The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem- KKL, Kerry, Archbishop of Canterbury

28th June 2013
Shabbat Shalom to everyone.
Summer has seriously arrived with the usual searing hot days and wonderful cool Jerusalem nights. The Presidential Conference has been and gone, with all the usual lauding and complaints depending upon which side of the political divide one sits. We have actually been in a whirlwind of visitors, all of them wonderful and welcome, with little time for our usual activities although I managed stosnatch some time and go with Rachel to Shouk Ramle to find all sorts of things we probably didn’t need but bought because they were so cheap and the weather was so hot and we wanted to get out quickly before the masses of human beings arrived!
The JNF/KKL is under fire for abiding by the law when selling property belonging to them. Talk about damned if you do and damned if you don’t! Abide by the law or do what the noisy bloggers believe? Actually not a difficult decision. The KKL is a fine organisation and has brought Jews together through their little blue box for over a century and it is time that we learn to “mefargen” to encourage through compliments, our wonderful organisations.
The UK supermarket chain Sainsburys, traditionally pro-Israel, is under threat by the BDS people to stop selling Israeli products. As a reaction Standwithus is asking all Brits to buy Israeli goods at Sainsburys branches in direct reaction to the racist calls. July 1st to the 7th – GET BUYING!!!!
John Kerry is in Jerusalem and hopefully will understand that Israel is willing to sit and talk and abide by the rules that have been accepted by both sides, not those that the Palestinians put on the table that were basically leading to the extinction of Israel! I wonder if he reads the writings of Khaled Abu Toameh on the journey to Israel If he did he would probably learn more than his administration would like. If he read Khaleds articles he would no that Jews are unwelcome in the negotiating teams.No Jews Allowed

The Archbishop of Canterbury, a fine man, was in Jerusalem this week and his response to the oppression of Christians in the PA was to turn the other cheek. Maybe the Christians in Islamic countries would disagree?

By the way – have you noticed that all the politicians, diplomats and religious leaders that exhort the efforts to live together in peace – yet always stay in Jerusalem, usually at the Kind David or the David’s Citadel? If things are so good and their lives were not in danger why don’t they stay in the fine hotels in Ramallah?

This BBC documentary tell the phenomenal story and video of soldiers visiting Auschwitz /Birkenau and then author Tommy Segev talks of the Period of Silence for those who survived the Holocaust to come to Israel. Really important viewing.
US Marine Gunnery Sgt. Edward Schrank came to Israel with the Wounded Veterans and this is what he had to say. With one eye he sees a million times clearer than those with two good eyes.
This has been a good week! We actually managed to have a qiet few minutes with Danny and Jehudit Liwerant although she was exhausted after teaching at the Hebrew University and packing to go back to Mexico. We saw Saul Same who has now moved to Tel Aviv for the second part of his visit. I love ht fct that a 95 year old man is happy to come to Israel every year to see his family (he was born in Be’er Tuvia and moved to Australia with his family as a small child) and to be with us, his adoring friends. What a man! His love for Israel is tangible. We even managed a quick hug with Helene and Ilan Lindenfeld in Tel Aviv before the whole family came to Jerusalem. Since then we have been t rying to meet up despite their incredible itinerary – and w managed to bring the entire Lindenfeld family (Helene, Martin, Ariella, Ilan and Jeremy) to have lunch on our veranda. They brought the lovely Michael and Rosalyn and their son with them which made our joy complete! It really was so much fun, just sitting and shooting the breeze. Of course martin would have been much happier had two things happened…….. if Kim had stayed on and if I had served fresh felafel!!! Actually he should hav egone up north for his felafel because that is where you find th best felafel in Israel – in Zehavas Felafel in Beit Shean.
We have more delightful friends coming for supper tonight, the Claars, Kerens and Meitals, but I couldn’t resist picking the children up from school before finishing this letter and my final preparations. I love the way they run out to me filled with stories and news! They know that Safta always has a surprise for them but I try to be unpredictable!! Rachel had already finished her cooking – I love checking out her table for Shabbat, she really is an amazing cook! The funny thing is that when she married Igal all his Kurdish friends thought he would never eat properly again marrying an Ashkenazi wife.. Ashkenazi British wife to boot!!!!! Well, wrong on all counts. She is a terrific cook and he is very happy with every delicious mouthful! She does killer matbucha, wonderful tabouleh, aubergine with tehina…….and all the marvellous things her imagination dreams up.
Coming home past Samuels Tomb I realised that the city, laying before me as usual, was hazy from the heat. In winter it is always so crystal clear and now, as if wanting to protect herself from the burning sun, she had a gentle covering of voile-like haze.
Talking of Kim....our beautiful friend who created the Children of Israel Foundation to help those in need in Israel, asked me to make a video, talking about my writing and to my amazement I agreed!!!! Anyway- here it is. So far friend have expressed approval so I hope you do too.
Sheila Raviv on her veranda
In a few minutes Zvi comes back from his course, his brain filled with Buddhism, Hinduism, Bahai, all much more complex than the three monotheisitic religions and then we go off to Danby and Marvins for a late lunch and a reunion for all the “students” who went to Italy with Zvi.
I wish you Shabbat Shalom and hope that your lives are also filled with family and friends. It may sound tiring but tonight, as we sit out on the veranda, enjoying th company and watching the ever changing view of Jerusalem from our veranda. Zvi will sing the kiddush in his wonderful bass-baritone voice and we will make the blessing over the home made Challot under the Jerusalem skies. We feel so privileged.
With much love from our family to yours
Please read on – please
I have never done this before but by sad coincidence, the wonderful organisation that I wrote about this week is in dire straits. The Yuri Stern Foundation… I wrote
MK Yuri Stern (z”l) was an exceptional man who, when he became very ill, his wife and her friends gave many forms of holistic healing in order to alleviate his pain, anxiety and discomfort. After Yuri died Lena decided to use the knowledge she and her fellow specialists in complementary medicine and built an organisation which works with Shaare Zedek Hospital and gives treatments to cancer patients and their families. All the therapists are volunteers – they give one day a week to treat people undergoing chemotherapy or the after effects of treatment both at the hospital and in their clinic and for their families who are often in trauma. It is a truly sacred
The therapists give their time and expertise for free at Shaare Zedek, they are all volunteers, but the organisation costs money and their tiny outside clinic pays rent. The clinic has two therapists who act as administrators and although they work full days they are paid for half days! They are running out of funds. They desperately need money to tide them over this period. They get nothing from the government or from the health funds (Kupat Holim). Is there any way you can help them? They do not ask for huge amounts – every shekel helps – but sadly it is urgent.
I feel no embarrassment in asking because the cause is phenomenal and helps thousands of people through the toughest time of their life.