The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Shevuot Sameach

24th May 2012
Dearest Friends, Shabbat shalom
First and foremost I am happy to give you an excellent update on the health of our wonderful friend Canon Andrew White. After returning to Baghdad from Jerusalem Andrew became very ill and gave us all a scare – including himself. A prayer session went across national borders and religious denominations and thank G-d Andrew is feeling much better. He has not yet returned to his favourite occupation of Facebooking, but is really on the mend. Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes which were duly sent on to him.
Israelis know what it means to be refugees, unwanted and rejected, but this determination to be welcoming has proven a serious issue, a fast growing issue. Refugees and work-seekers (the majority) from Eritrea, Sudan and many other African countries came to understand that while the majority of countries reject them before they take one step on their land, Israel will not. It has caused an enormous influx of those who pay a fortune to Bedouin bandits who rape, beat and kill them and then arrive on the Israeli border where they manage to get through from Sinai. However, the dreadful problem that this has created, particularly in old Tel Aviv neighborhoods and in other cities is that these illegal immigrants have gathered, homeless and jobless and are involved in crime, particularly burglary, mugging and personal violence. Until now the only answer from the Government is to build a fence on the border with Sinai but the people who live in these areas decided to demonstrate, but instead of demonstrating against the government they demonstrated against the refugees turning on people because of the colour of their skin. Those who need asylum should receive it those who are here for work, in a country which has unemployment, should be sent home. I am embarrassed that MK Miri Regev incited the crowd- personally I would call for her dismissal.
The Attias family died in dreadful accident this week and Israel is in shock. The brakes on the car failed as they returned home after a family function, and the father, driving the vehicle called the police to say he had lost control of the car. Only little Rachel aged 7 survived, her parents and 5 siblings died. Rachel told police she tried to wake Mummy and Daddy up but they kept sleeping. The car had just passed it’s test but a very important issue came out of this tragedy. Do you know what to do if your brakes fail? Please check this on line if you wish but – use your gears – even automatic cars can be used manually – and go into lower and lower gears until the car slows then gradually use your hand brake for the final stop.
Here we go again. Talks on Iran, yet another futile attempt at “talks” with the Iranians while they merrily ignore our protestations and continue their quest for nuclear power to use against……… YOU!
Diplomats and politicians alike perpetuate the myth that the Iranian target is Israel when all know that Saudi Arabi, Kuwait, Dubai and the United States and Europe are the real targets. For several years those same diplomats and politicians allowed the Iranian nuclear international watchdog to lie to them about the Iranian capability. A man who has been revealed as a front for the Moslem Brotherhood led the team – Mohammed El Baradei. Remember, please absorb the famous words of Billy Connolly “Hypocrisy is the Vaseline of Political Intercourse”
Jerusalem Day celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem after 19 years of Jordanian rule when it was split. I still relive the deep emotion when on the Eve of Rosh Hashana 1967 I went with my father to the Kotel (Western Wall) and gave thanks for the fact I could now stand there! Jerusalem tends ot become a very rowdy party of young Hesder Yeshiva students who sing and dance the night away in Sacker Park before heading off to the Kotel in the morning.. a sea of white shirts and blue and white flags. Jerusalem turns white and blue as we rejoice our Capital City, our Jerusalem.
Defending Jerusalem from intruders is not a new thing – Christopher Colombus’ did not only found the New World, his prime aspiration was to rid Jerusalem of Islam – he really was the first settler on every level eh???
 I just looked up the Capital City of Israel on a site giving all Capital cities. Only one had an asterisk after it- it said Jerusalem*. Why? Here is their explanation * The executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the State of Israel are all located in Jerusalem but the Embassies are located in Tel Aviv. WHEN WILL THE USA RELOCATE THEIR EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM CAPITAL CITY OF ISRAEL? The others will follow and so will peace.
