GOOD SHABBOS 13 9 2018 

Dear All,

The weather was superb in the ‘Ou Transvaal’ for Yomtov….maybe a bit Windy, BUT… was a dream…………it cooled down drastically due to heavy snowfalls I the Cape/Drakensberg….

The 3rd round of the Rugger Championships was OY VY…….. The ‘Ama Shmocke’ Bokke and the ‘’Wallies’ were both pathetic, and it was painful to watch two former GR8888 Nations of Rugger play such ‘Twak’….. The errors were unbelievable, and Faf De Klerk is a real Schmuck for his pathetic performance….Standing around waiting and waiting and the Wallies stealing many balls…he has become too predictable, and slow… Not sure what’s happened to Willie Le Roux, BUT….he dropped soooo many passes…. A lineout on our 5 yard line and you throw to the back only to gives the Wallies a present of 7 points….. A 5 yard scrum, LAST move of the game, and you need to score from the Scrum, and they mess it up….. Methinks if Falou and Pocock were in the team, we would have got Moered…….

The ‘Ama Schmocke’ & ‘Wallies’ could be challenging for 3rd and 4th position…????

The only positive in this match was that a HUGE crowd attended the game……

Hoelaat Skop die Bokke Saterdag af?  Elke 2 minute…. (Kaylikka’s will get eventually…..)

The All Blacks started well, and looked like they could explode, BUT….The puma’s matched them after the first 20 minutes, and the score definitely does not give a true reflection of how tight the game was….and in True All Blacks style, the last 30 minutes, they put on a bit of speed and ended up with a few tries…. Statistically, the AB’s were behind the Puma’s in EVERY facet of the game, BUT…..with a coach that has a plan for any situation, they still played an E-mazing defensive game, and eventually got a win….. The Puma’s have certainly been playing with a lot of flair, and Fly Half Sanchez has been E-mazing….. The stadium was small, BUT….a very 

Good crowd….

It seems this young (but not too religious) boy comes home from his first day at Hebrew School, and his father asks him what he learned. 

"We learned to say Kaddish, papa."

Well, the father is none too happy to hear this, so he runs down to the synagogue and confronts the Rabbi. "Rabbi," he says. 

"What is this about you teaching my son to say Kaddish? 

After all, he shouldn't know about this at so young an age, and besides, I'm a young man myself, in excellent health, and I expect to live a long time yet!"

The Rabbi answered, "First of all, it's not Kaddish, it’s KIDDUSH! 

And secondly, you should only live so long till he learns it!" Oyvevoy…………)

On a bus in Tel Aviv, a mother was talking animatedly, in Yiddish, to her little boy –

 who kept answering her in Hebrew. And each time the mother said, "No, no, talk Yiddish!" An impatient Israeli, overhearing this, exclaimed, "Lady, why do you insist the boy talk Yiddish instead of Hebrew?" Replied the mother; "I don't want him to forget he's a Jew." 

The Postage Stamp

Moishe walks into a post office to send a package to his wife. The postmaster says,

 "This package is too heavy, you'll need another stamp." 

 Moishe replies, "And that should make it lighter?!"

The Serena Williams flare up with the Umpire was totally unacceptable, and I see that it is starting to get a ‘Racist Twang’ to it…..Tennis has always been a Ladies & Gentleman’s sport, and although Serena has Tukka brought E-mazing style to Tennis, her outbursts and ‘’

‘Shlegg’ clothing, have brought the game down a few rungs….Hopefully she will decide to quit, and not carry on like a spoilt brat….. She is actually totally different to Venus, who has always been a good contestant … One thing that Serena must get credit for is that she has won the most Majors…..

A woman was out driving when she stalled at a red light.  Hard as she tried, she was unable to restart the engine and soon a long line began to form behind her.  One of the male drivers was particularly impatient, sounding his horn continuously.

Finally, she got out of her car, walked over to the driver behind and said: “I can’t seem to get my car started.  Would you be a nice person and see if you can get it started for me? I’ll stay here in your car and lean on your horn for you.” ( Otazay………..)

