Dear MHC fellow congregants


I took my family for a drive to see the last sunset before we entered a national lock-down.

What a surreal feeling…

It feels like we are living through a terrible movie that someone in Hollywood dreamed up after a particularly bad party.

Daily life, as we know it, in South Africa has just changed dramatically and the freedom of movement, which we have always seen as a right, has just become a lost privilege.

On our drive back from the beachfront I saw street people begging for what could be their last income for some time and I realised that many of us in the Milnerton Hebrew Congregation have many reasons to still feel blessed, including the following few things:

  • We have homes with electricity and sanitation.
  • We do not have to travel far to reach local supermarkets for essential goods.
  • We are part of a broader Cape Town Jewish community who have structures such as JCS to assist those in need.
  • We have a learned and caring Rabbi who has proactively set plans in place to help provide some basics for those who do not have enough.
  • We live in an era of technology which can keep us connected to a great degree even while we are confined to our homes. Not only can we keep in contact with one another, but our Rabbi has instituted a WhatsApp group for communication and a learning programme aimed at all congregants no matter our level of Torah knowledge.
  • CSO Medical and CSO Security will keep serving us during this time.
  • Our Cape Town community has great functional care infrastructures for the challenged and elderly.
  • Our MHC office staff have laptops which has thankfully enabled us to function even through this lock-down.
  • I was able to join Rabbi Bernstein online to hear him say Hallel on the first day of Nissan which was a welcome opportunity even if it was not in a minyan.

All congregants are encouraged to stay in contact with the office and the Rabbi throughout this challenging period and I hope that everyone has something of their own to add to the list above of things to be grateful for.

I would like to be able to learn positive life lessons from this unprecedented part of human history and of course I hope BH to avoid infection but who knows what the future holds.

Let’s enjoy each day together in peace, brought together in our common humanity by a virus.

Wishing you good health and a Shabbat Shalom

Bruce Conné

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