The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Sheila. Ukraine, Nazism USA, Baruch Mizrachi z”l, Pesach and Easter

18th April 2014
​Shabbat Shalom, Moadim le Simcha, Chag Sameach and a blessed Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Have you noticed that as the counting of the Omer and its required limitations coincides with Lent? Indeed as Pancakes are eaten on Shrove Tuesday so we eat Bubbelech/Chremslech pancakes on Pesach!!! The Last Supper was indeed thought to have been a seder night. We have so much to bind us that the tragedy is the success those who try to split us assunder is even greater.
Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi was driving with his wife and 5 children to Seder night at his Parents-in-laws home when he was shot and killed by gunmen in a terror attack near Hebron.  His wife tried to take the wheel to save their children and brought the car to a halt before calling the emergency services. Her husband was laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon at the Mount Herzl military cemetery. Hadas Mizrahi, pregnant with their 6th child said ‘With the shriek of a bullet, I lost the love of my life’. A people inculcated with such hatred can cause savagery of these proportions. 
Talking of inculcating hatred, a few years ago a British journalist interviewed weird and frightening people all over the USA. One of his investigative programmes was about Americas Nazis. ​Louis ​Theroux interviewed Tom Metzger and others, not in the deep South but just one hour from San Diego, California. Having watched this documentary in horror I was saddened but not surprised by the horrific shootings of Jews in Kansas City. I hope you are able to watch – sometimes it says not available in your country. If you find Louis Theroux series – watch
The ugly face of Racism and Nazism are alive and kicking in the USA. Terrifying but true. Even the Mayor of Marionville Missouri, Frazier Millers home town, agrees with the actions and beliefs of Miller.  
Ukraine/Crimea is it a case of Wag the Dog?   Are the headlines a diversion from the failure of talks in this region and general dismay with the Presidents performance? ​Perhaps that is how it started but most certainly not how it continues. ​ The Ukraine echoes of its cruel past as Jews are told to register – they registered in 1941 and 34,000 were slaughtered in Babi Yar.
T​he talks with the Palestinians continue without Kerry but upon his return from his family seder Martin Indyk is overseeing the continuation. Always worth talking, always worth discussing as long as those sitting around the table realise we cannot kill ourselves in the name of peace.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was to be endowed with an honorary doctorate for her work against FGM and oppression of women in Islam by Brandeis University. The University backed down at the last minute and decided to cancel this well deserved honoured. Shame on them. We met Ayaan Hirsi Ali when she came to speak in Jerusalem. Her determination to make the world a better place is deserving of honour and recognit​i​on.
The selfie to beat all selfies shows two buddies enjoying a “moment” Obama and Biden in the back of the car!
Richard Farwell sent me this wonderful link of autistic soldiers who serve in a high position in the IDF – the caring IDF
Thanks again to my personal investigative reporter Diane Steinfink for this delightful video of Seder night 2014
How do you make Matza? I well remember taking my “Cheder” (Sunday school) children in Reading, Berkshire, to a matza factory in North London. They loved the excitement of the long matza poles and the fire but I had to keep yelling DUCK as the religious men raced backwards with the baked matza to place it aside!!! Aviv Matza is made in sterile factory conditions but no less fascinating!!!
TO BEAN OR NOT TO BEAN – that is the question”. Should I go Sefardi and eat Kitniot or stick to  my Ashkenaz guns and stay legume free????? So many of my friends, even religious ones, are sick of the divide between the two and simply switch over. So what do you think?
Seder night was wonderful. 21 guests reading the story of our Exodus from slavery in Egypt as our ancestors did, familiar words and a story that has no end even though we came back home.  David Efron proudly sported his new business card as Honorary Consul of Israel to Puerto Rico, his pride almost as great as the fact that his daughter Libi made Aliyah two years ago. The children sang Who knows One – Echad Mi Yodeya. This is a translated version – and really funky!!! 
To finish we sing Chad Gadya with animal sounds as I described last week. However it is worth reiterating that ever year, year in and year out the official section of the Seder ends with “l’Shana ha baah bÝerushalyim” Last week I gave you the Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach rendition, today a lighter, maybe less spiritual version
Imagine our exhaustion after the seder. I don’t begin to cook until all the dishes are changed over and the house free of all “chametz” so it began at about 06:30 and ended with the last guest at about midnight.
Zvi’s boys stayed on to help us put all the furniture back in place and then to our utter amazement the boys and their wives and children (all 8 of them) stood before us in their pyjamas!!! They forgot to tell us that they were staying over! Luckily beds are always made up in this house,  just in case and next morning we had a glorious time with the grandchildren as I made Bubbelech/Chremslach (Passover pancakes) for everyone. They left by 10am so that I could clear away the toys and prepare the food and elegant table for the Luncheon!
Lunch was fascinating as three lawyers argued the toss of “Is there G-d or afterlife”? and just about any other argument imaginable. David Efron, Yair Green and Yehuda Ressler argued (mostly Yehuda) with Zvi ensuring his say and the rest of us, including the delightful Arik and Ora Shiffer, Gabby Green, Leah Ressler, Libi Efron and I just smiled and enjoyed a separate conversation completely! By 18:00 I was totally exhausted and thoroughly delighted after a wonderful lunch.
Yesterday I simply took Rachel and the grandchildren to Modiin to finally buy Yosef his birthday present. He was utterly thrilled with the huge remote controlled jeep of his dreams!!!! It was so much fun to be with them. Driving to Givat Zeev, youngsters messing about at the side of the road next to Nebe Samuel (Samuels Tomb), laughing and play-fighting – not such an unusual sight, but these boys were wearing the gold damask gowns of Hassidim. It seemed so incongruous! As I drove on there was a broken down car at the side of the road and another Hassid, head deep under the bonnet, hands deftly repairing the problem! I thought I had seen it all until I got to the two cyclists preparing to cycle down a huge hill, excitement clear on their young faces, their black damask “Kittles” tied up around their waists for better aerodynamics!!!! It simply proves that we are all the same under our uniforms.
Israelis love to travel, to visit and to find new adventures. So many people went to Ein GEdi that they asked them to stop because the roads were simply too full! 100,000 people went to the Kinneret too. I love it!!!​
The food continues and my freezer is emptying. Tonight we have friends coming for Shabbat Dinner and then on Shabbat Ronit and Gedi Hofesh are popping in on their way home from Ein Gedi, that glorious Oasis on the way to the Dead Sea. On Sunday Zvi’s boys are coming for supper for the second days of Passover, together with our daughter-in-laws family – about 15 of us and then ……………. na, it is getting boring already!!!!
To finish I want to leave you with the most emotive, uplifting story of the week, if not the year. ​Our dear friend Canon Andrew White spent his Pesach in Baghdad. To be exact this incredible Anglican Canon created a real Seder for the 6 Jews of Baghdad, ensuring they read the whole Haggadah and understood the meaning of freedom. He created a seder plate with all the symbols. Canon Andrew White, I know you have been through a really difficult time medically but it seems to make you stronger, more tolerant and more determined to create Tikkun Olam. You are an example to us all.
Shabbat Shalom wonderful people, Shabbat Shalom
With love from Jerusalem, the most glorious city in the world. I now see the View from My Veranda from the lovely new hammock/swing that Zvi bought me for Pesach so that I can sit and watch the view changing, the light turning this city pink as the sun goes down.
The niggun is a tune that is hummed and di-di-di’d by Hassidim – this is one for you – Shabbat in Sfat, Lecha Dodi. Beginning slowly and rising in joy
Shabbat Shalom.