The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

30th April 2010.
Shabbat Shalom!
So the Syrians have finally been found out as the suppliers of arms to Hezb-Allah. Of course they deny it but then “They would wouldn’t they”! Syria gets the money and the armaments from Iran but somehow the current US government believes Israel should talk peace with Syria. Not likely – not now, not under present circumstances.
Only 1500 people turned up for the Support Israel Rally in New York – and most of those were Christians. Where were the Jews? If we do not support Israel openly then the assumption of the media is that we are against Israel. Support by definition means backing, standing up to be counted. Complacency is not an option –the repercussions are too enormous.

On Tuesday Israelis wore white to honour Gilad Schalit and support his family as Gilad nears his fifth year of captivity. After four long years, being held by terrorists, no member of Amnesty, Red Cross or any of the “humanitarian” agencies has fought to see him or find his whereabouts. He isn’t of importance; he is only a Jewish Israeli boy! Imagine it was your child……..

Gilad’s Shalit’s father Noam made a video clip for Yom Ha’atzmaut. Watch it and send it to family, friends – anyone who will listen.

The Arab world (other than Iran which is not Arab) has chosen not to support the Palestinians financially prefering the West to do so. Is it because they do not have spare cash? Oh no!! See this undoubtedly beautiful fountain in Dubai – which cost $280 million, bet that could feed a few mouths eh? Maybe even prevent a war?מזרקה_בדובאי.html

Yesterday was a glorious day! We both woke up smiling. I was meeting with old and adored friends in our favourite restaurant where the plants make one feel as if one is eating in a jungle amongst the ferns and palms! There in nothing like being with old friends with nothing to explain and everything to understand.

Zvi returned from his meeting and we headed off to the Municipality to meet with a group of Mormon doctors led by our very best friend Kim. Kim is a doctor, a devout Mormon and the founder of the Children of Israel Foundation which helps the less fortunate in Jerusalem. Though conversations long into the evening, while sitting on our veranda, Kim and I vowed to dispel myths and preconceived notions of both the LDS and Jewish communities’ one of the other.

Many of the group were “first-timers” unlike Kim who as been here about 90 or 100 times. They were exhausted from a long bus ride but walked into the Council Chamber with wide-eyed anticipation. Zvi explained the significance of the circle of the council table and the straight lines of the columns and carvings; of the earthly thoughts of the council table influenced by the woven thoughts of the heavenly ceiling; of the twelve tribes represented by twelve lights which point both to the heavens and down to the earth….. his explanations still entrance me. The poetic explanations of my husband were slightly exploded by the truth of council sessions by council member and Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur, who laughed at the thought that there is anything heavenly at noisy council meetings! Naomi also explained that our one wish is that Arab Jerusalemites will also take part in those noisy discussions by using their legal rights and voting in representatives.

We then waved a magic wand and took them out onto the veranda – undoubtedly the second most beautiful veranda in Israel! Jerusalem surrounded us. Old and new, Biblical, historic, ancient and ultra modern all vied for our attention. Churches and Mosques created a fine horizon – beside the eerily beautiful Mount of Olives. In the distance a huge Israeli flag fluttered in the breeze, drawing everyone’s attention. As Zvi explained the mosaic which makes up Jerusalem I watched their faces, enthralled, excited, amazed and above all enchanted.

I was amazed to see, in the years since Ehud Olmert was Mayor, that the near view was cluttered by ugly buildings which had sprung up like mushrooms all over Jerusalem –one right next to the Municipality which blocked the view of Notre Dame Convent preventing Zvi’s usual explanation of the Italian Hospital, the Russian Church and Notre Dame (French) vying for greater height – therefore closer to heaven! The bizarre Pieta of Notre Dame is no longer on view. One thing for sure – that would never have happened when we were there.

Next week Zvi will be very involved in the Maccabi World Union meetings and then on Monday night he is off to China, leading the Jerusalem Hora Troupe to Shanghai where they will dance at the opening of Israel’s Expo pavilion. If Zvi gets his way you may yet see Hora Jerusalem dancing in Tiananmen Square in Beijing when you switch on your news!! That would be much better than watching yet another miserable item wouldn’t it?

As Zvi sat with the young dancers yesterday, he explained the implication of their trip and what he expects from them. “You are representing Israel in a country that barely knows what an Israeli or a Jew is. We are going there as envoys of Jews worldwide and Israel in particular – remember that you are ambassadors to a nation of billions of people – behave with pride and humility.”

We are off to celebrate Zvi’s littlest grand-daughter Gilis birthday today with a barbeque at eleven – so that we can be back home before siesta time and I can finish my preparations for Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

With love


Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav “Everything in this world has a heart; the heart itself has its own heart.”

Jerusalem is the heart of our heart, the soul of our soul.