Still in Utah: Salt Lake City: Gobbler's Knob, a hard to beat experience…. Provo: On the "Y" and then off to the peak, quite a day and they have posted a small collection of must see Pichaaaaaa’s from various climbs….some Absoluuuuuuuuuutly E-mazing shots…..
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
I have always written that our Local Gunovim, as soooo quick to latch on to new ideas to Gunnif more and more, and as one type is plugged they find something new….. The latest is stealing the batteries out of Cell phone masts which they sell to private households who run their power off the National grid, and the batteries keep their solar power going….. It is causing chaos among smaller Businesses’ who reply on the connection from the masts to do Credit card payments with the Machines….. the 3 main Cell phone companies reckon that well  over a 1,000 batteries have been stolen in the past year…. There is Tukka nothing that these Mumzers won’t try……Look how they knock out whole suburbs by stealing the copper wiring…..and of course all the Security companies that patrol the suburbs and the Cops cannot find these Galeria’s…..load-shedding has had a significant impact on the increase in stolen batteries, with these syndicates selling many of them for use in home solar power installations. And sell them for R5,000 one starts to wonder if it’s worth spending ‘Zillions’ on camera’s in suburbs, if they cannot pick up anything…..????
Money cannot buy happiness - but it's far more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.
Forgive your enemy - but remember the idiot's name.
If you help someone when they're in trouble - they will remember you when they're in trouble again.
Alcohol does not solve any problems - but then, neither does milk.
Many people are alive only because it's illegal to shoot them.
And as I get older, I realize:
 I talk to myself, because there are times I need expert advice.
 I consider "On Trend" to be the clothes that still fit.
 I don't need anger management.  People need to stop p......g me off.
 My people skills are just fine.  My tolerance for idiots needs work.
The biggest lie I tell myself is, "I don't need to write that down.  I'll remember it."
 I have days when my life is just a tent away from a circus.
These days, "on time" is when I get there.
Even duct tape can't fix stupid - but it sure does muffle the sound.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes, then come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller?
Lately, I've noticed people my age are so much older than me. ( No the feeling……….)
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    
Anyone going to Sydney that can take a book for me…???
I have been writing over and over again about the need to Consolidate the Yiddsher Community, so that there will be a future, even if the community is shrinking, and it is definitely a smaller Community…….. It was sad to read the Notice put out by the CSO, stating that they have had to start retrenching, and cutting costs drastically as funds to run the CSO have dried up, with the IUA-UCF not funding anymore….. Very sad day, as the articles going around are now pointing fingers at Cap & Hatzolah who seem to be splitting the donations 3 ways with the CSO, and things are very tight…….. Trust me it is NOT only with security that things have tightened up…..Shuls are battling, the Schools are battling and the biggest danger is that the Welfare organizations are also battling, and that is cause of great concern…… When will we see ‘Captains of Yiddisher Industry / Community Balabatim / Rabbis’ getting together and trying to plan going forward…..??? It cannot wait any longer…..
Jan en Koos gaan dood en kom in die hemel. Die ou by die hek sê vir hulle:
"Julle gaan elkeen 'n kar kry om mee rond te ry hier in die hemel, gegrond op hoe getrou julle aan julle vrouens was.
Jan het nooit sy vrou verneuk in 25jaar nie en kry 'n Rolls Royce.
Koos het 5 keer sy vrou verneuk en kry 'n 2de handse Golf sonder aircon.
'n Week later ry koos na Jan toe en kry hom in trane! Koos vra verbaas,"hoekom huil jy, jy ry dan met 'n Rolls!"
"Ja" se Jan."Maar gister toe ek hier met die pad afry toe sien ek my vrou verbykom op 'n skateboard!!
An old Athlone ‘Boytjie’ Allan Traub has some E-mazing property deals going, and where ever you are in the world, drop him an E-mail… “Grade A Commercial Property Investment Opportunities-Atlanta USA. Enquiries to
The JWBS is having a spring day get together ….Life, Toast & Chutzpah with Nona Morirs Lee who will give a talk and also do some demonstrating as she is a ‘Chefette’ of note….. See http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15 for details ... ’Gonna be a special morning…
A famous art collector is walking through the city when he notices a mangy cat lapping milk from a saucer in the doorway of a store. He does a double take.
