The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom – Haredi demo, Pope Francis, David Rosen, Angela Merkel, BDS

28th February2014.
Shabbat Shalom dear friends
I really don’t know where to start this week. I barely left the house because I had,what is known in the UK as the “dreaded lurgy” – an unknown but annoying cough and cold!!! Actually a phrase invented by Spike Milligan for the Goon Show and which the Cambridge online dictionary describes as ‘a humorous way of speaking of any illness which is not very serious but is easily caught’.
Anyway – I am feeling much better this morning and managed to speak to my dear friend, a wonderful woman, who is very religious. I was clearly feeling well because the conversation turned to the impending million MAN demonstration planned for Sunday by the Haredim against the prospect of conscription into the IDF. I am far from being secular and equally far from being Haredi – I am a traditional Jew who loves her country and hates no-one. That doesn’t mean I have patience for extremes in either direction! I simply believe that a people who are maligned and despised, hated and utterly misunderstood, must stand together. While prayer is a deeply important part of our life and our defence, our belief in the Torah cannot stand alone, we are past the time of going to our deaths as sheep to the slaughter. Today we have a beautiful, strong country of our own and we must be prepared to fight to sustain it and the society within. Each and every member of that society must participate in that struggle in a tangible manner, Jew, Moslem and Christian. We must all work, pay taxes, abide by the laws of the land, fight when necessary (not depend on others to defend our children) and express tolerance to those who are different to us in a manner never shown to us. We have to be better than those who went before us. Gosh for someone with the “dreaded Lurgy” I guess I did have something to say this week!
Pope Francis met Jewish leaders recently to discuss many issues including his proposed visit to Israel and the Holy Land. Rabbi David Rosen, who should have been the Israeli Ambassador to Rome, is spearheading the talks.
Germanys Chancellor Angela Merkel has been visiting Jerusalem. She expressed support for Israel’s insistence that the Palestinian Authority recognise Israel as a characteristically Jewish state and acknowledged the importance of Israeli security concerns. Chancellor Merkel has been steadfast in her support alongside David Cameron, against most of the European States. The problem is that the PA has announced to Kerry that they do not accept his demand that Israel be known and a Jewish State.
Israel is about to perform yet another prisoner release brokered by the USA. I have two major problems with this release; one is that those released , who include terrorists with blood on their hands, return to their evil ways, armed with the education they received in Israeli jails and, if I really want to be honest – why the heck should Israel release a multitude of killers, intent upon our destruction just because the US says so when the USA will not release one very sick Jewish spy who has no evil intent on America? I don’t know what Pollard did but surely he has paid the price?
ASA President, NYU Professor Lisa Duggan, is planning a two day Israel Hatefest today and tomorrow and she would like to keep it quiet. Share and send her and NYU pres. e-mails expressing your disgust – BE POLITE AND CONCISE. 
President John Sexton: Phone: (212) 998-2345 or
Prof. Lisa Duggan:
We saw them in action in Oxford and now they have taken on the BDS louts in Los Angeles Congratulations to all the UCLA students who helped defeat a anti-Israel boycott resolution! Bravo Standwithus! Israeli soldiers supported student leaders who stood up against this divisive, hateful “BDS” motion at UCLA this week!
To take a break from politics, Maurice Ostroff downloaded from IBA TV English news. It shows another side of Israel. The wonders of bird life in northern Israel. Note the innovative provision of 5 tons of food daily <>
Click here for another clip Maurice downloaded showing a South African Minister’s opinion of Israel as an apartheid state.
The aromas are in full swing as Shabbat nears. I already showered the children and dressed them for Shabbat and left their house with glorious challot baked by my daughter. She is an amazing “balabusta”!!! Driving home I listened to Yehoram Gaon’s morning programme. I love it, his Hebrew is so exquisite, his grammar exact and his voice lilting and almost soporific. He really talks of the issues that busy the minds of Israelis of all varieties, he seems to make sense of confusion and put the word of logic into illogical situations. I often find myself nodding furiously in agreement as I drive home! This week he spoke of the question of conscription, Haredim, equality, danger, corruption and the obvious fact that we are losing our battle to tell the history, the truth, of this incredible country. Would you believe that there are Jews who believe the rhetoric which claims that we are the interlopers not the indigenous people?
Since I am a bit late with todays letter the mall is closing down and the car park emptying, the buses are changing their direction to aleph aleph aleph (which I used to think was HHH – indicating that they are going back to the garage so that their drivers can get home for Shabbat. The streets are emptying and they family arriving with pots and plastics filled with goodies as families share the work of preparation. White tablecloths are simultaneously billowing as Shabbat tables are laid with finest china and cutlery – to be festooned with food depending on the traditions of each home.
Today as I was listening to Yehoram Gaon I thought about two songs, both my favourites, which tell us why we are here, why we came home, why we are in Israel. The first is “Lalechet shevi achariyich” a love story for this beautiful country “I will walk after you” and perhaps the most apt and emotive “Ayn li Eretz Aheret” I have no other country – On second thoughts – more than any other song, my feelings are expressed by Al Kol Eleh – Above all this. Read the words and feel the melody I promise you will repeat iti and repeat it and repeat it.
So Shabbat Shalom to you and yours. Wishing you a beautiful Shabbat with a huge portion of tolerance and love alongside your traditional dishes. Only by teaching our children that the only conscience and behaviour we must watch is our own can we teach them to respect the beliefs of others.
Be well, be loving and be kind……………… Shabbat Shalom to you all with much love from Jerusalem, heart of our heart and centre of our world.
With much love from me to you