The view from my veranda

150522 Jerusalem Day, Ethiopian Day, ICEJ, IsraAid, Palmyra, Syria

22nd May, 2015
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope you are all well and that the week was kind to you.
A friend sent me a quote. It took me a moment to really absorb it, and accept its truth. The quote is from the movie Exodus. Ari ben Canaan: “Jewish flesh is cheap, lady. It’s cheaper than beef. It’s cheaper even than herring.” I have no doubt it is still relevant but these days it includes Christians. The media seems to care not a jot when the victims of horrific slaughter and oppression are Christians or Jews………… and I don’t understand it.
Thousands are dying, literally thousands, in so many areas of the world it is terrifying; oppression is rife; racism is innate; war and poverty unbearable yet the media still seems to spend 90% of its time villifying Israel!!! Unfairly? Well, another quote this week was “0.1% of the worlds population yet 30% of doctors who rushed to give aid and sustenance to Nepal” Makes you think eh?
I have often thought about why they villify us, why politicians spend most of their time and energy finding “solutions” to our situation rather than their own. Well truthfully, none of them can solve their own, or any of the other situations in the world but they can tell us what to do and the media can report on every apparent infringement and their reporters are still allowed to report without either banning or decapitation.
Jerusalem Day was a joyous occasion in Jerusalem. Flags, song, parades and……… stone throwing. Can you imagine if a specific group of French Moslems threw stones at the celebration of Bastille Day? or at the singing of the Welsh National Anthem at a Rugby match? Or at Thanksgiving, or Australia Day? That is the equivalent and do not be fooled.
Jerusalem coincided with the Memorial for Ethiopian Jews who perished on their perilous journey from dire oppression in Ethiopia. President Rivlin spoke at the Memorial “Just as it happens in the transition between Memorial Day and Independence Day, here too we find the interlocking symbolism of infinite sadness and joy mixed together. For thousands of years Ethiopian Jews lived with the concept of Jerusalem, Yerus-Alam, in their hearts, eager to immigrate to Israel, yearning to be in Zion from a distance. In the early ’80s, and not for the first time, Ethiopian Jews marched for months under the scorching sun and the darkness of the night toward Jerusalem. They walked without much sleep, without food, hundreds of miles away. More than 4,000 died on the way. The immigration story of Ethiopian Jews to Israel is a story about faith and hope, about the determined Ethiopian Jewish leaders who were courageous and did not give up.”
Our Jerusalem Day was special, very special. We went, with our friends Nancy and Harry Bloomfield and Sheila Zucker, to the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. Among the Founders of the Embassy were the Van der Hoeven family, Malcolm Hedding who came for the ICEJ conference, and our Israeli friends Tim and Martha King. So many others, the Director Juergen Buehler, David Parsons, Beverley Dwyer, Mike Evans (both senior and Junior), Shaya Ben Yehuda, Rabbi David Rosen and too many friends to dare continue!!!! Their building exquisite, their purpose pure and their joy at the reunification of Jerusalem expresses their understanding, both Biblical and historical. The Embassy was created when a few amazing people understood that the world was abandoning Jerusalem – moving their Embassies to Tel Aviv – and decided to build and Embassy for those who recognise that Israel is a democracy and Jerusalem her Capital City. Proudly Christian, never proselytising, the ICEJ is a sign of hope in a sea of despair.
I decided to check, how many situations whereby Embassies were not in Capital Cities. Maybe Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Korea, indeed any country however tyrannical,  but none, no a one, only Jerusalem. What does that tell us? Is it the enormous financial influence of Arab countries? It can’t be a moral issue because, hey, Jerusalem is the capital of a highly moral and generous country; What can it be? It is total lack of understanding of the Middle East, diplomatic and political convenience, bowing down to immoral pressure,  mixed with that little quote from Ari Ben Canaan.
I found a fascinating link showing percentages of each religion, throughout the world, region by region, both today and predictions until 2050
ISIS is not on the retreat, far from it. The Syrian city of Palmyra, world heritage site, has been overtaken. ISIS immediately began doing what they know to do, destroying history. Indeed Assad has his escape plan in place. The moment has passed by which we could have stopped them, their evil is rife, burning like wildfire through the Near and Middle East, and quietly growing throughout YOUR country in order to emerge when the moment is ripe. No, dear wonderful people, I am not exaggerating. I wish I were.  Weak world leadership, inept military action, unfinished wars, political correctness all play their part and have done since 9/11, London’s 7/7 or any of hundreds of diabolical terror attacks around the world. Back to Palmyra and President Assad – as terrible a man, he is an angel compared to those who would take his place.
