TGIS: Thank G-d It’s Shabbat

Rabbi Thurgood December 2016 thumbnail

Shalom friends!

Firstly, may I say that it is good to be back! We had a wonderful time in Johannesburg, spent catching up with family and catching up on sleep (for some reason I found that I had become somewhat short on sleep over the last few months) and I appreciated a chance to “get away from it all” but as the saying goes, there’s no place like home – and although Israel is our real home, Cape Town is where we’re staying for now, and I am delighted to be back with all of you.

Another opportunity that we had on holiday was to be in and experience different communities. It was fascinating to see just how different Shul and Shabbat can be (I don’t often spend Shabbat away from Morasha, so it’s always a different experience for me!) and I spent a lot of time thinking about those differences – lessons we can learn, and to see what we’re doing right.

One observation that struck me on one of the Shabbatot was the way in which the Rabbi delivered his drasha. He began: “The Gemora says…” and went on to explain a lesson that we can learn from the ways our Sages describe Avraham’s nephew Lot. The lesson itself was interesting, but it struck me that the sermon began without a “Good Shabbos” or a welcome. I am well aware that different people want and expect different things from their Shul and community experience (this is part of what makes communal life both rewarding and challenging), but it became clear to me that part of what I want from Shul is a community experience.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that a community of worshippers should feel like exactly that – a group of diverse people who are joining in prayer to God. All too often, it feels like a community is simply a canvas – a backdrop for one’s own personal prayer. Some people I know tend to see a Shul almost as a petrol station – a place to stop in, fulfil your obligation of prayer, and leave to go about your business. “Well of course a minyan is important,” such a person might say, “without a minyan one cannot say Kaddish, listen to Torah reading and say the prayers of sanctification of God’s name.” True – but is the purpose of a minyan simply halachic? I believe that rather than seeing a minyan, a community prayer, as something that is required by halacha to make our prayers complete, we should know and feel that our own prayer experience is completely different in the context of a community than alone – and it is that difference that enables us to include the most sublime parts of the service.

The people around us in Shul are not strangers, and certainly not props. They are our fellow Jews, created in the Image of God, and through praying together we discover and experience a far greater and deeper connection with Hashem that we could ever hope to do so alone. I am grateful to all of you for that gift in my life, and I hope that we can all experience community in this way. Shabbat Shalom and welcome!

On a different note, I have restarted my “2 minute Parsha” after taking a few weeks’ break. I plan to continue with Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner, but this year I’m looking at volume two of his great work “Mei Shiloach”. This week the video is called “The Flow of Blessing” and in it I explore Yitzchak’s hidden desire to bless Yaakov and secret reluctance to bestow it upon Eisav. You can find it here.

Aviva, Shalva, Tzuriya, Azriel and I wish you a Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Sam Thurgood

Announcements – Parshat Vayetzei

The Rabbi, Rebbetzin, Chairman and Committee wish you Shabbat Shalom.

We welcome Glendale residents to Morasha this Shabbat  morning.

The Consecration of the tombstone of the late Marjorie Harrisberg will take place this Sunday 26 November at 12 noon at Pinelands 2.

The Consecration of the tombstone of the late Deidre Leibowitz will take place this Sunday 26 November at 12.30pm at Pinelands 2.

Thank you to Bev Coblentz for doing brocha duty this Shabbat.

Should you, or someone you know, be ill at home or going into hospital and would like a visit from a member of our sick-visiting committee, please contact Wendy at the office.

Schottenstein Gemoras – as new – for sale! What offers? Phone 021 439 1040




Samuel Coblentz Uncle Saturday 25 November
Rebbetzin Esther Maizels Brother Sunday 26 November
Lauren Snitcher Children’s father Monday 27 November
Robert Kroomer Nephew Tuesday 28 November
Shirley Stoltzman Father Wednesday 29 November
Selwyn Furman Sister Thursday 30 November
Gwynne Robins Mother Thursday 30 November

The Yahrzeit begins the evening before the date





Graeme Sarembock Friday 24 November
Bonnie Smolowitz Friday 24 November
Brian Jacobson Sunday 26 November
Asher Weinstein Sunday 26 November
Zac Bagraim Monday 27 November
Cedric Nainkin Monday 27 November
Gail Levin Tuesday 28 November
Jack Nathan Tuesday 28 November
Alan Pollard Tuesday 28 November
Frooma Kroomer Wednesday 29 November
Menachem Altman Thursday 30 November
Ethan Levin Thursday 30 November
Levana Mizrachi Thursday 30 November
Hayley Rubin Thursday 30 November




Frank and Charlene Stuppel Monday 27 November


Shabbat Times – Parshat Vayetzei

Earliest Candles  6:08pm
Latest Candles  7:15pm
Mincha / Maariv   6:30pm
Shabbat Shacharit 8:45am
Shabbat Mincha 6:45pm
Shabbat ends 8:15pm



Weekday Times

Shacharit (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday) 6:50am
Shacharit (Monday, Thursday) 6:40am
Shacharit (Sunday and Public Holidays) 8:00am
Shacharit (Rosh Chodesh) 6:30am
Mincha followed by Maariv  6:30pm


Torah Reading Page Numbers – Parshat Vayetzei

Artscroll Living Torah Hirsch Hertz
Torah  144 130 134  106
Maftir 168 152 147 117
Haftorah  1139 1074 833 118



Weekly Learning

Shabbat Morning 10 mins before shiur  Children’s Learning Rabbi Thurgood Shul
Shabbat Morning After Brocha Parsha of the Week  Rabbi Thurgood Shul
Shabbat Afternoon After Mincha Seudah Shlishit Various Shul
Sunday 8:40-9:10am Sefer Igrot Moshe Rabbi Thurgood Shul
Sunday 8:00-9:00pm Weekly Dirshu review Rabbi Thurgood Shul
Monday – Friday 7:35-8:05am Sefer HaChinnuch Rabbi Thurgood Shul
Monday -Wednesday 30 mins before Mincha Chumash with Rashi: Every Parsha from 4th aliyah Rabbi Thurgood Shul
Tuesday 8:00-10:00pm Yeshiva of Cape Town learning sessions Bachurim Shul
Wednesday  8:00-9:00pm Women’s weekly Gemora shiur Rabbi Thurgood Private Home


Security – Parshat Vayetzei

We thank team 1 for doing security duty this week.

If you are not able to do your duty, please swap with someone else.

Meet the Family

Every week, we feature a member or family of Beit Midrash Morasha and tell you a little about them. If you would like to be featured, or if you have a suggestion of someone whom you would like featured, please let us know!


T: 021 434 8680
F: 021 434 3014
First National Bank
Sea Point Branch 201809
Current Account
Number: 50240085164
Click the button above