The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Sheila – Harper, Tibi, UNESCO, Dan Shechtman

24th January 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Hope you had a good week and you are in a good mood because there is a vast amount of news this week, although I promise to skip through the tough ones.
Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper spoke with both conviction and emotion in the Knesset and amused the nation with his lively rendition of Hey Jude for the Prime Minister of Israel and a wide audience. Israelis absolutely love the Canadian PM and expressed it warmly at the Kotel.
Dr. Ahmed Tibi is a former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, now a Member of Knesset and a physician who dishonoured his position, his country and himself when he had the gall to heckle Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he spoke before the Knesset plenum. Tibis claims that a fellow Member was underprivileged because he had no running water or electricity in his home was disproven and Tibi, who also complained that Arabs are second class citizens was shown to be a liar. Incidentally it was Tibi who screamed at Ariel Sharon on that fateful day on the Temple Mount.
Israeli secret services discovered a plot to kill as many Israelis as possible as they were enjoying ia concert at Jerusalem’s largest concert hall. The plot was by Jerusalem Arabs, some with Israeli identity cards, who are open members of Al Qaeeda. The plot was discovered, the men arrested and the attack prevented.
UNESCO chose to cancel an exhibition on the history of Jerusalem due to pressure from the Arab countries. The exhibit, “Book, People, Land – The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People With the Holy Land”, put on by the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation, will now go ahead in June thanks to pressure from Canada and the USA.
If the above worries you, then consider this –
Former Egyptian MP Mustafa Bakri Threatens To Massacre Americans In Egypt If Al-Sisi Is Assassinated;We Have 90 Million Ticking Bombs. If Anything Happens To General Al-Sisi, No American Will Be Left On The Face Of The Earth – Not In Egypt, Nor Anywhere Else
The most horrific thing I have seen for a very very long time is the Hezb-Allah baby. Dressed as a Shahid the parents received rewards galore from the Lebanese hospital! Thanks to Shirlee Finn for this
Desptie these distressing events there are moments of relief. I call it Divine intervention. The Jihadist who was killed by the Taliban, maybe he wasn’t wearing his Gaza Marathon T-shirt, or maybe he just thought he was immune
Or the Neturei Karta, anti-Israel man in Holland who was beaten badly by anti-Semites in Holland.
Not everything is dark and frightening – far from it so in the words of Monty Python – Now for something completely different!
At the last Presidential Conference on Tomorrow, several months ago, Zvi met with a delightful and brilliant man called Dan Shechtman Nobel Laureate for Chemistry, wise and apolitical. Zvi took him aside and suggested he enter the race for President of the State of Israel since President Peres, who returned the dignity to that post, was retiring. When we returned from Thailand a few weeks ago Dan Shechtman sat beside us on the flight and again Zvi raised the option. Well, it worked! Prof. Dan Shechtman has announced his interest in becoming the 10th President of the State of Israel. Someone outside the rat-race and dirt of politics, a dignified and erudite man and remember – if it were not for a Chemist way back during WW1 the Balfour Declaration would never have been written and we would not have had our first President,Chaim Weizman. Appealing no? This article is called “Don’t know much about politics” but anyone who has worked in academia may argue!!
A few days ago I went to collect some laundry from down the road. The owner was out and a delightful young man, sporting a Taglit T-shirt served me. Why is that so amusing? Because the young man was a Moslem Arab who clearly had no idea what was written in English on his T-shirt. I loved it!
I didn’t get to Mahane Yehuda this week. Zvi volunteered and he had a great time going to all our friends there – tasting the goods and enjoying the atmosphere. He brought me amazing goats cheeses from Shmulik, tehina filled meat-balls from Yaron, who discusses the political situation mushroom-filled “cigarim” from Boaz and then he walked past the kiosks with Judaica, jewels, fruit, pure unsweetened dried fruit, seeds of just about every type and flavour (here sunflower seeds come in at least 10 different varieties and pumpkin seeds too- with and without the shell), past David Dagim where the fish is so fresh it is still a’jumpin’ and finally to our usual fruit and veggie stand where he is greeted with “Ahalan” “Ma shlomcha?” – and bought aromatic tomatoes on the vine and incredible cucumbers that actually taste sweet! This amateur video captures the aromas, the sounds, the cornucopia of delicacies and the ultimate Jerusalem that is Mahane Yehuda!!!
Since Zvi’s foray into the epicurean delights of Mahane Yehuda I have far less cooking today but that doesn’t stop the aromas rising from Shoshana, Michal, Daisy, Sarit and Meira. Oh gosh I love the culinary mix of this wonderful society! I borrow from everyone as long as it isn’t too spicy. Most of our friends find me a great source of amusement when faced with “harif” (spicy) food! I am know as the local “vousvousit” which come from the original Eastern European Jews who when faced with strange foods would say “vous is dous?” or What is it? White tablecloths are washed and ironed ready for the Shabbat Table; fine linen, fine crockery and cutlery, silver candlesticks; silver wine goblets and the embroidered cover for the Challah or Shabbat bread. All ready for the blessings and songs so special to Shabbat. This week I have something special – we have a competition which is a bit like the X Factor but gentler. Two amazing young people sing here with Idan Reichel. It is in Hebrew but enjoy…
A Shabbasdik touch with Eliyahu ha Navi – Elijah the Prophet
To go out on a limb I absolutely adored this rendition of Shema Yisroel and hope you will too
The Torah Portion this week is Mishpatim, or Judgments which set out the laws for the Israelites and standards to live by. A truly important portion (starting with Exodus 21:1-24:18). It is incredible that we follow these very laws until today. The laws that give our society a moral compass
I just got back from Givat Ze’ev. Whether in Palavanis corner store, Nehamas Bakery and its myriad of challah types constantly coming out the oven to be grabbed instantly by eager customers with burnt hands (!!!) to the fish shop and even at the traffic lights everyone is calling out “Shabbat Shalom” one to the other. Strangers and friends alike “Shabbat Shalom” and as one leaves the store there is a final “Shabbat Shalom le coolam” Shabbat Shalom Everybody. Gosh I love it – it is so real, so Jewish, to beautiful – Shabbat Shalom. I couldn’t stop smiling on my journey home over Samuels Tomb – smiling and loving the panorama. It never fails to amaze me that as I looks over the grazing goats and sheep to the Palestinian Authority it is as if one drew a line in the land. On our side there are trees and flowers and landscaping and on the other side of the road – stark wilderness with barely a blade of grass for the animals. Why? It cannot be lack of funds, we did it when there was no money now reaping the benefits of our labour and we do not get billions of dollars from the UN. I guess it is deeper than that. It is such a shame because beautiful surroundings and greenery change society for the better. If you cannot buy a plant then plant a seed – for tomorrow.
I wish you a beautiful Shabbat with people who love you and that you love in return. Maybe Prime Minister Harper should have sung All We Need is Love?
Shabbat Shalom from beautiful Jerusalem. It really is a truly special city and by the way, remember the song Ein li Eretz Aheret?
“I have no other country. Even a word in Hebrew seeps into my skin and my soul. With broken body and broken heart – even if my land is burning- This is my home”