14 June 2018

Dear All,

It is getting quite cold now in the ‘Ou Transvaal’, with the mornings and evenings very cold….Mid days are still Lekker……. In for a Cold winter, and Methinks we have started ‘Power (Load) sharing), BUT…..Eishhhhhhkom still insists it is power faults/cable theft……. Ja Neeeeeeee, ‘ons sal hulle goed glo’…………They reckon that Slaaaaaaapstad & surrounding area’s will get massive storms today…?????

The June Tests have begun…… and it is Tukka E-amazing to watch ‘Toets’ Rugger

The All Blacks played France, and what POWER play by the All Blacks…. France held them for the first half, and I must ADMIT that the high tackle should not have sin binned the Shpieler….., and the rest is history….half a dozen E-mazing tries, and what power play by the AB’s……. 3 Bauden Broers and two Whitelock’s….quite unbelievable ….and they still had Retallick on the bench…… they will improve and should take care of the French in the next two tests…… What Shpielers they have…Reckon their second and 

At Friday night services, Morris goes to his friend Irving and says,
"I need a favour.  I'm sleeping with the Rabbi's wife.  
Can you hold him in synagogue for an hour after services for me?" 
Irving is not very fond of the idea, but being Morris' lifelong friend he reluctantly agrees.
After services, he strikes up a conversation with the Rabbi, asking him all sorts of stupid questions - just to keep him occupied.
After some time the wise Rabbi becomes suspicious and asks,
"Irving, what are you really up to?"
Irving, filled with feelings of guilt and remorse confesses to the Rabbi, "I'm sorry, Rabbi.   
My friend is sleeping with your wife right now, so he asked me to keep you occupied."
The Rabbi smiles, puts a brotherly hand on Irving's shoulder, and says, 
"You better hurry home, Irving.  My wife died two years ago. (Never lie to a Rabbi……….)

Australia v Ireland was a very tough,close match, with both sides trying to get the upper hand, BUT….Pocock was there to save the day, and get the Aussies a much needed win…….Methinks the Aussies will be a force to reckon with in the Rugger Championships in August….the line is starting to ‘click’, and Pocock’s presence has made a huge difference to the pack…..

The Bokke played England….and it was a VERY memorable test ….. The Bokke VERY rarely come back from a big deficit, BUT……. The ball bounced well, a 10 minute Sin Bin, and they were on track…….How they did it I do not know, BUT…..Without Vermuelen, Faf & Willie, they have not got a side…..and I must say that Snyman at Lock was hugely impressive…..Ohhhhhhhhhh where was Esterhuizen at Center…????  Aphiwe is been hailed as the KING…..Oy, his defence is VERY suspect, and granted he scored two tries, BUT……. After a dozen tests he should be rated, not after two tries….. Really Shlegg to bring Schalk Brits back for the Hooker position, and he with Bismarck & Frans Steyn are way past their sell by dates…… GR88888888888 win, BUT…..let’s see if they can hold onto the win…??? I have my doubts……soooo sad to see soooo many empty seats at a TEST……

Destroyed My Fishing Pleasure ….
Saturday morning I got up early, dressed quietly, made my lunch, grabbed the dog, slipped quietly into the garage to hook the boat up to the truck, and proceeded to back out into a torrential down pour. 
The wind was blowing 50 mph.
I pulled back into the garage, turned on the radio, and discovered that the weather would be bad throughout the day. 
I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. 
There I cuddled up to my wife's back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, 
'The weather out there is terrible.'
My loving wife of 20 years replied, 
'Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that terrible weather?'  
To this day, I don't know if she was joking, but I've stopped fishing. ( Mmmmmm…)

The last 7’s took place this week in France, and against ALL odds, the Blitzbokke somehow managed to brush everyone aside, and claim the Sevens trophy for the year … Incredible showing, especially after the ‘skrik’ in the Russia game when they ‘amper’ lost……

‘Der Nadel’ won the French open for the 11th time….Quite an E-mazing feat, and one wonders what will happen at Wimbledon in a few weeks’ time…….

