Friday, 4 September 2015

Reuven Rivlin and Pope Francis, Iran, Israel best, Canary Mission

150904
4th September 2015

Shabbat Shalom dear friends and a special one to Zachary David, my grandson, Chelsea fan and gorgeous boy, who was 7 years old yesterday! Happy birthday darling boy. Incredibly my wonderful, wise eldest son Daniel celebrates his 46th birthday this week too.  How did that happen?????

My favourite story of the week came out of President Reuven Rivlin's visit to His Holiness Pope Francis. While discussing the wave of anti-Semitism plaguing the world the Pope agreed with the President that anti-Semitism should be seen as an evil malady, while all those who sought to threaten Israel’s existence were rooted in anti-Semitism. President Rivlin told the Pope stories of his childhood, growing up in Jerusalem, playing near the Western Wall. They continued to cover world issues then His Holiness asked the most important question of all "Who is the best footballer the world has ever known - Pele or Maradonna"? President Rivlin thought deeply about the question and responded "Each generation produces its football heroes, all are excellent". Yet again you did us proud Mr President.

My least favourite story is the ongoing and seemingly never ending story of the "Iran Agreement". I fully accept keeping ones enemy close, but how can one make an agreement with a country whose leaders do not cease deriding, berating, calling for the destruction of your country, burning your flags and creating hate-filled cartoons of your President. I am not talking about Israel, we are the hors d'ouevres, it is time the USA understood that you are the main course.
If you want to know where YOUR Senator or Congressperson stands on Iran https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/where-lawmakers-stand-on-iran/#sen-no

One of the most believable and pragmatic journalists that I know, David Horovitz, wrote an op-ed on the political battle between PM Netanyahu and former PM Barak over Iran. I love David's no-nonsense approach and agree with him! http://www.timesofisrael.com/baraks-iran-bombshell-sounds-like-a-case-of-premature-detonation/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=7c80737996-2015_08_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-7c80737996-54393189

The Guardian is hardly a pro-Israel newspaper, but they held a marvellous photographic exhibit of Israelis and Palestinians playing football together. The city of my birth, the Welsh Capital city, Cardiff, has a City Council that prior to the major football match on Sunday evening - Wales/Israel in the qualifying rounds of the European cup - it was not politically correct to hold the self same exhibition. Why? Perhaps it shows that all preconceptions of our region are false http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3221924/Fury-Cardiff-Council-cancels-photography-exhibition-Muslims-Jews-Christians-playing-football-pictures-taken-Israel.html

The Canary Mission is a logical extension of our concerns as to the political leanings of people we employ. No I am not talking about which party one votes for, whether you smoked pot in university or stood on anti-war rallies, or even if you are an anti-Semite or not; this organisation keeps records of those who openly threaten life and limb of Americans, Jews, Israel etc. Do you want to check if the person you trust with teaching your children International Affairs is a radical?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJgXa1Pf8p0&feature=youtu.be

Some American Yeshiva students, visiting Israel, decided to go to Hebron in their own car, took a wrong turn and wound up in a problematic Palestinian neighborhood. They would have been lynched by a group of youngsters but Fayez Abu Hamdia saw something was wrong and took the men into his home and safety. I tell you for two reasons. Firstly that there are good people everywhere and secondly, go to Hebron but go with someone who knows the route or take a tour!!!! http://www.bicom.org.uk/news-article/palestinian-shelters-jewish-tourists-from-mob-attack/

And so to something entirely different. I intend putting a smile on your face this tough week.

Young people, and young families travel these days. They travel far and wide and parents would be much happier if they knew their companions and that they had somewhere to spend a Shabbat, Yom Tov or just a name to keep in contact. Especially important before Rosh Hashana. That is where Jewgether comes in! This organisation gets young Jews together to travel, matches them with hosts appropriate to their religiosity and generally gives them information relative to the country they want to travel to. I think it is terrific. Takes a bit of parent concern away when children a a long long way away on the adventure of their lives. http://www.jewgether.org/

