Rabbi Woolf Yesorsky - The South African Jewish Report (Friday, 18 March 2011 / 12 Adar II, 5771 Volume 15 Number 10)

Started by Jon Hornstein on Friday, July 26, 2013


Profiles Mentioned:

7/26/2013 at 9:05 AM

082-444-9832, fax: 011-440-0448,

This city is named after the Gubulawayo kraal where Lobengula the king of the Matabele (1836 - 1894) originally held court.
Shulamit Kagan continues:
“The spiritual leader at the time (early 1950s), was Reverend Yesorsky, a tolerant and learned man who was much in demand as a lecturer both in English and Hebrew. The leader of the Reform congregation was Rabbi Cassel. He was a liberal man who was not afraid to speak against the government’s racial policies. Like Rev Yesorsky he was erudite and never refused to share his knowledge with others.
“Rev Yesorsky and Rabbi Cassel got on well together. Rabbi Cassel never failed to attend the second day of Yamin Tovim in
the Orthodox shul. In time Rev Yesorsky got ‘smichah’ and became a rabbi. Among the many dignitaries who attended his
induction were all the Christian clergymen of the town.

“In 1964 Rabbi Yesorsky committed suicide in a most horrific way. The community buried him with all the honours due to a spiritual leader - virtually the whole community followed him to his last resting place - but not one of the Christian clergy.
“During Rabbi Yesorsky’s time we had a ‘shochet cum chazzan’ who had served the community for many years. However, he
eventually disgraced himself by stealing meat from the abattoir.

“After him came shochetim from Israel who served the community, but whose main task was to slaughter and kasher meat for Israel.
“I don’t remember who came after him, but I have an idea that it was Rev Shlapek, a learned but nervous survivor of the Holocaust, who served also as a teacher in the cheder.”

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