The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom back in Jerusalem


9th November 2012

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem!! Yes I am home.

As I walked into the house, after the most incredible welcome from my daughter Rachel with Yosef, Talia and Ayala, the first thing I did was walk out onto the veranda and soak in the view. I did my best to concentrate on the incredible scene spread before me as the white buildings glistened before me as fine carpet and not look at the mess, mud and sand the recent rain had brought with it!! I also tried not to breathe in the dreadful smell emanating from my fridge which packed up a few days ago leaving my beautiful Rachel with the unpleasant job of throwing away all the rotten food!!!!

Having said all that, it was glorious to be home; wonderful to walk from room to room finding that everything was just as I left it. Wonderful to dole out the abundance of gifts I brought for the children and discover that while they loved the gifts they still kept coming back for more hugs and to show me yet another sign to welcome Safta home. Every kiss and hug was sweeter than the last and sometimes they even let their Mum get a quick cuddle.

I left Florida at 10:30 on the 6th, as my hosts and many other friends were off to the polls.  It was fascinating to watch, look and listen during our stay, hearing the arguments for and against. Excuses to continue blindly and the deep quandry of those who had always voted one way and now chose the opposite. I felt the rhetoric of both campaigns was based on two issues “Rowe versus Wade” and finance/taxation – neither good reasons to choose one or the other candidate in a world that is looming ever more ominous. I know I am treading on toes when I say that I also found some of the reasons somewhat racist. To discount a man for his religious beliefs is, to me, racist, and some felt that Mitt Romneys religious beliefs meant he could not govern well which to me is as racist as suggesting the Barack Obama could not govern well for similar reasons.

One view actually made me furious!! I was tamping mad and became even more angry as I thought about it. It was suggested that Prime Minister Netanyahu should stop being rude to President Obama!! What?????  How blind can one be? I will not say more because the person who said it happens to be one I love but…….. get real, we know perfectly well who was rude to whom and why.

I congratulate President Obama in his win, wish him a wise term of office and the ability to return to the prime position as leader of the free world because if he doesn’t the alternatives are just too dreadful to comprehend. China, Russia and the Islamic world are waiting in the wings for every false step. Maybe he should consider taking Mitt Romney as his financial advisor?

I also want to wish all our friends who suffered Hurricane Sandy and now shiver in the snow without heating, lighting or phones, a fast return to normal life and a big log fire to warm yourselves.

There is one group of people in the Miami area who impress me by their appreciation of the democratic process and their involvement in the social and political structure; the Cubans. Those whose parents fled Castro’s regime when they were little and went elsewhere, be it other Latin countries and then to Florida or to Florida directly, they are proud Americans and truly give back to society, because they know what it is to lose everything.

President Peres was in Russia this week to open the Jewish Museum of Tolerance. The idea to establish a Museum of Tolerance in Russia was supported by President Vladimir Putin, who welcomed President Peres warmly, suggested donating his monthly salary to ensure the project went ahead. In his speech President Peres said “At this emotional moment I can see generations of my people before my very eyes and I carry them with me. My parents were born in Russia. In my home we spoke Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian.”  While in Russia President Peres used the opportunity to emphasise the need for intervention on the Iranian nuclear ambitions to President Putin.,7340,L-4302834,00.html

As usual everyone is cross with Israel, everyone being President Morsi and the President Bashir of Sudan, hopefully not anyone leading your country. They all kept silent when North Sudan slaughtered Christians but suddenly when “someone” blows up a huge arms factory in a highly volatile country it is a crime! Bashir’s rhetoric was in the usual vein “Israel is our enemy, our number one enemy, and we will continue calling Israel our enemy,” OK As if that is something new. Since we were the first nation to recognize South Sudan and send aid he hasn’t liked us a lot!!!

So I am home, our trip was amazing and we spent a glorious time with wonderful friends but guys, there really is no place like home. I am about to go out and buy my challot and say hello to the people in the supermarket and the petrol station to wish them Shabbat Shalom. Tinght I will spend with my daughter and son-in-law and the children – Shabbat dinner together. Shabbat, such a family affair.

Here in Israel the cars begin to arrive before Shabbat laden with pots and pans as parents take food to children, children take food to parents and everybody takes food to friends!! Food here is fresh, vegetables always just picked, never imported; fruit straight off the trees to the market; cooked foods displayed for those who work so hard they don’t have time to cook, but even that food is home produced not factory! The aroma of Kubeh Soup is rising as Shoshana prepares for her family’s arrival, now that the third generation is here she makes baby food too! I am lazy today – still a bit jet-lagged after a somewhat tortuous route home.

The familiar sight of Jerusalem slowing down toward Shabbat warms my heart and my soul. The pace slowly slackens, the heart lifts a little each minute as we get closer to the quiet and gentle family time of Shabbat. Religious or not, it is a different day, a day to be together.

I am sure I missed many news items but you must excuse me, my brain is currently mid-Atlantic but should be back in my head by next week!

With much love from Jerusalem, the most beautiful city in the world