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Remembering Dr. Clive Leslie Carpel


Remembering Dr. Clive Leslie Carpel

(25/05/1933 – 15/11/2016)

Reflections of his ‘Chanich’ in Bnei Akiva

Almost a year will have passed since our beloved Madrich, true friend and guide will have passed on. Anything I could say would be inadequate praise for someone who  added so much to the lives of those he met.  So I add a few anecdotes and remarks, softened with a tear.

Dr. Clive Carpel was a psychiatrist (ex Greys College, PE and KES - King Edward School in Johannesburg), a stalwart of Bnei Akiva and a great Zionist.  Someone once told the Late Rebbe of Lubavich that he did not want to go for counselling to "Foxy" as he was no longer ‘so observant’. The Rebbe immediately squashed this by telling him to continue to go to such a person who was a real mensch and totally qualified for guidance.  I remember to this day a soccer match against another Zionist Organization at Balfour Park in which he received a pass.  After steadying the ball (as we had been taught), with his head covered by a "kippah"/or baseball cap, he raised his two arms above his head and shouted "Leshaym Shamayim" and banged the ball in between the goal posts. 

I subsequently told him that I was eternally grateful for his influencing my "Yiddishkeit" (in the old Litvak/S.A. parlance) more than many, many Rabbis.

Finally I will never forget the laughter of Rabbi Kossowsky and Rabbi Bronner and the  "chevre" when he and I sang songs in our skits like "Some Enchanted Mincha", "Shokelling the Rebbe back home" (we apologize Nat King Cole) and "doing the Davening Wig-Wok."

He was once complimented by Afrikaans students when he, Dr. Simon Slasky, Alex Chaitowitz and Cyril Fine did not come on Shabbat or write on Shabbat if there was no emergency:  "Julle is egte Jode"!

During this year I say Kaddish for him and invite others to honour this beautiful Neshomeh – a great ‘oke’ – by also doing so.

My very special thanks and regards and great gratitude to an unusual person.


Rabbi Mendel Katz, Kfar Haroeh

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