GOOD SHABBOS 23 8 2018
Spring is here…..never mind 1st of September in the ‘Ou Transvaal’….. The evenings are also warming up, and the days are back to normal & hot……..
The start of the Rugger Championships was again entertaining ‘Rugger’….Somehow ‘Toets’ Rugger just gets the GEEEEEEEEEES going…
The All Blacks & Aussie had a good battle and the same story over and over again….It’s a 80 minute game, and against the AB’s you cannot afford to let the foot off the petrol for a minute…..The Aussies kept the AB’s under control, BUT a minute before half time, that traditional last gasp score before half time, and there was no stopping the Schvartzers there after…..and they ran in try after try….. With Beauden Barret having a blinder and silencing his critics…….. Nahola on the wing is unstoppable, and it was one way traffic in the second half……Was GR8888888 to see such a good crowd at the game, and the AB’s won by 38-13…..
Brakpan, O Brakpan………………… (See reunion lower down….)
Jy word nie gebore met blou oe in Brakpan nie, jy fight daarvoor, pappie!????...
Hoekom sny Brakpanners hul honde se sterte af? Sodat as skoonma kom kuier dat daar geen teken van blydskap is nie.??...??
Jan & Anna stap uit Brakpan Spar uit met 'n pram.
Anna kyk in die pram en skree: "Dissie verkeerde kind!!'' Jan se:
"Sharrap, dis 'n beter pram..!"??...??
Spietkop stop Brakpanner omdat sy kar net 1 hooflig aan het!
Brakpanner: Tjomma, dis load shedding, ek sal later die anner een aansit, jy check?
Brakpan skool juffrou: Jan, jou opstel oor jou hondjie is woord vir woord dieselfde as jou boetie sin!
Jan: Natuurlik juffrou, dis dan dieselfde hond!????... ??
Wat is die top punt van armoede in Brakpan?
As jou ma "polonie en kaas" op jou brood skryf met 'n kokie pen....????...??
Vrou vra vir man van Brakpan " Wat hy sal koop as hy die Lotto wen ?????
" Die ou dink so n rukkie en se : "Ferrari?? 'mags' vir my Cortina??" !!! ??????
Wat noem jy n Brakpan vrou wat n wit sweetpak dra op Saterdag middag ?
..... 'n Bruid !??... ??
Dit reen al vir 3 dae in Brakpan. ??????
Al wat my skoonma doen is deur die venster staar. ??
As dit so aangaan, sal ek haar seker moet laat inkom! ??????
Hoekom word daar nie karre ??????in Brakpan gesteel nie?
Want in elke huis woon daar ten minstens 2 karwagte!??????
Wat noem jy dit as iemand 'n kar?????? oor "spray in Brakpan .......
Change of ownership??????
The Bokke V the Puma’s was not as entertaining as the first game…..with the Bokke ‘Tukka’ outplayed in the first half hour…..we had the chances, and on the 5m line, lost 2/3 lineouts which is just not acceptable when you have Etzebeth, Steph & Whiteley who are all superb jumpers…… The line was shaky, and it was not skill that allowed the Boks to win…….. Very few Shpielers had good games….Faf, Eben Whiteley had good games, BUT….for the rest, plenty practise lies ahead….. On this form we will battle to beat the Puma’s at home this weekend……. Ended up winning 34-21…..and what a pooooor crowd that was for a Test…????? In the old days, on Test day, everyone was walking around with Bok shirts, companies had ‘Bok Fridays’…..NIKS……. reckon the stadium was half full…….What a poor show…..The GEEEEEEEES is not here……. Looking at this weekend’s reverse venues same teams games, Methinks that even with all the strong talk by the Aussies, the All Blacks should cruise to Victory at home….and the ‘Bumbling’ Boks are going to battle against the Puma’s at home, BUT….should get the win…..
Another priceless …’Rugger’ Shpielers quote ……….
"He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is."
The Average Souff Effrikken ….
A recent study conducted by Wits University found that the average South African walks about 1,200 km a year. Another study by the South African Medical Association found that South Africans drink, on average, 100 litres of alcohol a year.
This means, on average, South Africans get about 12 km to the litre.
