The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter


16th July, 2010–07–16

Shabbat Shalom!
Nu? So did you miss me? I was having the best time in the world with my children and grandchildren and of course my siblings in the UK and visiting the Green, Green Grass of Wales – it really is greener than anywhere else in the world!!! Quite apart from the tourism I was so proud to go to the new synagogue in Cardiff right next the house in which I grew up – especially since my brother in law Melvyn and cousin Roger were so involved in the building, and my nephew Steven – and because the prayer for the State of Israel and the IDF was dedicated to my late parents.
I arrive home to the final buzzing of the World Cup. We went to our dear friends Rosa and Bernardo for the semi-final and then they came to us for the final. Right up until the last seconds Zvi was praying for the Dutch to win. We Jews have long memories and the Dutch were far better historically than the German or Spanish teams, so we went for Spain!! Oh well – Spain won and it was a good game.
Arab Knesset members, including Haneen Zouabi who took part in the infamous Gaza flotilla, have been invited by anti-Israel MPs to meet British lawmakers in Parliament. The purpose is to emphasise the claim that Israel is a racist society. Surely anathema to a situation whereby a group of people who call themselves Palestinians sit in the Israeli Knesset and reach the position of Deputy Speaker of the House; the ultimate manifestation of democracy. There will be a demonstration outside Parliament on the 28th of July. Brits please stop being polite and express your disgust at this display of double-standards – Americans, don’t be smug – you are next- after the Mosque has been built on the site of 9/11.

The upside down ethical standards of our world are demonstrated in Madrid where the Gay Parade has banned Israeli participants! Israel is the only country in the entire Middle East with freedom to express sexual preference whereas all our neighbours who stone, beat and behead homosexuals are welcomed.,7340,L-3901785,00.html

Did you know that the Syrians have joined the Turks in killing off Kurds? Actually they don’t always kill them off – sometimes they strip them of their citizenship so that they cannot get work or feed their families. Where is the outrage? Maybe all the worlds sympathy and energy has been spent on the Gazans. Gaza, poor Gaza – just like Namibia, Darfur, Haiti. See the poverty in this presentation 

I don’t know if this it your news but for the first time in a decade, senior Palestinian police officers hosted GOC of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi in the Judea and Samaria region. During the visit, the presidential guard displayed a number of exercises and operational tactics which demonstrated the challenges faced by Palestinian security forces. The Head of the Civil Administration, Brig. Gen. Yoav Poly and senior IDF Central Command officers also accompanied the visit. “The relationship between the IDF and the Palestinian security apparatus is very professional and successful in creating the security quiet that protects all sides”, said Maj. Gen. Mizrahi.

Why no Pollard exchange? Unlike the Russians who did a “spy swap” after their embarrassing passport fiasco Israel has no spies to exchange for a man who has been held in solitary confinement for an inordinate amount of time by our closest allies. Why? Because we give the USA all the information they need or want, unconditionally. Friends?

Conversion dilemma. Member of Knesset David Rotem, a modern orthodox MK, found the current conversion situation untenable whereby the Rabbinical Courts not only decide who is a Jew but can retroactively deny conversion. MK Rotem put forward a bill which would allow local Rabbis and Rabbinical courts to perform conversion as opposed to the current situation whereby all conversions go through Jerusalem, however it then firmly places the conversion issue under the Chief Rabbinates jurisdiction and could preclude some converts already deemed Jewish. The issue has become deeply political rather than religious at a time when we need unity. Natan Sharansky’s words on the subject{819E4C68-0967-44E9-ACA3-103FC4FDD5E4}&CurrLang=en

Tuesday is Tisha b’Av. I do not claim to be a Torah Scholar so I will give you two options – two views of Tisha b’Av one from Rabbi Jeremy Rosen and the other from Chabad

So, as I asked before – did you miss me? Coming home is always special and this time it is even more special since I knew that my son Gideon, daughter in law Stephanie and the incredible Sammy, Olivia and Zachary would be following me just a few days later! Oh what fun we will have, especially now that Saba Zvi put the huge shade over the veranda, ensuring safe playing in the paddling pool. Our home will be filled with the laughter of children as all of them will come to play wit their little British cousins. Auntie Jill is here, lapping up the extreme heat while she sits on our veranda lapping up the view.

We will take the children to the Biblical Zoo, to the Bloomfield Science Museum, to Little Israel and the Latrun Tank Museum- to forests for picnics and to a nearby village which has amazing soft play. Israel is a country for children. Babysitters are barely needed since the children sleep in the afternoon and then come out to restaurants and town centre with their parents – it is a total family experience.

I must run now since one lot of grandchildren just left and the house needs making ready for Shabbat!!! I love the tiled floors but they do need a wash!!!

Be well, enjoy your Shabbat and come see us soon – the veranda is now shady and the evenings balmy…and the view as breathtaking as ever.

With much love from the most beautiful city in the world