The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem


21st October, 2011

Shabbat Shalom dear friends

In case you are wondering, for us Simchat Torah (Celebration of the end of the reading of the Torah and the beginning of the new reading from Genesis) was yesterday, today is a friday with all the normal cooking and preparations for Shabbat. Life has been so intense over the Succot/ Tabernacles period. First the incredible tension of fearsome expectation of what Gilad’s condition would be when he got home ate at most of us. The relief at seeing his incredibly frail form tentatively lower itself from the helicopter and then the van was tempered at the physical realisation of what awful conditions he was held in. He clearly had not seen the light of day for five long years, his normally pallid complexion wan and ashen, his body unbearably gaunt, his gait uncertain – but his salute strong and determined. The tension of seeing the media around the world question our sanity yet describe the return of these multiple murderers as Palestinian prisoners equal to Gilad. How could they? Those disgusting excuses for human beings were tried and sentenced, imprisoned in controlled conditions, thoroughly well fed and educated with family and conjugal visits………… they certainly leapt off those buses – no unhealthy pallour or gaunt physiques here.

Incidentally anyone who thinks that the interview with Egyptian TV was voluntary or that the interviewer didn’t know he was forced into it should check out the photo of the masked Hamas guy standing over him with a huge gun should he answer incorrectly! Melanie Phillips caught the mood

If anyone doesn’t understand our actions or believe that our determination to return Gilad to his home and family is a sign of weakness then they just don’t get it!!! We know all the horrible possibilities – we live them every day!!!! It was worth it, and if you remember I was against the deal but the second I saw him I burst into tears and thanked G-d for bringing him home.

Col Khaddaffi of Libya was a tyrant of the first water, he committed heinous crimes against humanity and well deserved to die but I do not understand all the Western leaders who merrily announced his death without talking of the foul manner in which he was bludgeoned, shot and then his dead body was further abused and bludgeoned before stripping his clothes. The world is better off without him but should we condone such animalistic behaviour?

Back to Jerusalem, where Shabbat is closer than I realised and my table is not yet laid! The aromas returned from rotten fruit and stuffed vegetables to the regular Shabbat tastes and sounds. The shopping mall car park is empty, the roads almost devoid of vehicles and families begin to prepare for the arrival of the Bride of the Sabbath. I paid my regular friday visit to my grandchildren in Givat Ze’ev, having invented a few new games ot allow my daughter to clear the house and finish the cooking. Their favourite is “Savta Says” and slight change of the original Simon Says!!!!

Coming home I pass the glorious sight of Jerusalem, white, glistening, the undulating hills so close to our heart spread out before me. It takes my breath away.

Oh my, almost Shabbat. Time to put the oven on, set the white cloth, the plaited loaves and the wine goblet ready for Kiddush and Motse. Zvi needs to be woken so he can go to the Synagogue to sing my favourite Shabbat song Lecha Dodi

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Please remember that in this tiny beautiful country every young soldier is our son; every young soldier is ours; every young soldier is prayed for and loved and we do not allow anyone to suffer in seclusion at the hands of terrorists.

With love from a hazy, silent Jerusalem spread before me as a gift.

A special addition is this story, sent by new friends I met just yesterday. It captures the very essence of Israel, our founding and our fights.
Tell Danny he had a Mother We met Danny yesterday
Finally a wonderful site with pictures from the founding of this Nation and before.