Regular Shiurim at our Shul include the following:-

Date Time Venue Topic
Shabbat morning After Brocha Greenside Shul – Rabbi Rabinowitz Parsha Shiur
Shabbat afternoon 30 minutes before Mincha Greenside Shul – Rabbi Rabinowitz General
Sunday morning After Schacharit till 09h00 Greenside Shul – Rabbi Rabinowitz Lashon Hora

All Shiurim will also be available to both Greenside Shul AND Emmarentia Shul communities and all congregants are encouraged to participate.

Events organized by the Eishet Chayil women’s group will also be open to both communities.



When the Shark And the Fish First Met
written by Gilad Shalit in 1997 when he was 11 years old, in fifth grade.

A small and gentle fish was swimming in the middle of a peaceful ocean.
All of a sudden, the fish saw a shark that wanted to devour him.
He then began to swim very quickly, but so did the shark.

Suddenly the fish stopped and called to the shark: ”Why do you want to devour me? We can play together”.
The shark though and thought and said:
“Okay- fine: Let’s play hide and seek”.

The shark and fish played all day long, until the sun went down. In the evening, the shark returned to his home.
His mother asked: “How was your day, my dear shark? How many animals did you devour today?”
The shark answered: “Today I didn’t devour any animals, but I played with an animal called Fish”.
“That fish is an animal we eat. Don’t play with it!” said the shark’s mother.

At the home of the fish, the same thing happened. “how are you’ little fish? How was it today in the sea?” asked the fish’s mother.
The fish answered:” Today I played with an animal called SHARK”.
That shark is the animal who devoured your father and your brother. Don’t play with that animal”, answered the mother.The next day in the middle of the ocean, neither the shark nor the fish were there.
They didn’t meet for many days, weeks and even months.
Then, one day they met. Each one immediately ran back to his mother and once again they didn’t meet for days, weeks and months.

After a whole year passed, the shark went out for a nice swim and so did the fish, for a third time, they met and then the shark said: “You are my enemy, but maybe we can make peace”.
The little fish said: “okay”.

They played secretly for days, weeks and months, until one day the shark and fish went to the fish’s mother and spoke together with her, then they did the same thing with the shark’s mother; and from that day the sharks and the fish live in peace.
The End


This week we feature The Ramban, Nachmanides (1195 – 1270).

Seven hundred years before Israeli paratroopers made their way through gates surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem during the six day war, a great sage was building a cornerstone in Jerusalem.  His contributions towards rejuvenating Jewish life in the holy city are everlasting.  His impact upon history is monumental.

The Ramban, Nachmanides (1195 – 1270) lived during an era when the land of Israel suffered a wave of successive rulers who conquered and wreaked devastation. The conquerors greatest prize – Jerusalem was repeatedly sacked.  In 1099, the crusades sacked Jerusalem and massacred both the Jewish and Muslim inhabitants, Saladin the Muslim conqueror wrested Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187.He allowed some Jews to reside in Jerusalem.  Then, more conquerors arrived:  the second crusades in 1229, the Tartars in 1244 and the Mongols in 1259 and a year later, the Mamelukes.

The Mongol invasion left Jerusalem a city of ruins.  With their approach, some Jews fled; those who remained were massacred.  The following year, the conquering Mamelukes permitted Jewish residency, but only a few returned.

In 1267, the Ramban made Aliyah from Spain.  Aware of the dismal situation in the Land of Israel, he seemed to be planning Jerusalem’s revival before he arrived.  Just prior to his departure, he delivered a sermon during the holiday of Shmini Atzeret about the holiness of the land of Israel and the importance of giving charity.  He was perhaps priming his congregants to support endeavours  of building religious institutions within the land.

After a long and perilous journey, the Ramban arrived at the port city of Acco (Acre), at the age of seventy two).  After a brief stay, he left for Jerusalem and arrived on the ninth day of the month of Elul.  He approached the city’s gates and was struck by its desolation.

In a letter to his son, the Ramban wrote, “Many are its forsaken places, and great is the desecration.  The more sacred the place, the greater the devastation it has suffered.  Jerusalem is the most desolate place of all.”  Regarding the Jewish community, he added, “There are two brothers dyers by trade ………..  There are ten men who meet on the Sabbaths they hold services at their home.”  But despite the devastation, the Ramban saw hope, “Even in its destruction, it is an exceedingly good land.”