He knows that the saucer is extremely old and very valuable, so he walks casually into the store and offers to buy the cat for two dollars.
The storeowner replies, "I'm sorry, but the cat isn't for sale."
The collector says, "Please, I need a hungry cat around the house to catch mice.
I'll pay you 20 dollars for that cat."
And the owner says "Sold," and hands over the cat.
The collector continues, "Hey, for the twenty bucks I wonder if you could throw in that old saucer. The cat's used to it and it'll save me from having to get a dish."
The owner says, "Sorry buddy, but that's my lucky saucer.
So far this week I've sold sixty-eight cats." ( Ag Neeeeeeeeeee…..)
Said farewell to our old Chavers, Billy & Carol Blumberg, who are going to stay in London to be with their Zunnelle Johnathan and Einingklach…… My wife Ava worked for Billy, who has been a GR8888888 hairdresser all his life in 1976 at the Hair Chalet which was Billy’s salon opposite the old Doll’s House on Louis Botha avenue…….. Billy Schvester Ruth used to sing with the Late Jack Chiert’s band and sang at our Chasene 40 years ago…..His other Schvester Carol stays in Potchefstroom and is married to Gerald Green who was at Potch boys with us……his Boet Gary is married to Nathan Ash’s Schvester…..Nathan was with me at Highlands……It was Tukka a lovely evening hosted by Arlene & Brad Kaftel (Mr Hatfield Motors)…….and as Carol worked at Kind David for many years quite a few members of staff were there including the ‘Balabos’ Lorraine Srage & Deputy head….. Wishing them a wonderful trp and a good settling in……. Pictures;
A painter by the name of Paddy Murphy, while not a brilliant scholar,was a gifted portrait artist. Over a short number of years, his fame grew and soon people from all over Ireland were coming to him in the town of Doolin, County Clare, to get him to paint their likenesses.
One day, a beautiful young English woman arrived at his house in a stretched limo and asked Paddy if he would paint her in the nude.
This being the first time anyone had made such a request, Paddy was a bit perturbed, particularly when the woman told him that money was no object;
in fact, she was willing to pay up to $10,000.
Not wanting to get into any marital strife, Paddy asked her to wait while he went into the house to confer with Mary, his wife.
After a few minutes he returned. "T'would be me pleasure to paint yer portrait, missus," he said "The wife says it's okay."
"I'll paint ya in da nude alright, but I has to at least leave me socks on so I has a place to wipe me brushes.". ( Gotta LUV the Irish………..)
Eli is a Genealogist of note……….. Eli Rabinowitz – 'Gib A Kuk' at his blog…E-mazing news from 'Der Heim’s' & The 'Beloved Country'…. http://elirab.me/  
Back home in Perth at last and still organizing conferences etc….’Gib A Kuk’
The NHI debacle has finally reached ‘fever’ pitch, and the confusion and false info are out in full force……. The NHI has come to late for the ‘Beloved Country’ and when we became a NEW country in 1994, that is when the ANC should have carried on building a GR888888888 health facility for all….The Hospitals/clinics/traing colleges were all in place, BUT…..instead, the ANC chose to get rid of the people running Healthcare and put in “ Comrades” who had NO idea what was potting, and in less than 15 years, the Public Health setup was in ruins….. If one looks at the JHB General hospital, which was quite a new infrastructure and was a GR888888 facility, today if 10% of the lifts are working at any given time it’s a lot, and they carry patients up the stairs on beds, for operations most days……and the equipment has been neglected /Gupped…..It is such a shame……… and when one looks at Kwa Zulu Natal, there is NOT one Oncologist in the state facilities…..This is crazy…. Most hospitals don’t bother to collect even the small fees, as it just gets stolen.
A kid wrote in his maths answer sheet.
