The view from my veranda

Succot and Tabernacles Sameach from Sheila


29th September 2009.

Chag Succot Sameach, Happy Festival of Tabernacles.

Welcome to the thousands and thousands of Christians who have come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles with the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem . Welcome and Shalom.

Glen Beck is known for the strong, sometimes excessive emotion and levity of his monologues on Fox News, but even his greatest detractors could not find fault with this interview of Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton on the subject of President Obama’s speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Very deep and real concerns were raised in his interview with John Bolton but I was infinitely more concerned by the reaction of the Assembly. When President Obama mentioned Israel’s security, there was silence, when he mentioned a contiguous Palestinian State applause broke out. No-one there cared that such a move, the fusion of two very different peoples, would mean that Israel had no contiguous State! Goebbels would be proud of the UN, and apparently of the President, because it is clear that their brainwashing is a resounding success. Unless we all get up on our hind legs and shout it is too late; not for Israel, but for us all.

The United Nations gave voice to a uniformed and armed Yassir Arafat, who ranted and raved to great applause and now handed over the podium to anti-democratic tyrants who shoot and maim their opponents and allowed them to spit their malevolent, mendacious venom in the supposed hallowed halls without compunction.

Muammar Ghaddafi

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way. Samuel Butler

After three British Moslems were convicted of a foiled attempt to blow up 7 aeroplanes with drinks bottles, an American/Afghani immigrant pleads not guilty to an even bigger conspiracy.

Steve Emerson was the first and strongest voice on Islamic terrorism and much maligned when his book Jihad in America was published. He was considered a hot-head and fear-monger until September 11th when his words became the terrifying truth and he became a Presidential Advisor. Steve has an excellent website outlining and addressing all our concerns. Be informed.

Doesn’t America see the writing on the wall? Don’t the European leaders see that it is not Israel that presents a threat? Are we waiting for that bomb, that rocket, the planes that fall out of the sky, that 9/11 to wake us up again? And how long ’til we fall back into that dreamland where good always wins through?

The scandalous (failed) attempt by British Lawyers to have Minister of Defence Ehud Barak arrested for war crimes has some surprising funders. Read Tom Gross’ blog

The incomparable Maurice Ostroff has been in constant contact with Judge Richard Goldstone, a fellow South African, and has prepared a summary of his, and our, deep reservations of the Goldstone Report on “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza. It makes fascinating reading and backs up what I said earlier – The United Nations demands half truths in its reports in order to back its preconceived ideas.

A lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies. Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Our greatest asset is our ability is to celebrate. On the 6th, 7th and 8th of October there will be a direct transmission from Times Square New York and the Tel Aviv Port which will be decorated as a mini-Times Square! Let’s all gather in both places and wave!!!,7340,L-3781464,00.html

As soon as stomachs were sated after Yom Kippur, the sound of hammers and electric drills echoed long into the night as young and old, religious and secular worked on the first stages of their Succah (Tabernacle). Verandas throughout the land sport huts of wood or fabric. The festival starts on Saturday night and continues for a week of food, food more food and visitors! Those of you who delight in my epicurean descriptions, hold on to your seats!! Borsht, goulash, kibbeh, holishkes and sarmis fill the streets with the amazing aromas of a people dispersed for 2,000 years. The most diverse recipes I could find for Sukkot are

The streets of religious neighbourhoods are packed with stalls for Succah decorations, children milling between the feet of the adults checking out the bags of sweets! The principle search is for the best etrog and lulav. The inspection of both is intense, choosing the purest of any species is essential. “On the first day you shall take the fruit of a citrus tree, palm branches, boughs of thick trees and brook willows, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.” (Vayikra 23:40) “The fruit of the beautiful tree” is the etrog; “date palms” refers to the palm stem [lulav]; “a branch of the thick-bough tree” is the myrtle [hadas]; and “willows” of the brook” is the willow branch [arava].

Our veranda is spectacular at this time of year. The pomegranate tree bears its pink and red fruits proudly as it stands before the autumnal landscape of Jerusalem. The kumquat trees are still hiding their tiny fruits amongst the greenery – with the promise of tuning bright orange very soon. Talking of oranges – despite drought and searing heat the tiny, metre high orange tree has produced three perfectly formed fruits! The herbs thrive on the dish-water irrigation and the Hadas provides a fragrant green border. The hibiscus is showing off its huge orange and peach flowers next to the scarlet “Valerie” fuchsias and the outrageous purple of the bougainvillea.

With love from Jerusalem, centre of the world and city of pilgrimage to Jews and Christians on this most auspicious of festivals. Chag Sukkot Sameach


AS I WRITE THE NEWS IS COMING IN OF A DEAL WITH HAMAS FOR A CURRENT VIDEO TAPE OF GILAD SCHALIT WHICH WILL BE DELIVERED TO HIS PARENTS IN EXCHANGE FOR ISRAEL RELEASING 20 WOMEN PRISONERS. It is important to note that 19 of the prisoners are from the West Bank and only one from Gaza, which is Hamas showing the people of the West Bank that President Abbas can bring them prosperity but only Hamas can get prisoners released