Efforts immediately began to rebuild the Jewish community.  The Ramban chose one of many ruined houses – which possessed marble pillars and a beautiful arch – located on Mount Zion and began construction of a Synagogue.  Torah scrolls that were removed before the Mongol invasion and transported to the city of Shechem were returned.  Word of the Ramban’s presence brought more residents to Jerusalem.  In just three weeks, the Synagogue was ready for use, just as Rosh Hashanah had arrived.  On that Rosh Hashanah, the Ramban delivered a sermon urging the new arrivals to remain in Jerusalem.

The next task was to set up a Yeshiva.  Word of the Yeshiva expectantly drew students who journeyed to Jerusalem to be near the revered scholar, teacher and leader.

Over time, the Jewish community of Jerusalem increased until it once again became the centre of Jewish life in the land of Israel.  Sephardim and Ashkenazim prayed and studied together in the Synagogue for the next three hundred years until 1589.

In that year, the city’s Governor, Abu Sufrin turned it into a warehouse because of Muslim incitement.  By then, however, the Jewish community was well established.

In the course of one year, the Ramban built a Jewish community that would continue and increase for the next seven hundred years until the Jordanian occupation of the Old City in 1948.  A year later the Ramban re-established the community, he returned to Acco to lead the congregation there until his death two years later.

During the early stages of the War of Independence, forces of the Haganah valiantly fought a desperate battle to hold onto he Old City.  Unable to hold on,  they were forced to surrender.

Following their surrender, the numerous Synagogues of the Old City were soon destroyed and the remnants of hundreds of years of Jewish existence in Jerusalem were virtually wiped out.  The Ramban Synagogue which was relocated to the Old City about five hundred years ago was also destroyed.  Independence was achieved, the dream of Jewish Statehood was realized but Jerusalem’s ancient streets again lay empty as during the dark days following the crusaders.  For nineteen years, until June 1967, Jews hoped and dreamed for the return of its Jewish community.

Today, the Synagogues of the Old City have been restored.  Along the landscape of the thriving Jewish Quarter stands the Ramban Synagogue – a cornerstone of Jerusalem.  Its presence serves as a reminder of that early settlement – seven hundred years earlier – diminutive as it was, but which preceded the many to follow.  It also serves as testimony to the vision of the Ramban – from the ashes of Jerusalem, to the Jerusalem of today and to the Jerusalem of tomorrow.

This week we feature Golda Meir (1898 – 1978).

Golda Meir was born in Kiev in 1898.  Economic hardship forced her family to emigrate to the United States in 1906, where they settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In high school she joined the Zionist group, “Poalei Zion” (“Workers of Zion”).  She immigrated to British Mandate Palestine in 1921 with her husband Morris Myerson, and settled in Kibbutz Merhavya.

Moving to Tel Aviv in 1924, she became an official of the Histadrut Trade Union and served in a managerial post with the union’s construction corporation, Solel Boneh.  Between 1932 and 1934 she worked as an emissary in the United States, serving as Secretary of the Hechalutz women’s organization.  She also became Secretary of the Histadrut’s Action Committee and later of its policy section.

When the prestate British Mandatory Authorities imprisoned most of the Jewish community’s senior leadership in 1946, she replaced Moshe Sharett as head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, the chief Jewish liaison with the British.  Elected to the Executive of the Jewish Agency, she was active in fundraising in the United States to help cover the costs of the Israeli War of Independence, and became one of the State’s most effective spokesmen.

In 1948, David Ben-Gurion appointed Golda Meir to be a member of the Provisional Government.  A few days before the Declaration of Independence, Ben-Gurion sent her disguised as an Arab on a hazardous mission to persuade King Abdullah of Jordan not to attack Israel.  But the King had already decided his army would invade the Jewish state following the British departure.

In June 1948, Meir was appointed Israel’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Elected to the Knesset as a Mapai member in 1949, she served as Minister of Labour and National Insurance until 1956.  In June 1956, she became Foreign Minister, a post she held until January 1966.

As Foreign Minister, Meir was the architect of Israel’s attempt to create bridges to the emerging independent countries of Africa via an assistance program based on practical Israeli experience in national building.  She also endeavoured to cement relations with the United States and was successful in creating extensive bilateral relations with Latin American countries.

Between 1966 and 1968, she served as Secretary General of Mapai and then as the first Secretary General of the newly formed Labour Party.  When Prime Minister Levi Eshkol died suddenly in early 1969, the 71 year old Meir assumed the post of Premier, becoming the world’s third female Prime Minister (after Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka and Indira Gandhi of India).

As Prime Minister she inherited Eshkol’s second National Unity Government administration, but this broke up over the question of continuing the cease-fire with Egypt in the absence of a peace treaty.  She then continued in office with the Alignment (Labour and Mapam), the National Religious Party and the Independent Liberals.

