The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

13th July 2012
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Did you miss me? I had the best time imaginable with my incredible children and most of my grandchildren…obviously missing those who didn’t manage to be there. When I saw my big sister and brother I began to think about family, loyalties, friendships and what they mean. I will explain, but in the meantime I wanted to talk about Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, our dear friend, who this week was found not guilty of most of the accusations against him, accusations which caused his impeachment. The question of the Holyland Affair still hangs over his head but I am confident that he will be exonerated of those accusations too. Unfortunate Zvi and I are less confident for several other accused. What does this mean for Israel? Hopefully it means that the power of the press will be limited and trial by media cast less of a shadow on our political milieu because it freezes the leaders ability to act for fear of false accusations of impropriety.
I feel robbed of an outstanding Prime Minister and am very angry at the toll on the Olmert Family and on the former PM in particular. He always knew he was innocent, always knew the accusations were politically based and was fairly certain who was behind the media hype and I am certain he will sue them for the horrors he has suffered and I think that he should tell us, the people of Israel, who caused the profligate spending of public funds on sending the police to the USA to interview people (some of whom I knew and wouldn’t trust within arms length) and try to gather non-existent evidence. The irresponsibility of the State Prosecutor and State Comptroller who as Israel joyfully neared the celebrations of Israel’s 60th birthday, announced the “biggest corruption scandal of Israel’s history” and then did nothing about it because there wasn’t one!!!! Incidentally a poll this week proved that the Israeli people would vote for Ehud Olmert for Prime Minister again – but he says he has left politics….. I wonder and I sincerely hope not.,7340,L-4253496,00.html
In the meantime many Rabbi’s are joining the decision to hold memorial services for the 11 slain athletes in the Munich Olympics since the Olympic committee doesn’t have the “cajones” to stand up for what is right for fear of insulting the Palestinian athletes who would boycott the Olympics if a memorial service were to take place. Is that insane inverse morality or what? Ensure that YOUR Rabbi or Priest, Minister or Pastor joins the determination to memorialise the athletes. The International Olympic Committee denies any culpability in the murders and in strange justice thus decided not to honour them officially. However, at the Beijing Olympics there was a service organised by the Israeli Embassy to China when Juan Antonio Samaranch, International Olympic Committee president from 1980 to 2001, and Alex Giladi, Israel’s delegate to the IOC attended. Samaranch gave a heartfelt speech about keeping the slain sportsmen’s memories alive, describing the massacre as the “blackest moment in the history of the Olympic movement.”
Do you remember my statement, about 6 months before the Allied troops entered Iraq, that Saddam Husseins much vaunted WMD had left Iraq and were stashed away in Syria before the first allied soldier stepped on Iraqi soil? The politicians and diplomats tried to deny their existence aided and abetted by the media. Well now we have proof. The Syrians are moving their WMD’s and we, the general public know our “servants” lie!,7340,L-4254982,00.html
Guess what? Judea and Shomron are not occupied!!! the rhetoric and outright lies which insisted that we are the vile occupiers on the land of the Palestinians has been broken and proven to be exactly what it is……… lies and rhetoric,7340,L-4255005,00.html
The Church of England has joined so many other churches in their denigration of Israel, the denial of their own roots and the abandonment of their beleaguered parishioners in the Middle East. Canon Andrew White intends addressing the situation.
and so to the crux of this letter………… the importance of family and the meaning of family.
I thank G-d every day that my wonderful children appreciate and understand the importance of each other and acceptance of their way of life, each on so different one to the other. I know that should any one of them (G-d forbid) be in trouble the others, and their spouses, would support and be beside the one who needs them. They also know that intolerance one of the other is not tolerated – I would be more than cross….I would be disappointed.
I saw virtually no-one but my children, with two exceptions. One was to visit Prof. Michael and Judy Baum – dear friends with whom I always have lively discussion and hear fascinating medical news. The second person came ot me – dear Eleanor, dear dear Eleanor who is the widow of my wonderful and beloved cousin Bobby. I still find it hard to speak of Bobby in the past tense – so I won’t. I miss my little cousin so desperately but not as much as Eleanor does……….. I still love him arms and legs.
Last Wednesday, despite arriving in London late on Tuesday night, together with my three children I piled into the car, Daniel, Gideon, Rachel, Karen, Zac and Joshua and me, and headed off to Oxford. First we went to show Joshua Daniel’s college, the beautiful Exeter College, scene of Daddy’s students antics, and so to cousin Lynnes. The excitement mounted as we realised that we were together, me and my babes and we were about to see my sister Doreen, her husband Melvyn, my brother Ronnie and his wife Sandie and of course Lynne and Michael, my cousins. It was wonderful. It was family.
Family is so much more than blood, so much more than genetic inheritance, so much more than shared upbringing….. it is the belief, deep down in our souls, that we can rely on one another.
Israel is family – be it Mother who cares for, supports and loves her children, always welcoming them home to her safe haven and embrace; be it child who always needs our parental support; be it sibling who we will never abandon or judge you. I beg of you not to deny the relationship, the support, the determination to fight for your family member, your Israel, our Israel.
My flight home was, as always, mixed with sadness at those I leave behind while joyous at those who await me. Tonight, Friday night, will be spent with my daughter Rachel, my son-in-law Igal and their wonderful children who I missed so much. It will be real Shabbat with all the trimmings. The lighting of the Shabbat candles and the shining faces of my grandchildren as they join their mother in this ancient tradition just as she did when she was little; the blessing of the children as my father did for us; the kiddush, blessing over the wine and then the challah – two home made challot to represent the double portion or manna which came from heaven for the children of Israel; the white tablecloth, the fine array of home made food and of course the grace after meals…………….. The children will not sit and play computer games tonnight, or watch television – the family will be just that, family. Praying, talking, contemplating, playing and being together without distractions. Family.
I wish you Shabbat shalom and the understanding that there is nothing in this world like family – except for really special friends…. but that is for another week.
In the meantime HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY GIDEON. You are everything I knew you could become and more as you travel through life with your wonderful Stephanie and your beautiful children. I am proud you are my son.
Shabbat Shalom