The view from my veranda

151002 Eitam and Na’ama Henkin , PM’s UN Speech, Simchat Torah

2nd October 2015
Shabbat Shalom everyone! Sorry this is so late but I was deep in my Shabbat preparations and only just sat down to write. I was also a little intimidated by the news since I last put fingers to keyboard – one can no longer say pen to paper after all.
I will come to the Prime Ministers speech in a moment but, I have to start with a very sad event, one which as the PM said brought absolute silence, inaction from the foreign media. True at the same time there were other murders – a family of 6 in Houston, Texas and 6 in California, but this is different, this is hatred not criminal. An Israeli mother and father in their 30s were gunned down and killed yesterday evening in front of four of their children in the West Bank. The attackers reportedly fled to a nearby Palestinian village. The attack happened shortly before 9pm on a road between the settlements of Itamar and Elon Moreh. Eitam and Na’ama Henkin were driving four of their six children when the attack occurred. Initial reports suggest that as they slowed to turn a corner, a car sped up alongside them and opened fire. Paramedics who arrived on the scene pronounced both parents dead on arrival, while the four children aged between four months and nine years old escaped physical injury. Their 9 year old said the mourners kaddish at the funeral today. May their souls rest in peace and may their children have no memories of the horror.
Incredibly, Fatah, President Abbas own organization, proudly claimed responsibility while Hamas praised them. Apparently they are working together after all.
 I couldn’t work out why PM Netanyahu stood in silence before beginning his speech in the UN. I was also baffled at the first half of his speech which was rather same-old, same-old, Iran and that darned agreement again – in fact I half expected him to come up with another picture of a cartoon bomb, and then it happened. He began to speak of what is behind his distress at the Iran deal and that clear and present threats to Israel specifically, and the world in general, with the Iranian nuclear programme. As he said, if they wanted to wipe out Israel they already could, the war heads they want to manufacture will reach Europe and the USA! He spoke out about the silence, the deafening silence of world leaders when yet again Jews are the target of mass death threats. Then he was again silent, for 45 seconds, which sadly drew attention from what he had to say.
The PM continued describing the wonderful inventions and innovations of Israel, without which the modern world would be so different, and the ludicrous actions of the UN Security and Human Rights Councils against those who really threaten our world. Worth listening to.
After our lovely visit up north with the children, playing beside the Kinneret, horse riding, kayaking and eating too much and too often, Zvi and I went to visit Zvi’s lovely cousins Gabby and Dvora. Gabby is an excellent chemist (not pharmacist but chemistry type chemist) and Gabby explained the entire situation with Iran, that it is really a political sidetracking throughout the West because the greatest danger is not of a nuclear holocaust but rather from a dirty bomb carried on the back of a willing member of ISIS, Al Qaeeda, Hamas, Hezb-Allah or any of the myriad of other murderous fanatics. A small bomb, in a backpack, when released could cause infinite deaths and poison the earth for eternity. How do we know who? We don’t. We are gullible, naïve and ingenuous all mixed up together. We are kind hearted fools, our fear of past xenophobia has made us ideal targets. It terrified me.
So, dare I look at the gorgeous things that happened to us this week? I think it is essential!!!
As I told you our trip to the Kinneret was excellent. Thoroughly enjoyable with 5 grandchildren, Amit, Gili, Ori, Ella and little Yonatan and 6 adults the ratio was ideal.
Yesterday Zvi and I took Yosef, Talia and Ayala on an adventure day. We started with horse-riding at Amirs stables, a marvelous place near Ramot which has facilities for disabled riding too. We went on to a huge playground, ate lunch then to the climbing walls under the football stadium near our home. Zvi was very brave holding the support ropes and the children climbed to their hearts content. We were both exhausted at the end of the day – but the children were happy!!!
What do you think of when you hear the word Israel? Bible, war, terror, news………….. well Diane Steinfink sent me this link to remind you what Israel really is.
Nearly Simchat Torah – literally the Joy of the Torah – where we read the final weekly portion of the Torah and rewind the ancient scroll to the beginning to start all over again. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, talks of the love of the Jewish people for the Torah, and how it turns into a bride on Simchat Torah
Not just a bride but a joyous bride! Dancing in the streets
Have you noticed how often we say Shalom? Shalom, peace is in almost every Israeli song and most Jewish songs. It is what we seek and what we believe in. Shalom Lecha Dodi is a beautiful Shabbat Song. Not Lecha Dodi but Shalom Lecha Dodi, Peace be with you my friend.
Shabbat Shalom, Chag Sameach and back to the preparation because it is almost Shabbat. We have friends coming for supper tonight so we have a full menu. Home-made Challot this week, Salads galore, roasted cauliflower, both in Turmeric and olive oil and in Tehina, Roast vegetables, Quenelles of fish in Chraimeh, Whole Sea Bass in Lemon and spices, Salmon in Teriyaki, and lots of other surprises. So I must run before Shabbat.
I am so grateful as I look over Jerusalem, quiet and peaceful as Shabbat nears. Grateful that this city honours the Muezzin and the Church bells just as she does the Jewish festivals. I am truly grateful for the view from my veranda – and the trees and flowers which garland our panorama.
Shabbat Shalom to you all
With much love