Kindness matters – Cape Jewish Seniors Association

Showing kindness — volunteer Sue Clague with Caleb Shwartz collecting Shabbat meals for delivery in Sea Point.

For many years in our busy, complicated, modern world we have noted people living with success and wealth beyond imagination. 

We have brilliant writers, genius scientists, powerful world leaders, teachers, doctors, philosophers and intellectuals. Success is everywhere! But while peace and security are certainly two important components of an ideal lifestyle, more often than not, they are not part of our lives.

Since lockdown at the end of March we have all had a lot of time to reflect. Apart from the fact that the pandemic has affected so many people, I believe that we have all received a gift in the last 100+ days. We have had enough time to reflect on our lifestyles, the frenetic treadmill that so many of us have been on, and what really counts in our homes and community. Being a part of this incredible community and observing what has taken place during the lockdown period, I have noted something that has been hugely missed prior to this period — compassion — and have seen that when it is practiced, we change for the better, and so does our world. 

Acts of kindness are greater than charity since they can be done for both the rich and poor. Charity can only be done with one’s money, while acts of loving-kindness can be performed both personally and with one’s money — Rambam (Hilchos Aivel 14:1). 

Kindness on a basic level is quite easy. If you see someone in a favorable light you naturally want to be kind to them. During the lockdown period, we have noted kindness being shown by friends and strangers alike, and the whole community is actively showing kindness in so many ways to so many people that the change is palpable. It is said that Buddha first taught kindness to a group of monks meditating in the forest. Through meditation and mindfulness, they were taught how to live a life of kindness and in learning this, they learned to protect others. In the past three months, this has happened in our community and there is definitely a refreshing feeling and outlook. People are protecting and looking after each other, practicing kindness with the services being provided by the various sectors of our community and in turn the general community, and especially the vulnerable are feeling safe and nurtured with the antidote to fear being kindness. 

Malcolm Stuppel, Caleb Shwartz and Emmanuel Sibomana perform acts of kindness by delivering Shabbat meals

Kindness diminishes anger. If you are always angry or grumbling, peace and happiness will not be reached and your mind will always be agitated with your stomach in a knot. If you are angry, your intent is harm and harm repeats. When our mind is full of agitation and aggression, we become overly sensitive to everything that happens to us. Irritation arises at the slightest provocation. This angry mind serves no benefit, it only disturbs your relationships with friends, family, co-workers and with whatever it maybe you are trying to accomplish. If you dwell on other’s negative habits you won’t get along with many people, we all have faults, big and small. Those who annoy you will increase — not decrease.

Kindness increases happiness. This is a very good reason for you to make time to extend a little more kindness to those around you. Researchers have found a positive correlation between happiness and kindness. And it’s not just that happier people are kinder, or kinder people are happier. Engaging in a random act of kindness certainly improves your happiness level. Kindness makes us smile and improves our social connections — both things that make us happier.

Kindness connects us with each other. Without the kindness of strangers, you wouldn’t have food on the table or a roof over your head. We are all interdependent. We can’t experience anything without each other. Our amazing volunteers have been assisting us with our food deliveries each Shabbat, connecting our housebound seniors with the outside world as they receive their meals. When connecting and contributing to each other, there is an interdependence with both the giver and receiver benefiting from the interaction

Kindness comes back around. Don’t underestimate the ripple effect of your actions on the planet. And don’t underestimate the boomerang effect your actions will have on your own life, even if not immediately apparent. Allow kindness to become the natural and spontaneous response to every situation, with this increased ability to respond compassionately, true success will follow. Kindness comes in many different forms and kindness can be painful and assertive. Generosity is not always the answer. Think and speak positively, and remember — everyone is worthy of love and happiness. 

The CJSA team continue to work daily from their homes interacting with as many members as possible. All of us are available at any time during normal working hours to chat, advise for any reason whatsoever and the drivers are at hand for any lifting whenever necessary. Our weekly Shabbat meals are serving between 100 and 120 individua/ families thanks to the kindness of our volunteers who are delivering throughout the peninsula every Friday. 

Our Zoom meetings are proving popular with Ageless Grace exercises every Wednesday with Yvonne and Friday with Joycelyn and our special guest presenters every Thursday morning at 10h00. All welcome to join in.

Remember Kindness Matters! Stay well and safe and hopefully, it won’t be long until we are able to open the doors of our centres once again.

Social & Personal

Even during the lockdown period, there have been many occasions to celebrate.

Alan and Pauline Sevitz — granddaughter 
Martin and Rose Margolis — great granddaughter  

Patsy and Michael Baigraim — grandson
Robert and Diane Feinblum — grandson
Thelma Gamsu — grandson
Hilda Wilk — grandson

Gillian Cress — granddaughter

Janice Bloch — grandson

July marks 13 years since Psychological Counsellor Hajiera Safidien joined the employ of CJSA and enriched our lives with her professionalism, care and support of the Milnerton CJSA family. Mazaltov Hajiera, we thank you for your kindness and way in which you look after everyone. Wishing you many more happy years of service to all of us.

We mourn the passing of our members. 

Harold Gochin and Myer Herman, wishing their families and loved ones strength and Long Life.

We also wish Long Life and Strength to Rosebeth and Hymie Becker on the passing of her brother and Eunice and Leon Mofsovitz on the passing of her sister.

Our sincere condolences to the family of Annette Marks on her untimely passing and wishing her family Long Life. As a colleague of the JCC family, she will be greatly missed.

Cape Jewish Seniors Association
Director: Diana Sochen, 021 434 9691,
Admin: Amanda, 021 434 9691,
CJSA on Facebook

Milnerton: Call 021 555 1736
Admin: Call 021 434 9691
S/Suburbs: Call 021 761 7960
Sea Point: Call 072 169 0461
W/Coast: Call 074 405 5186

Download the August 2020 issue PDF – click here for automatic download.

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