The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. 9/11 Memorial, Ted Cruz. Pais Arena Jerusalem

12th September 2014

Shabbat Shalom dear friends

I find it hard to absorb the fact that 13 years have passed since that diabolical moment when the world stood still in disbelief as one then two aeroplanes ploughed into the symbols of democracy, the Twin Towers in Manhattan then the Pentagon and more. I couldn’t believe it was real even though I read Steve Emerson’s book Jihad in America. Then, as the truth began to dawn on me my first thoughts went to my children, two of whom were in Manhattan, close to the Towers. I found them 8 hours later but over 3,000 people were not so lucky. Families were devastated and Manhattan went into mourning, no America went into mourning.

“This diabolical event will wake America up to the danger within.” I thought. That great power has suffered a horrific attack on her own soil, surely she will now understand the danger. Sadly I was wrong – Steve Emerson’s words were given credit for a short while then forgotten. I am sorry if I offend anyone but it is time for honesty. It was not Israel, nor Jews, nor Christians, nor Yazidis or Assyrians who felt such intense hatred for America and all she stands for that they could reach such levels of emotional ire that they kidnapped passengers and flew aeroplanes into buildings killing innocents then rejoicing in the streets at their victory! May the souls of those who died rest in peace, may their families be consoled and their leaders understand.

There is one 9/11 monument outside the United States, just one. In Jerusalem, nestled in the peaceful Jerusalem Hills near the entrance to that wonderful city. Israel loves the USA, we are loyal and true friends.

As parents we all know that if you don’t rein in a bully at first their actions become more and more dangerous, cowing their victims into submission, feeding their megalomania.

When Hamas and Hezb-Allah began no international leader took their stance seriously. Al Qaeeda evolved with the horrific result of 9/11, 7/7 and a series of dastardly acts in Bali, Delhi and so on. Responses were ineffective because they were pinpoint, not taking into account the spread of evil in our midst. Well the chickens of our leaders lack of understanding and foresight are coming home to roost on our doorsteps.

As to the United Nations, well this farcical organisation again looked to Israel for help! Last week we saved Filipino UN peacekeepers threatened by Hezb-Allah and this week we succeeded in saving the Fijian UN troops who were kidnapped by Hezb-Allah. All came to Israel where they found safety and a warm welcome. Ironic eh?

This week, US Senator Ted Cruz spoke “In Defense of Christians.” He began by stating, “Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” at which point a minority of audience members yelled and booed. Cruz responded:
“Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason…if you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you.” He then walked off the stage.

Douglas Murray tells it like it is. He blames laziness and convenience as the cause of victimisation of Israel and the Jews

The dire situation of the Yazidis and Assyrians is well known, although the leaders of the various Christian denominations seem unable to speak out and the Christian countries around the world appear unable to absorb them which is very strange to me. I was asked last night why Israel doesn’t offer to absorb the thousands fleeing Moslem persecution. While it is a wonderful idea in principle, each and every Oleh that is brought from the FSU, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa, France, the UK or the USA costs this country a fortune! Housing and studying Hebrew for 6 months, finding jobs, finding housing, subsidies – the ransom for their release, each Oleh cost the country a fortune. We are in debt for our defence budget and with the very best will in the world, why can’t other countries step up to the plate. While contributions from abroad help the Israeli citizens pay over 85% of the cost of the various Aliyas.

I decided that this weeks letter would be positive. I am tired of the constant horrors of this world, horrors that are not of our making. Herewith the positive, the kind, the everyday heroes who make life so much better.

Mo Freitas is a world champion surfer. He came to Israel during Operation Protective Edge and surfed Israels beaches along Israel’s amazing shoreline.

Yank Barry, Canadian philanthropist saves at least 1,218 Moslems and Christians – the Jewish Schindler. His sense of morality pushed him to save the same number of Christians as Schindler did for his Jewish ancestors.

Israeli company Elbit creates Music (Multi Spectral Infrared Countermeasure) – a system to intercept any hand held missiles from harming airline traffic. This innovation will save many lives and ensure the safety of passenger aircraft all over the world. Israel cares.