Wow, they have already started promotions for The 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player which will bring some of the biggest names in world golf to Sun City this November, including four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia. ….From November 8-11, the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City will witness the strongest field since the tournament became part of the prestigious Rolex Series on the European Tour in 2017. See for details......that’s 8 weeks away ..! ! ! !

Those in the USofA can get their supply of Biltong, Droe Wors and other Souff Effrikken 'Gerichten' from Joburg Kosher Foods  details at' …...  Running a 15% discount on dried products….

"God prefers your deeds to your ancestors' virtues." – Midrash on Genesis

"The worst thief: he who steals one's confidence."  -  Mekhilta ,  Halachic midrash to the Book of Exodus

Kindness is better than piety. - Yiddish Proverb 

"Be the master of your will and the slave of your conscience." - Chassidic saying 

"What we need are more people who specialize in the impossible." - Theodore Roethke 

"There's a fine line between persistence and obstinacy. The key is to choose a problem that's worth persistent effort." - Dr. Judah Folkman

"Sometimes the only way to be above things is to admit that we are below them." - Rabbi Shraga Silverstein 

"Man worries about losing possessions, not the loss of his years; but his possessions can't help him, and his years will never return." - Rabbinic saying 

Antisemitism is now a major issue in the West…… 

Ceremony Commencement of Writing New Torah, September 4, 2018 Vilna Choral Synagogue ……Lithuania……….. 

TELFED ..The South African Zionist Federation, Israel….always interesting news…. 

This Chinese loan deal is VERY ‘Skrikky’ …Who’s your ‘Balabos’..?? My China…!!! 


We had a special Yomtov at Sandton Shul, which was ‘amper’ 90% full, which is GR88888888 in these times…. ‘Chatzke Zimmerman’ passed away the day before Rosh Hashanah, and the family brought Rabbi Suchard out , to be at the funeral, which was held a few hours before Yomtov started, and it was the third ‘Sandton Funeral’ in the past FEW DAYS, OF LONG STANDING MEMBERS….’ Chatzke’ as he was known, was Chairman ‘Amolikke Yoren’ and ran the second morning Minyan, and he stood out a mile with his Bow Tie…. Once asked why the Bow Tie and was told, as he was a ‘Kakhuis’ Mechanic (Plumber, he felt uplifted dressing up with a bow tie….. ‘Chatzke’ was well known, and I met him and Carlo50 years ago, when they stayed in Honey Street, Berea in the same flats as my ‘Cuzzie’ and partner, Sarge Weitzman…… His Zunnelle David has been my plumber for 30 years, having taking over my Army Chaver Cyril Adler’s business….. Still has some of the original staff….. This is what brought ‘our’ Rabbi back from Israel, and he spent Yomtov at Sandton…… Was very nice to have him back……. Rabbi David Shaw ‘our’ new Rabbi did very well, and the service & Droshes were excellent…..and I must say Rabbi’s Shofar ‘blozzing’ was ‘Shtark’ (strong)……. 

Doc Cohen," says Steve, "I want to be castrated."

 "What on earth for?" asks the doctor in E-mazement.

 "It's something I've been thinking about for a long time and I want to have it done"

 replies Steve.

 "But have you thought it through properly?" asks the doctor, "It's a very seriaaas operation and once it's done, there's no going back. It will change your life forever!"


"I'm aware of that and you're not going to change my mind – either you

book me in to be castrated or I'll simply go to another doctor."

"Well, OK.", says the doctor, "But it's against my better judgment!"

 So Steve has his operation, and the next day he is up and walking very slowly, legs apart, down the hospital corridor with his drip stand.

 Heading towards him is another patient, who is walking exactly the same way.


"Hi there," says Steve, “It looks as if you've just had the same operation as me."

 "Well," said the patient, 

"I finally decided after 37 years of life that I would like to be circumcised."

 Steve stared at him in horror and screamed, Oey vy…………….THAT'S the word…..! ! !  

(So the ‘Sages’ are right… word CAN make a difference)

The 'Koppie' & Mountain climbers, Jeff & Jenni are still climbing every 

'Koppie' & Mountain...     'Gib A Kuk’

Still climbing every “ Koppie” and posting the most E-mazing Pikchaaaaaaa’s on their website  …..  Romania: Fagaras Mountains: Searching for direction in the fog and finding big rewards….they reckon it is really special in Romania…..