A Palestinian entrepreneur tired of waiting for the PA to build housing so he took the situation into his own hands and built an entire town!!! Rawabi. Rawabi has opened its doors and people are moving in. Excellent - finally someone got it right. Happy families in happy homes. http://www.jewishjournal.com/feature/article/lights_on_planned_palestinian_city_welcomes_first_rawabians

Do you remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld? "No soup for you" was his cry to those who broke his stringent rule. Well, the Soup Nazi was in Israel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qaK7ihiSIY

Bravo Haisam, when you arrived from Egypt to study in Israel you learned far more than a Masters Degree from Tel Aviv University - You learned that one must always question our assumptions. Your world changed when you saw an IDF soldier reading the Koran an a train.The one thing one should expect from life is that life will defy your expectations. Haisam's valedictorian speech at Tel Aviv University. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=24&v=aJAL1mjrFe8

10 ways that Israel feeds the world. Yes, not through Aid, nor outreach, this is serious folks http://www.israel21c.org/the-top-12-ways-israel-feeds-the-world/

Which are the top ten cities in the world? Well, I will give you a clue - Jerusalem is 10! http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/cities#overall

Which are the best countries to raise a family? This is independent research and Israel came in number 4 after Austria, Finland and Sweden  https://uk.style.yahoo.com/post/127548821239/a-list-of-the-top-20-countries-to-raise-a-family?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=fb

I AM AN ISRAELI. That isn't a hollow statement, it is something I am so proud of. This video makes me cry and before giving it to you I saw it several times and cried my eyes out in pride every time. I dare you to try and watch it without a Kleenex nearby - it's like trying to eat a sugared doughnut without licking your lips!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWtKoAVfL9M&feature=youtu.be

What a week (again). This week we saw all sorts of people that I really love! Gloria Goldstein is a wonderful lady and she brought us Dorothy, Michael and Ilanaas a special treat. Gloria shares her time between Sydney and Israel and Ilana is getting married in Jerusalem so life is busy for them. We had lunch in the Botanical Gardens then they came and ate Raya's 7 minute Chocolate cake on our veranda. It was so lovely and I especially loved it when Michael asked to have a photograph on himself with the Israeli flag and Jerusalem behind him.

Yesterday we spent time with Dalia Herman and her sister and brother. Dalia is the Mother of Flory Hariton and her face lit up when we took her to see the music centre that Flory and Paul donated. That is where HaKol Yachassi recorded this song, My Israel in Ladino https://youtu.be/8oZfs4WjDpU

Tonight I have a special treat as my dear Cardiff friends, although they emigrated to Perth Australia many years ago, Shirley and Michael Fine are coming for supper. I will collect them early and take them for a ride around Jerusalem before Shabbat then to ours for candle lighting.

Each week I find you songs to welcome Shabbat - but this time I thought you would love this video of an IDF soldier playing Shalom Aleichem on his violin.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwYkzgnA-EY and another rendering of Shalom Aleichem with a modern twist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQQOtt6VZUI

Now I am off to see Yosef, Talia and Ayala. I will climb over the high point of Samuels Tomb, down toward Givat Zeev. I know it cannot be true but I think I can smell Rachels Challah already! My children say they still remember coming home from school on a Friday, the aroma of freshly baked, hot Challah wafting toward them as they got off the school bus. I always made them little "bulkes" which would come out of the oven as they walked in the door, broken open and spread with thick butter (it was considered healthy then). After all my hugs and stories of school from all three children (Yosef took his first exam in a new school this week and got 102%) I will come home and set the Shabbat Table.
Supper will be just the four of us, but no Welsh food. Moroccan fish, Teriyaki salmon, baked potatoes and the usual multitude of salads. 
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem, the city most worth visiting - in my view!!!!!

Love

Sheila






-- 
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv
Involvement   http://www.impact-se.org/   http://www.yurishtern.org.il/eng/content.php?id=17

Friday, 21 August 2015

150821 Iran, Khaled abu Toameh, Huchabee, Trump, Tel Aviv

150821
21st August, 2015

Shabbat Shalom from Tel Aviv! Yes here we are in Jerusalem's smaller neighbour, enjoying meeting with friends and seeing how the other half lives!

