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Dane Gawronsky - Dvar Torah


My talk today focuses on extremes :-

From the horror of man’s inhumanity to man,

To the kindness, empathy, love, and caring of certain individuals.


On the 23rd September, 1921, the Edinborough Castle

sailed into Cape Town with a boatload of almost 200 orphaned

children who had been brought here from war-torn Eastern Europe by a caring, loving, kind man by the name of Isaac Ochberg.

My great grandmother, Fanny Lockitch, was one of those kids.

The children were divided into two groups, half of them went to

Johannesburg to Arcadia Children’s Home, and half went to the

Cape Jewish Orphanage ( Oranjia today) in Oranjezicht, Cape Town.

My great grandmother was 10 years old and like all the kids, had suffered the horrific trauma of losing parents and siblings

in the 1st World War.

That act of kindness by Isaac Ochberg saved the lives of all those children who went on to make meaningful lives of their own in a new country.


On the 24th February this year, over 100 years later, Russia invaded Ukraine in an attempt to take over the country by force. This is no different to the Cossack invasion during the 1st World War which left the lives of those Ochberg Orphans in tatters.

We have to question the degree to which man has evolved, and this has made me realise that Empathy, Love, Kindness and Caring is far more powerful than the UGLY need for control and power by individuals interested only in their own selfish gain

without any real caring about the welfare of others, even helpless children, to say the least.


As I enter my teen years, I know that we all need to focus on love, caring and kindness in order to make the world a better place for all .


In caring for each other, regardless of colour or creed, we will also then care for our environment, our habitat, and in the larger , extended picture, our Earth, our home.


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