Cape Jewish Seniors’ guide to what’s happening in Cape Town: February & March

Trienie Weimar, Susie Summerfield and Paulette Gruber enjoying the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens

Exploring ageing with sensitivity 

As we know there is a rapidly ageing population throughout the world. We recently attended a most worthwhile event with a representative of Eshel, an Israeli organisation making strides to ensure that all aged people have the opportunity to live their best lives being exposed to all sorts of ways in which to spend their days well. 

Many elderly speak as though they know everything, but of old age they are, in fact, as ignorant as children. Often they are completely unprepared for what they are to face when it comes to getting old and the road that lays ahead. 

  • The people by your side will only continue to grow smaller in number. Your parents and grandparents’ generation have largely all left, whilst many of your peers will increasingly find it harder to look after themselves, and the younger generations will all be busy with their own lives. Your wife or husband may depart earlier than you, or than you would expect, and what might then come are days of emptiness. You will have to learn how to live alone and to enjoy an embrace solitude.
  • Society will care less and less for you. No matter how glorious your previous career was or how famous you were, ageing will always transform you into a regular old man and old lady. The spotlight no longer shines on you and you have to learn to contend with standing quietly in one corner, to admire and appreciate the hubbub and views.
  • The road ahead could be rocky and full of ups and downs. You might have to live with illness and ailments. Maintaining a positive mentality and getting appropriate, adequate exercise is your duty, and you have to encourage yourself to keep at it consistently.
  • No one wants to prepare for bed-bound life, a return to the infant state. Our mothers brought us into this world on a bed, and after a journey of twists and turns and a life of struggle, we could return to our starting point — the bed — and to the state of having to be looked after by others. The only difference being, where we once had out mothers to care for us, we may not have our kin to look after us now. Even if we have kin, their care may never come close to that of our mothers’. You will, more likely than not be cared for by nursing staff who bear zero relation to you, wearing smiles on their faces all whilst carrying weariness and boredom in their hearts
  • Not everyone is caring and kind and many know that the elderly have savings. There are some who endlessly think of ways to cheat one out of money through scam phone calls, text messages, mail, food and product samples, get-rich-quick schemes, products for longevity or enlightenment. Beware and be careful. A fool and his money are soon parted, so spend your pennies wisely.
  • It would do us all well to see life for what it is, to cherish what we have and to enjoy life whilst we can. As we get older, all the better should we be able to understand what respect is and what it counts for, to understand what it means to let go of your attachments, to mentally prepare yourself. The way of nature is the way of life, go with the flow and live with equanimity.

Hardly the day started and… it is already six o’clock in the evening.

Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday.

… and the month is almost over.
… and the year is almost up.
… and already 50 or 60 or 70 years of our lives have passed.
… and we realise that as we lose our parents, friends and others, we realise that it is too late to go back…

So… let’s try to take full advantage of the time we have left.. Let’s not stop looking for activities that we like… Let’s put colour in our greyness…Lets smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts. Enjoy serenely the time that remains —
eliminate the
‘after’… I do it
after… I will say
after… I will think about it
after… we will leave everything for ‘later’ as if ‘ after ‘ was ours.

Because what we do not understand is that:
after, the coffee cools…
after, the priorities change …
after the charm is broken…
after the health passes…
after the children grow up…
after the parents get older…
after the promises are forgotten…
after the day becomes night…
after the life ends…
and all that afters, we find it’s often too late.

So… leave nothing for ‘later’…

Because in always waiting for later, we can lose the best moments, the best experiences, the best friends, the best family… The day is today…The moment is now.

We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone until tomorrow what needs to be done right away. 

An excerpt of the sensitive exploration of old age and the emotional worlds of the elderly as expressed in The Sky Gets Dark Slowly by Mao Dun)

Diana Sochen Executive Director 

Social and Personal
Henny Bernstein — great grandson
Roni Snitcher — granddaughter
Eve Weinkove — granddaughter
Dorothy Bagraim — grandson
Shirley Greenstein — grandson
Dale Matthews — grandson
Moira and Zack Shapiro — grandson
Shirley Stoltzman — grandson
Janice Bloch — grandson
Shirley Elvey — grandson
Anna Glass and Isaac Joffe
Janey Casper — grandson
Ruth Mink, Selmae Miller, Eunice Movsowitz, Morris Rozen (80th), Pearl Selibowitz, Doreen Seidle and Dawn Veiner (80th)
We extend our sincere condolences to our members those who have lost family members:
Frida Farkas — husband

Special Events in February

Southern Suburbs
3 February – Soet Emporium, Durbanville
10 February – Babylonstoren
17 February – Chart Farm
24 February – Kalk Bay

Sea Point
12 February – Soet Emporium, Durbanville
19 February – Babylonstoren
26 February – Little Stream
11 February – Hotel Verde
25 February – Babylonstoren
West Coast
4 February – Hotel Verde
18 February – Babylonstoren

7 February – Chabad Bochrim
Southern Suburbs 19 February – Richard Mendelsohn
Sea Point 26 February – Brian Opert

Southern Suburbs
31 January
Milnerton 7 February
Sea Point 21 February

Southern Suburbs
12 February – Michael Bagraim
Sea Point 11 February – Dave Stewart
Milnerton 27 February – Dave Stewart

To read the Editor’s column for February click here

To read or download the February issue of the Chronicle in PDF click here

To read the most read article of the December/January issue, click here

Portal to the Jewish Community: to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites, click here


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