Kind of makes you proud to be South African ( Ja Neeeeeeeeee…)
Eishhhhhh, Manchester United had a shocker against Brighton going down 3-2…… how much more suffering are the Manchester United fans going to have to go through before the ‘Chosen’ one is ‘skopped’ out…..????
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' …... Running a 30% discount on dried products….
Even a stopped clock is right twice every day. After some years, it can boast of a long series of successes.- Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
"Chance favours the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur
Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time. - Steven Wright
A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. - Lao Tzu
"The gift of a man may make room for him, but it takes the credibility of his character to unlock it." - Akinsipe
My strength and my weakness are twins in the same womb. - Marge Piercy
"He who knows nothing, is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors." - Thomas Jefferson
Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong even if everybody is wrong about it. - G. K. Chesterton
"There is nothing that can hold you back, if you are resilient." - Jim Rohn
The general population doesn't know what's happening, and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know. - Noam Chomsky.
You can't force someone to see the truth, just like you can't force a blind man to see. - Marilyn Manson
Here comes ‘Tzorris’…………………
E-mazing article on the holocaust written by a non-Jew ……..
This is really worthwhile reading, after all what value have the Palestinians contributed to our world?
Donald Trump makes a move on Souff Effrikka…????
First Shabbos in a long while that we did not have a visiting Rabbi @ Sandton Shul, BUT….. It was Zach Wittels Barmitzvah, and a few overseas Manne came for the Barmy…… Mazzies to Rowan Wittels & Grandparents Janet Emert and Jeff and Myrna Wittels … Go back many years with the families….. My old Chaver/Neighbour Brian Rosmarin came from OZ for the Barmy, and he is Myrna’s brother…… Jeff , I catered for in the Late 1970’s when he was involved with Mr Jameson in Do it yourself Cupboards…… I know the Emert family very well, and the Late Stafford sat behind me at Sandton Shul for many years…..The Kinderlach still sit behind me…… Lots of Mazel to the whole Mishpocha…….
A boy decided that he wanted to become a rabbi when he grew up, so his father suggested that he go to speak to their Shul Rabbi to find out what the job entailed.
"Ask me any question about the rabbinate and I'll give you the answer,"
Declared the rabbi when the boy went to meet him.
"Well, besides giving a sermon for about fifteen minutes on a Shabbat morning, what else do you do all week?" the boy asked.
"You don't want to become a rabbi," thundered the rabbi.
"With questions like that you want to become the shul president!" ( Otzay………..)
The Rabbi was giving a speech at shul one Sabbath morning.
He got a bit carried away and talked for over two hours.
Finally, he realized what he was doing. "I'm sorry I talked so long," he said.
"I left my watch at home."
A voice from the back of the shul said, "Rabbi, there's a calendar right behind you."
Toby came into the office an hour late for the third time in one week and found his boss Mr. Epstein waiting for him. "What's the story this time, Toby?" Mr. Epstein asked sarcastically. "Let's hear a good excuse for a change."
Toby sighed, "Everything went wrong this morning.
My wife decided to drive me to the harbour.
She got ready in ten minutes, but then the ferry didn't turn up."
"Rather than let you down, I swam across the river, ran over the mountain, borrowed a bicycle and cycled the 20 miles through the field to this office. "
"You'll have to do better than that, Toby," said Mr. Epstein, disappointed.
"No woman can be ready in ten minutes." (Very true…………)
Old Chaver in Too-Run-Too, Maish Kagan, has Tukka got a ‘Mitzea’ (bargain…) …something has come up and he won’t be able to use the accommodation.
Paradis - is one of the most popular resorts for Souff Effrikken’s and is located on arguably the most beautiful stretch of land on the entire island – the magnificent peninsula of Le Morne! Apart from the looming mountain backdrop it also boasts one of the nicest beaches. With a lovely marriage of action and tranquillity, this extremely classy resort has great evening entertainment and stands out as one of our favourite Beachcomber resorts! You're spoilt for choice when it comes to dining - there are 8 restaurants between Paradis and sister resort Dinarobin for guests to enjoy.
Can use it up to the end of October 6 Nights ….. Contact Maish for further details…
Maish Kagan - firstname.lastname@example.org ‘Snooooze U looooose’…
I've been in love with the same woman for 50 years……………………….
If my wife ever finds out, she'll kill me!
Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day….. I promise…………..! ! ! ! ! !
Only in America......can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance
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; http://www.stantgsm.com/category/info/15
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 ….. Just leaving Slovakia after some E-mazing hikes…. Picttres say it all….
The Chevrah Kadisha invites you to attend the premiere of the musical of the decade: "Matilda" - The Musical … Sunday 21 October … 1:30pm Teatro Montecasino See http://www.stantgsm.com/view-post/matilda%20your%20invitation%20to%20the%20musical%20of%20the%20decade/5668 for details............
Hilton Teper, a Good Shabbos reader has kindly offered to send by Drop Box
'The Voyage of the Exodus' and 'When Jews Were Funny' ….two very good movies….You must have Drop box……… Drop Hilton an e-mail at email@example.com and he will send it to your Drop box….
David Mendelson was traveling on business but needed to find some kosher food so he stopped in on Moishe’s Deli.
He had some work to do for the next day’s meeting so he pulled out his laptop and asked the owner, Moishe what the wifi password was.
"You need to buy something first,” replied Moishe.
“Sure, how about the corn beef platter,” David replied.
“Coming right up,” said Moishe who left and came back fifteen minutes later with David’s order.
“Thank you,” said David. “But you never gave me your Wi-Fi password?”
“Sure I did,” replied Moishe. “Youneedtobuysomethingfirst, no spaces and all lowercase.....”
Did a ‘Locum’ on Tuesday at the DL Link yearly function, and what an evening it was. The weather was Purrrrrrrrrfect, and the setting at Summer Place was mind boggling with Pre dinner drinks/snacks overlooking the pool…… DL Link assist Cancer patients and anyone at the function that left with dry eyes, are heartless…. Wow, those speeches were dynamic….and as heart wrenching as the various stories were, NIK Rabinowitz was there to lift the crowd all the time…. Nik was GR8888888... Pictures; http://www.stantgsm.com/category/pictures/4
The DL Link are setting up a house for treatments for their 780 “ Cancer Warriors” and they are having a Charidy campaign, which means for every Rand pledged they get R3, BUT….. They have to raise R2, 7m….. It is being held on the 30/31st August, and they will phone around, BUT…. you can pledge by visiting www.charidy.com/dllink or calling 010 040-8400 SMS pledge to 34519 …. The new Centre will be known as the DL LINK Refoel Centre, named after the Late Dr Rodney Refoel Unterslak & Devorah Leah Levy of blessed memory.
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/ ..
Back from his travels to ‘Der heim’ and writing about his latest connections….
The Kind David foundation is having a 70th year King David reunion in NYC on the 13th. November, and it promises to be an E-mazing evening with Nik Rabinowitz, all the way from Slaaaaaaapstad in attendance…. Details at http://stantgsm.com/category/info/15
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 mom texts, "Hi! Son, what does IDK, LY, and TTYL mean?"
He texts back, "I Don't Know, Love You, & Talk To You Later."
The mom texts him, "It's ok, don't worry about it. I'll ask your sister, love you too."
What's the difference between a guitar and a fish?
You can tune a guitar, but you can't tuna fish.
A priest once asked a Rabbi "what is Wal-Mart"
The Rabbi answered "It's the closest Jews will ever get to retail"
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country.
"Is there anything breakable in here?" Asked the postal clerk.
"Only the Ten Commandments." answered the lady. ( Ouch……….)
This is a message mainly for those of you living outside of the ‘Land of Milk & Honey’.(Israel) …… If you will be in Israel on the 27th September, 2018 and would like to join us at the South African picnic, we would love to see you there.
Please let us know in advance …Thanks, .Tzemach Bloomberg
Reunion - Olim from Brakpan
Telfed has arranged a bumper 70th Anniversary Picnic which will be held at Kibbutz Nir Eliyahu, close to Kfar Sava, on 27 September (Chol HaMoed Sukkot).
We, Tzemach Bloomberg and I, believe that this would be an excellent opportunity to have another ‘Brakpan’ reunion at this picnic. The picnic affords us a wonderful opportunity to get together with our extended families, children, grandchildren and believe it or not, even some great grandchildren. The day itself promises to be a day of wonderful and exciting entertainment for all ages…..We hope that as many former ‘Brakpanners’ as possible, as well as people having a connection with Brakpan. olim or visiting Israel during Sukkot, will be able to join us.
Please RSVP Tzemach Bloomberg at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your attendance. ……Please note that the RSVP for the picnic must be done as per the picnic invitation in addition to advising Peter Bailey and Tzemach Bloomberg
See http://stantgsm.com/category/info/15 for details..............
Bed Time Ritual
Little Shloimie Rothbart had just been put to bed for the umpteenth time and his mother's patience was wearing thin.
"If I hear you call 'Mommy' one more time, you will be punished,"
She warned him sternly.
For a while it was quiet, and then she heard a small voice call from the top of the stairs, "Mrs.Rothbart? Can I have a drink of water?" ( LUV the little ones…..)
Pat Berman has started the most UNIQUE wedding registry, and it is totally different to the NORM…… “ Gib A Kuk” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE6GTcH5J4Q
This is the ultimate wedding registry ….. ‘Rapistry’ has it alllll …….they assist you in choosing gifts and how to convert gifts to cash, etc, etc…
Anne Sclar's saying for the week….. Travelworx ; email@example.com
If you don’t know the nature of fear then you can never be fearless …….
The ‘Buffalo’ Cyril Ramaphosa is Tukka not leading the Nation as he should, and as I have written many times, he has to be decisive, and the only decisive thing he has Tukka done was to support the EFF ( Everything For Free) Mumzers in their ‘Land with no compensation’ drive….. I cannot really think of any other decisive decisions he has made, and of late you rarely here a ‘peep’ from him…. Justice Malala sums it up quite well https://select.timeslive.co.za/ideas/2018-08-20-ramaphosas-failure-of-leadership-is-killing-the-rand/ … I do think that ‘Ooooom Cyril’ has helped the dip in the Rand ….. BUT….it is worldwide with emerging countries all dipping, BUT…..if he does NOT make some kind of stand that is plausible; the Rand will soon be in tatters
's a slow day in the small town of Pumphandle and the streets are deserted.
Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.
A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk
Saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night.
As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.
(Stay with this..... And pay attention)
The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer.
The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op.
The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute,
Who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her "services" on credit.
The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel Owner.
The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveller will not suspect anything
At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory,
Picks up the $100 bill and leaves.
No one produced anything. No one earned anything.
However, the whole town now thinks that they are out of debt and there is a false atmosphere of optimism and glee.
And that, my friends, is how a "government stimulus package" works! (Mmmmmm…)
Chappies.. Did U know ……….
The average hen lays 228 eggs a year
Sponges hold more cold water than hot
A man came across a fairy who told him, "I am only a fairy, so I can only grant you one wish."
That man said, "I want to live forever!"
"That's the one wish I can't grant you."
"Then I wish to die on the day when the government is filled 100% with people who are honest, and serve only the interest of the people."
"You clever man." ( Einaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah….)
Young Julius’s latest idea is for the Reserve Bank to be nationalized, and if the ANC go with these Mishugus, the Rand will Tukka be in drerd…….. The Right ‘Honourable’ Jacob Zuma’s case of State capture has finally started under Justice Zondo, and promises to Tukka be ‘The Never ending story’, with soooooo many witnesses and of course the usual delays by all concerned…..estimates reckon at least 2 years, by which time the ‘Manne’ will be in paradise (Dubai), and they will take their gains with them, if it is not there already…..
There is a very, very tall coconut tree and there are four animals..
A Lion A Chimp A Giraffe ...AND...A Squirrel
They decide to compete to see who is the fastest to get a banana off the tree.
Who do you guess will win?
Your answer will reflect your personality.
So think carefully.....
Try and answer within 30 seconds.
Got your answer?
Now scroll down to see the analysis.
If your answer is:
Lion = you're dull. Chimpanzee = you're dense.
Giraffe = you're a complete moron.
Squirrel = you're hopeless.
A COCONUT TREE DOESN'T HAVE BANANAS. ( Ag Neeeeeeeeeeeee….)