Ou Koos l  op sy laaste in die hospitaal. Laat roep sy vrou en drie kinders. Hy begin toe so : Ek het nou nie juis KONTANT maar,
My liewe vrou jy moet die BMW besigheid oorvat en aangaan. 
Ouboet jy moet die Cellfoon besigheid oorvat en aangaan. 
Sussa jy moet die Jet by die lughawe oorvat en aangaan. 
My Klein Bulletjie jy moet die Mall oorvat en aangaan. 
Hulle sak almal op op die Vloer neer en begin bitterlik huil. 
Die verpleegster staan nader om te troos, en s -vra, sjoe nou waarvoor is die trane, julle gaan nie sukkel nie julle is goed nagelaat!
Hulle antwoord in 'n Koor, goed nagelaat ????!!!!
Hy's die veiligheidswag by al daai plekke!!! ( Ag Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….)

The Sokka World Cup has started, and there is just NO Geeeeeeees in Joburg around the World Cup……in past World Cups, there was soooooo much publicity before that you knew exactly what was ‘potting’…… Russia has not been a popular choice Methinks, BUT…..once it gets to the Quarters, it should pipe up a bit….. Only know one Yid that is going so far ……from the Beloved Country

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' …...  Special, Special Camp Care Packages, Travel Packages and Camping Packages …..

By Anne Frank …………
Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that 'a quiet conscience makes one strong!' 
Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.  
Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness. 
People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn’t stop you from having your own opinion. 
In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit. 
No one has ever become poor by giving.  
The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!  
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. 
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. 

I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquillity will return once more.

"It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart." 

"I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death!" 

"It seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old girl. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I feel like writing." Anne Frank

If only this happens ……. ! ! ! ! ! !

Israel Defence exhibits increase drastically………….

Caesarea Harbour ….E-mazing new development……….

This Shabbos is Soweto Day, commemorating the uprising in on the 16th. June, 1976…..They call it Youth Day, these days, and it is a much calmer day than in the struggle years, when every June the 16th., the people were very ‘Skrikky’ with all the ‘Bobbameises’ that used to circulate….. Sharpeville was the start of the Trek of ‘Vicers’, BUT….Methinks that after the riots of ’76, it became a flood of people leaving, and it has continued till the present day, with not only ‘Vicers’ leaving, BUT…..people of all colours…….. Really sad, as the Country is losing so much talent & skills…… This year the Public Holiday falls on a Saturday, and there is NO long weekend for the ‘wekkers’, which puts another damper on the day……

Taking it to the Bank ……….
Max Greenberg was an illiterate immigrant when he came to New York, but he worked hard, saved his pennies and started a small business. 
It did well and soon he had enough money to send for the wife and children.
The work kept him very busy, so he never had time to learn to write, but the bank was happy to do business with him, even though his signature consisted of two O's.
He prospered, he opened more stores, the kids were transferred to private schools, the family moved into a fancy house (with one staircase going nowhere just for show) ... you get the idea.
One day his banker, Mr. Smith, asked him to drop by.
"So vat's the problem?" Greenberg asked, a bit anxiously.
Smith waved a bunch of checks at him. "Perhaps nothing," he said, "but I wanted to be on the safe side.
These recent checks of yours are all signed with three O's, but your signature of record has just two."
Greenberg looked embarrassed. "I'm sorry about making trouble," he said, "but my vife said that since I'm now such a high-class rich guy, I should have a middle name!" 
(Such genius is rare ………….)

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/   .. Keidan Yizkor Book Now Available …. Info on Zelva, Lithuania….. My niece, Robyn Smookler is doing a tour at the moment in the ‘Heim’ of yesteryear, and also paying tribute at the Concentration camps…..

Rabbi Shmuel Moffson was the guest at Sandton Shul on Shabbos, and we had a good attendance….. Speaks very well, and Tukka gets the message across……Sandton Shul has been VERY busy of late, and it is good to see more and more Yidden at Shul…….This weekend is another ‘Groiser’ one with the Pogir Barmitzvah taking place…….

