Corona did not stop the celebration of Shavuot this year. In fact, the ruach stayed from beginning to end.
It started with a powerful service led by our amazing team of rabbis and musicians and included the graduation and reading of the 10 Commandments by our Kabbalat Torah class. This is the shul’s post- BM programme for teenagers after their bnei mitzvah where they join our teachers for debates, discussions and learning through the year.
After shul we traditionally have dinner and our annual (and fiercely contested) cheesecake competition — but how do you have a cheesecake competition when you can’t taste each other’s food? The answer was that each person made their cheesecake at home and then in came Suzelle DIY to host the competition on Zoom.
She first showed a classical Suzelle VDO making a cheesecake out of flapjacks and then interviewed each of the contestants on Zoom finding out how they made the cake, and cracking everyone up with her swift and wacky sense of humour. Mazal tov to the tie-winners Nicole Lamberts and Rachael Bootcov for their winning cheesecakes and to all the contestants for making everyone’s mouths water just from watching.
What was next? A panel of amazing congregants sharing their own idea of what the 11th Commandment should have been. Shkoyach to Nicole Lee Lamberts, Dr Grant Sieff, Jamie McNally, Dean Hyde and Kate Lewin for your amazing talks and David Jacobson for MC-ing the whole thing. And to Ghaim and Mani, the winners of the Tik-Tok competition.
Then it was into the tikkun leil with dynamic panels and sessions from teachers from all over the country and all over the world. Our own rabbinic team combined effortlessly with colleagues from Joburg and student rabbis Brett Kopin and Sofia Zway from Los Angeles to make time fly by, and before we knew it, it was midnight, the book of Ruth was studied and some stayed up and some went to bed. But that was not all!
In the morning, the team of Progressive Rabbis of South Africa led us in the Shavuot shacharit service with congregants logging in from all over the country.
Yashar koach to our rabbis, musicians, presenters, tech support teams and everyone who participated in a Shavuot unlike any other.
Temple Israel www.templeisrael.co.za
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