The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

9th March 2012

Chag Shushan Purim Sameach!!! Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom to one and all

As one reads the “Megilla” or story of Esther, Uncle Mordechai, King Achasueros and the evil villain Vizier Haman it is really difficult not to make comparisons to today and the situation with Iran. Few leaders are willing to speak out about the true danger of the Iranian nuclear programme, preferring to pull the wool over their constituents eyes by suggesting it is only those pesky Jews in Israel who are in danger.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, however, openly expresses his concerns over the Iranian threat. Speaking to Members of Parliament on the House of Commons liaison committee, the Prime Minister said Tehran is “clear very dangerous for the region because it would trigger a nuclear arms race,” but that Iran is also “a danger more broadly, not least because there are signs that the Iranians want to have some sort of intercontinental missile capability.”
“So we have to be clear this is a threat potentially much wider than just Israel and the region,” he said.

I wonder what role Muhammed El Baradei plays in this modern day Purim spiel? When discussing the new findings of the IAEA no-one mentions the fact that he was the worlds watch-dog on the Iranian Nuclear programme for the years that Iran was secretly developing a very sophisticates system yet he has since been exposed as a member of the Moslem Brotherhood. How did this happen? Who was watching the watchdog?

While threatening the world the Iranians kill Christians. 32 year old Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was charged with apostasy, found guilty and sentenced to death. According to this article the sentence was carried out today. The crime according to the court record? “He has frequently denied the prophethood of the great prophet of Islam and the rule of the sacred religion of Islam. And he has proven apostasy by organizing evangelistic meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people, expressing his faith to others and, denying Islamic values. “

Pat Condell is a highly irreverent, typically outspoken Brit. He says what we all think and fear to voice. In this most recent video he speaks of the ludicrous situation whereby Syria sits on the Human Rights council an Israel is vilified!
Shimon Peres is a RAPPER!! The eternally young 88 year old President of the State of Israel has produced a new rap video for his Facebook page call (what else) “Be my friend for peace”. I love it!! Send it to all your lists and let’s make it go viral.

Yesterday Zvi and I met up with the Mexican/San Diego artist Becky Guttin in Jerusalem Becky is here to build a wonderful Magen David shaped amphitheatre close to the home of Hora Jerusalem’s David Efron Dance Centre to provide a venue for small performances to groups and a place to sit on a balmy Jerusalem summers evening. We went to the Botanical Gardens for lunch – the first opportunity for months since the rains started. The weather was perfect, the gentle spring sun shone down on us to warm our hearts and the black swans glided on the water of the little lake. We watched fascinated as a turtle sat immobile on a rock in the water, soaking up the last rays of sun then wearily, as if to say that he understood there was no more, he slid into the cold water to seek food. The gardens are waking up, the trees beginning to leaf and the spring flowers to show their startling beauty against the brown earth. What a lovely place and the food……….. mmmmmmm. I of course took my regular delight – Oreganatto Sweet Potato Salad.

Last night we went to the Jerusalem branch of the Israel Cancer Society Ball. Held at the breathtaking Bible Lands Museum which donates the venue It seemed so incongruous, nay surreal as hundreds of Israeli cowboys were walking through the normally hallowed hallways of the ancient history of the Middle East. Yes, you heard me – pure bred Israeli cowboys!!! It was so much fun as the normally elegant elite of Jerusalem dressed in chaps, stetsons and boots, ready to dance, sing and empty their pockets for a wonderful cause. One of the highlights was a young stand-up artist called Reshef Levi who amazed us all when he told us that he has seven children (“but then I have a crazy wife who thinks that’s normal”!). Reshefs humour is gentle and personal as he took us into his home life and then asked questions of the audience. Of course he couldn’t think of anything funny to say about the fact I was Welsh (he doesn’t know the truth!!!) except to ask the age-old question “Are there really Jews in Wales”?

Do you know what an Adloyada is? Well most Israelis don’t either!even though many go to one!! There are Adloyadas or parades in town centres all over Israel but few know what the name means. Ad lo Yada (until he didn’t know) refers to the level of “enjoyment” one is supposed to derive from a generous tipple on Purim so that one cannot differentiate between Haman and Mordechai – between evil and good – as I told you in the past. We are not supposed to hold grudges, wreak vengeance so tradition suggests that we create just enough haze to make us happy. OK back to Adloyadas! Children and adults in fancy dress watch other people in fancy dress on floats as they float and dance and march through the town centre. Here in Jerusalem we tend to do things differently! Tomorrow, Shushan Purim, there will be street performers and singing on Ben Yehuda and Mamilla and we intend taking the grandchildren to see the spectacle. Meanwhile tonight the parties have started and the aromas of barbeques fill the smoky air as Israelis celebrate the triumph of good over evil with more than a little prayer that it will happen again in the near future.

By the way, did you notice my (un)deliberate mistake? Wheres there certainly was a miracle here – there wasn’t a dreidle to be seen – they used them all onChanuka!!!

Shabbat shalom dear friends. Never give up hope even when things look more than a little bleak. It is said that we get the leaders we deserve so let’s ensure that we deserve the best because otherwise … no I refuse to be miserable!!

With much love from a joyous Jerusalem, as stunningly beautiful as ever