What time does the library open?" the man on the phone asked.
Annoyed, the librarian composed himself before he answered.
"9 am," came the reply. "And what's the idea of calling me at home in the middle of the night to ask a question like that?"
"Not until 9 am?" the man asked in a disappointed voice.
The librarian began to get angry. 
"No, not until 9 am," said the librarian. "Why do you want to get in before 9 am?"
"Who said I wanted to get in?" the man sighed sadly. "I want to get out." ( Eishhhhhhhhh…....)

The Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, books complied by Beth Hatefutsoth are quite E-mazing, and I have quoted many times from the books…. If you lived on the Platteland, or come from a small ‘Dorpie’, these books are a must… The last one is nearing completion and for the month of June they are offering a special on the first 5…. See http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15 for details........Five books have been published to date. Volume VI will be published within the next few months. They are giving the public the opportunity of buying any of the first five volumes, at a discounted price of 25%. The books will be further discounted at 30% should all five volumes be bought. This offer stands for the month of June 2018…. Trust me, they are E-mazing books, and make special gifts ….

Lach 'n slach vandach want dit is amper Shabbos……! Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream in Israel
It comes in the following flavours:
Wailing Walnut
Moish mellow
Mazel Toffee
Oy Ge-malt
Mi Ka-mocha.
Soda & Gamorra
Bernard Malamint
Berry Pr'i Hagafen
Choc-Eilat Chip
and finally: Simchas T'oreo.
It should also be noted that all these flavours come with a ‘Cohen’. ( OY….!!!!!)

A new Bar / Eatery has opened in the Shtetl…. Nussbaum’s have opened a Bar next to their butchery, and also serve Steakhouse ‘Graze’…… Their Hot Beef on Rye is Tukka a ‘Miechel’……. Pop in and have a ‘Schnapps and a Ribijiejie’ …….

The Johannesburg Jewish Benevolent Society are hosting a corporate breakfast @ Investec on the 17th. July, and the guest speaker is the ‘Balabos’ of Investec, Stephen Koseff, and Howard Sackstein as MC….over the years, tehse getogethers have been superb…. See details at ; http://stantgsm.com/category/info/15 

Blame……How the world works lately...

If a man cuts his finger off while slicing salami at work, He blames the restaurant. 
If you smoke three packs a day For 40 years and die of lung cancer, 
Your family blames the Tobacco Company. 
If your neighbour crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, He blames the bartender. 
If your grandchildren are Brats without manners, you blame television. 
If your friend is shot by a Deranged madman, You blame the gun manufacturer.. 

And if a crazed person breaks into the cockpit and Tries to kill the pilot at 35,000 feet, 
And the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the crazed deceased blames the airline. 
I must have lived too long to Understand the world …..As it is anymore. 
So, if I die while my OLD WRINKLED TOUCHUS is parked in front of this computer, 
I want all of you to Blame Bill Gates. ( Soooo true in this day & age)

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  …
Croatia: Sjeverni Velebit: An electrifying hike to Veliki Zavizan and other walks. Pictures are stunning

The Sokka World Cup is upon us this week, BUT…..in the Beloved Country’ there has been very little ‘Geeeeees’ shown, and it seems like this World Cup is not going to get many Yidden from the ‘Beloved country’…..BUT….I am sure once the preliminary rounds are finished, and the Manne see who is through, the jostling for tickets/visas/flights will start….Really sad that with all we have in the ‘Beloved Country’, Bafana Bafana could not manage to qualify…..

Little Moishie Cohen had been begging his mother for months to get a pet hamster. After promising that he would take care of it, Moishie's mother finally relented. And sure enough, it ended up being Mom's responsibility.
One evening, exasperated, Mrs. Cohen asked Moishie, "Do you know how many times that hamster would have died if I hadn't looked after it?"
After a moment, Moishie replied quizzically, "Once?"

