Condolences on the passing of Reb Chaim Yitzchak Spivack, father of our esteemed Rebbetzin Rochel Suchard.    Condolences on the passing of Dennis Basserabie husband of Roz Basserabie, father of Sharnee Treger and Kaili Croock.     Mazeltov to Russel and Megan Zetzer on the birth of a daughter and mazeltov to grandparents Hilton and Jennifer Zetzer.    Condolences on the passing of Joan Richter mother of Trevor Richter.     Mazeltov to Allan and Lorraine Lunz on the birth of a granddaughter born in London and mazeltov to parents Carly and Ben Newton.    Mazeltov to Craig and Olga Dogon on the birh of a son.    Mazeltov to Shirley Hatzkilson on, the birth of a grandson and mazeltov to parents Terence and Taryn Hatzkilson.
Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah uses some mighty strong language this week that really needs some understanding:

“See I am placing before you this day a blessing and a curse. The blessing, if you will listen to the commandments of the Almighty which I am commanding you this day. And the curse, if you do not listen to the Almighty’s commandments.”

On top of this, the Sforno, a renowned 15th century Italian commentator, adds “There is no middle way. If a person follows the Torah, his life will be a blessed life. If a person fails to live by the commandments, he will live a cursed life.”

This seems to be a rather extreme statement. However, if we understand that life is either purposeful or meaningful or not, then we can understand that a life of meaning is a blessed life. And a life without meaning is a life devoid of satisfaction and imbued with a sense that nothing makes a difference when life is over anyway (and what could be a greater curse than that?).

Understanding that there is a God Who created the world, sustains it and supervises it — gives life intrinsic meaning. One can always create a sense of meaning in a diversion — acquiring wealth, following baseball or even in something as noble as helping others. However, unless there is a God and there are absolute responsibilities and values, then there is no inherent meaning to life. It gnaws at one’s psyche.

A person needs to have purpose in life, to know that life is meaningful. To be aware of the Creator and to fulfill His will enables a person to experience the greatest of blessings in this world. Each day will be an exciting adventure full of the joy of doing the Almighty’s will. The choice is yours to make. Choose life!

2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony