Rabbi Yossy Goldman, one of the best-known rabbis in South Africa and author of one of the most-popular columns on the Judaism website Chabad.org, has compiled his commentaries on the weekly Torah reading into a new book that aims for an audience as varied as the Jewish world.

Released by KTAV publishing, From Where I Stand – Life Messages From the Weekly Torah Reading draws not only on Goldman’s weekly online sermonettes, but also from new material, resulting in a volume that is “eminently usable, for everything from a rabbi’s sermon to a vort for your Shabbos table,” according to Chabad.org editor Rabbi Yanki Tauber.

The collection, which includes a foreword by former Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Lau, is “a gem, witty and wise, learned yet accessible, like the man himself,” said British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


A Chabad-Lubavitch emissary, the New York-born Goldman arrived in Johannesburg in 1976 as the founding director of the city’s first Chabad House. In 1986, he accepted the pulpit of the Sydenham Shul, a vibrant synagogue that serves a broad base of South African Jewry. As president of the South African Rabbinical Association he appears regularly on national radio and television, serving as a spokesman of sorts for Jewish values and teachings.

“It’s actually quite funny,” Goldman said once about his public role. “I was just at the bank and the security guard greeted me by name. I was taken aback, and he said he had just seen me on TV and that I was a celebrity. I didn’t mind at all because I never received such good service at that bank as I did on that visit.”

Goldman, who addressed the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries as its keynote speaker in 2002, extensively quotes the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, throughout the book.

“They are down to earth, practical and relevant,” he said of the sermonettes. “I always try to include a story, something humorous, or an anecdote to liven it up. It is Jewish wisdom distilled in such a way that readers can then go and share it with their own audiences.”

Goldman’s Chabad.org columns are also being translated into Hebrew, Spanish, French, Russian and German. Published by KTAV, the rabbi’s 256-page hardcover book can be found at Jewish bookstores and ordered online at www.ktav.com.