The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Sheila

3rd August 2012
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope this missive finds you well. Sorry it is a bit last minute but….. more of that later.
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney came to visit and the media lambasted him for his apparent gaffes. How dare he say that Jerusalem is the Capital of the State of Israel? Good grief, the man told the truth, had the courage to tell the truth and didn’t kow tow tot he State Department line. Personally I was thrilled!!! This is the Capital City of Israel so what is the big deal? Then came the ultimate horror, Mr Romeny actually stated that Israeli culture is more advanced than Palestinian culture, or what he actually said was ‘dramatically stark difference in economic vitality’ between Israel and ‘the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority,’ and he concluded, ‘Culture makes all the difference.'”
On the other hand (I am nothing if not fair) President Obama “cleaned up “ the list of famous Jews in the Jewish Heritage Statement. His advisors apparently didn’t tell him that Gertrude Stein barely lived in the USA and in the 30’s proposed Adolf Hitler for the Nobel Peace Prize for cleaning the Jews out of Germany when he alluded to the famous Jews whose heritage to the American culture was remarkable.
CNN revealed that the US was funding the Syrian rebels. Should they or not? Who knows.
Canon Andrew White reported that a terrible bus bomb exploded – a bus filled with children on their way back to St Georges, Baghdad for their first communion. He reported that despite the carnage none of his children died but many were horribly injured and suffered trauma. Please pray for their recovery.
It isn’t as if the PA problem is that they don’t have any money. When doing some research I was staggered to recognise the amount of money poured into the PA by countries around the world, mostly from the West, including Israel.
The opening night of the Olympics came and went and all of you played a very important part in promoting Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Yizkor for the 11 Israeli Athletes mown down in the PLO attack on the Munich Olympic Village 40 years previously. You did them proud, you honoured their memories and Maccabi World – Kol ha Kavod you really pulled out the stops and ensured these sportsmen received the Kavod their memories so deserved.
Our sportsmen and women did us proud. Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich gave us all a heart attack when they beat Federer and his partner in the men’s doubles and we all had golden glints in our eyes but sadly the Israeli pair were beaten in the next round. Arik Ze’evi cried in disappointment as he held his little girl after losing his final Olympic appearance as the Israeli Heavyweight Judo Champion at the age of 36. We still have hopes for medals in the sailing which takes place this weekend with Lee Korzits (the reigning world Champion) and Shahar Zubari in the running.
In every generation there are a few, a very few, outstanding people. These people quietly help those in need, enrich our cultural lives with great humility and generosity. Fred Worms was such a man as he quietly went through life with his beloved Della, leaving his generous mark on so many, who remember his kind words and good heart.
Fred and Della lived in Jerusalem for 40 years, in their beautiful home in Yemin Moshe but somehow never quite made the final move. Last year they finally made Aliyah officially and Fred was so proud. Fred Simon Worms, born in Frankfurt, lived in London and left his heart in Jerusalem, author of a life in Three Cities; great Maccabi supporter, Zvi’s car companion to Maccabi World Union meetings and friend, will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in peace and his family know no more sorrow.
I thought you would like another rof Pat Condells irreverant and accurate views of our world.
This week has been unbearably hot. On Wednesday it was 35 degrees Celcius (95 F) at seven in the evening!!!! Of course that was the day that I decided to take my little grand-daughter Ayala on the Jerusalem Light Rail! It was fun at first, despite the heat, parking the car and walking to the first stop at Mount Herzl. There were lots of people waiting despite the fact that the trains leave every ten minutes and as I paid for our tickets a very kind lady was smiling at Ayala (not difficult she is very cute). As we took our seats on the train the lady sat next to me and we struck up a conversation. She was Dutch, from just outside Amsterdam, and since retiring she comes each year to volunteer with elderly Shoah survivors, taking them to doctors, to libraries and to meet friends. “What made you decide to come to Jerusalem to volunteer”? I asked. “When I retired I decided that I wanted to do something that really mattered with my time, something outside my comfort zone, something to help others, and I love Jerusalem. All my friends just carry on with their lives in a selfish manner when they retire and I didn’t want that.” I don’t know her name because we got off the tram a moment later but the warmth of her words stay with me in my heart.
As I came home from visiting my little grand-children today I opened the door to our building and was bombarded with the aromas or a hundred cultures. From roasting aubergines to boiling gefilte fisch; from curry to kubeh; from chawaij to chrane; from barbeques to chicken soup……………. as Jerusalem gets ready for Shabbat. Families get together, arriving with huge pots of unknown delicious concoctions, and the culinary aromas give way to cleaning products as homes are cleaned sparkling, ready to receive the bride.
The table is laid, the food is cooked, the Challot set out covered by their embroidered cloth……….. the children will arrive soon and Jerusalem will be quiet as we all embrace the age old traditions.
I wish you Shabbat Shalom, with all my love from Jerusalem, beloved Capital or the State of Israel