The view from my veranda

Nikky Haley, Barkan tragedy and lots of good news



12th October 2018


Shabbat Shalom one and all. I hope you are well and that life is being kind to you.


We have been watching the progress of Hurricane Michael with a sense of horror for those caught in his path. I am not sure I could cope with living in the constant fear of the force of nature cutting a swathe through towns, cities and farms alike. In truth it makes our problems look small.


I am still in a state of shock after the horrific terror attacks this week in which a 28 year old beautiful mother of a baby boy and a 34 year old father of three were killed – shocked by where it happened. The incredible Barkan Industrial Zone, about which I wrote just about a month ago, where Palestinians and Israelis work side by side; where politics, race and creed are irrelevant and Palestinians learn that Israelis want co-existence; where both sides of the fence gain hope – yes it happened in the Barkan Industrial Estate. An electrician who had worked in one of the factories for just a couple of months was clearly lured into his act of terror and left a note with another worker telling them not to open it. I spoke to Moshe Lev-Ran, from the Twito factory and he told me that it would not destroy hard-earned trust, but it horrified both Palestinians and Israelis in the factory, who hugged each other when they heard the news.


As Zvi always states in his lectures. The agreements of Sykes and Picot basically caused most of the problems we now face in the Middle East. Prof. Gerald Steinberg explains……


Nikky Haley is one heck of a lady. During her term as the USA Ambassador to the UN she never lost her calm approach, eloquent and elegant in her defence of her country and of Israel. Nikky Haley clearly despises injustice and stood firmly before the United Nations and called them out at their racist game. She will be a very hard act to follow but one can understand why she needs to move on and move on she will. Described as the tiger in high heels Haley proved that one can retain ones femininity while fiercely standing before the political bullies of the United Nations.


Rabbi Jeremy Rosen is more than my religious mentor, he is a dear friend and I was thrilled to discover that a new friend, Rami Blass, knows Jeremy and admired Jeremy’s late father Rabbi Kopul Rosen, who founded and ran Carmel College where both of them studied. That preamble was because yet again Jeremy’s weekly letter not only taught me but spoke to me – it is all about our reading Genesis from the beginning again – and questioning and discussing. Read it and enjoy!!!


This week I chose to tell you some lovely stories – real stories not made up ones!!!


First of all there was a special marriage in Israel this week. Lucy Aharish married Tsachi Halevi, which may sound a normal every-day happy event but one needs to know that Lucy, a broadcaster and Israeli Christian Arab, is the recipient of the highly esteemed Israel Prize and a highly regarded journalist speaking out for Israel in many forums; Tsachi is an actor and star of the prize winning Fauda TV series. Some MK’s reacted with spite, but I wish them joy and a life of love and acceptance.


This week we went for my daughter Rachel’s annual check-up in the Oncology Department of Hadassah Hospital. Thank Heaven – all clear and we go back in another year! Our visit gave me the opportunity to tell you about Miri.


Miri has a trolley which she borrows from the hospital and she arrives at Hadassah with huge boxes and bags of sandwiches and crisps, chocolates, drinks, indeed all sorts of goodies, what my parents would have called “nasherei” – all of which she personally buys and gives away for free, gratis! Israelis of every colour and creed brighten up and the doctors and nurses come out to hug her. She is obviously not rich yet each day arrives at the Oncology Unit to cheer up, hug, sit with the family and generally to bring sunshine to the wait for results and the crucial doctor’s visit.

Miri is a religious lady and when I commented on her beautiful make-up she said: “I’m here to make people happy not to scare them with my normal face”! One time I asked her what brought her to perform this act of Hessed and she told me – “I just couldn’t get pregnant. We had done everything possible medically and then a Rabbi told me to perform an act of Hessed and it would happen.” She now has four children but continues her kindness out of love and gratitude.


Zvi’s dear friend Yitzik Lev (and mine) is a special person. Yitzik has been an emissary for Israel to Britain, Belgium, Australia, Switzerland and has made friends in each and every place. Last week Yitzik was having breakfast in Henrietta Coffee Shop with his daughter Mali, both of them having returned from travels. As they were sitting and chatting Yitzik noticed a group of 6 soldiers eating breakfast and he called over the waitress, paid the soldiers bill and left the restaurant quietly with Mali. Mali proudly wrote about it on her blog and Henrietta did the same. The soldiers discovered who their “fairy godmother” was and Yitziks secret was out. Zvi and I are so proud of him and I know you will be too.


On Monday evening we met up with Lidia and Mauricio Appelbaum, beautiful friends from Mexico who live in Los Angeles. It is always a pleasure to spend time with them and I have a special place in my heart for Lidia.


On Wednesday I found myself in the Abu Tor neighbourhood of Jerusalem, overlooking the Temple Mount and much of the Old City Walls. I was to be interviewed by Josh Reinstein for the Knesset Christian Allied Caucus television station. I was to speak on behalf of Lena Shtern to tell the Christian world about the Yuri Shtern Holistic Center for Cancer Patients and their families. Josh is an excellent interviewer and as we sat before the view of the Old City I felt very proud to speak about the incredible work of the Center. I promise to send you the finished interview and tell you when it will be aired and where.


Leor, Zvi’s younger son, is 40 years old this week!! Leor is an exceptional young man, already having risen to great heights in the company he works in he is the father of 4 girls and a superb husband. Leor is the rare type of person who no matter how busy he is, he always has time to care for and help others. Happy birthday lovely man. Shabbat dinner will be in his honour this evening.


Alain and Martine Carnel will be here in a few minutes. Alain and Martine never miss a chance to come to Israel from Paris, although they usually spend most of their time in Tel Aviv. This time they heeded our complaints and Zvi will show them the city of Jerusalem his style – with complete history!


Wow! I didn’t think I would manage to sit and write to you this week – I have done something to my back- we don’t know what I’ve done yet but it hurts! In fact I am on some wonderful pills which have taken most of the pain away but I am very fuzzy-headed so hope I made sense this week!!!


Hakol Yachassi is the name of the choir, Zvi Raviv is the name of the Director!! Here they sing “From Mount Scopus” M’al har haTsofim The beautiful young dancer, Liron Mussachi, is now a married lady!!


Another song by Hakol Yachassi is called Israel Mio – My Israel – in Ladino. The words were written by Eli Yaron and the music by Adi Hayat and it is my favourite


Finally, Yaakov Shwekey reminds us of the miracle that is Israel.


Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Shabbat Shalom on this beautiful day of gentle sunshine as we look forward to Autumn, look forward to the rains that will wash this land and cleanse away the hatred that surrounds us. That is my prayer.


With love