The view from my veranda

160408 UN Watch, Lord Carey, Impact-se, Kay Wilson, Rawlings, Gelb, Pesach


8th April 2016

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. How are you this week? I hope  you are feeling well. I know that your weather is probably very different to ours at the moment, especially if you live in North America. An Israeli girlfriend went to visit her son this week and found herself freezing in minus 3 degrees Celcius!!! Today Jerusalem is spectacular and the weather even better, a balmy 26 degrees, just perfect.

In the same way as I cannot control the weather I have absolutely no control over a biased media, wayward politicians or fanatical killers whose aim in life is to kill me – I don’t have control but I will never sit back and accept it either.

I would not go as far as the Hungarian Prime Minister in his speech about enforced acceptance of immigrants but I do understand why he is speaking as he does about losing Hungarian identity.

Take note of this exceptional documentary which includes footage of Hillel Neuer, the director of UN Watch. Please watch this short preview of the final movie Beyond Paranoia – The New Anti-Semitism

We have listened to the horrific story of Ex-Pat Brit Kay Wilsonwho found her way back to relative sanity after watching her friend being hacked to death in a machete attack and surviving herself despite awful wounds – hearing the words Allah Uakbar ringing in her bloody ears. They were just walking in the hills! Kay found her way by telling her story over and over again throughout the world to Standwithus groups. Her speaking didn’t stop the nightmares but it was cathartic in many ways. Your government, together with many others, gives aid to the Palestinian Authority which in turn pays those who acted in just a barbaric and cruel manner toward her. If you are a British citizen please sign this Click this link to sign the petition “Stop spending a fixed 0.7 per cent slice of our national wealth on Foreign Aid”

If you are not a British citizen….. start your own petition!!!

One story you can tell is that of a 5 year old Syrian girl who had the misfortune of getting caught between rival factions in Syria, was brought to Israel and treated. During her stay in Rambam Hospital the doctors discovered she had cancer, needed  bone marrow transplant and the IDF managed to smuggle a relative who was a match out of Syria to save her life.

Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, is an exceptional man. His rise to the leadership of the Church of England was clear, even as a young man, and his ability to see beyond the church is exceptional. It was Lord Carey who encouraged Canon Andrew White to come as his Emissary to the Middle East, thus for Andrew and I to have many adventures together! Lord Carey is a man who truly understands the Middle East, as few others, and has taken on the issue of anti-Semitism, both within and without the church. I am proud to say that Lord Carey reads my Shabbat Shalom letters and when invited to speak on Anti-semitism today at the Simon Weisenthal annual event he asked my counsel. Of course it was totally unnecessary since he is both eloquent and erudite, but I was flattered. Here is his speech, well worth reading.

I told you that I went to see the Israel National Library and Archives at the Hebrew University last week but forgot to give you a link to Sharon marks Altshul’s site which shows you in enormous detail the treasures, ancient Jewish treasures, that we had the privilege to see.

Jay and Meridel Rawlings came to visit and reminded me that about 10 years ago they interviewed Zvi about Jerusalem. It really is an excellent piece of journalism.

The British Government decided to pull funding for an anti-Israel “charity”

We love guests, especially when they believe me when I say “Please, don’t warn us, just pop in”! That is exactly what Elisabeth and George Gelb did. I should say that they didn’t fly in from Western Canada specifically to see us, they are here for a month, but they did pop in despite warnings of a chaotic house as we come toward Pesach…………. And my washing machine broke down, apparently died, which left a total soggy mess.

We originally met when George was the “upstairs neighbor” of my sister Eddie in Toronto, before he sold off his amazing dental practice and went off to live in Yellowknife – but I digress for a change!!!  From the second they came in the door my husband fell in love with them! We sat together and talked, listened and learned. They were riveted by Zvi’s knowledge of history, not just Israeli but world history, and we loved hearing about how to bring “Yiddischkeit” and Israel Advocacy to Yellowknife (in the Northern Territories where there are a surprising number of workers from Arab countries) and to Vancouver Island where they now live. It was such a joy to hear people who didn’t whine and bemoan their inability to act – it was so refreshing to hear them describe their activities and successes. I am thrilled that they are here for a month – Zvi has already arranged our meetings for the next month!!!

Talking of meetings (was that a good segway?) We had a Board meeting of IMPACT-SE ( and what the coming year holds with our new Director Marcus Sheff and Chairperson Helene Eisemberg Bornstein. The organization will take the deep research into tolerance in education and use it to inform. The report on Islamic Schools in North America has already been sent to Congress and the House of Commons and hopefully will be published widely very soon.

Israel before Pesach (Passover) has a strange atmosphere. Maybe I should rephrase that – the air in Israel has a strangely acidic redolence, of bleach, cleaning fluids and of course furniture spray. The abrasive sound emerging from virtually every home is that of scrubbing , floors, walls, cupboards and of course ovens. Manicurists bemoan their bad luck as rough and reddened hands come for a rescue treatment! Yes, folks – it’s the true spring cleaning season……PESACH. I am so proud of my fridge – not a single drop of old yoghurt to be found!! My oven smiles back at me and the hob is whiter than it has been for a year. Yes I know that I have another , what, 10 days, but if it is all immaculate then it only needs a quick wipe over at the last minute!!! Best of all, I can see my reflection in the silver candelabras!!

Our biggest bane is that the Passover dishes (11 boxes) are a full three flights of stairs below us (no lift) in the machsan or store room. I have a feeling that since I cannot lift etc, I may just decide to bring up the bare bones and use disposable crockery and cutlery. One can buy such lovely things these days and it can all be recycled. Our current Seder night count is just 23 but who knows, one can always find room for more. My Mummy had a philosophy, when we had festival meals she always had a full place setting or two on the sideboard. Why? Because if we had last minute guests she could quietly make room and put them place setting on the table without making anyone feel awkward.

Tonight our Shabbat Dinner will be a quiet one! Zvi and I together, just us, alone and although it is odd, I love it. I love Zvi’s Kiddush (blessing) over the wine, then the Challah, his voice, his incredible Bass-Baritone ringing out loud and clear with the inherited memory of thousands of years. As we sit at our table, facing Jerusalem, framed with the riot of bright scarlet blossom, I am confident that life is good. We have a phenomenal country and a feisty, proud people which reaches out to those less fortunate. We just need the world to recognize our beauty when they do not even recognize our existence.

To anyone who is not feeling 100% today, I wish you well. To our dear friend Andrew White, please go and get your treatment, but we may have some incredible news for you pertaining to your MS. Doing research right now.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Remember the power of one and please, remember my motto


Music music music!!! This is such a wonderful and uplifting muciscal experience at the Shalem college – at the beginning you think it is just another performance – stay till the end and be as amazed as the audience!!

We are all so different, yet all the same. The Friday night song all over the world, our welcome to the bride of Shabbat is called Lecha Dodi. Here you hear the Abayudea Jews of Uganda singing just as we do.

Shabbat Shalom