The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Sheila in Jerusalem

23rd October 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear Friends. Shabbat Shalom.
Chaya Zisel Braun, American and Israeli citizen, 3 months old, was murdered by a Hamas terrorist yesterday in Jerusalem. Our hearts go out to the Braun family as the entire nation of Israel mourns with you.  Her father, an American-Israeli from Los Angeles, CA, is also in our prayers as he is in critical condition from the attack: Shmuel Elimelech Ben Ester Matil.,7340,L-4583138,00.html
The perpetrator has been honoured and lauded by the Silwan Fatah movement and indeed by Mahmoud Abbas himself.
Ismael Haniya’s daughter was cared for in an Israeli hospital when her Gall Bladder became inflamed. When a senior IDF Officer was asked why we were willing to treat the daughter of the leader of Hamas he said “Because in Israel we do not differentiate between patients. When someone needs medical help we give it unconditionally” Wherever in the world we are needed we give our hearts and souls – IsraAid and MASHAV – an example to the world.
The Death of Klinghoffer is a really awful title for an ill-intentioned attempt at an opera about a heinous crime, the hijacking of a cruise ship and the diabolical murder of an ailing, elderly man in a wheelchair by throwing him, alive, off the ship all in the name of enlightenment and art. Are the Jewish donors to the Metropolitan Opera insane or simply trying too hard to “fit in”? Don’t they understand that if they cancelled their donations they could have changed their world? 
The situation on American Campuses is dire, yet Americans are so busy pointing the finger at Europe that they have no concept of what their young people are doing in University. This is must be addressed by the leadership.
The shooting at the Ottawa War Memorial in Canada is yet another aspect of what is happening. World leaders offer support but they do not react – they do not preempt
Incredibly there is some good news from one of our neighboring countries! Lebanon, while Lebanon has lost its Christian identity it still upholds some of the principles apparently. An old synagogue is being refurbished in the capital Beirut.
I told you about Philip Bloom, clown and volunteer here in Israel and I wrote an article about him in the Jerusalem Post. Philip desperately needs sponsors and paid gigs to sustain his volunteer work. My thanks to Steve Linde the editor for choosing to place this article in a very busy news week.
The Shabbos Project is an exceptional idea, a very Jewish notion, a truly beautiful project. This Shabbes, Shabbat, Sabbath, Jews and non-Jews around the world will keep Shabbat. The project provides the how and what in clear and uncomplicated instructions and will start in Melbourne spreading throughout the world as the clock ticks. Shabbat will become a signal for unity and togetherness. Read all about it!
Pat Condell’s video Bye Bye Sweden says what others do not dare to utter and Boo Hoo Palestine even more so  Pat Condell says what others only dare to think.
The young Israeli who ran a campaign which encouraged young Israelis to move to Berlin because of the cost of a chocolate dessert is moving back home. Apparently Berlin isn’t as welcoming as he thought!!!
Well it was yet another insane week! Danny and Judith Liwerant are here from Mexico City, Danny for the Jewish Agency Board of Governors meetings and Judith to give her fascinating lectures on Jewish History at the Hebrew University. We managed to grab them for a lunch at home for a short respite from meetings and of course to wonder at the view from our veranda!
Yesterday I met my beautiful friend Andrea Kovens beautiful friend Renee Rubinoff from Toronto who is here with part of her family to take her amazing little grand-daughter Evie to the famous  Fuerstein Centre for courses. The Fuerstein Institute follows the teachings of their founder whose firmly believed that we can all reach our full potential including children with special needs. 
It was such a delightful lunch that I almost forgot to leave in time to go with Zvi to Tel Aviv to babysit our littlest grandchildren!!!
This morning Zvi and I went to Kibbutz Ramat Rachel for the wedding of Amy Oppenheimer and her David. Amy is the daughter of our friends Elaine and Marc. It was such a joyous affair and the bride came out to be greeted by her girlfriends while sitting happily on a garden swing. The singing and dancing was so Israeli and as the girls danced around Amy, David was brought in by a highly enthusiastic group of his friends and checked his bride was indeed Rachel not Leah (Biblical references!!!) before the ceremony beneath the traditional canopy. The ceremony was traditional and delightful and the views over the Judean Hills and Bethlehem astonishing.
Aba and Pamela Clayman were at the wedding. They are such are good kind people, religious Jews who find no contradiction between their religiosity and their deep commitment and love for Israel and Israeli soldiers. Their project to  show gratitude to the boys and girls who defend our nation for three full years of their lives is quite exceptional.
Last night was pure fun! We were back on the road to Tel Aviv to meet with my old and dear friends Val and Martin Myers with Adrienne and David Jackson all of Reading in Berkshire. We all grew our children together! We met in the Maganda restaurant just near the Carmel Market in the old Yemenite area of Tel Aviv for some honest to goodness, delicious Israeli food and a great deal of memories and laughter. They loved the way that everyone is part of everyone elses conversation and Zvi and I were the stand up for the couple near us. All four are coming to Jerusalem on Monday and I will show them all our wonderful sights and sites from Mahane Yehuda to the Kotel, from the panorama of the Hass Promenade to the gentle quiet of the Botanical Gardens……….. hopefully, if I don’t exhaust them the day will culminate in a “moment”on our veranda. Zvi will be in Ashkelon at the Jewish Agency Board of Governors meetings but on occasion he allows me to use his information to treat our guests!!!
Shabbat is nearly with us and Jerusalem is already wearing her Shabbat robes,the warmth of the autumnal sun slowly disappearing into the crisp evening Jerusalem air. The cooking aromas are less evident as the breeze takes them away to our neighbours rather than up to our veranda. As I sit outside I can still identify who is cooking what though. From Shoshanas Hamin, to Daisy’s Tunisian fusion salmon on grilled vegetables, we all use vegetables and loads of them in salads or grilled they are straight from the fields of our kibbutzim to our kitchens.
Shabbat dinner is special and always bears a huge degree of tradition as if we bring our forebears into our kitchens and they sit beside us at our family Shabbat dinners. We can only hope to make them proud as their traditions remind us that Jews survive – as each and every one of our festivals remind us. We survived the Egyptians, Greek and Roman Empires, the Ottomans and the Spanish Inquisition and we even survived Hitler – we can survive this loathsome period too. All we need it to remember exactly who we are and be proud of our past, present and future.
Adon Olam, that song/prayer that speaks of the past, present and future is a natural choice today and I dedicate it to my lovely friend Peter Cooper who was the first person I ever heard singing this version at my son Gideons bar mitzva 29 years ago
Never forget our love for one another and Israels determination to save her people. This short clip is of the song Hinei Ma Tov Umaneim as the aeroplane from Entebbe landed in Israel. The words come from Psalm 33 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” written by King David right here in Jerusalem.  Let’s not forget the words but use them as our cri de coeur
With love from our beloved Jerusalem our past, present and future
Shabbat Shalom

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media

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