Did a ‘Locum’ @ the Rabbi Grossnass Legacy Dinner ….. The Kollel Yad Shaul said farewell to their ‘Balabos’ of 42 years, Rabbi Grossnass…… It was a very good farewell Dinner, and the speeches were E-mazing….David Frankel, who was the Keynote speaker and Patron of the farewell dinner was VERY good, and his talk came across very well…Short, but…Impeccable….. David now lives in Boston with his wife Tracy (Kaplan) and 4 Kinderlach….. David’s two Late Zaida’s were Tukka staunch members of the ‘Yiddisher’ community  …….. Rudi Frankel was the Balabos of Tiger Oats, and Issy Schlapobersky was the Mayor of Joburg ‘Amolikke Yoren’……and David’s wife Tracy, is the daughter of Neville & Audrey Kaplan, who was my Doc. for 40 years and also stays in Boston these days….. Rabbi Boruch Dov Grossnass spoke extremely well, and everyone could understand the message he brought across…..My favourite word ‘Emess’ was used a lot …. Met his successor Rabbi Boruch Rubanowitz , who Methinks will fit in VERY well….. I met Rabbi Grossnass just after he arrived ,40 years ago, as my Late ‘Tzu ge tzebete’ Oooom, Natie Dennill was a GR88888 Chaver of the Rabbi, and of course the Late Mervyn Chipkin was a follower of the Rabbi ( My Late Mom worked at Chipkins for over 30 years) …..Reading through the program I came across an article from Gary Lewenstein, who was at Highlands with me….and Gary’s Schvester’s Chasene, was the first ‘Kollel’ Chasene that we did, and remember cooking at the Kollel 22 Muller Street, under the Late Rabbi Salzer……and the Mashgiach was Karen Hotz, who was at my Hotel School also…… wonderful memories…… The evening was superb, and the committee went to extra lengths to ensure its success…..Saw Chavers at the Dinner that I have not seen in years…….Pictures; http://www.stantgsm.com/category/pictures/4 

Reminds me of a yekka’ joke……. 
In a small Shtetl ‘
Amolikke Yoren, there were Lubavitcher and Kollelniks … 
Neither had enough members to have a Minyan. 
After much thought by the wise men it was decided to have a joint Minyan... 
Oy gevalt, how could it work???  
The Lubavitchers are always late and the  ‘Yekka’
s always on time. 
They came to the following compromise. The Minyan would start EXACTLY a half hour late.  

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

A Boeing 777 wide-body jetliner was lumbering along at 800km/hour at 31,000 feet when a cocky F-17 fighter jet flashed by at Mach 2.
The F17 pilot decided to show off. On his state of the art radio that is part of his state of the art 3D and million dollar headset, the F17 youngster told the 777 pilot, “Hey Captain, watch this.”
He promptly went into a barrel roll, followed by a steep, unimaginable, vertical climb. He then finished with a sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier, as the F17 screamed down at impossible G’s before levelling at almost sea level.
The F-17 pilot asked the 777 pilot what he thought of that.
The 777 pilot said, “That was truly impressive, but watch this.”
The 777 chugged along for about 5 minutes at the steady 800km/hour, and then the 777 pilot came back on and said, “What did you think of that?”
Puzzled, the cocky F-17 pilot asked, “What the heck did you do?”
The 777 pilot chuckled and said, "I stood up, stretched my legs, walked  to the back, used the toilet, then got a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll and secured a date with the flight attendant for the next 3 nights in a five star hotel paid for by the company."

When you are young and foolish, speed and flash may seem like a good thing.
When you get older and smarter, comfort and dullness is not such a bad thing.
It's called S.O.S.
Slower, Older and Smarter.
Dedicated to all my friends approaching S.O.S. ( Ja Neeeeeeeeee…..)

I have been a member of the ‘Johannesburg Jewish AK’s Club’, the Diabetic Clinic for ten years……..and I reckon they Tukka give an E-mazing service……Medical Aid members can of course access the CDE very easily, and it gets paid by the Schemes on certain plans….. and they also offer  Biokineticists /gym use……The Gym, under the watch full eye of Andrew Heilbrunn, now offers all the Discovery Vitality Fitness assessments…….. We are nearly half way through the year, and those wanting to get to gold/diamond better ‘Vikkel’….. See; http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15 for details......

Anne Sclar's saying for the week….. Travelworx ; travelworx@telkomsa.net
An empty day, though clear and bright, is just as dark as any night….

The link offers such an E-mazing look into how the ‘Gunavis’ of the Tax system has effected EVERYTHING…… details like this is unique, BUT…..will anything get done going forward…?????