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the SA Jewish Community in Cape Town at Gardens Shul last night….. The SA Jewish Board of Deputies had announced that the President would be addressing its Conference here in Johannesburg in November …hopefully the Yiddisher Community will get some assurances from the ‘Buffalo’….not that I believe he can do anything ‘real’, against the opposition he has in his own party…????...Last nights ‘Groiser’ speech from the ‘Presidente’ did not work, BUT….I got a few summary’s…. The Times one was about the best…. and eventually a video was sent this morning….. What a speech….never said one word out of place…… “IF ONLY”

Got to be positive, and hopefully things will settle down as per his speech, and thoughts….. As I say, it was a VERY good, positive speech….. Very impressive venue, the Gardens Shul in Slaaaaapstad …… Enjoy the video …. and today , Young Julius’ (EFF-Everything For Free) says the exact opposite to what Cyril says, and is actually threatening the Government, by saying he will step up land invasions to pressure the Government…. Time to put the ‘Little Brat’ in Cheder for awhile.??????

Another big item is an e-mail that was sent listing the 50 most prominent ‘Yidden’ at the moment, and I glanced through and found Wendy Kahn, who has been involved with the Board of Deputies for MANY years….Shakeach Wendy, what a ‘Yichus’. 

A kind-hearted fellow was walking through Central Park in New York and was astonished to see an old man, fishing rod in hand, fishing over a beautiful bed of red roses.

"Tsk Tsk!" said the passer-by to himself. "What a sad sight. That poor old man is fishing over a bed of flowers. I'll see if I can help." So the kind fellow walked up to the old man and asked, "What are you doing, my friend?"

"Fishin', sir."

"Fishin', eh. Well how would you like to come have a drink with me?"

The old man stood, put his rod away and followed the kind stranger to the corner bar. He ordered a large glass of Beer and a fine cigar.

His host, the kind fellow, felt good about helping the old man, and he asked, "Tell me, old friend, how many did you catch today?"

The old fellow took a long drag on the cigar, blew a careful smoke ring and replied, 

"You are the sixth today, sir!" (Einaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…)

The Redfest at Redhill School promises to have entertainment for everyone….. Redfest 2018 will take place on the 28 - 30 September. Over the past three years The Redfest has established itself as one of the premier Arts Festivals in Johannesburg. They have created a portal with all the programming, publicity and graphic material that is available  … Please access the site The site is: and see what is on , when…..??  See for details

Eli is a Genealogist of note……….. Eli Rabinowitz – 'Gib A Kuk' at his blog…E-mazing news from 'Der Heims' & The 'Beloved Country'….

Still writing about all the Shtetlach he visited recently….

The Steinhoff ‘crash’ was the biggest corporate crash in the history of the ‘Beloved Country’, and the Main Man Marcus Jooste was in Parliament giving evidence, and ‘Ripley’s believe it or Not’, he does not know why it happened….. Hopefully the Men from the Ministry will have some Businessman/accountants with Shiechel to assist the State in getting to the bottom of the crash, which is linked to some ‘fancy’ bookkeeping moves….. That was Billions of Rands wiped out in a few days at the end of last year….. 

Picked up my Yomtov Calendars for the New Year from Torah Academy and they are Tukka ‘Lekker’ with a Yiddisher flavour……. In fact they are very Balabatish, and could hang in the ‘Balaboses’ office…… They still have some….Two size…desk top/wall…. Contact 011-640-7593 …  …. got an ‘old’ Hotel School Chaver in Nelspruit and I am sending him a few……fair trade for a stay over and visit to the Kruger Park…. Arnie was a few years below me at Hotel School…..

Tukka an ‘Old’ Chaver of mine Ivor Ginsberg deals in Art and has some E-mazing ‘Yiddisher’ pieces ….he sent me a few to put up, and you can see more on his website at  . The first lot he sent are All Numbered Etchings By Pieter van der Westhuizen … Ivor also buys Art and is especially interested in purchasing works of Pieter van der Westhuizen … I have put a few Sketches up on  , and all the details are there

Gatiep and the Elephant …………….