The growing evil is endorsed by the UN and by the apathy of the worlds leaders. For example – this is the latest offering of the UN 
GENEVA, May 20, 2015 – As Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for escalating numbers of wounded Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks, the U.N. reached new heights of absurdity today by accusing Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan. By a vote of 104 to 4, with 6 abstentions and 65 absent, the Jewish state was singled out as the world’s top violator of health rights by the annual assembly of the U.N.’s World Health Organization.
President Obama rejects the “rubber stamping”of policies on Israel. Why? “Because he cares so deeply”  What? He cares so deeply about the “settlements”. settlements? I do not believe all the stories of the President being anti-Israel but this is ludicrous. The entire region (except for Israel) is seething bed of hatred and killing and a few Jews in settlements are what is bothering the administration?
Jill, Zvi and I were in Tel Aviv for Shabbat with Amiad and Noga. We played with the children in the park then walked to see Paul and Vivien Zimmet at the Hilton. Paul and Vivien were here for the  Tel Aviv University meetings. Deirdre and Keith Beville were there but we missed them which is OK since they came to stay on Tuesday!! Dr Eli Fischer founder of the excellent skin products aptly called Dr Fischer, was there too with his friend  Edna Heruti stood to have their portraits taken to send to Yitzik Lev – an essential member of their Friday Parliament!!!!
Jill left, Deidre and Keith Beville came to stay overnight (yes I did wash the sheets in between!). It was so much fun, talking to them in our home having lunch watching the view from our veranda and finally finding out who they are besides Jewish Agency and Keren Haysod meetings! It was great fun discovering what amazing people they are. Dinner in Zion ha Gadol and the next day they went to Mahane Yehuda and fell in love with its cacophony and bustling activity as we do.
Wow, I don’t know where to start but this morning I had a meeting. I am still flying high! It was the first time I had ever met with Shachar Zahavi, the driving force behind IsraAid. We have been emailing since Haiti but never actually met. Shachar drove from the North with his lovely wife Rachel and we met at the Bloomfields Jerusalem home with a view to challenge ours.  Shachar told of how he and a few friends recognised the need for “on the ground help” in disaster stricken areas. It is irrelevant whether it is in Haiti, Ruanda, Phillipines, Iraq, Syria or New Jersey, IsraAid not only arrives, IsraAid stays. Experts in every field teach the locals to manage the post disaster situations so that they can not only get on their feet but rebuild in a logical and efficient manner – from physical buildings to psychological aid. I was so deeply impressed and watched as Nancy absorbed every word and Harry began questioning, doubting and ended the meeting recognising that this young man had the support of the USA and UK government which asked IsraAid to teach others to work the same way, UNICEF which works closely with IsraAid………. their work is truly Tikkun Olam. I especially like what the Denver Federation did. They could not physically help with the floods but instead, to ensure that everyone knew who helped they put up huge posters .  WHO OTHER THAN ISRAEL HELPED DENVER As Shachar said “Wherever we go they love Israel”
So that’s that! Food is ready, we now have both Shabbat and Shevuot. I don’t want to overload you so I am going to use the wonderful services of my dear friend Rabbi Jeremy Rosen Shevuot, festival of Torah, study and whiteness to emphasise the purity after being given the 10 Commandments. Shevuot, Pentecost, let’s celebrate together, not only with cheesecake but in prayer that the Judeo-Christian traditions be upheld.
I didn’t get the children today, I went straight from Harry and Nancy’s to Givat Zeev just as they came home from school. Each child has a task before Shabbat and my incredible daughter Rachel had created a veritable feast. Coming home past the panorama from Samuels Tomb I was once again reminded of our ancient past here on this land. Despite so many exiles and enslavement we are here, we are back and have no intention of going anywhere.
This video isn’t exactly a song but it a beautiful explanation of Shevuot
Lecha Dodi is the traditional Friday night synagogue song. I am not a fan of modern versions (sorry) but this is really beautiful. The Maccabeats Lecha Dodi to the tune of Leonard Cohens Halleluya
Finally, the exquisite voice of Lt Col Shai Abrhamson, the Cantor of the IDF singing Avinu Malkeinu sh’b’Shamayim, Father our King who is in Heaven, take care of this land, this land of ours.
I wish you a beautiful Shabbat, I pray that it is filled with love and joy and that you are strong and able to cope with whatever life throws at you.
With all our love from Jerusalem, Capital of the State of Israel, ancient capital of the Jewish people.Shabbat Shalom – Chag Shevuot Sameach
Two gems to end with!!!!!
Hatikva in French – absolutely wonderful
Found this incredible El Al Ad…….

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

Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv