The view from my veranda

180329 Passover, Easter and love


Shabbat Shalom! Pesach Sameach! A good Easter and a Holy Good Friday.

I love it when we all celebrate together – it is our inherited past and what we share rather than our differences. Gosh wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone embraced what they share instead of their differences?

This week I have been thinking a great deal about human nature and how we have changed since I was a child. Today there is a tendency to put people into boxes – to categorise. If one really thinks about it nobody fully fits into any category, be it religious, national, colour or creed, we are all different, all totally individual. So why is there so much hatred toward those who are different to us if we are not really different, perhaps externally, dress, prayer, hair colour, home, but as Shylock said “If you prick me do I not bleed”? We all weep, bleed, hope, love, it is only when “the other” is unacceptable that we become inhuman, cold and cruel.

Mireille Kroll z”l, knew what hatred can do. An 85 year old Holocaust survivor she hoped to continue into her old age with honour. A friendly kind woman she knew one of her attackers, a neighbour, who together with another beast, entered her apartment shouting Allahu akbar, stabbed her 11 times then burned her body. Why? Because she was Jewish. There was a big demonstration in her honour, attended by the Prime Minister of France – but fine words and demonstrations cannot halt the tide of hatred, only new laws can, if at all.

In the most recent US cabinet shake up John Bolton has entered the scene as National Security Advisor to President Trump. The choice of Bolton suggests that a strong, security minded, unafraid to stand up to those who would love nothing more than to take over the leadership position from the United States. As Ambassador to the United Nations he presented a strong and united front to those same enemies and despite the suggestions of the left wing press he is not war-hungry!

The British Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have finally been taken to task for their frequently expressed anti-Israel stance which was barely concealed and of late blossomed into poisonous anti-Semitism. An orderly but determined demonstration was held outside the Houses of Parliament, led by a Jewish group but far from exclusively Jewish, stating their disgust with a party that Harold Wilson would have disowned.

That’s it! No more bad news………. My dishes are changed, much of the food for tomorrow’s Seder is already cooked; Zvi has gone for his haircut and final falafel  before Pesach – yes Martin, he is in Abu Ghosh – then we can work out the logistics of fitting a Seder Table with 22-24 people around it in our limited space apartment!! Of course, the minute that we all finish our Passover cleaning Libya visits Israel in the form of a sandstorm. We are lucky, very little came to Jerusalem but Rachel’s veranda in Givat Ze’ev looks like a beach!!!

My favourite video of the season comes from my favourite President –Ruvi Rivlin. He managed to combine his Passover greetings with Israel’s 70th and I love it. The song which should have been chosen as Israel’s national song (not anthem) is of course Al Kol Eleh, above all this, which talks about the honey and the sting of life in our wonderful land. Watch it through – don’t be put off by the Hebrew speech he starts with. I promise you will love him as we all do.

The story of Pesach (Passover) is exciting and complex and I can’t help wondering if we would have spent all that time wandering in the desert had a London Cabbie been nearby, after all learning the Knowledge takes 2 years at least before you get your taxi-drivers licence. See what this lovely London Cabbie says about Pesach

Each home has its own favourite Passover foods and each ethnicity has special dishes. I have no intention of boring you with the full list but I found this very funny video on Janglo – the website for English speaking Israelis. Enjoy

That’s it! I am sorry but I am exhausted! I wish you all a truly wonderful Passover, as my parents used to say a “Freiliche Pesach”. May we always look for what binds us and as the lovely Rabbi David Geffen would say – All you need is love to change the world. Lu Yehi

Remember, when you sing “Next Year in Jerusalem” mean it. My only sadness is that none of my family, not children nor siblings, will sit at our Seder Table. They have no idea what an incredible pleasure it is to hear Zvi’s mellifluous reading of the Haggada. If everything goes right, however, our lovely Tomer Silver will be released from the army together with at least one lone soldier and join our table. I still remember when he was barely 3 years old how he stood on a chair and recited the 4 questions.

So, all together now NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!!

With love, Shabbat Shalom from our beautiful Jerusalem.