Methinks the EFF ( Everything For Free) is running the ‘show’ these days, and everything ‘Young Julius’ suggests ‘Oooom Cyril’ follows suit, and yesterday, he said that it is not only a few farms, BUT…..Urban areas are also wanted..???? …and the story just gets ‘beeeger and beeeger’….with a King claiming land that was supposedly ‘Gupped’ in 1897……. Time for us ‘Litvaks’ to rise and claim from the Lithuanian government which was stolen (and murdered) a mere 75 years ago….The Bankers Society issued a story that claims people are exaggerating this ‘Land’ story, as the Banks have R300bn on farm loans and the Government has assured them it is safe…..Someone not understanding the situation properly…???
Yesterday I received that racist remark made by a ‘Schmuck’ on holiday, about no people of colour on the beach…. Filmed it and sent it, and the rest is history….The EFF (Everything For Free) have already laid a charge, companies have started cancelling orders with his company, etc, etc… E-mazing how quick things move, BUT….when a person of colour makes racist remarks, like ‘Young Julius’, nothing happens and people are not shocked…???? Quite unbelievable how people do the most stupid things on social media….This was one of the dumbest….
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’) ………. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mazeltov to Mark and Gabi (Silber) Baker ,daughter of Alan & Diane Silber of Raanana, Israel, who gave birth to a beautiful Prince last week. Matan Hillel Brit took place at Chabad of Fourways (Yes, Rabbi Rabin has a Chabad in Fourways…Quite E-mazing ). Mazeltov to Mark and Gabi, Grandparents Alan & Diane and family and Great Grandparents Gloria Berkowitz and Morris & Ettie Silber (Israel) … Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha………… Pictures
Mazeltov to Benjy Smith on the occasion of his Barmy at Sydenham Shul on Shabbos…… Larry and Andy, grandparents Stan and Raelene Brasg, Martin Smith, Joan and Mervyn Simon……. The Smiths were members at Sandton for many years, and Joan is still there…….. Everyone knows Stan & Raelene….. Mazzies to the whole Mishpocha…..
Mazeltov to Gedalia, Zunnelle of Rabbi Dov & Lee Connack ( Berger) on her engagement to Sapir , daughter of Asaf & Gail Cohen, of Telstone … WOW this brings back many memories…… I did Dov & Lee’s Chasene 27 years ago (1991) and I know the Connack’s & the Bergers……The Berger’s were from Emerentia ‘Amolikke Yoren’…..and have moved to the North now…Always see Charlie at Sydenham Shul….. Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha Pictures;
Mazeltov to Shira (Gerson) & Ari (Yuter) on their engagement , to parents Trevor Gerson, Denise Gerson, Howard & Riche Yuter, Sally & Mark Seligman, and grandparents Leon & Rochelle Druckman, Arnold & Ethel Brenner ….. Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha……
Mazeltov to Staci (Lyons) & Jaime Jacobson on their E-mazing Chasene on Thursday at the HOD….. The Chuppa Band did the Chuppa which was E-mazing, and the whole set up was lovely….Mazzies to Monica Lyons & Minette & Roy Jacobson, and to the great grandmother Zelda Pearl……Minette has been a teacher at King David Linksfield for a Zillion years, and we did quite a few Matric dances together….. Staci’s Late Dad Eric & My brother in law Steve Lyons were brothers…. The Marathon man was in top form, and it was a very ‘Lebbedikke’ Chasene….Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha…Pictures; http://www.stantgsm.com/
Mazeltov to Keren (Leibowitz) & Shai Hummel on their Chasene @ Sandton Shul To parents Laurence & Janine Hummel, Alan & Janice Leibowitz. Mazzies…….Go back a long way with the Hummel family, and when I went to Upington a few times on business I saw Hummel Street, which is named after the Hummel family…..Some of the Hummel’s played Rugger for Griqualand West ‘Amolikke Yoren’…….. I have recently made a contact to the Leibowitz family through their Beloved Aunt, Vera Phillips……. Mazeltov to the whole Mishpocha……. Pictures; http://www.stantgsm.com/
Sincere condolences to the Nurick family on the passing of their Beloved Pat in Sydney….. Condolences to Sheila Twersky, Jackie Solovei & Philippa Awerbach…..
Philippa’s husband Rael is a good Chaver of mine (lives in Sydney) and was my ‘Sparkie’ ‘Amolikke Yoren’ when I was still at the old Jewish Guild……Sincere condolences to the family….
