Life moves on and so should we

By Daniel Bloch, Executive Director, Cape SAJBD

“Life moves on and so should we.” So said the late American author, Spencer Johnson, and how right he was.

Despite the immensely challenging and tragic past 18 months, life has continued and many of us have found a way to soldier on.

Rosh Hashana has come and gone, and at the time of writing this, we are already a week into 5782. The year seems to have started on a positive note and Baruch Hashem, it will continue to, as we head towards the remainder of the chaggim. This year it was a treat and privilege to be able to daven in shul and hear the shofar, surrounded by familiar faces all enjoying the Chazan’s melodies and even staying awake during the Rabbi’s sermon. After being cautious in the lead-up to Yom Tov and staying home as much as possible, it was a huge reward to be able to enjoy dinner and lunch with close family and friends. To me, the bonus was that everyone I chatted to or enjoyed a meal with had been vaccinated.

What does ‘normal’ or ‘the new normal’ mean? Nowadays wearing a mask wherever you go seems normal. Using sanitiser when entering and leaving an establishment and checking your temperature every day seems to be our new way of life. Although COVID-19 should not dictate how we live our lives, we still need to remain cautious. As more and more people get vaccinated, we may start enjoying our freedoms a bit more. As more people get vaccinated, we will be able to resume a life that more closely resembles life pre-March 2020.

Shuls will once again host vibrant Shabbat services and welcome congregants for Saturday morning brochas; families can celebrate weddings, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs with the entire community, and we will once again see extended family and friends.

Keeping with the theme of ‘life moving forward’, after months of going back and forth, it seems as though the local government elections will go ahead from 27 October to 1 November. This is our chance to vote for a local government that we can trust and rely on. A government that will ensure that our ‘normal’ way of life continues (in terms of running water, the fixing of burst pipes and rubbish collections, plus the bonus of less load-shedding than our friends in Gauteng), and that basic necessities are provided for. Almost 50% of our community did not vote in the last election, yet many of these non-voters are the same people complaining about service delivery. If we want to make a difference then we need to get to the polling stations and cast our votes. Follow our #VotesMatter campaign on Facebook (@Cape SAJBD) and Instagram (@capesajbd) to find out more about the Local Government Election, how to register and how to cast your vote on voting day.

Our community expects the Cape SAJBD to protect the Jewish community and our way of life. On 31 October 2021, we will host our annual conference which will include not only report-backs from our Chairperson and Treasurer, but also an exciting programme packed with leading and inspirational speakers, covering thought-provoking topics that may very well influence the future of our community. We may even be able to host a ‘normal hybrid’ conference with in-person delegates — watch this space!

Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies website:, Instagram, and Facebook page.

• Published in the PDF edition of the October 2021 issue – Click here to get it.

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