Gatiep is working at the zoo. He especially enjoys cleaning out the elephant’s enclosure, since the zoo’s sole elephant is an intelligent and obedient animal called “Nuts”. 

All he has to do is say “come over here, Nuts”, or “sit down, Nuts” and the elephant will do what it is told. One day he comes into the manager’s office dripping wet, flings down his broom and shouts 

“Ek’s klaar! I’ve had all I can take! I quit!” 

“What’s wrong, Gatiep?” asks the manager. 

“I can’t take the guy selling peanuts any more. 

Every day when I’m in with the Elephant he’s yelling “Peanuts! Peanuts!”

 There have been two major tragedy’s ….The first was an explosion at the Denel Arms company, and 8 employees were killed in the blast….Lot of shouting by the Unions, BUT….. no explanation has been given for the accident, and then last week, the old Lisbon Bank building in Sauer Street caught alight, and it started on the 23rd floor, and the Fire Chief has stated that Joburg has not really got any Fire engines that can fight fires more than 10 floors high…..Eishhhhhhh …and 3 fireman died instantly, when they reached the building….A lot of finger pointing and shouting…BUT….That building was in better condition that another 100 in Town…??? Not sure how the ‘Manne’ are going to get the state of buildings better, as they have allowed the neglect, and of course have virtually no inspectors….. The worrying thing is that in Sandton, the buildings are starting to go above 30 floors, and there are quite a few……. Methinks they will have to invest plenty into ‘Fire Fighting’ personnel and equipment, as it is a sad state of affairs at the moment…

A most E-mazing idea for your Simcha’s/ Corporate functions is Photo Magnets, and it is given at the same time…. See  Contact Sharon Newfield, 082 974—6076 and be E-mazed………..

The new Darwin awards are out!!! …..Yes, it's that magical time of year when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honouring the least evolved among us. 

Here is the glorious WINNER:

When his 38 calibre revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, CA would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. 

He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked. 

And now, the honourable mentions:

The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine. 

He submitted a claim to his insurance company.

The company, expecting negligence, sent one of its men to have a look for himself. 

He tried the machine and also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.

A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash and fled, leaving his $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer.. $15. 

[If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

An Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided to throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. He heaved the block over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. 

The whole event was caught on videotape...

As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. 

The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. 

To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan at 6 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. So the robber ordered onion rings.  The clerk said those weren't available on the breakfast menu. The robber, frustrated, walked away.  


A teacher asked her students to use the word "beans" in a sentence. 

"My father grows beans," said one girl. 

"My mother cooks beans," said a boy. 

A third student spoke up, "We are all human beans."


Judge:  "Raj, why were you beaten up in public?"

Raj   : "Your honour, I was in crowded bus, my photo fell from wallet,

So I said to lady in front of me, 

'Aunty, please lift your Sari, I want to take photo.......

The Toll road debate is again top of the list, with the Government now back tracking, and not doing away with the E-tolls, as they are allowed like R70b for tolls….??? Not sure if it will be collectable, and they small amount of people that have been paying are also getting ‘Gatvol’, and stopping to pay…????

Don’t forget the latest ‘Kosher’ food outlet has opened in Benmore Gardens….. The Bagel Zone in Genesis’s branch…. Very seldom do we get any outlets out of the Shtetl (Glenhazel) …. Velvey Bokov is the ‘Chef de Patron’ and it is a very nice outlet in the Benmore Gardens shopping centre….which has just completed its ‘Hundredth’ makeover…. Details; 

Sarah walks into a lawyer's office and asks, 

"Is it true that if I get divorced, I'm entitled to half of my husband's possessions?"

"Well," answers the lawyer, "The lawyers get their fees, of course, but it is usually the case that the woman would get at least half, and perhaps even a bit more than half. 

Are you ready for a divorce?"

"Not quite yet,” replies Sarah. 

"First, I've got to get married." (OY VY………..)

Cohen wanting to join a health farm was answering the secretary’s questions as she filled in his form.

‘Mr Cohen, have you ever tried losing weight previously?”

Cohen:  “About two years ago I got rid of a hundred and fifty pounds of ugly fat in days.”

Secretary: “That’s incredible! How did you do it.?”

Cohen” “I divorced her”.