Chappies.. Did U know ……….
http://stantgsm.com/view-post/chappies%20 %20fascinating%20story/5408
The opposite sides of a dice always add up to seven.
There are only 4 words in the English language which end in 'dous' 
(They are: hazardous, horrendous, stupendous and tremendous)

 Jacob Zuma is at it again with his old tricks….. Over many years he boasted that he wants his day in court, and ‘ever so suddenly’, he is now fighting tooth & nail to get out of appearing in court, and as a last gambit, to try and scare the ‘Manne’ is threatening to disclose who ‘else’ was involved in the ‘Skandaaaaaaaaaal’…… Only problem, is that he has for the first time made a mistake and admitted that he did know about the bribes and was involved, BUT…..wants to involve his other Chaveirim…..

Very good article by Justice Malala on the future of the ‘Beloved Country’…..

The subject of stopping the Hawaiian volcano has also come up.
According to ancient Hawaiian tradition, the quickest way to APPEASE PELE and have the volcanic fires stop is to make a human sacrifice into her fires, and according to tradition, that needs to be a celebrated leader who was born in Hawaii and held a position of power for 8 years.
Obama quickly announced he was actually born in Kenya, and has the Birth Certificate to prove it. ( Einaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah….)

The Joburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba really showed his true colours by suspending a Councillor over her pro-Israel comment….. http://ewn.co.za/2018/06/12/mashaba-suspends-mmc-for-declaring-joburg-a-friend-of-israel  The same ‘Boychick’ only a few weeks ago, made a declaration that he supports the views of the Late ‘Lubavitcher Rebbe’…….. Go figure…. http://www.sajr.co.za/news-and-articles/2018/05/31/joburg-mayor-honours-the-rebbe 

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.
“They stood before Moses ... leaders of the community, chosen in the assembly, men of renown.”
Numbers 16:2 ~ Parshat Korach
Led by Korach, Moses’ leadership was challenged by a group of important people.
Why portray their prestigious stature with three different descriptions of greatness?
To emphasise that just because you’re a big-shot, it doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes. 
On the contrary, because you’re a big-shot your mistakes will be even bigger. 
Climbing another rung on the ladder of success doesn’t increase your resistance to falling. It just makes the potential fall longer.
So as you climb higher, hold tighter.

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

Happy birthday to my niece Melissa (Abelman) Cambier…… Many more young girl in good health and plenty ‘Nachus’ from Ethan……Also, Happy Anniversary to my two Zunnelle’s Joel & Gina, and Martin & Ricci Lee on their wedding anniversary tomorrow….E-mazing that they both chose the 15th. June, the day before the public holiday…Of course this year it falls on a Shabbos….so there is no day off work for the ‘Wekkers’….and the weather was the same as today Cloudy & Cold

Mazeltov to Jordan Gamsy Zunnelle of Glenn & Mandy Gamsy on the occasion of his Barmitzvah at Sandton Shul……. To grandparents Mike & Sharon

Pamensky and Dennis & Gillian Gamsy ….The Pamensky’s have been members of Sandton Shul for over 40 years, and Dennis Gamsy was a Springbok wicket Keeper, ‘Amolikke Yoren’ ….. Dennis’s Son in Law Dennis Kronson, was the Head Boy @ Highlands North, and used to assist my Chaver Roy Friedman with the Photography @ Simcha’s….. Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha…

Mazeltov to Efrat (Shar) & Yossi Sher on their Chasene this week @ The Sandton Shul….. Mazzies Jeffrey & Zandra Sher and Geoff Shar & Shelli Miller….. Jeff has been a VP (Victory Park) Boytjie for as long as I can remember and still stays around the corner from the Shul….He has been involved with the Shul for over 30 years, and is the Chairman ……Geoff was at Highlands with us, in my Boet’s years….. Reckon anyone he went to Highlands in the 60’70’s knew of ‘Fuzzy Shar’….he was one of the ‘Manne’ of that era…… It was a ‘Lebbedikke’ Chasene…Such a ‘chilled’ Simcha…. Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha…..Pictures; http://www.stantgsm.com/ 