The Israeli media is no better than your media for taking things out of proportion. For instance, Tel Aviv has a number of bridges, fairly short but take traffic over the Yarkon River. One such bridge, rather insignificant and ugly, has to be blown up, in order to prepare the foundations for Tel Aviv's light rail (tram) system. It's name is "Gesher Maariv" the Maariv Bridge, named for the newspaper. The demise of this particular bridge reached headlines proportion on the national news for a whole week and........ a group of young people who have no idea of its significance or lack thereof, held a vigil demonstration at the mythical bridge!!!!! Hey guys, it's a bridge and the only people who will be seriously affected are the businessmen near it, until the tram is in operation. We went through it in Jerusalem and it was tough but now, the light rail is incredible above all expectations. In truth I am thrilled it reached the headlines because that means nothing worse was going on - or was it?

A political earthquake is taking place in the USA over the so called "Iran Deal". http://www.maurice-ostroff.org/evaluating-the-nuclear-deal-on-its-merits-part-2/


Donald Trump has been calling a spade a shovel and while the media is horrified the public is amused and interested.

President Obama, while still in office, began fundraising one billion dollars to build a library and complex in his name when he completes his Presidency. In Israel they put Prime Ministers on trial for much less!!!!!!! 
  
A homicide bombing in Bangkok killed 20 and injured many more. It would appear it was not just the opposition party but far more sinister.

A super terrorist whose gory job was to recruit suicide/homicide bombers, Mohammad Allan, went on hunger strike and due to his resultant medical condition he has been released from prison but held in hospital. The ethics of force feeding are explained here by the exceptional Maurice Ostroff. http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-ethics-of-force-feeding-are-not-straightforward-2/

Khaled Abu Toameh writes beautifully, speaks eloquently and tells the world the truth - the simple truth. The other day he wrote about the Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians - an accusation usually directed at Israel, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6314/ethnic-cleansing-palestinians and another excellent article which displays the ignorance created by the rhetoric of the PA to such an extent that young Palestinians join the Islamic State- aka ISIS, their oppressors  http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6375/palestinians-islamic-state

Mariah Carey came to Israel. The media made a big deal of her refusal to be swayed from this visit but then why should she? Why do we think that it is heroic to come to Israel "despite"? She came to Israel because she wanted to and refuses to listen to bully boy racists. Israel loved you Mariah, loved your performance and didn't even complain when you began the show an hour and a half late!!!! http://www.haaretz.com/life/music-theater/.premium-1.671948

September 6th Israel versus Wales in Cardiff in a UEFA European Football Championship qualifier at Cardiff City Stadium. My family will be there and I hope they have a flag in each hand!!!!

The week began beautifully with a wedding. The son of Elihu and Niva Ben Onn got married and it was a truly beautiful, very Israeli affair. Food before and after a gorgeous outdoor chuppa and a lovely welcome from Elihu to their guests. For those who don't know Elihu has a radio programme talking predominantly to Hebrew speakers all over the world about what they do and where they are. Well worth listening into him on Reshet B.

We came to Tel Aviv for a few days, visiting friends and generally enjoying life. I will not have to cook Shabbat dinner because we are going to Eilata and Shmulik for dinner but not before popping in on Gloria, glorious Gloria Goldstein for a Shabbat kiss. Today we visited Orly and Yossi, yesterday we saw Irit and Yitzik, tomorrow Zvi's cousin Dalia and the weather has calmed down a bit so it isn't too bad.

Both yesterday and today I had the honour of getting to know our friend Flory Haritons family. Her Mother Dalia is such a delight, as is her Aunt......... indeed I thoroughly enjoyed being with them. My only problem about being in Tel Aviv is that I don't get that special Shabbat feeling. I don't see the grandchildren, do not drive past the incredible panorama atop Samuels Tomb, can't watch the city going to sleep, no sunset from our veranda...... yet, don't let anyone tell you differently, Tel Aviv also goes into Shabbat mode!!!

Sure you feel the sense of a real Shabbat more in Jerusalem but Tel Avivim also have a siesta before families meet up for a Shabbat meal. Tel Aviv also slows its pace, sure many go clubbing afterwards, but then in Jerusalem too. 