Psychiatrist: “Tell me Mrs. Cohen, do you wake up grumpy in the morning?”

“Nah! ………… He’s got an alarm clock.”

The Premier Hotel, opposite the Marais Road Shul in Sea Point are offering various Kosher Package specials, and they have a GR88888 offer for December also  …..The Premier is also having a Pesach Seder in 2019, and those coming to the ‘Beloved Country’ for Pesach, can already book ….and locals can just call in and make enquiries….

Anne Sclar's saying for the week….. Travelworx ;

More than intelligence or persistence or connections curiosity has allowed me to live the life I wanted ….

Sarah decides in her old age to take a Boat cruise. As she gets on she goes to the bar and orders a Scotch with two drops of water.  As the bartender gives her the drink she 

says, "I'm on this cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday and it's today.."

The bartender says, "Well, since it's your birthday, I'll buy you a drink. 

 In fact, this one is on me." 

As Sarah finishes her drink, the woman to her right says, "I would like to buy you a drink, too."

The old woman says, "Thank you. Bartender, I want a Scotch with two drops of water."

Coming up," says the bartender.

As she finishes that drink, the man to her left says, 

"I would like to buy you one, too."

Sarah says, "Thank you.  Bartender, I want another Scotch with two drops of water."

"Coming right up," the bartender says.

As he gives her the drink, he says, "Ma'am, I'm dying of curiosity.  

Why the Scotch with only two drops of water?"

Sarah replies, “Listen Sonny boy , 

When you're my age, you've learned how to hold your liquor.  

Holding your water, however, is a whole other issue." (Tells it like it is…..)

The continuous attacks on foreigner shops in Townships is terrible, and unfortunately, nothing has really been done to crack down on the nonsense, and eventually it is going to spread all over….. The latest outburst of looting /burning started when the ‘Galeria’s’ stated they were doing this as the Shopkella’s were selling out dated goods, which is of course nonsense….Why steal the goods if they are no good…. Justice Malema sums it up, and goes further about what has happened in other countries where Xenophobia was not stamped out…… 

Chappies.. Did U know ………. %20fascinating%20story/5408

Oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen make up 90% of the human body 

Did you know that an African Grey Parrots can have vocabularies of over 200 words?

The State capture gets more craZy every day, with soooo much revealed, and of course the ‘Zupata’s ‘ are running around free, claiming they not coming back, and have got everyone ‘Vapakt’ …and even Jacob has said he will not question any of the testifiers, which does not mean his guilty, BUT…..that he is not participating in the inquiry, and unfortunately they will waste a lot of ‘geld’ and come up with ‘Niks’….. I cannot see anyone being found guilty the way the whole thing is going, with poor preparation by the state, and of course the Hawks being totally useless … 

Two Irish lads each had a horse in the same paddock. They had trouble telling them apart. So Paddy decided to cut his horse’s tail. That way they would know which was which. That worked a treat for a few months, but eventually the tail grew back and the dilemma returned.


So then Mick decided to cut his horse's mane. That worked equally well  for a time, but eventually the mane grew back. They were sitting in  the paddock trying to think of a grand plan to tell their horses apart  on a long term basis.

 Suddenly Mick had an idea. He jumped to his feet and said, "Paddy! 

 I've got it! You have the brown one and I'll have the white one!"  ( Einaaaaaaaaaah…)

This weekend the Sunday Times had a HUMUNGOUS article about a secret meeting to ‘skop’ The Buffalo out, and by today, everyone is saying what meeting/who / etc…. Ace, the Chief against Cyril, says he had a meeting, BUT… was not about unseating Cyril….????

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’) ……….  

FOR the MOST 'Jacked up' 'Yiddisher' Wedding registry, 'Gib A Kuk'   at;     …… Online Helpdesk … 0861 772 665 … see for details.....

Happy birthday to my Nephew Michael Smookler who had his birthday yesterday….Many more ‘Mordechai’ in good health ….

