Muizenberg, South Africa


The Muizenberg Megilah

September 117  2013

In case anybody wants to contact me with news, views, bouquets or brick bats, about the MEGILAH, its Maurice Ross, P O Box 16 Muizenberg 7950 FOR EVERY THING ELSE please contact:

President – Morris Strul

 Secretary Mrs C Buirski

Wishing Freda Shapiro health and happiness on her move to Good Hope Park in Three Ancher Bay.

Happy birthday to Sigmund Saffer on his 80th. Birthday, and thank you  for sponsering the  Brocha on the 3rd. of August.

Mazaltov to Alan and Sandra Boyd on the occasion of the engagement of their daughter Dominique, to Yeshayahu Henri Sulzbacher in Israel.

Mazaltov to Abe and Fay Ephron on the ocassion of their grandson’s Barmitzvah in Johannesburg.

Get well wishes to Freda Seeligsohn and Mervyn Davidson.

Are Jews smarter than other people?

Charles Murray, the W.H.Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has plunged deeply into this controversial question. Reviewing numerous studies, Murray notes that a 2006 article on “elevated Jewish IQ” in the Journal of Biosocial Science, contends that “elevated Jewish IQ is confined to the Ashkenazi Jews of northern and central Europe, and developed from the Middle Ages onwards, primarily from 800 to 1600 C.E.”

Murray adds that “in the analysis of these authers, the key factor explaining elevated Jewish intelligence is occupational selection.”

The auther also examines the theory that higher Jewish IQ’s stem from the challenge of reading Jewish holy literature: “The Torah and the Hebrew prayer book are not simple texts; even to be able to read them mechanically requires fairly advanced literacy. To study the Talmud and its commentaries with any understanding requires considerable intellevtual capacity.”

The Union of Orthodox Synagogues Cape Council works as the umbrella organization for all the Orthodox synagogues in the Western and Southern Cape regions.

There can be no doubt that one of the least understood and yet one of the most

important of our communal organizations  is the Union of Orthodox Synagogues

There is no aspect of Jewish life, from birth to death, schooling, bar/bat mitzvah,

Marriage in which the UOS is not involved, either directly or through the Cape Beth

Din and the United Chevra Kadisha.

A brief summary of the UOS functions include:

¬Beth Din


Gittim (divorces)

Dinei Torah


Marriage autherisation

¬Chief Rabbi Office Liason

¬Congregational activities

¬Kashrut at manufacturers

¬Kashrut supervision


¬Educational programmes include



Adult Education

Youth Education

¬United Chevra Kadisha (burial)

¬Eiruv – administration

¬Cemetery maintenance board

50 Shades of Grey – High Holidays Message from Morris Strul – President

Almost exactly a year ago I’m sure many of us were involved in our own Teshuvah process – a process which allowed us to identify the past year’s mistakes and missed opportunities as well as our successes and achievements.  Once identified, we were then able to appreciate the effects these events had on not just ourselves, but the people around us.  Having effectively taken ownership of this behaviour, it was then time to confront Hashem and ask for forgiveness, while pleading for another chance and the opportunity to do better next year.  Finally, we resolved to take on new goals and objectives in order to merit favour in the eyes of Hashem and the heavenly court.  These goals could have been an extra effort in study, tzedaka, prayer or any other mitzvah. 

The questions we should all be asking ourselves are, “Have we achieved our goals?” “Have we been successful in our efforts?” “Did we make the progress we intended?” Many of us will find ourselves answering in the negative as we may have fallen short of our benchmarks.  Perhaps we intended on giving more tzedaka than we actually did?  Maybe we only ended up studying a small portion of the syllabus we undertook for the year?  Does this mean we failed?

The answer to the last question is unquestionably, “No!” We are human after all, and being human makes us prone to harsh, finite judgment.  Not the judgement of other people’s behaviour, but that of ourselves.  Instead of categorising our actions in two definite categories of either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ ; ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ ; ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’ let us try be more realistic.  There are far more degrees of valuation in which to assess and allocate our actions.  If we maintain a self-appraisal system that is too rigid, we may find ourselves getting frustrated with underachieving our goals and eventually giving up altogether in their pursuit. 

This year, let us set up a more robust spectrum for our goals.  Let us have pure white on the one side, representative of absolute success.  On the opposite side of the spectrum is pitch black indicative of complete failure.  Somewhere in between are several shades of grey.  When we set our goals for this year, let us endeavour to move in slow consistent increments towards the white.  And should we find ourselves slipping towards the black, we can catch ourselves and once again strive for a small increment in the right direction.

In the holy temple, we are taught that there was to be a ramp up to the altar and not steps.  This teaches us that there are a myriad of incremental stages up the altar towards Hashem and spirituality.  If we find ourselves slipping down, we need just know it and make the effort to continue upwards towards the white.

May we all continue our efforts to succeed in our spiritual goals, and develop sensitivity to the success of our actions.  May we find ourselves moving forwards each day this year and strive for ever lighter shades of grey.

Shannah Tova U’metukah

                                                   YOM KIPPUR APPEAL PLEDGE

1........................................................................hereby donate/pledge  R…….....................

To the Muizenberg Hebrew Congregation for their Yom Kippur Appeal.

For those who wish to donate directly into our bank account kindly insert your name as a reference.



ACCOUNT NUMBER:-  50290587053

Please return the completed form to the Secretary, P.O. Box 16, Muizenberg,7950