Not all Israeli innovations are medical, scientific, Hi-tech or military, some simply make life easier!!! The Doona car seat cum baby stroller (pushchair) is taking the world by storm. Such a logical idea. A safety car seat which when you take the baby from the car you simply click a button and lo and behold it becomes a buggy!!!! It was just the biggest hit at the Las Vegas baby show Already on sale in the UK.

Last night Zvi and I went to a truly amazing function. It was the official opening of the beautiful new basketball arena right here in Malha. We have been watching its growth from our veranda but nothing prepared us for the beauty of this 11,000 seat indoor arena. We, the official invitees, sat in the grandstands; the students of years 11 and 12 sat in the upper rows and then the centre of the arena, the playing area, filled with about 2,000 soldiers!

The Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat dedicated the gala evening to the soldiers who served in Gaza with special emphasis on the families of those who died and those who were injured. The evening began with singing groups from the Army, Navy, Air Force singing beautiful songs of each of the divisions as the photos of those who gave their lives were placed up on the screen above them. General Yoram Yair (Yaya) Chairman of LIBI the organisation which takes care of Israeli soldiers, spoke as did Major-General Uzi Dayan, and then all hell broke loose!! Crazy music of “HaDag Nachash”and others had the soldiers dancing in the aisles alongside the youngsters who go into the IDF in this coming year. That is the difference between 18 year olds in Israel and 18 year olds elsewhere – they learn responsibility. They still listen to the latest music and want the newest iPhone, but they understand responsibility. As Yaya said “Many say this is a spoiled generation but your work in Gaza, the responsibility and care you took not to harm innocents while defending Israel, is an example to the world”. What an evening – I still can’t hear properly but loved every second. By the way, the Pais Arena is amazing!!!

Billy and Ruth Shapiro of Mexico City raised funds so that the soldiers of the IDF could enjoy genuine, home cooked Mexican food made by Caterers Jaime and his lovely wife Rosie who live in Ashdod. The food was much appreciated and it just goes to show that being thousands of miles away does not stop those who really want to help!!! . Kol ha Kavod.

As we near Rosh Hashana and the period of Selichot Rabbi Jeremy Rosen yet again puts everything into perspective

So another Shabbat is here. I haven’t finished cooking but today is easier since i am sharing the preparation with our daughter-in-law Shiri. Right now the incredible burnt, smokey aroma of aubergines roasting on the open fire is filling the house – much to Zvi’s dismay. I love it because I love the delicious result of skinned roasted aubergine with freshly made tehina and a red pepper coulis poured over the top. It really is one of my favourite foods. In a little while I will drop Zvi at his parliament, collect my Rachel for a meeting and then take her home via the fish shop. The latest food fashion in Jerusalem really suits me since I love fish, real, good fresh fish. Growing up in the UK meant we were spoiled for choice for both fresh water and sea fish but for a long time the only source was frozen. Now we grow our own for many fish but also import wonderful fresh fish too. The one near Rachies home is always buzzing and he does ready cooked fish meals too.

Next to him is Nehamas Bakery, where they have a production line of Challot and all sorts of local baked goods. Nehama also has some delicious ready made stuffed vegetables – baby local vegetables to help out the weary working Mums!!! After seeing the children and hearing about their return to school I will drive home past Samuel’s Tomb………. and my breathtaking favourite panorama. By the time I get back to our neighborhood everything will be closing down – the Shopping Mall emptying, the buses rushing back to the depot, families arriving with pots of food to share with their families – indeed a normal Shabbat in Jerusalem.

And so to music
Something different this Shabbat. Wonderful Mizrachi music for Shabbat from Israeli singer Revivo. I love it!

Yedid Nefesh – another beautiful song as you never heard it before

Finally, the most important song for our sanity- Tevye singing Tradition – that’s what it is all about.

I wish you a beautiful Shabbat in freedom and joy. I wish you a Shabbat in which each of us will find understanding and love for the other and recognition of our right to live in freedom and peace.
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem – Jerusalem of Gold and of love


If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Sheila’s blog
Facebook Sheila Silver Raviv