The major event of her administration was the Yom Kippur War, which broke out with massive coordinated Egyptian and Syrian assaults against Israel on October 6, 1973.  As the postwar Agranant Inquiry Commission established, the IDF and the government had erred seriously in their assessment of Arab intentions.

Although she and the Labour party won the elections (postponed due to the war until December 31, 1973).  She resigned in 1974 in favour of Yitzhak Rabin.

She passed away in December 1978 and was buried on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

This week features the Israeli Diplomat and Politician Abba Eban,

born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban.

Abba Eban was born in Cape Town, South Africa and he moved to England at an early age.  He was educated at St. Olave’s Grammar School, Orpington before studying Classics and Oriental languages at Queen’s College, Cambridge where he achieved a triple first.  As a child, he recalled being sent to his grandfather’s house every weekend to study the Hebrew language and Biblical literature.  During his time at University and afterwards, Eban was highly involved in the Federation of Zionist Youth and was editor of its ideological journal, “The Young Zionist”.  After graduating with high honours, he researched Arabic and Hebrew as a Fellow of Pembroke College from 1938 – 1939.  At the outbreak of World War II, Eban went to work for Chaim Weizmann at the World Zionist Organisation in London from December 1939.  A few months later he joined the British Army as an intelligence officer, where he rose to the rank of Major.  He served as a Liaison Officer for the Allies to the Jewish Yishuv of Palestine.  Drawing on his linguistic skills, in 1947 he translated from the original Arabic, Maze of Justice:  Diary of a Country Prosecutor, a 1937 novel by Tawfiq al-Hakim.

Eban moved back to London briefly to work in the Jewish Agency’s Information Department, from which he was posted to New York, where the General Assembly of the United Nations was considering the “Palestine Question”.  In 1947, he was appointed as a Liaison Officer to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, where he was successful in attaining approval for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab segments – Resolution 181.  At this stage, he changed his name to the Hebrew word Abba (however it was seldom used informally), meaning “Father”, as he could foresee himself as the father of the nation of Israel.  Eban spent a decade at the United Nations, and also served as his country’s Ambassador to the United States at the same time.  He was renowned for his oratorical skills.  In the words of Henry Kissinger:  “I have never encountered anyone who matched his command of the English language.  Sentences poured forth in mellifluous constructions complicated enough to test the listener’s intelligence and simultaneously leave him transfixed by the speaker’s virtuosity.”

His polished presentation, grasp of history and powerful speeches gave him authority in a United Nations that was generally skeptical of Israel or even hostile to it.  He was fluent in ten languages.  In 1952, Eban was elected Vice President of the UN General Assembly.

Eban left the United States in 1959 and returned to Israel where he was elected to the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) as a member of Mapai.  He served under David Ben-Gurion as Minister of Education and Culture from 1960 – 1963, then as Deputy to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol until 1966.  Through this entire period (1959 – 1966), he also served as President of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot.

From 1966 to 1974, Eban served as Israel’s Foreign Minister, defending the country’s reputation after the Six-Day War.  Nonetheless, he was a strong supporter of giving away parts of the territories occupied in the war in exchange for peace.  He played an important part in the shaping of UN Security Council Resolution 242 in 1967 (as well as UN Security Council Resolution 338 in 1973).  Among his other high level contacts, Eban was received by Pope Paul VI in 1969.

Eban was at times criticized for not voicing his opinions in Israel’s internal debate.  However, he was generally known to be on the “dovish” side of Israeli politics and was increasingly outspoken after leaving the cabinet.  In 1977 and 1981 it was widely understood that Shimon Peres intended to name Eban Foreign Minister, had the Labour Party won those elections.  Eban was offered the chance to serve as Minister without Portfolio in the 1984 national unity Government, but chose to serve instead as Chair of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee from 1984 to 1988.

His comment that “Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” (i.e. for peace) made after the Geneva peace talks in December 1973, is often quoted.

In 1988, after three decades in the Knesset, he lost his seat over internal splits in the Labour Party.  He devoted the rest of his life to writing and teaching, including serving as a visiting academic at Princeton University, Columbia University and George University.

He also narrated television documentaries including Heritage:  Civilization and the Jews (PBS, 1984), for which he was host, Israel, A Nation Is Born (1992), and On the Brink of Peace (PBS, 1997).

Eban died in 2002 and was buried in Kfar Shmaryahu, north of Tel Aviv.


The Mezuzah is written on Klaf (parchment) by a Sofer (Scribe).  The Klaf comes from the skin of a kosher species of animal.  Any mistakes in a Mezuzah render it Pasul (invalid) similar to a Sefer Torah.