In the meantime the Palestinians “celebrated” Nakba (disaster) Day. The disaster of one minute country in a sea of enormous Islamic States being returned to its indigenous peoples after 2,000 years of dispersion – had they accepted statehood in 47 they could have been celebrating independence instead of continuing the myth of disaster that paralyses their young people and their progress toward statehood.
I love this – love it! Scientists in the Israel Aricraft Inductries have created a beautiful spy butterfly!!! Quite apart from its possibilities in “fly on the wall” situations it opens a whole new world of CCTV to
We celebrated Jerusalem Day in the exquisite grounds of the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. This is the first, but not the last, of these wonderful receptions to celebrate Jerusalem in a place of tolerance and love. Jurgen Buhler, Director of the Embassy, David Parsons, PR, Jay and Meridel Rawlings, Shaya Ben Yehuda of Yad Vashem, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Naomi Tsur and so many other wonderful people as we sat on a balmy Jerusalem evening inhaling the redolence of jasmine and lavender in the perfectly manicured gardens listening to the fountain and looking at the pinkish, beige Jerusalem stone building of outstandingly beautiful architecture. Our evening was made even more wonderful thanks to Harold Finger of Sydney, Australia, who introduced us to Alan and Eva Gold. Alan is an author of high repute and success who is conducting the primary research for a trilogy about Jerusalem. We were so happy with Harold’s introduction and have become firm and loving friends with this adorable and clever couple.
I had an American style High Tea with Hadassah in French Hill, at the invitation of Danby; arriving in my one and only large, Ascot style hat! Zvi spent two days at the Maccabiah Conference looking toward next years spectacular event and we were so busy hardly managed to see our beautiful grandchildren!!!
Shevuot is upon us. Shevuot or Pentecost is one of the Foot festivals of pilgrimage. Shevuot comes from Sheva or Seven in Hebrew; Seven times seven or seven weeks after Passover, seven weeks of contemplation and restraint, counting each day (the Omer) toward the festival which celebrates the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Torah, the basis for all our modern laws and todays social structure for democracy. Moses was chosen to by G-d to receive the Torah for his people because of his humility and purity, just as today humility is the most essential and least evident quality necessary for brilliant leadership.
Cheesecakes abound, cheesecakes and blintzes or what Israelis insist upon calling “Blintches”. Supermarkets refill the shelves of white cheeses on a constant level as their customers buy far more than anyone can possibly use no matter how much they bake, roast and fry! Todays shoppers have double duty buying to do and then begin to cook. The succulent dishes of Shabbat meats, giving the Jerusalem air a familiar multi-cultural redolence give way to the cheesy, fishy, milky, aromatic dishes of Shevuot. A clean white blanket clothes the city as children and adults alike dress in pure white, white kippot, white clothes and in the religious areas white robes or “kittels”. It is wonderful to think of a time when we were so close to the Torah, so observant of the life-rules given that religious differences were irrelevant and hearts pure. We gave up the Golden Calf and chose to care about each other. Todays Golden Calf of iphones and ipads, mansions and Gucci or on the other extreme Admors and Rabbis who have lost their humility and form cliques have all taken us far from our ideals. May be it is time to return to the purity of those social laws, discard the insistence upon minutae and look at the whole the Torah which gave us modern society at its best.
The view from our veranda is as exquisite as always. Each time I step out into the fresh air, surrounded by the sapphire blue lobelia, the scarlet petunias, the orangey red pomegranate flowers, the white scented lemon blossom and the herb garden in the far corner. Stepping forward I see Jerusalem, ah Jerusalem. I see trees where there were none, planted by KKL, I see beautiful white stoned houses where there was nothing, I see tall towers and low housing wher nothing stood and I see the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa where we, Israelis, are happy they live. I see Jerusalem, the Jerusalem I prayed to return to every day, every festival every marriage every happy event. We never forgot Jerusalem – it is just a rotten shame that the world did.
With much love from the most beautiful city in the world.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach