The view from my veranda

150626 Muhammad and Sarah Zoabi, London, The 43 Group, Claars, Opera

26th June 2015
Shabbat Shalom from beautiful Jerusalem!! Yes I am back home.
My sojourn in the UK was absolutely wonderful. Family, friends and walking in the green, green parks and playing fields; eating the best food imaginable; going to Sammy’s school fete and dancing with his wheelchair; watching Olivia and Zachary run in their school sports; going to eat a delicious fish meal with Catherine in the local pub; visiting the childrens cheder (sunday school) with Gideon and seeing the hundreds and hundreds of children happily learning of their traditions and commitments as young Jews. While the little ones learned Gideon and I went to visit Nicholas Pelmont, Gideons childhood friend, a special treat.  I went to South Wales, sitting on the train watching a strangely familiar landscape passing by, eagerly anticipating my arrival and hugging my beautiful sister – all fulfilled – spending time with siblings, nieces and nephews, and even the next generation. Making morning tea for Stephanie as she raced around, in incredible good humour, preparing everyone for school, was an especially delightful task, particularly when Gideon joined us before heading off on his bicycle. Actually bicycle is hardly the right description for this shining example of modernisation!!!
I managed to see everyone who called me – including Yaffa, Eleanor, the Rydes and enjoyed every second.
Gideon, like his cousin Steven, is very aware of the rise of anti-Semitism in the world. They can’t do anything about other countries but Britain is another matter. I heard stories of Oswald Mosley’s neo-Nazi thugs from my father, because they appeared in Cardiff too, but didn’t know the full story of the Jewish rebellion to his fascist activities. Gideon told me about The 43 Group, and its founder Morris Beckman, describing his admiration for this group of men and women who had fought in the Second World War, knew the result of fascism, and were not willing to sit back and allow it to happen again. After his recounting of the story I found Morris Beckman’s book about the 43 Group, no longer on the shelves, on Amazon and bought it for Gideon’s birthday, only to find that the book I bought has a dedication in the hand of Beckman himself. The subject came up because on July 4th, a Shabbat, a fascist group intends demonstrating outside Golders Green station (Golders Green is a very Jewish area of London) and a large number of Jews and other morally bound Brits, intend to face these thugs off. Take note of the 43 Group, they brought down Oswald Mosely and they can bring down his modern-day emulaters. This video records the original events and this one the memories of those involved 
Last night we met up with wonderful friends Joyce and Fred Claar, visiting Jerusalem for their annual intellectual stimulation at the Hartman Institute. Both are very involved in Jewish Education. Over dinner I recounted the above story and Fred said that in modern day New York you suffer the same problems but too many people are so PC that they consider incitement to hatred (a crime) as freedom of speech. We should all read the Beckman book I bought mine from Pennine Books, and when my order was received they wrote to tell me how thrilled they are that people still buy the book – since they spent their lives fighting fascism.
Muhammad Zoabi is an Israeli Arab, and Israeli Moslem and most of all an Israeli. Last year Muhammad put a video on Facebook, on Israeli Independence Day, giving absolute support to the State of Israel. He received death threats and found safe haven in the home of Kay Wilson, who herself was the victim of a macabre machete attack while walking in the Jerusalem Hills. While recognising Muhammads bravery I wondered where it came from, after all he was barely 16 at the time. Well here it is. His Mother, Sarah, entered Israel’s Master Chef and chose to speak out about the situation of Moslems in Israel – and surprised the world.
Last night, as we sat in the Sultan’s Pool, beside the magnificent walls of the Old City of Jerusalem watching and wondering at the Israeli Opera production of L’elisir d’amore in that magical place, I noticed Zvi surreptitiously checking his cell-phone, not his usual behaviour at operas, even open-air ones. Why? Because HaPoel Jerusalem basketball team was in the national final!! It took place in the spanking new arena. HaPoel Jerusalem won!!! The National Champions kissed each and every one of the opposing team, Eilat, upon winning. When Mayor Nir Barkat held the cup high above his head, one of the journalists asked how Jerusalem was going to celebrate las tnight. “Not just tonight but all year” laughed the mayor.
So much has happened this week but I haven’t time to tell you!! I will write on Sunday if I can. We are on our way to a friends 70th birthday party and I don’t want to be late. So I will leave you with a few videos to bring in the Shabbat mood. This video of Jerusalem from a drone is gorgeous
Somehow the Mizrachi (Eastern Jews) religious songs have so much joy and I love this Lecha Dodi! Mizrachi Lecha Dodi
Hatikva – Hope. The world is looking grim – too near to the world of 1939. Hatikva at Auschwitz
I have to love you and leave you. I wish you a fine Shabbat filled with wonder and joy. Shabbat, day of Torah and Traditions, of family and prayer.
I ask you to pray for Ezra Dov ben Iska who is undergoing a heart transplant today. pray for him and his Reizele
Moshe ben Rachel, just because I love him and he is going through tough times. For him and his Devorah Leah.
We’ll talk on Sunday about the dreadful situation with Iran, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and so on after Shabbat, after all it is a day of rest!
With love from my beloved Jerusalem and the magnificent view from our veranda.

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

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