The view from my veranda

151023 WZO, PM speech, WIZO, Doreens visit


23rd October 2015

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope you are well and that life is treating you kindly.

What a week of violence. Thousands killed in Syria; hundreds in Nigeria; shootings in American schools; Mexican drug rings; Venezuela, is Venezuela; and in South Africa an armed gang raped woman in front of boyfriend and forced her to watch as they drowned him in a lake

What you didn’t know? You thought Israel was the only place with problems? You maybe even thought that we asked for it! Those darned Jews at it making trouble again!

Well we didn’t, we don’t and we aren’t.

I have been seeing Israel through the eyes of my amazing big sister who is staying with us now. Of course the first aspect is the difference between reality and the BBC, the second is that in our daily life we don’t feel it. Of course one is more aware, that is a given, but if you think I wasn’t alert to footsteps behind me in London you are wrong and if you think that I didn’t walk in public car parks with a key strategically pointed out of my hand and checking in every direction you are wrong. Of course I stopped doing that in Israel, but for this period I have my “chutz l’aretz” my Diaspora fears of someone coming up behind me.

Doreen was warned not to go hither and thither and not to specific places, but we have been to “settlements” and moved happily and freely without a tiny amount of fear. She is happy that the weather has been kind a loved our visits to the Herzl Museum, Yad Vashem and of course the Jerusalem Baby Home as we still call it.

The Jerusalem Baby Home is the WIZO (Womens International Zionist Organisation) pearl in Jerusalem. Once an orphanage for orphans of the Holocaust and of new immigrants who could not cope it has blossomed into a truly magnificent place with a normative baby day care centre, a day care centre for autistic children, an artisanal school for young people with either learning or mental problems and a highly organized shelter for battered women.

 Gosh, when I think back to the years our Mummy worked hard to raise funds and then visited the Baby Home some 65 years ago, dancing with the children (yes we have the movie) what miracles have been wrought since. The Director, Kobi, is a huge part of the current success.

When we got home I had a phone call from Nancy Bloomfield who wanted us to go out for supper but, hey, you know me by now, my fridge was full so I invited Nancy, Harry and a young friend call Craig to come over to us. Here there is a joke. “What does a Frenchman bring when he comes for dinner?” Wine. “What does a Brit bring?” Flowers. What does an Israeli bring?” A friend!!!!!  We had a great time, my sister amused by the noise levels of our “discussions” on local politics! We love each other enough to become happily emotional.

We have “lunched” with girlfriends, both friends from Jerusalem and Cardiff girlfriends who made Aliya but knew Doreen many years ago and on Sunday she will meet my Tel Aviv girlfriends.

In addition, thanks to my Zvi, we went to the opening plenum of the WZO where we met up with Tova Ben Dov, a wonderful old friend and World President of WIZO, and of course another WIZO leader, Helena Glaser, and heard the Prime Minister speak. As you know I didn’t vote for him but he made a terrific and highly pertinent speech. Of course he has been criticized……. Nu? So did you expect anything else? He called his speech “The 10 Big Lies” It was outstanding.

The Prime Minister was highly criticized for his Grand Mufti comments, probably because they could not deny the rest, but here is an article that shows it was just a matter of semantics!!!

I am distraught that Canada chose a new and overly young new leader and the highly respected Stephen Harper was defeated horribly. Trudeau has already announced to the American President that Canada is leaving the fight against ISIS.

Daniel Gordis also put the current situation into perspective

“It’s simply that we know, with no doubt, that for our enemies, this is a conflict not about borders but about our very right to be here. We know that, overwhelmingly, the Arab world is still committed to driving us out of this land. So we’ll stay, and tough it out — whatever the world thinks of the steps we have to take — for as long as it takes. For as Golda Meir put it decades ago with her characteristic wit, “Israelis have a secret weapon — we have nowhere else to go.”

Yair Lapid (the one I did vote for) took a huge risk and went on the BBC’s Hard Talk with Stephen Sakur. A tough assignment indeed. Here is the short clip and the full interview. Lapid really stood up to the challenge brilliantly.

This is just a quick mention for someone who deserves our respect. An ethical politician may seem and oxymoron but young British Member of Parliament from Wales, Guto Bebb, has nothing to gain but his moral conscience, for his constant and outspoken love and support for Israel. Guto, I thank the day we met and await your return to Jerusalem to sit on our veranda and drink a good cuppa.

One thing you can be sure of if Guto was the UK representative in the UN they would definitely shout down the attempt to claim the Western Wall as Moslem and berate the leaders for allowing UNWRA, a) to exist and b) to using facebook to incite young Moslems to kill Jews.

This has been a truly amazing week. I have my sister here!! I, me, Sheila Raviv, has her big sister here with her. I wake up every morning and say to myself “You got a sister here in your home”!!! My grandchildren are absolutely devoted to her and can’t get enough hugs and Rachel……….. Rachel adores her. Indeed Rachie made us the Challas again for Shabbat and this week, in honour of Auntie Doreen, we got big ones!!

Tonight, Leor and Shiri, with Amit, Gili and Ori; Amiad and Noga with Yonatan and Ella; Ira and Valeri with Shelli and Tomer and our lovely friend Danny Liwerant will all come to meet MY SISTER!!! Oh my goodness what a glorious Shabbat it will be!!! Doreen will hear Zvi’s Kiddush for the first time – oh my!  In a minute I will take my sister out onto the veranda to watch Jerusalem slow down and prepare for Shabbat. The table is set and the food cooked and soon the babies will start to come. So I wish you Shabbat Shalom with a few videos to lift your spirits

A young Israeli tells the world how proud he is to be a Jew – I am that Jew

Mi sh Maamin – he who believes
This town is a family, one more another is the secret of success, the people of Israel will never, always on the map we stay.

He who believes

Finally some old Yiddische melodies, to the beautiful paintings of Marc Chagall sent to me by Diane Steinfink. Enjoy

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. With all our love from Jerusalem, the most beautiful city in the world, the heart of Judaism and the love of our life.



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