Dear algebra
I am sick & tired of finding your X.
Just accept the fact that she's gone.
Move on dude, find someone else.
Don't even ask Y! ( From me, full marks for this creative child…..)
'Viagra' is now available
in powder form
for your tea.
It doesn't enhance your sexual performance
but it does stop your biscuit going soft...
Wife goes to Woolworths, sees men's underwear on sale.
She buys a dozen of the same colour.
Goes home and gives hubby.
Hubby protests, "Why buy me same colour? People will think I do not change underwear!!
Wife asks, "Which people?"
The NHI TEST hospital facilities ( I think 10), have cost R6b , and have been a total failure….Total……. They now say that in 2016, Private Medical aids would cease, and the NHI would take over…..what a ‘lag’…….if it ever happens, we will be importing Doctors from Congo/Cuba/etc,etc and the quality will be appalling…..How they will fund this ‘Feeding Trough’ of the ANC ‘Comrades’ is another unanswered question ….Talking R400/500 B a year…..can you just imagine what will actually get to the poor patients (us) by the time all had fed from the Trough…… I have heard about ‘Pie in the Sky’ projects, BUT…..this is top of the list…. A few articles and comments on the NHI…. https://www.news24.com/Tags/Topics/nhi
Doctor Hershy Samuels was known for being an excellent pathologist and having a razor sharp wit. He was often called upon to testify in court. On one occasion in particular, Dr. Samuels was in fine form:
LAWYER: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
LAWYER: Did you check for blood pressure?
LAWYER: Did you check for breathing?
LAWYER: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
LAWYER: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
DR. SAMUELS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
LAWYER: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
DR. SAMUELS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.
The uncertainty has already caused Health associated companies to shed quite a lot of value, and of course the ‘Mighty Rand’ in taking a bit of a dip….. The whole economy is in a mess, and with this NHI project can ony worsen…..
Got an e-mail form Gail Perez, giving a bit of history of her Late Parents, Louis & Minnie Gecelter……. Louis was Mr Maccabi for many years before going on Aliyah, and there Grandson is Rav Perez (Head of World Mizrachi, and Gail’s Zunnelle)
“On the 9th of August 2017 (married August 9th, 1942) my parents celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary!!  My father passed away a month later and my mother passed away nine months after him.   They were separated for only nine months.  Three months  before  their 76th anniversary they were  back together again!!  This 9th of August and forever more they will continue celebrating their anniversary together ...... just from a different place!! …..This time last year we had a combined unveiling (consecration) of the tombstones of both my parents.  After the unveilings, with just the immediate family in attendance, we screened a wonderful and meaningful presentation that my youngest son Ilan had put together as a memento for the family in memory of Louis & Minnie.  The presentation includes not only photos of Louis & Minnie with almost every member of the extended family, but also a lot of precious live footage!!   …. Despite life's challenges, Louis & Minnie were always happy.   Even through the periods of my father’s loss of eyesight and memory and my mother’s dementia, their love of people, their love of Israel, their positive, caring, humorous and wonderful attitude to life and their love of life, continued shining through.  …….I have extracted just one small part (A Brief History) of the presentation, that I would like to share with you….This is the link to the extract: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oSuActpTCgnxC3DtHwx_5JJvE-3dWUEJ/view?usp=drivesdk (and by the way ... Frankfort is a small farming town in South Africa) “ When I started at the Jewish Guild in 1975, Louis & Minnie where there every weekend, and both worked very hard to establish the Jewish Guild in Sandton…..Sadly today, the Jewish Guild does not exist at all………..
Gerald David’s Taxi Service is available for reliable and friendly airport shuttles and more. Contact Gerald on either 082 907 5507
(The ‘Yiddisher Shlepper’) ……….   geralddavids21@gmail.com
Anne Sclar's saying for the week….. Travelworx ; travelworx@telkomsa.net
Don’t  spend time beating on a wall hoping to transform it into a door …..
I reckon the story between Ooooom Cyril & The Public Protector is like the old “ Spy V Spy” in the MAD comic book…..The plots get more stupid by the day, and the latest is the ‘ leaking’ of the campaign donors name to The ‘Buffalo’s campaign….and of course Uncle Julius jumps in mouth first, without checking facts and accuses many people of being ‘White Monopoly Capital’ supporting the Buffalo to get more favours in the future, and even ABSA got thrown in, when in fact donations were made from ABSA accounts, BUT….. Not ABSA itself….. Gosh really silly stuff going around, and The ‘Presidente’ will have to make a few disclosures on the how and why, before it really gets Seriaaaaaaaaaas
A small rural town in SA twinned with a similar town in Spain .
The Mayor of the SA town visited the Spanish town. When he saw the palatial mansion belonging to the Spanish mayor he wondered how he could afford such a house.
The Spaniard said; "You see that bridge over there? The EU gave us a grant to build a two-lane bridge, but by building a single lane bridge with traffic lights at either end this house could be built".
The following year the Spaniard visited the SA town. He was simply amazed at the SA Mayor's house, gold taps, marble floors, it was marvellous. When he asked how this could be afforded the SA mayor said; "You see that bridge over there?"
The Spaniard replied; "No." ( The Kaylikka’s will catch it eventually….)
Chappies.. Did U know ……….
http://stantgsm.com/view-post/chappies%20 %20fascinating%20story/5408
Finland has the largest number of islands in the world (over 179,550)
Dark roasted coffee beans contain less caffeine than medium roasted ones (the longer a coffee is roasted the more caffeine it burns off)

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.....
Happy 90th birthday to Etty (Unterslak) Kaplan…… They had a party on Friday, which was Women’s Day, and it was very fitting, as Etty is such a soft spoken wonderful lady…..Etty’s Einingkel, Ricci Lee is married to our Zunnelle Martin, and it was sooooo nice to see the families come from over the World for the Party….Etty’s Zunnelle Gary’s two brothers Lance & Clive came from New York, and the Kinderlach, Einingklach coming from Australia…..Rabbi Mendal Solomon and his Zunnelle came from Cabad at Shorthills/Millburn, NY to be with the family, which was very special…… Etty comes from a big family…. the Unterslak’s……12 Kinderlach, mainly boys, and you meet family members where ever you go….. Many, many more years in Good health Etty…. Pictures; ….. http://www.stantgsm.com/
Mazeltov to Toni Jade (Efune) & Howard Rabinowitz who celebrate their 10th (tin/aluminium) anniversary …..Tony was one of our Simcha photographers before going to Emeeeeerika, where she is a GR8888888 success in Simcha photography…..Howard is a ‘Cuzzie’ of ours……Mazeltov and many more…..
Sincere condolences to the Farber family on the loss of their Beloved Barry…… Larger than life Barry was always around, and an Old Boy of Athlone…..
Really sad news….Sincere condolences to the whole family….
Sincere condolences to Rabbi & Mrs Suchard and family on the sudden passing of their Beloved Chaya……. The family had moved to Yerushlayim last year, and it is a bit shock to get the news, as the Rabbi was coming to Souff Effrikka today….. Sincere condolences to the whole family….
Sincere condolences to the Becker family on the loss of their Beloved Hymie…… a real ‘old timer’ of Sandton Shul ……. Met Hymie many years ago when I worked at the Dawson’s Hotel (1973), and Hymie worked with his Late brother in law Beryl Koseff, at Koseff Furs which was next to the Dawsons…. Sincere condolences to the whole family…
Got an E-mail from Barbara in OZ… “Michael Jochelson beloved husband of Barbara Jochelson, father of Amy Wilson & Kevin Jochelson & son-in-law of  Joy Hossy passed away suddenly in Sydney on 3 August. …It was so sudden, we adored him & we are all absolutely devastated …..He was humble, kind, gentle, would do anything for anybody...one -in-a-million -a true mensch
While in the Beloved Country, he attended High school at KES,  served as a medic in SA army, he  was an accountant, worked for Premier Milling (15 years),  Financial director at Sanitary City ( 13 years) until we immigrated to Sydney (1998)
Played tennis, hockey, league squash at TAC - loved all sport but most of all his family were his world “Sincere condolences to the family…..


