On time…

In just over a week, and before this paper is delivered to your inbox and/or postbox, Channukah 5782 will be here.

I experienced a bit of a Channukah miracle myself this week. It was midday on Friday, and deadline day for this issue. And we were not ready to go to print! As the hours passed and the finishing line eluded me, I began to panic. I even left an urgent message for the printers, in the hopes of securing an extension. When my colleague Karyn came past my office at 1pm to say goodbye for the day, and “see you tomorrow”, I replied, “Don’t be silly, tomorrow’s Saturday!” It took a bit of convincing on Karyn’s part to get me to understand that ‘tomorrow’ would be Friday; today was only Thursday.

The relief was immense, I felt that I had been given a wonderful gift. While my pulse-rate gradually slowed down, I reflected on the enormity of my 24-hour reprieve. The possibilities were endless! Well not quite — but my world had slowed down to the manageable, and that was enough.

When turning my attention to this column, and the upcoming festival of Channukah, I found a parallel with our ancestors’ delight and amazement at the miraculous gift of light that they received, when one-day’s-worth of oil lasted instead for a whole eight days. The gift of time is a precious gift indeed!

And speaking of the passing of time, it’s already almost 2022. In fact, this is our last issue for this year.

While COVID has continued to dominate our lives and dictate our circumstances, it hasn’t been all bad. Certainly there has been progress where the pandemic is concerned. On page 4 (or click here), read about the inspiring work of Dr Natacha Berkowitz, City Health strategic lead, in managing the response to the pandemic for the City of Cape Town.

This issue is chock-full of evidence of life slowly and tenuously returning to ‘normal’. Families are once again gathering to celebrate simchas; people are travelling; and community organisations are holding in-person events for the first time since Covid struck last year; all of this offering us a tantalising glimpse into what will hopefully be an increasingly COVID-safe 2022.

That said, it seems a fourth wave is on its way, so not yet time to unmask and let down our literal and figurative guard. Hopefully this wave proves to be milder than its predecessors, passing quickly and relatively uneventfully, so that we can continue on our current trajectory, and satisfy our oh-so-human need for social and cultural interaction.

Meanwhile, my best wishes for a relaxed, joyful and healthy December break, and a positive start to the new year.

And depending on when you are reading this, I hope you will have, are having or have had a Chag Channukah Sameach.
We’ll be back in the office in January, working on the online issue for February 2022 .

The Cape Jewish Chronicle invites and welcomes all engagement with our readership. Please make use of these pages to communicate anything that you think might be of interest to our community, by contacting us at chron@ctjc.co.za.

• Published in the PDF edition of the December 2021/January 2022 issue – Click here to get it.

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