The Mezuzah contains two portions from the Torah.  The first and second paragraphs of the “Shema” both contain the verse “And you shall inscribe these words upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates”.  Once the Mezuzah is written, it is rolled from left to right and placed on the right hand side of each doorpost – besides for bathrooms.  A Mezuzah is not placed on a temporary dwelling such as a Sukkah.

Mezuzot remind us of Hashem’s presence and our duty to fulfill Hashem’s commandments.  When affixing many Mezuzot at the same time only one Beracha is said.  The Mezuzah should be checked twice every seven years.

The name of G-d (Shin-Daled-Yud) is written on the back of the Mezuzah.  These letters also stand for Shomer Daltot Yisrael – Guardian of the Doors of Israel.


It is a Mitzvah for Jews to light candles to usher in Shabbat.  It is a Mitzvah for Jewish men and women to light Shabbat candles on Friday night.  Since the wife generally has more influence over the spirit of the home, she was given the privilege of lighting the Shabbat candles.  If a man lives alone, then he should light the candles.

According to Rashi, women are obligated to light Shabbat candles because women were responsible for dimming the world’s light (Eve was tempted by the snake) and now they must bring light back into the world.

Others say women are obligated simply because they are more associated with the home.  Another explanation is that the naturally spiritual nature of women best qualifies them to be responsible for bringing the spirit of Shabbat into the home.

The most common custom is to light two candles for the two important Biblical references to Shabbat:  “Remember the Sabbath” (Exodus 20:8) and “Observe the Sabbath” (Deuteronomy 5:12).  However, many people light an additional candle for each child in the family, and other light seven candles for each day of the week or for the Temple’s seven-branched Menora.


Barukh atah Hashem E1okeinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat.
Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who has made us holy through His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Sabbath light.

After lighting the candles, the woman covers her eyes with her hands and recites the above blessing.  After the blessing, some women add a silent prayer for the family.

Only after the blessing is recited, the woman uncovers her eyes and looks at the light.  By covering her eyes, the woman can focus more fully on the blessing and can postpone the enjoyment of the fruits of her blessing (seeing the light) until after the blessing is recited.


Birkat Banim (Children’s Blessing) on Shabbat

One of the most beautiful Shabbat traditions is the Birkat Banim over the children on Friday night before Kiddush.

The custom is for the father to put his hands on the child’s head while this is being recited. Some people have the custom where both parents do this.  In some homes the blessing is followed by a kiss, and in other homes it is followed by personal words of praise.

The blessing is sure to make the child feel special and loved, boost the child’s self-esteem, and give the child fond memories of Shabbat-family-together time.   The Birkat Banim is followed by the Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing).

The Blessing for a Son

The Birkat Banim for sons asks Hashem to make them like Ephraim and Menashe.

Just before he died, Jacob blessed his two grandsons, Ephraim and Menashe. He said they should become role models for the Jewish people in the future.

On that day Jacob blessed them, he said, “In time to come, the people of Israel will use you as a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Menashe’.” (Genesis 48:20)

Ephraim and Menashe did in fact become role models worthy of emulation. Unlike those before them, including Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers, Ephraim and Menashe were not rivals. Rather, Ephraim and Menashe were brothers united by their drive to perform good deeds.

May G-d make you like Ephraim and Menashe
May G-d bless you and watch over you.
May G-d shine His face toward you and show you favour.
May G-d be favorably disposed toward you and grant you peace.

Ye’simcha Elohim ke-Ephraim ve’chi-Menashe
Ye’varech’echa Adonoy ve’yish’merecha.
Ya’ir Adonoy panav eilecha viy-chuneka.
Yisa Adonoy panav eilecha, ve’yasim lecha shalom.

The Blessing for a Daughter

The blessing for daughters asks Hashem to make them like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.

Each of the Matriarchs has qualities that qualify them to be role models.  They were strong and laudable women. They endured difficult home lives, hardships in marriage, infertility, abduction, envy from other woman and difficult children. Nevertheless, these righteous women, through their individual passion, their partnerships with the Patriarchs and their loyalty to G-d, succeed to build a nation.

May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.
May G-d bless you and watch over you.
May G-d shine His face toward you and show you favour.
May G-d be favorably disposed toward you and grant you peace.

Ye’simech Elohim ke-Sarah, Rivka, Ra-chel ve-Lay’ah

Ye’varech’echa Adonoy ve’yish’merecha.
Ya’ir Adonoy panav eilecha viy-chuneka.
Yisa Adonoy panav eilecha, ve’yasim lecha shalom.