MANTIS SECURITY TIP (Call 011- 487-1000 for any assistance) of the week
•  Home alarms are just that……..ALARMS…..
• If the Alarm should go off, on no account should you go outside to  investigate..
•The Gunovim throw objects at animals and when they make a noise, people go OUT to see what is going on, and the Gunovim attack…….
• Make use of the security firm, and call the Police when in doubt…Do NOT attempt to sort the matter out…..
• Never go outside the house if you suspect anything, always stay indoors..
•  With the Anti-Yiddisher feelings worldwide rise, Yidden are reminded to be even more vigilant in these rough times……
•  Methinks that the hate being show on Face Book/Twitter from ALL sides is out of hand, and WILL lead to problems…….Don’t get to excited, as you have NO idea who is monitoring these chats etc.
•  Years ago, when the electronic media started, parents were warned to be vigilant, and check up on the Kinderlach, which I believe they did in most cases….
• Don’t reply to the fanatics who are baiting people to join in their discussions
• Rather observe than join in the fighting………..

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’   

                                                       “Your Money or your Life?”
Judaism’s most famous Prayer comes from this week’s Parsha.
Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad. Hear O Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is One.
The verse continues, “And you shall love Hashem your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.”
Rashi, the great Biblical commentator, interprets this last word (in Hebrew, Meodecho) to mean “with all your resources,” i.e. your money. This, of course begs the question, if we have already been commanded to love Hashem with all our heart and soul (i.e. to be prepared to give our very life for G-d) then why the rather mundane command about money? Surely, if we are prepared to give our lives for G-d, then sharing our money is a small thing to ask?
Rashi explains that in reality there are some individuals who value their money more than their lives. Such people need to be told specifically to love G-d with all their money.
Jack Benny, the well-known American entertainer from long ago, used to joke self- deprecatingly about his frugality. Once, he told of walking down a New York street late at night when he suddenly felt cold, hard metal pointing into his back and a gruff voice barked, “Your money or your life!” When he didn’t immediately respond, the gun at his back pressed deeper into his flesh and the voice from behind became more menacing, “Your money or your life!” Benny replied, “I’m thinking, I’m thinking.”
There are actually quite a few real life situations today which prove that this is no joke. Take the many private security personnel working in places like Iraq at this very moment. Nobody drafted them. They are simply there to make a quick buck. What about the threat to their lives? What of their colleagues who have already been murdered? It would appear that some people really do love money more than life. How about the farmers who stayed in Zimbabwe when their lives were being threatened by thugs and the police weren’t providing any protection but, in their minds, the farm is their life so they stayed on. It’s not easy to walk away from your life’s work - even if your life may be in danger.
So the Torah insists that we must love Hashem with all our heart, soul, life and resources – whatever it is that we value and cherish most, we should be prepared to dedicate in love to G-d.
I  have spoken of this concept at Pidyon Haben Ceremonies (Redemption of the First Born), where one finds a very strange dialogue between the father and the Kohen. By Torah law, every first born belongs to G-d, or to his designated representative, the Kohen. The Kohen therefore asks the father of the newborn child, “What do you prefer, your first born son or the five silver shekels you are obligated to give me for his redemption?”
Now what kind of absurd question is that? Is this The Money or the Box? Which normal father is going to give away his son when he can keep him for the small price of five silver coins? I wouldn’t exactly call it the $64,000 question! Nobody is waiting in breathless suspense for the father’s answer.
But, in fact, it is a very serious question. The priestly minister of G-d asks of the father of this child - in your newborn son’s future life, what will be of primary significance? Will it be the child or the shekel? Will you place higher importance on finance or on family time? Will you raise this child with an emphasis on materialism or on more meaningful things? This is really a very good question after all - one, which parents need to consider soberly before responding to.
And the Shema reminds us that we all need to think about it, not just fathers of new-borns.

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