Mazeltov to Sarah (Shapiro) & Dylan Berger on their Chasene tonight at the HOD….. Sarah is from Slaaaaaaapstad original (actually Bulawayo), and her Dad Brian runs the Montagu dried fruit shop in Sea Point I always mention…… Dylan’s Dad Ivor, was in my Boet’s years at Highlands, and his Schvester Helen was at Orange Grove School with me in ’65……. Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha……


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

Here's some advice on securing your home against break-ins: 

  • make sure your front door is secured 
  • invest in a palisade gate 
  • invest in an alarm system 
  • invest in outdoor lighting 
  • invest in dogs 
  • invest in an armed response company with a monitoring system 
  • ask them to conduct a risk assessment of your home 
  • invest in CCTV footage and other technology that is integrated to your smartphone
  • Here is some advice for people caught in a hijacking…… 
  • remain as calm as possible - do not resist or fight back against armed hijackers 
  • make sure your hands are visible at all times and verbalise that you will cooperate 
  • keep your gaze as low as possible and do not make direct eye contact 
  • “Don't fight back. Your life is more important than your car”

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

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’   



Some arguments are petty affairs between insecure individuals, while others are classic differences of opinion between people of stature, where each opinion is worthy of consideration. We need to be able to discern the subtleties beneath the surface of any debate before formulating our own view. 

This week’s Parsha tells the story of the mutiny of Korach, a cousin of Moses who challenged his authority. In the end, Korach and his henchmen were swallowed by the earth in a Divine display of rather unearthly justice.

The Midrash reveals some of the behind the scenes dialogue and debate between these men. Remember, Korach was no pushover. Besides being of noble lineage, he was clever, wealthy and quite charismatic. One of the questions Korach put to Moshe was this: Does a house full of holy books still require a Mezuzah? Moshe answered that it did. Korach scoffed at the idea, ridiculing Moshe. The little Mezuzah contains but two chapters of Torah, the Shema Yisrael. A whole houseful of books with the entire Torah won’t do the trick and a little Mezuzah will? It doesn’t make any sense, argued Korach.

Why was Moshe’s answer correct? What indeed is the significance of a small parchment on the doorpost in relation to a library inside? The Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose Yahrtzeit is being observed this Shabbos, explained that it all depends on location. The books are inside. The Mezuzah is outside. When there are Jewish texts inside our study and living rooms, this indicates that the home is a Jewish home. This is good and as it should be. But what happens when we leave the comfortable confines of our home? Do we then cease to be Jewish? 

The Mezuzah is at the threshold of our homes, at the juncture and crossover between our inner lives and outer lives. As we make the transition from private person to public citizen we desperately need to be reminded of whom we are and that we take our identity with us wherever we may go. There is only One G-d, says the little scroll, whether in our private domain or in the big, wide world.

One of the many works by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk is an autobiographical novel called inside, outside in which he portrays his own inner struggles straddling these two worlds. His pious Talmudist zayde had a profound influence on him, but so did Hollywood and Broadway. It took him a long time to find his way and settle into an observant Jewish lifestyle while still writing bestsellers.

Being Jewish “Inside” is relatively easy. It’s when we hit the “Outside” that we encounter temptation and turmoil. The challenge every Jew must face is to remain proudly Jewish even in the face of conflicting cultures, curious looks, and often hostile attitudes.

In the German-Jewish community of old there was a slogan that has long been discredited. Yehudi b’veitecha v’ish b’tzeitecha. “Be a Jew in your home and a man outside.” The Nazis did not distinguish between Jews who looked Jewish or those who had removed any visible identifying marks. Today, traditional dress reflecting a national character is common, accepted, and respected – from Scottish kilts to Arab kaffiyehs. The outlandish hairstyles of sportsmen and celebrities are not only accepted, they are mimicked by millions of mindless wannabees. Why should it be too much to expect a Jew to assert his Jewishness in unfamiliar corporate territory, or to keep the Yarmulke on his head when he walks out of Shul? 

Moshe rejected Korach’s argument with good reason. The Mezuzah does not replace the need for Jewish libraries, but it serves as a perennial reminder on our doorways. As we step out of our home to enter the outside world, it beckons us to take our G-d and our Torah, our values and our traditions, along with us. 

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