Musings of an Orthodox Jew

Thoughts on Torah and the Jewish world today.


For those interested to know about me (don’t you hate writing these things?) I live in Johannesburg South Africa. I have two kids who have enticed me into keeping a menagerie: many fish, a bearded dragon (who despite appearnces is a real sweetie!) and a couple of dogs

My religious life is full- I study daf yomi, try to study the parshas hashavua with peirush Rashi, peirush Ramban, Shnei luchos Habrit and I just recently purchased a Chumash HaGra. I am also working my way through  Reishit Chochmah (struggling with this one- but its interesting even if it does take me reading everything 6 or 7 times to undertand it!) and Nefesh HaChaim.  . I am also the spiritual leader for a small community in Johannesburg- I was appointed as a Reverend by the Rish Yeshivah and the Mashgiach at the Yeshivah where I study and I am recognised as such by the Beis Din.  So  Iam the Ba’al Korei, shalich tsibur and give a couple of shiurim a week- what can I say, they keep me busy!

To contact me privately: allonyoav at yahoo dot com (sorry for the long winded way, just trying to deter too many spam programmes picking it up.)

I can be found on twitter at Twitter– notification of posts here plus other occasional tidbits.

Hmm,and I wil try to get back to posting regularly- suggestions on topics would be welcomed or maybe I need to start writing out my Shabbos Droshas and posting those…


  1. I noticed that you had posted a comment to someone based on what the peyot’s that are sported by hacidic jews were. I was wondering why they are worn? I understand what they are, but I don’t understand the purpose? I love learning about different religions and ways of life. I like your blog! keep up the posting!

    Comment by Monique | October 1, 2008 | Reply

  2. In the Torah it states ‘You must not cut the corners of your beard.” This is understood as referring to the point where the jawbone connects to the skull- and we do not cut our hair above that point. These sideburns are referred to as peyot (literally corners)

    There is also a concept of beautifying a mitzvah by doing more than the minimum necessary. Thus those who wish to beautify the mitzvah of peyot thus grow the hair their much longer. Some have it long and loose, others braid it, others tuck it behind their ears- the specific manner in which they do it is dependent on the community they are in.

    Comment by marcl1969 | October 2, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hiya, Marc, long time no chat! How’s it going?

    Comment by AngloAm | December 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi AA, good to hear from you. So what brings you back here? Nothing bad I hope.

      Comment by marcl1969 | December 3, 2009 | Reply

  4. Good Morning, I have a big problem. My wife has a Jewish Grandmother, but was raised as a Christian. I came to be a Christian back in 2010. Since 2010 we go to a Messianic Congregation and everything was fine, but not anymore. Everything started about 2 months ago when my wife asked me about the trinity. We went to look how can that be, she arrived at the conclusion that there is a Trinity, but cannot understand it, and I came to the conclusion that it makes no sense. I came with the deep conviction that Jesus/Yeshua cannot be the G-d of Israel because G-d is One. My wife often asked me in the past to go to synagogue and I refused to go, because I thought that they do not hold the truth. But on Yom Kippur, she asked me to go and I said yes, because of my conviction that G-d is one, not a triunity.

    Now, I started to look at website like jewsforjudaism and I am even more convinced that what I believed was wrong. I finally told my wife last Tuesday and told the people at my congregation that I don’t think Jesus is the Messiah. Everybody was astonished and tried in a way or another to convince me that I am wrong and that Judasim as nothing to offer.

    I showed my wife and a good friend of mine one passage that they said is a prophecy about Jesus. I told them that christians is taken the Bible out of Context (Hosea 11:1), and told that it is not a prophecy. That we (chrsitians) take so many Bible verses out of context, but they will not even consider what I told them, because it would deny what the Bible said in Matthew 2:15. Throughout all the New Testament, there is discrepancy but they will not even listen and I quickly stop trying to show my point of view.

    My wife is shaken about what I told her. I am not even a Jew. She asked me to have faith in jesus, but I do not believe him anymore. If I would be alone, I would go to a synagogue, but she is so orthodox in her belief, that it would ruin my marriage. I feel that the preachers are using emotion for us to believe “If you do not believe in jesus, you will finish in hell”. If I have doubts, I have to suppress them or not I will deny jesus. My friend told me that there are many things he does not understand, things that are contradictory, but he just ignores them.

    I do not want to look only in Messianic Judaism to convince me that I am right, when every core of my being said that worshiping jesus is Idolatry. I told my wife that I will “Believe” in Jesus (for the sake of my marriage), but I feel like an hypocrite right now. I do not want to be participating in idolatry.

    Could you please give me an advice?

    Comment by Re | October 20, 2014 | Reply

    • You are torn between your beliefs and your wife & marriage. It is not a pleasant place to be in nor an easy issue to deal with. Issues liek these can lead to major conflicts and stress within a marriage which can easily spiral out of control and lead to a breakdown of the relationship.

      The fact that you have come to identify with Judaism and the Jewish POV will create a lot of conflict. There is no way to reconcile the two- “messianic judaism” is more of Christian recruitment tool and is not recognised by Jews or any Jewish organisation as being a Jewish movement! Christian theologyis completely divorced from Jewish beliefs and no amount of taking on Jewish practices or using Hebrew terminology will change the base fact that the two are incompatable!

      Where does that leave you? In limbo I’m afarid- you find yourself uncomfortable with being a hypocrite and pretending to worship in a way you do not agree with; but at the same time you are unable to be Jewsh or part of a Jewish community as you cannot convert to Judaism while married to a non-Jew.

      One thing you can put your mind at ease with: Christianity is not viewed as idolatry in Judaism. The belief in a trinity is known as a shituf (partnership) in Judaism- while all Jewish authorities agree such a belief is forbidden to Jews- it is not forbidden to non-Jews and they can still be righteous while believing in it. Yes, its better if they do not, but it is not idolatry if they do.

      How you can resolve this whole dilema is probably something you need to discuss with a qualified mariage counsellor who has the tools and knowledge to navigate the dilema and assist in coming to a concensus. Unresolved it will probably destroy your marriage- so get assistance form a neutral professional and take things from there.

      Good luck and i hope you mange to resolve this issue

      Comment by marc | October 27, 2014 | Reply

  5. May I ask you a question? Are you more Haredi or Modern Orthodox in thinking?

    Comment by TK | April 28, 2015 | Reply

    • More Haredi. I study in the Ohr Sameach Kollel here and Ohr Sameach while having a strong outreach component is definitely more towards the Haredi side than modern Orthodox. On the other hand I am far more comfortable than most Haredim with technology so in some aspects I lean towards Modern Orthodox though my conduct is not really aligned to that.

      Comment by marc | April 28, 2015 | Reply

  6. Hi Marc
    I’d like to contact you offline. Do you have an email address?

    Comment by Dina | November 13, 2017 | Reply

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