No recipes this week so I will try to find you better music instead! The first video isn't musical but is music to my ears. The Shabbes Project is a wonderful worldwide project for people to try a real Shabbat just for one day to know how it feels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=56&v=S2EkDLqszHs

Idan Raichel is an amazing musician and his Project exceptional. Here they sing a song for Shabbat. The words are simple.  On Sabbath day I shall praise the living God of my salvation and I shall make sacrifices of spices on the day of the return of my temple. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRlpiFza7bI

A little more traditional (!) is a beautiful niggun - music without words. Most of the niggunim are written in the minor key and tend to be somewhat maudlin, but this one is called the Happiness Niggun so I thought I would leave you with a smile on your faces! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px3u5EvMTM4

With much love from Tel Aviv - after Shabbat we go back to Jerusalem and feel the fabulous fresh mountain air on our faces. After all these years the climb up - the Aliya - to Jerusalem still gives me goose bumps of the best kind. The anticipation as we begin to see the white city before us is inexplicable and exceptional. Love it!

Shabbat Shalom to one and all, whatever you are, whoever you are, from whence you come is irrelevant - what matters is the path you choose.

Sheila 

-- 
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv
Involvement   http://www.impact-se.org/   http://www.yurishtern.org.il/eng/content.php?id=17

Friday, 14 August 2015

150814 Shee Zvi 25 years, Zvi Yechezkely, Special Olympics Israeli medals

150814
14th August 2015

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Today may be a short letter because last night three of our Israeli grandchildren came for a sleepover and I am somewhat tired but I can't promise!!  

They were amazing, I loved every second, played a funnnnnny game with them where we each had to mimic someone in the family and the others had to guess who it was. Cousin Steve was easy - I just went brrrrrroooom broooooom and Uncle Gideon even easier - they just ate and said it was delicious! I can't wait for them to come back - just to give me a week or so to recover!!!

I don't know about you but I am sick and tired about the scapegoating of Israel when I know for a fact that in most countries in our region, and throughout Africa and most of South America, the idea of human rights is so far from their social and political ambitions that the multiple resolutions against Israel have become an international folly of the first water. Indeed it is so negative to democracy and justice that one is forced to question motives - even of our greatest allies. Europe and the USA unwittingly (????) give money for Palestinians to build illegally on disputed territory and remain silent on their terror yet reprimand, castigate and lecture Israel on a relatively few buildings in a contiguous Jerusalem.

Israel reaches out to the world, provides both education and aid to so many countries I lose count. The official governmental MASHAV http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/MASHAV/Pages/default.aspxIsraAid http://israaid.co.il/Save a Childs Heart  http://www.saveachildsheart.com/ and so many more. We give and give, yet are found lacking when  compared to a non-country that takes and takes.

Last night, the excellent journalist Zvi Yechezkeli http://www.israelispeakers.co.il/110277/Zvi-Yehezkeli went into Jenin to talk to ordinary people. Jenin is flourishing although it has not received a penny of the aid YOU pay for - Israeli engineers and civil management experts have assisted in building and rebuilding the city that is more Israeli than Palestinian even though it is in the so-called disputed territories. Indeed I saw that for myself when Dr Malcolm Hoenlein took me to see the beautiful new centre and we spoke to Salam Fayaad, the only Palestinian leader who knew that they had to change and build a financial and physical infrastructure - which is why he was thrown out!

Gaza, Gaza is still a big bomb site - despite the infinite funds given by the USA and Europe, UN - the squalor and poverty levels rise - despite the vast amounts of basic foodstuffs and utilities that Israel provides - why? Because we have recently discovered that all the money has gone into building hundreds of more tunnels! http://www.bicom.org.uk/news-article/26465/

Now to your country, wherever you may be - even Australia and Canada who really try to keep a level playing field. Worth reading Douglas Murrays excellent article concerning  Anjem Choudry http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6324/anjem-choudary-extremism to truly understand watch Yechezkely's Allah Islam - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2eqdgSBEkI . As I have told you a thousand times -  this phenomenon is international - it has no boundaries and relies upon our values of freedom of speech, creed and democracy to grow. Men like Choudry who openly told Yechezkely that if the Queen didn't convert to Islam she should leave Buckingham Palace which will become a Mosque, are replicated the world over. It has already affected the Los Angeles Gay Community - indeed the Beverley Hilton owned by the pro-Sharia Sultan of Brunei where Sharia law has been enforced. http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/bruneis-kill-gay-and-flog-woman-laws-force-feminist-group-pull-gala-event-sultans

And now for something entirely different!

