4th December 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear friends.
Two days ago, a 16 year old calmly walked into a Rami Levy supermarket in Mishor Adumim, walked past the guard, pushing a trolley, like all the other customers, took out a knife and began to stab customers leaving the store. He succeeded in injuring two middle aged ladies, lightly, before the guard and an off duty policeman stopped him, shooting him and lightly injuring him. The off duty policeman was in fact one of the Prime Ministers Office security staff.
Yes I know, crazy 16 year olds everywhere hold up supermarkets but this was different on many levels. One his intention was to kill Jews and those who shop with them. Secondly Rami Levi has an equal opportunity employment policy and in Mishor Adumim, former home to Sodastream, both Jews and Arabs work and shop together, they thought without fear. Commenting on the incident Rami Levi stated adamantly that he will not let a 16 year old ruin the wonderful “du kiyum” co-existence in his stores.
Hatred comes from Jews too. The Co-existence school in Jerusalem was defaced and classrooms burned. Arrogant and uninformed Jewish oafs wrote hate messages in spray paint. Yes again, I know, it happens everywhere, but the stakes are so much higher here.
I don’t want you to believe that Jerusalem is a dangerous city. It is always in the news because the media presence is huge and after all, this is Jerusalem. I looked up comparative urban violence in the world and was amazed. One friend who hails from Miami was scared to come to Jerusalem so I present the comparison first to Miami.
Comparative crime rates Miami/Jerusalem. http://www.numbeo.com/crime/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=Israel&city1=Miami%2C+FL&city2=Jerusalem
New York/Jerusalem http://www.numbeo.com/crime/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=Israel&city1=New+York%2C+NY&city2=Jerusalem
Talking of violence, the horrific events in the USA over the last week, Ferguson in particular, are beyond my understanding. I know the cause, I know the effect but…….. yet again Rabbi Jeremy Rosen says it better than I http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.co.il/
There is so much going on here and now, just to make our lives perfect the Prime Minister has been forced to call elections. The accusations are flying, Lapid suggesting the PM is detached from reality of life for ordinary folk and of the immense changes in the American administrations attitude to Israel; the PM says Lapid should grow up and learn the ropes before trying to solve the complexities of the Exchequer; Prof Steinitz also accused Lapid of political immaturity and ego; Livni, well, Livni will always go against former allies.
It is insane, we can’t waste the vast amounts of money required to pay for elections and Israelis are sick of a system which denies us political stability in a neighborhood that demands political stability. The problem, in my opinion, is not with the politicians (not that they thrill me) but rather with the form of voting. We cannot be ruled by small parties that care infinitely more about their political future than the good of the country. Unlike the States, Britain has smaller parties although they have to pass a specified number of votes to be considered – there is even Screaming Lord Sutch Monster Raving Loony Party (yes really http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screaming_Lord_Sutch) but it is known to be a lampoon of politics. It is unusual that a third Party takes part in government. Proportional representation is wonderful on paper but constituency representation demands greater representative responsibility. We must change the electoral system – URGENTLY.
Yesterday there was a serious ecological accident in the Aravah, the South of Israel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabah. A major crude oil pipe broke spilling huge quantites of crude oil onto the virgin soil of this nature reserve. The bigger creatures like the fleet-footed gazelles, managed to escape but smaller creatures and plants did not survive. We yet have to discover the extent of the damage.
Olga Meshoe brought a group of young black South Africans to Israel.”We know what Apartheid was, because we still suffer from the scars of it and my parents were directly impacted,” says Olga Meshoe, COO of Defend, Embrace, Invest, Support Israel (DEISI) “How in the world, seeing what we see, knowing what we know and being educated as to truth, can we say Israel is an apartheid state?” http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Eyes-wide-open-383624?prmusr=HmlM9w8tcsqoHMgiYPUBT3g%2FbrKPXwHZa4MjpAZctP2onbEzzicVz281Z8%2Bf8acD
Now to something completely different!
Last week was the birthday of an incredible man, a humble, brave and exceptional man who was true to his own morals, ethics and humanity and saved the lives of over 650 children in WW2. Sir Nicholas Winton, 105 years old kept his beautiful secret until 50 years after his heroic work, his wife discovered a scrap book in the attic. Get out your Kleenex’s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6FlMLyf0yk
The weather has been phenomenal, glorious, but gentle winter sunshine and the temperatures are perfect – about 20 degrees C. Based on the wonderful weather and the uncertainty of the returning rains, yesterday I went to the beach with Rachel, Yosef, Talia and Ayala. It was the most glorious day and we decided to steal an hour or so of sunshine before dark so we drove to Palmachim and the children had so much fun running on the sands and finding incredible seashells. Yosef even took a very, very short dip in the rather cold winter sea!
Yet another Chanuka is nearing and Israelis diets have gone west! The reason? Sufganiyot – donuts – doughnuts – rosquilla -ciambella -toesen (that’s Welsh). Just see the incredible variety! http://igoogledisrael.com/2012/11/hanukkah-means-donuts-sufganyot-means-roladin/
And so to music. For those who forget those who fought so hard to found this nation – the State of Israel Dudu Fisher sings the words of Exodus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x99h0gGvnsc and Pat Boone sings his original version. He wrote the song for the movie but put his heart into the composition and donated the lyrics to Yad Vashem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw0FLzUKphw
Jerusalem still feels kinda lonely since Zvi is still with his family in Mexico. Our children are making sure I don’t have Shabbat alone ( although last week I was really poorly with a terrible cough and he was in Mexico with a stomach bug!!!!!). Tonight I will spend my traditional Friday night meal with Rachel and Igal and the children. Igal brings new and beautiful Kurdish Shabbat traditions to the family and Rachel, Oh what a brilliant cook and balabusta my daughter is!!! Tomorrow Leor and Shiri, Amiad and Noga and their children will make my Shabbat another family day – Shabbat is family after all.
This weeks reading from the Torah is particularly relevant today. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks describes it thus “Power is like a contaminant, a disease, which once introduced will gradually but inexorably become universal in the system of competing societies.” Shechem’s single act of violence against Dina forced two of Jacob’s sons into violent reprisal and in the end everyone was either contaminated or dead. It is indicative of the moral depth of the Torah that it does not hide this terrible truth from us by depicting one side as guilty, the other as innocent. Violence defiles us all. It did then. It does now.” http://www.rabbisacks.org/parable-tribes-vayishlach-5775/
With much love from Jerusalem, most beautiful and spiritual city in the world.
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Sheila’s blog http://shabbatshalom-theviewfrommyveranda.blogspot.com/
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