Happy 50th. Birthday to my ‘Cuzzie’ Eric Slater……cannot believe that you have turned 50…….??? Younger Eric’….Many more in good health

Mazeltov to Jeanne (Zaidel) & Michael Rudolph who celebrate their 42nd anniversary tomorrow….. Jeanne is well known as a Music composer and a Lecturer at Wits in the Arts, and has coached many Yiddisher Shul Choirs….. Doc Michael is a ‘Cuzzie’ of mine, and I wish them many more good years filled with health & happiness…..

Sincere condolences to the Zimmerman family on the loss of their Beloved ‘Chatzke’…..A loyal Sandton Shul member for over 40 years….Condolences to Carol, David & Ghita and families….



Mark Kramer -MANTIS SECURITY TIP (Call 011- 487-1000) of the week;

With the Yomtayvim started another reminder to get some reflective clothing, so that you can be seen by oncoming vehicles when walking at night…

Wearing black, and the streets are dark, is very dangerous…..get a reflective vest, or belt…..buckle up…..

Walk in groups, OR use the patrols that Shuls provide….no good being a Hero…..Walking in groups really does help, and especially when coming home late, with Prams etc…….

Try and walk facing oncoming traffic, if possible…

Have a peaceful walk in safety….

Remember, the Gunovim do not know that you are not carrying and money on Yomtov, so they will still try and get something……

This is of course applicable around the year for those that are Shomer Shabbos.

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

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

                                             Teshuvah Fallacies

This is the Shabbos between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur which is known as either Shabbos Teshuva or Shabbos Shuva. In the calendar we are in the Ten Days of Teshuvah but the Haftarah begins with the words Shuva Yisrael, Return O Israel. At any rate, it is a Shabbos dedicated to the theme of Teshuvah, repentance.

There are two popular misconceptions about Teshuvah and, ironically, they come from opposite sides of the spectrum. The first is I’m too good, i.e. repentance is for sinners and since I’m no sinner and am basically a good guy and a good Jew, this process is irrelevant to me. No need for it on my agenda.

If I’m ok, I’m exempt from Teshuvah. Right? Wrong! That’s the first fallacy. No one is exempt. Even the righteous klop al chet (beat their chests in penitence). Either they must repent for their own failings, albeit on a more subtle level; or, for the members of their community whom they have not yet succeeded in transforming into better people and who they, therefore, bear some responsibility for. 

Only those who are 100% perfect are exempt from Teshuvah. All others must get to work. So who is perfect? In fact, there is no one as imperfect as he who thinks he is perfect. 

I remember many years ago, going to the Berea Shul in Johannesburg to hear a famous Chazan daaven on Shabbos Mevorchim Elul. Indeed, the melodies and nusach were evocative of the high holy days. Afterwards, I bumped into a well-known baaleboss, a prominent Shul-going businessman. I said to him, “Nu, you really felt Elul during the davening, didn’t you?” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Elul is for sinners. I don’t need Elul.” How wrong he was. Oy, did he need it!

People with over-inflated egos can sometimes fool themselves into believing everything they think about themselves. 

The other fallacy belongs to the overly-humble. The fellow who puts himself down so low that he really believes he is beyond salvation. I’m too bad for Teshuvah. Too far gone, there’s no hope, I’m a lost case. Give up on me Rabbi, I’m too old, too tired, too lazy, too sinful, or just too set in my ways.

There are numerous true stories of some of the worst sinners in history who found G-d, Torah and themselves in an instant and returned with a full heart. The renowned Talmudic sage, Reish Lakish, was previously a robber chieftain. Eliezer ben Durdaya was infamous for his immorality (he once boasted that there wasn’t a harlot he hadn’t patronized) and yet in a moment of inspiration he returned and was accepted, gaining eternal life then and there. Some of modern Israel’s most celebrated secular entertainers transformed their lives and have become observant Jews. And don’t we all know people today in our own community who have turned around their lives in a most beautiful way.

This is the Shabbos of Teshuvah in the week of Teshuvah. It is our annual time of opportunity to put ourselves right. In these days G-d is more easily found, and we can probably find ourselves, i.e. our true, pure, untainted, innermost selves. 

Please G-d, we will all embrace this mitzvah which applies to each and every one of us without exception, from the holiest to the most far removed. It is a great equalizer. May we all have the humility and/or confidence we need to do what must be done. 

May our Return be sincere, genuine, and well-received up where it counts?