The view from my veranda

150403 Shabbat Shalom, Blessed Easter, Chag Pesach Sameach

3rd of April 2015
Shabbat Shalom, Chag Pesach Sameach and a Blessed Easter to all.
Israeli ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor -details the anti-Israel record of the United Nations, “Israel is the only nation that is singled out for criticism by virtue of a special program, known as Agenda Item 7. A result, according to the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch, is that more than 50 percent of all condemnatory resolutions are directed at the Jewish state.”
The great ado about the talks with Iran suggest that something solid has happened but all that they have agreed to is that they will continue talking about coming to an agreement.
From the New York Observer – Barack Obama has been compared to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain , who concluded the ill-fated Munich Pact with Hitler in 1938. But Chamberlain acted out of a sincere belief that he was avoiding a greater evil. Chamberlain was not thinking of his place in history. He was thinking only of the Britain that he loved, a Britain that was all but disarmed, exhausted, and vulnerable. In sharp contrast, Mr. Obama is acting out of personal aggrandizement. He believes he is replicating President Richard Nixon’s historic opening of China. For Mr. Obama, the Iranian nuclear arms deal is about his place in history. Mr. Obama is dealing from a position of strength that he refuses to use. The sanctions have hurt Iran. Falling oil prices only add to Iran’s vulnerability. Instead of using the sanctions to pursue his original promise that Iran would not get the bomb, Mr. Obama has moved the goal post.  Read more at 
Cleaning and cooking, preparing and changing, preparing the menus for today and tomorrow, recleaning after cooking one type of food then again for the Passover food and …………. why? There are those who do it because they are told by their Rabbis that it must be done in a specific manner; those who do it by rote; those who refuse to do all of it so do some; some who rebel completely and just dit down for the Passover Seder with a matzah or two. Me? I do it because my parents did it, Zvi’s parent’s did it and they all learned it from their parents. In one word TRADITION!!! I once wrote a poem about my beautiful Mother who passed away when I was just 17. She is with me in my every move, my preparations for Shabbat or for Festivals, her wonderful traditions make me smile even when I am working hard to prepare. My grandfather, my Zeidy, taught me to make Charosis, traditionally the mortar that was used in building the Pyramids (or more likely the mixture of sweetness and bitterness of life) trying to remember the amounts but finally relying on my taste buds! Grated sweet apples, ground almonds, a little sweet wine, a touch of cinnamon and some very finely shredded lettuce (the bitter). YUM!
I remember how we used to send Zeidy outside the kitchen door when he grated the horseradish for the bitter herbs, him laughing at our tears from the pungent root. Daddy’s tradition as we sat at the exquisitely set table – Mummy’s favourite Madeira tablecloths gleaming white – and he would look around family and friends with a twinkle in his eye as he carefully spilt red wine on the cloth. “Now you can all relax, I already stained the cloth”! What a man!
Yesterday we went to the big car wash in Beit Safafa– hundreds and hundreds of cars being washed and cleaned inside and out for Pesach. Surprisingly, despite long lines, everyone was in a good mood!
Supermarkets have shrouded shelves, so that we cannot get to the chametz (non-Passover food); Young men stand beside the road with huge tubs of boiling water to dip and prepare utensils for use over Passover – I cannot bear the thought of my dishes going where others have been so I do my own. A big pot, boiling water, three stones heated to burning on the stove, dip them in and as they make the water boil up, dip the utensils!!! The array of new and different foods is exceptional, each year it is tastier to make Pesach, but the rules become more and more stringent. Why? Don’t get me started!!!!
Tonights menu begins traditionally with the wine, Herbs and blessings, hard boiled eggs in salt water and on to Gefilte fish and Chicken soup with kneidlach – then I chose to do some different foods. Chicken Pastrami, Roast Beef, Beef Bourgignon, Roasted whole fish in herbs, traditional (Heimische) cabbage, ratatouille, roast potatoes and if I have time we will have Potato kugel too. Dessert is on its way when I finish writing to you!!!!
For a logical explanation of this festival I give you Rabbi Jeremy Rosen – Seder
Wishing you and yours a truly wonderful Pesach, a fun Seder night – we jazz it up with the best Chad Gadya ever…………. I brought it with me from Wales. We make the appropriate noises for all the animals – then whoosh for water, bang the table for the stick, sirens for the fire, booooo for the Angel of Death and huge cheers for the Almighty.  We are now on fourth generation of laughing children who forgot the boredom which preceded it!!!!
Another Seder song is Who knows One? This explains it all
Vehi Sheamda is one of my favourites -Yaakov Shwekey & Yonatan Razel [Vehi Sheamda]:
So dear Friends – my oven calls, the table is not yet set so I must away. I wish you all a beautiful week, whether Christian Easter, Jewish Passover from tonight, Samaritan, who follow Jewish traditions, indeed irrespective of your religion, race or creed – I send you love from Jerusalem.
Shabbat Shalom, Blessed Easter and of course CHAG PESACH SAMEACH!!!
With love

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media

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