Issues of Faith
“Shalom, the Beloved Country” is a 48-minute TV documentary on the work being done by Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, South Africa's Country Communities Rabbi, in Platteland communities and further afield.
The title plays on the multiple meanings of Shalom, as a greeting, a welcome, and a farewell, as well as on the resonance of Alan Paton's famous book on our beloved country.
A team from the SABC accompanied Rabbi Moshe on his pastoral work in the North West, Free State, Western Cape, and Bulawayo, where the Rabbi opened a library (the Rabbi Moshe Library) for schoolchildren in a suburb of the city.
The documentary explores the challenges faced by Jews in small country communities, and captures Rabbi Moshe's warm and strong relationships with communities that once boasted thriving Jewish populations.
We see many different aspects of Rabbi Moshe's work, from conducting evening services to "schmoozing" with his congregants to visiting old abandoned synagogues to looking after cemeteries to providing help for Jews who have fallen on hard times.
We also see the Rabbi interacting with members of other faiths and communities, as part of his everyday work and mission as "the Rabbi with the biggest flock in the country".
The documentary is scripted and directed by Gus Silber, and will be screened on Issues of Faith on SABC2 on Sunday, November 13 at 9am.