The view from my veranda

Moses, Wag the Dog and Kay Wilson

21st June 2019


Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope this missive finds you well.


This week’s Torah portion describes the 12 scouts that Moses sent into the land of Israel as the Children of Israel neared their goal. They all came back with a cluster of grapes, a pomegranate and a fig, but 10 came back prattling on about giants and all sorts of scary situations which thoroughly depressed the waiting Israelites, after all they had walked for 40 years and then told that their land was nothing like that which they were promised, they were basically ready to go back to Egypt. However two scouts, Caleb and Joshua, described a land of milk and honey which they could easily conquer. Who to believe? The Children of Israel were told to bless wine and bread and wear Tsisit (fringed garments) and then the decision would come with ease. Of course we know what happened and where we are today. We still have those who talk about giants and warriors, but the fact is we have a land so filled with milk and honey, so incredible from every perspective that we learned to always heed the words of the Caleb and Joshuas of this world not the nay-sayers.


Let’s try to work this one out in a modern context. Drug companies never produce any drug that cures!! Drug companies make life easier but if they cured us all they would go bust so there is no point! So it is with politicians. They create international situations, pretend to solve it but then another war or disturbance flares up elsewhere otherwise they’d be out of a job!!! Whenever I hear of an outbreak I think about the movie “Wag the Dog”, if you haven’t seen it then you should!!!


If we are talking about politics and created or invented situations – take the Palestinian refugees. The entitlement to the name refugee is relevant for just 2 years from countries where there is extreme oppression or repression. 2 years no matter how dire the circumstances, except for the Palestinians! Palestinians declared themselves refugees ad infinitum, inherited. Wait a minute though – what about all the Jewish refugees from Arab countries, why do they not receive the same status? Nearly 900,000 Jews were either expelled or oppressed in Arab countries over a very short period of time and had to escape or be brought to Israel to save their lives. 900,000 Jews who have never been recognised as refugees!!!


Miriam Shepher writes: “I am just one of 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran who left, fled or were expelled from the countries where they had lived, in many cases, since the Babylonian period. In the years that followed the independence of the State of Israel, Jews in Arab countries suffered unbearable discrimination and acts of violence that led to their forced expulsion. Jews were forced out of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and later Iran. They left behind their property and belongings, carrying only necessities as they escaped to safety. Entire Jewish communities were wiped out, and centuries of religious customs, traditions, culture and music vanished from the Middle East and North Africa. Like my family, nearly half of these refugees settled in Israel. Our stories remain largely untold. Many still do not know of our collective trauma…”


This week Jeremy Rosen writes about being a pragmatic idealist. I feel exactly as he does and I think you will too

I am terribly worried about the situation in the USA, a situation that is getting worse. It isn’t white supremacists, incredibly it is black youngsters who are attacking Jews. I find it incredible because Jews always marched alongside Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and the grandchildren of his supporters have no idea of how we fought together against racism.


Kay Wilson is a chatty and delightful lady. An Ex-Pat Brit, Kay made Aliya many years ago, studied at the Hebrew University then became a tour guide. Kay went for a walk in the Jerusalem Forest with her friend Kristine when two Arabs spoke to them then took out machetes and began hacking at their victims. Sadly her friend died but Kay crawled, dragging her broken body until she found help and today tells the story. In general, the foreign media is disinterested, after all Kay is a Jewish Israeli so who cares, but the British newspaper the Daily Mirror has taken her challenge and told her story.


I know there is so much to write about but I underwent surgery this week and don’t have any energy. I’m already doing much better but sitting at the computer is a problem. I wanted to write to you though – to stay in touch because I care very deeply about you. How about a change? This week you write to me about your fears and your triumphs……. I would love it!!


I am so excited that our closest friends, Helene and Martin Lindenfeld came to Jerusalem this week with their daughter Ariella. We intended racing around together and just being together which plan I totally ruined but Zvi managed to be with them while Rachel stayed at the hospital with me. Thank heavens we had Monday together before surgery!!!

All I can tell you is that the doctors and nurses at Shaare Zedek are incredible – Arab, Jew, Moslem, Christian, observant and secular…………incredible. It is a joy to see how the world should work and can work when saving lives is their only purpose.

Shabbat shalom dear friends, Shabbat Shalom from our home – gosh it was wonderful to walk in the door and raise the shutters……….. to see the View from our Veranda and gain strength.

With much love from our home to yours