NATHAN, TONY AND LEN ARE NOW BACK IN THE ORIGINAL PREMISES AT MIDWAYS MALL 280 CORLETT DRIVE BRAMLEY GARDENS. The new phone number is 011 887-5456
. CONTACT THEM FOR THE BEST DEAL ON FURNITURE BEDDING AND APPLIANCES. See
MANTIS SECURITY TIP (Call 011- 487-1000) of the week;
· If you get stuck, do not climb out of the car and seek help…
· Rather phone for help from inside your car…….
· First-hand experience on Sunday… got stuck with my brother in law..
· From nowhere appeared a security guard to see if he could help…we declined.
· He then went on to tell us how dangerous Marlboro Drive was by the Gautrain station side……
· Reckons people getting stuck on that stretch, and 95% of the time robbed..
· He stayed with us till the Tow Truck arrived…It is a community area patrol..
· We were lucky…..always check up you have a Chevron (that triangle) to put up to avoid cars smashing into you…
· Always be careful when in strange situations, and don’t sit on the Cell phone the whole time…… It is a major detraction…
· 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 ………
Rabbi Yossy Goldman,’ BH
C/O ‘Beloved Country’
Who Needs Anti-Semites?
It has been called the world’s longest hatred. It continues to rear its ugly head across countries and continents. Whether it manifests in the crude bigotry of the lower crass or the snide subtleties of the upper crust, anti-Semitism is a fact of life.
Of course, we all wish it would finally go away. We even had reason to hope that after Auschwitz it really would. Who among us doesn’t want to feel accepted and appreciated? But there is a strong argument to suggest that, in a perverse sort of way, anti-Semitism has been good for the Jews. The French philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, made that point in his book Anti-Semite & Jew. Without the constant reminders and threats to our existence, we Jews would have been lulled into a peaceful and passive state of national amnesia. Secure in our comfort zones, we might have lost much of our unique identity.
History records that under regimes that persecuted us, we remained steadfastly Jewish. Whereas, under more enlightened, liberal forms of government, we became comfortable in our new-found freedoms, gradually embracing a welcoming but dominant culture and forfeiting much of our own.
Back in the 70’s, when I was working with Jewish university students at Wits, we were struggling to break through a wall of icy indifference towards Judaism. It was so frustrating that my colleagues and I even considered going onto campus in the dead of night to paint a few swastikas on the Student Union building. Maybe that would jolt them out of their apathy. Of course, we never actually did it, but I confess to having been very tempted.
Towards the end of this week’s Parsha, we read of the commandment to remember the unprovoked attack by the nation of Amalek against the Israelites when they left Egypt. The command comes in the form of the word Zachor-Remember at the beginning of the section. The final words are Lo Tishkach – You shall not forget. But why the need for both expressions? And what difference is there between remembering and not forgetting? Surely one is superfluous?
Commentary suggests that remember is a command to the Jewish People. Do not forget would seem to be a prophecy concerning the nations, i.e., they will not let you forget! Should you ever lapse into a false sense of security and forget your Jewishness, the anti-Semites of the world will be there to remind you of who you are and that you have not yet been accepted in their ranks. You are still an outsider, a people that dwells alone.
Everything has a purpose in creation. There is nothing redundant, nothing in vain in G-d’s world. So what is the purpose of an anti-Semite? Just that, to remind Jews that they are Jewish!
But why wait for the Amalekites of this world to remind us? Do we want or need their taunting? Rather, let us be proactively Jewish, positively Jewish and jewishly positive. You can sing the old Yiddish song one of two ways. Either it is Oy es iz gut tzu zein a yid (Oy, it is good to be a Jew) or Oy, es iz shver tzu zein a yid. (Oy, it is hard to be a Jew.) There are a million good reasons, positive reasons to be proudly Jewish. If 70 years ago being Jewish carried a death sentence, today it is a life sentence – promising a meaningful and blessed life. And when we decide to live proud, committed Jewish lives, we make a fascinating discovery. When we respect ourselves, the world respects us too. And that applies across the board, from the individual Jew to the collective Jewish State.
Judaism is a boon, not a burden. We should be staunch about our heritage. It is a badge of honour to wear with noble pride. If you don’t know why, go and study, but that’s another sermon.