Julia Margolis of the Beit Luria Progressive Shul in Johannesburg led a Sabbath celebration with the Lithuanian Jewish Community last Friday via the internet. She was the first female rabbi to open a progressive synagogue in South Africa along with others from the South African Union of Progressive Jews. The synagogue is the eleventh progressive synagogue in South Africa and the first in Gaunteng province in many years.
Tull Eckhart provided music during the virtual meeting.
Rabbi Julia Margolis from the Beit Luria website:
“Being a female Rabbi and a Mom can be a bit tricky at times, some people see me only at community events, performing funerals or wedding services. At such life-cycle services I will naturally be wearing more formal clothes and religious attributes, but I am also a mom that does grocery shopping, buying coffee (how could one survive without it ask) the usual of bread and milk. Sometimes I even make it to the local gym, in order to be healthy and hopefully remain on a little longer in this world, to see my beautiful daughters growing up and living their lives. …”
“…Humans are created in G_d’s image and the most important thing is that we learn to live like menches; like good decent people. We are supposed to be what G_d imagined a human could be when G_d created his first human. The point of Judaism is not for us to serve our religion, but our religion is here to serve us; to help us become all we can be. Our traditions help us develop a good sense of self, but also tame our egos by reminding us that there is indeed something higher that we serve.”