By Daniel Bloch, Executive Director, Cape SAJBD
We are all looking forward to a year filled with peace, happiness, and good health.
Regardless of where you live, your age, your ethnicity or your religious beliefs, we all want to leave the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict and chaos behind us.
As we head into the Yamim Noraim, we must all take time to reflect on, and take stock of, the past year. We must be grateful for all the good things in our lives and see how we can share our good fortune — and that incredible Jewish spirit of Tzedakah — with those in need.
Reflecting on my own year, I have so much to be thankful for. For starters, my family and I have enjoyed a relatively healthy past twelve months, having avoided the dreaded COVID-19 infection (touch wood); receiving our first Pfizer vaccine towards the end of July; and by the time you read this article, we will have received our second dose! Our parents have also been fortunate enough to avoid COVID-19, and we pray that they continue to live their lives in good health.
If there is a silver lining during this pandemic, it has been the opportunity to spend quality time with my family. We have been fortunate enough to travel around the Western Cape (observing COVID-19 protocols) and experience some of the beauty this province has to offer. Whether it was enjoying a braai in Paarl, playing in the snow in Matroosberg or feeding the chickens in Stanford, we were able to connect as a family, learn new things about each other and ultimately enjoy each other’s company. Whilst online learning may drive parents up the wall, I have been able to observe what my children are learning and how they interact with their classmates — something we rarely experience when they are at school. Being able to play such an active role in their learning development has been invaluable and something I am sure most parents will appreciate. Special recognition needs to be given to all teachers who demonstrate endless patience and the ability to remain calm despite the constant chattering, screaming and fidgeting during online classes.
In May, I was given the wonderful opportunity and honour of representing my community by joining the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies. Despite the first few challenging months, I have managed to settle into the role without too many bumps and bruises. This smooth transition has been made possible with the support of my amazing professional team, as well as the lay leaders on our Cape Council. In order to be successful in life and business, you need to surround yourself with people you trust, people you care about and people who believe in you — for this I am truly grateful.
Being part of a community that strives to help others and continuously performs acts of Tzedakah is something I am not only appreciative of, but also feel extremely privileged to be part of. Whether sending supplies to the residents of KZN and Gauteng after the looting, helping clear the rubble after the devastating fires in April, assisting the elderly to get their vaccines, or raising funds to feed kids in disadvantaged areas, OUR community has stepped up and helped out.
May the next year bring peace, prosperity and good health for all. Wishing everyone a Shanah Tovah Umetukah and may we all be inscribed in the book of life.
• Published in the PDF edition of the September 2021 issue – Get the PDF here.
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