The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem


20th December 2013.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope this missive finds you well.

First and foremost I must apologise for last weeks typos. Of course it was Mandela not Mandel.  I was probably traumatised by the snow!!!!

Miracle after miracle after miracle – Kinneret Chaya just gave birth to a baby boy. The ultimate revenge – she is now the mother of four amazing children. For those of you who do not know Kinneret Chaya, on 30th March 2002 a homicide bomber tried to end her life and almost succeeded. Despite 85% burns KC survived, thrived and despite her multiple scars and being told it was far too dangerous for her to have children she is beautiful and a phenomenal mother. If you want to know more let me know and I will send you her story. I was proud to be beside KC from the first moment, recording every miracle as it happened.

Palestine (Palaestina) is Judea. Politics aside – If irrevocable proof were needed here it is.

A rocket fired by Hamas landed in Bethlehem. Few reported it but it happened. The star in the sky was not a sign for the Magi but rather a Hamas rocket.

I was horrified at the brutal and very public murder of a British soldier in London and joined the outcry at the pride of the perpetrators actions but found it so sad that when the same happened to an Israeli soldier, killed by his Palestinian “friend” in an equally brutal fashion the world kept quiet. The Moslem converts who killed Fusilier Rigby in a London street were British citizens who did so in the name of Allah. The fact that they are black Moslem converts amazes me – for it was the Arabs, Moors, who cruelly captured and enslaved them so long ago.

In direct defiance of the announcement of a Dutch water company that it intends boycotting Israel the Dutch Prime Minister rejects the decision.

Yet again Canada does it right. Canada called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to dismiss its special investigator Richard Falk after he accused Israel of “genocidal” intentions against the Palestinians in a brief English language interview on Russian television.  “Canada has previously called for Falk to be fired for his numerous outrageous and anti-Semitic statements and these comments underscore once more the complete and total absurdity of his service as a UN Special Rapporteur,” Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement he issued on Monday.

Maybe the USA will get it right too as the House considers a new bill on the Iran sanctions in direct defiance of the White House.

It is now 25 years since the horrific terror attack over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Muammar Ghadaffi commissioned the Lockerbie attack but it was Palestinians who were more than ready to carry it out.

Leo Dan Bensky is a special person. Apart from being among the very few people who can claim to be a lot taller than Zvi, he is a serious, genuine and intelligent leader who is deeply involved in sport, Israel, the Finnish Jewish Community and Maccabi World Union. Leo-Dan was a fine Vice-President of MWU until the untimely death of President Guiora Esrubilsky. It was with absolute confidence that MWU decided that Leo-Dan take over the position – possibly the first European to do so. I know that Leo-Dan will do a fantastic job supported by his delightful wife Eva. Hazak ve’Amatz Leo-Dan.

Those of you who read my missives and know how amazing Jerusalem is will not

be surprised to know that Tripadvisor puts Jerusalem right up there in the top five!,7340,L-4462647,00.html

Snow, Oh boy did it take us by surprise! It just seemed to go on and on; at first beautiful then annoying and ultimately dangerous. I have to congratulate the police who controlled the traffic and use of lethal highways with great caution and it paid off. Thousands of trees fell or were damaged, most of them on cars, but after all the children who managed to get out of their homes had a ball! Here are some wonderful photos.

Jerusalem is almost back to normal. There is still snow on the ground but we are able to get around and almost everyone now has electricity. Many trees were either lost or huge branches fell from the weight of the snow and the huge cleanup is under way. Our veranda suffered – not many of the plants but the pergola is a mere skeleton as all the roofing parts fell in an interesting form!

Mahane Yehuda Market is back to bustling shoppers and the cooking has begun for another Shabbat. It is definitely the time of year for cholent, hamin or whatever name you choose to call it. Thick meaty, with tons of root vegetables and beans it sits in the pit of your stomach warming you for hours on end – and repeating the honour frequently!

For me this is a very unusual and special Shabbat to be spent with my beautiful daughter Rachel. Zvi is Nes Ziona with his younger son Leor and his gorgeous family where he will be joined by Amiad and family and I am here with Rachel, just us, for the first time in many, many years. Hopefully we will have a chance to sit out on the veranda and think of our incredible fortune to live in Jerusalem as she spreads her beauty before us in that wonderful panorama and thank the Almighty for putting us here, together knowing that we have loving families who miss us just for this one Shabbat, Mother and daughter. Right now my mind is filled with how to make her all her favourite dishes – since she is strictly vegetarian!!!!

I wish you Shabbat Shalom from cold and crisp Jerusalem. Shabbat Shalom and much love