The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Boston

12th October 2012
Shabbat Shalom from Boston!! We just arrived having caught a bus in NYC, travelled through beautiful countryside with the leaves just turning and arrived in Boston where Richard met us and helped us “schlepp” our multitude of suitcases on the train and tram to their house to be greeted with smoked salmon and a smile by Danit.
You cannot imagine this week!! So many of you think Zvi and I are the energiser bunnies at home but right now we are doing  far more!! Let’s think about the week………………
Let’s start on Sunday evening in the town of Bedford, NY, after a day which began at 05:00 when Joshua wanted to know if it was morning yet so that he could climb into bed with me for his cuddle!! I had no intention of speaking to any groups but I have a special soft spot for Sari Singer who garnered great support from her community for Kinneret Chaya and find it hard to refuse her anything and I took Rivka and Michael with me for support! Sari and  Rabbi David, promised me about 20 people and question and answer, well it was actually about 60+ people but the minute the delightful people began to talk to me at the pre-talk reception it all worked out. Ron Meyerson, with whom I have had a wonderful email conversation for some weeks turned out to be a truly beautiful man who is now a dear friend, David Weinstein who helped Kinneret Chaya so much was also at least as charming as he appeared and Harriet who is a long time reader was just as much fun as I imagined…………….. indeed when my turn came to speak I was ready and relaxed.
I began by reading about Kinneret Chaya, since the community already knew about her and helped her, the story only I knew, Kinneret Chaya before and after, and how she reached the after of a beautiful, strong, spiritual, devoted woman with two and 8/9th children!! From that point on the questions came thick and fast – but almost all were about war, will we attack Iran, the Haredim, what I think of Obama and such like and all I wanted was to tell everyone about the incredible life we lead. I wanted them to know that  we have fun, much more than most, going out to theatre, restaurants, shows, each others homes, Israeli singing and sometimes just “schpatzeering” or for coffee, rather than sitting home and worrying about Iran! I wanted them to hear about Friday and how we shop til we drop and then cook until…………….. Shabbat with the family!!! I wanted them to know what a full and fulfilling life we lead that is filled with joy and purpose……… but sadly Rivka’s question was never asked as I ran out of time arguing with people that our problem is not the religious Jews but that both Israeli Arabs and Haredim must take part in society and that both are now beginning to do so. Basically – I wanted this audience of marvellous people to realise jut how marvellous it is living in Israel and how privileged I am to live in Jerusalem.
Obviously we are overpowered and over-newsed– out by the debates……..DEBATES!!! When will the politicians realise that people hear what they want to hear? OK so the first debate was probably a Romney win, but then he was attacking and the President had to defend his policies – always a difficult position. I felt the whole Big Bird campaign was ridiculous – conduct unbecoming of a President. The second debate had a handsome, smiling older statesman against a rough around the edges very young and inexperienced, but practically clever, politician. One either heard that Joe Biden smirked or that he was clever and smiling – and that Paul Ryan was either a poor debater or a refreshingly naive politician depending upon whether you are a Dem or a Rep!. Me – I don’t know!
The next day Lenny and Ruth Cole called in and Lenny told us of his latest academic publication concerning anti-Semitism. Both Lenny and Ruth are fierce defenders of Israel and very much initiators rather than responders.
Then it all broke out as House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrel Issa made it very clear that the government attempted a cover-up concerning security and premeditation of the horrific attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, a cover-up which distressed me, a cover-up of the extent of the attack and the dreadful personal attack on the Ambassador and the claims that it was an inside job. He said “Well, some of the diplomatic correspondence from the ambassador himself described a deteriorating situation. It described continued problems. It described the volatile nature. And these were in actual cables. But more importantly, they were reporting on an almost successful attempt to murder the ambassador, the successful looting of the Tunisian consulate nearby in Benghazi, 234 separate attacks, and I think, oddly enough, Ambassador Kennedy said, well, only 20 percent of them were in Benghazi. Now, 20 percent of 234 sounds like an awful lot of violent attacks, and it was.” Read more:
American Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice comes out worst but Hillary Clinton a close second. Were their statements under White House directive or are they following State Dept. line?
Directly on the heels of this inquiry followed another attack, this time on the American Embassy in Yemen. How many flags must be burned for the US leaders to know that they are hated? Not hated because of policy, hated because they represent the antithesis to Islamic Fundamentalism and thus the greatest  obstacle.
Moslem Brotherhood supporters and anti-Morsi rebels fought violently in Tahrir Square where it all started. Who knows what the outcome may be.
Israel? Well we downed a drone………. a big drone which was on its way from Hezb-Allah to Dimona, a gift from Iran. Iran testing the waters I guess. A Grad rocket landed in a school, but no-one really cares about that unlike the rocket that landed in Turkey to which Turkey reacted by attacking Syria – of course Turkey is considered correct wheras when we respond……….. forget it it depresses me!!!
As brilliant as our hosts are, as amazing it was to grab seconds and minutes, hugs kisses and giggles with children and grandchildren, I miss Jerusalem. I miss the “View from my Veranda”; I miss the hustle and bustle, the laughter and chatting to anyone next to you on the bus or tram; I miss the glorious food, the variety of “Shabbatot”; I miss the friendliness of the ladies on the cashier desks at the supermarket and the open rowdy arguments on just about every and any subject because we all care SO MUCH.We may not always be polite but we are honest and straighforward and we DO talk of politics, religion and even ask strangers how much they paid for their purchases, how much they earn and what they paid for their home!!!!
Tonight we spend Shabbat with Danit and Richard Farwell, right across the road, and tomorrow we will walk around Boston.
We wish you Shabbat Shalom from Boston with a song that the lovely Michael Bertisch Meir is particularly fond of Amir Benayon and here Amir sings the most “Shabbesdik” of all Shabbat songs. Shalom Aleichem………. Peace be with you
Shabbat Shalom dear friends
With love