Beit Emanuel Matters, 8 April 2023

The week that was

Beyond the Boundaries (BtB) held another successful workshop last Saturday, this one on the topical matter of What Ingredients for Rabbi(t) Stew? The workshop, which was well attended and well received, gave thought to the characteristics and qualities of TNR (the next rabbi). Diane Fine captured the discussion in a document which you can read here. Your comments/feedback are welcomed. Please address them to, where Morgana will consolidate and distribute them.

A Rosh Chodesh Women’s Circle was scheduled for last Sunday evening. No reports back received.

Our Pesach festival evening service and Communal Pesach Seder were held last night, and all the feedback received so far has been positive. We were fortunate to have Jeff Davis and David Fine looking after the music during the service. Thanks to Rabbi Saar for leading the service and Seder, and to Morgana, Cliff, Ockie and other grounds, kitchen and casual staff for all the hard graft that went into it. Finally, thanks to our volunteer Security Team for keeping us safe in these horrific times.

The Pesach Festival Morning Service took place at Bet David, Morningside on Thursday morning.

Looking ahead

Happening this Shabbat/weekend

We’re in a quiet interval for now, apart from the Pesach 7th day services next week.

Kabbalat Shabbat will be in the Shul as usual at 18h00 on Friday evening. Due to Pesach and the long weekend, there won’t be a full Brocha following the service. There will, however, be a quick Kiddush with wine and Matzah. We’re not expecting any disruption due to load shedding this Shabbat.

There also won’t be a Jkids Club activity this Friday evening, due to the long weekend.

The Shabbat morning service will take place on the Veranda (weather and inclination permitting) or in the Gillis Boardroom. Once again, the Kiddush will consist of just wine and Matzah.

Religion School Break
The Religion School (Cheder) will be on a break from 1 to 15 April. Classes will resume on 17 April.

Further ahead

Sarmies Project
The Sarmies Project didn’t operate this week due to the Pesach break (not to mention the dietary restrictions). The project will be in operation next week, however, with collection on Wed, 12 and distribution from TIH on Thu, 13.

Disabled Parking Bays
A special request from our volunteer Security Team to please respect the parking bays for the disabled. There is a drop-off/pickup area in front the Piazza as well as three dedicated parking bays to the right of this area. All are clearly demarcated in yellow. Please do not park in either the drop-off/pickup zone or disabled bays unless you or one or more of your passengers are disabled.
With thanks!

Death of Jeremy Gordin

The community was appalled by the brutal murder of semi-retired journalist Jeremy Gordin in his home last Friday evening. Although not an active member in the last decade, Jeremy served as Vice-Chair of Beit Emanuel in 2012, the year that yours truly was Chair of said synagogue. My association with Jeremy (“Gordinsky”, as he was known to some of us) spanned only 2 to 3 years (and only in the context of the Shul), so I’m not qualified to pay tribute to him. Others far better equipped to do so have done an excellent job in various publications, and I suggest you Google his name to find out more about him and his contributions to SA. (By the way, although he was amused by and accepted the Gordinsky moniker, woe betide anyone who misspelled his surname “Gordon” instead of “Gordin”. Our name, I recall him saying, is one of the few things we ever truly own.)

I can tell you that Jeremy was a loyal and dependable colleague and team-mate on Mancom. He was someone who pondered matters deeply and who also approached things with a unique sense of humour and (sometimes) even mischief. He never backed away from a fight, whether intellectual, moral or physical, took no nonsense and spoke his mind. He abhorred injustice and was, at the time, director of the Wits Justice Project. On at least one occasion I recall him having to leave a meeting early to secure the release of someone who has been wrongfully arrested or imprisoned. (Through his death, Jeremy has in a sense become our real-life Arthur Jarvis.)

In his younger days he was a formidable Rugby player, and helped introduce that sport to Israel while studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the late 60s and early 70s. On his return to SA, he served as a paratrooper in 1 Parachute Battalion in Bloemfontein, one of only about a dozen Jewish national servicemen ever to do so. The “Parabats” or simply “Bats”, as they were known colloquially at the time, was one of the SADF’s (now SANDF) elite combat units, with one of the toughest selection and training regimes in the country.

Jeremy’s death is a great loss not just to his family, but also to South Africa, journalism in SA and the other endeavours he involved himself in.

I can only end by saying that I liked and respected him immensely, and will miss his wit and wisdom in the electronic pages of Politicsweb.

L’hitraot, Gordinsky.

Shabbat Shalom and Moadim L’Simcha!


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