Israel has a bobsled team for the Winter Olympics! Before you fall down laughing - remember the Jamaican team in Cool Runnings? http://www.israelibobsled.com/history.html

Israel's Special Olympics team won no less than 61 medals in the Special Olympics in LA. Bravo team - bravo Israel http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Sports/Israelis-grab-61-medals-at-Special-Olympics-in-LA-410945

A bete noir in Israeli society is the question of conversion. While a recognised route, learning and rules, must be adopted it has become the domain of the ultra-orthodox. Rabbi Goren knew how to do it. He checked new immigrants, their pedigree and their knowledge and converted those who were appropriate without too much hardship. His liberal and humane approach has been criticised but now major Rabbis have put forward a change in the laws of conversion - taking the sole responsibility from the Chief Rabbinate. Watch this space! http://www.timesofisrael.com/will-new-conversion-court-rend-or-repair-the-fabric-of-israeli-society/

No, I am not going to mention Iran. I cannot cope with it any more. Excuses and lies - indeed..... politics and diplomacy!

Today, the 14th of August, 25 years ago A brilliant and ridiculously tall man asked me out! Yes it was my first date with Zvi. He chose to take me on a tour - what else? - and we set off early in the morning from Jerusalem, drove north to Tiberias and continued to the Golan Heights, from the Golan we drove to ancient Sefat, in each place he gave me a complete historical tour, then drove down to Tel Aviv where he left me at my hotel and went to give a lecture to a group of Keren Hayesod. A full day and one which changed both our lives. We fell in love that day - crazy as it may seem. Yes, it was a day when two people found their future. We were meant to meet when we did - both grateful for the amazing children who came out of our first marriages - no regrets - yet coming together at a time when we were meant to - in Yiddish one says "Beshert" it was meant to be. Since that time we have helped each other in our determined Tikkun Olam, our ethical and moral values walk in tandem and our devotion to the best 5 children and the most incredible 13 grandchildren in the whole wide world - sorry no argument!!!! If I were to wish for anything it is another 25 years of hyperactivity and love but maybe that is greedy, so I wish our children a life as fulfilling as ours. Zvi helped me return to being the woman my parents wanted me to be.

Last Shabbat was yet another amazing meal. For you it may sound like a fairy tale - for us it is quite normal! A Vicar sang Kiddush alongside Zvi and then made the blessing over washing his hands before taking bread. Canon Andrew even managed to tell everyone off for speaking before taking challah. Along with Andrew was the wonderful helpmeet Hanno, who is Israeli Aramaic, our friend Dr Michael Dor and his wife Mali, Michael is a doctor who not only sits on many Knesset committees but has been a major influence on legalising medical Marijuana for those who suffer chronic pain, Parkinsons, MS and spoke of its positive effect on ADD and ADHD. Fascinating. To complete this amazing trinity was Navonel Glick of IsraAid who has just returned from Irbil in Iraq where IsraAid is working to help the Yazidis - which Andrew is also doing, obviously. I am sure you wish you could have been a fly on that wall!!!!

Sunday night was reminiscing with Carol Minton (her maiden name) and Adrienne Spiner Arkin both from Cardiff. Sitting eating supper on our veranda, overlooking that view - THAT view - was even more special than normal.

So, to celebrate the silver anniversary of our first date - here is Zvi's choir singing a beautiful song, lyrics by Eli Yaron and Music by Adi Hayat with the dancing of Liron Mussachi. The song, in Ladino, is called Israel Mio - My Israel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oZfs4WjDpU

Next is a beautiful rendition of the traditional Shabbat Song Yedid Nefesh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG7lQlofMbg 

Finally -the warmth of Mizrachi (Eastern) religious music, the Revivo Project with a Shabbat compilation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at4HQssvFCY

Since I am late Jerusalem is almost asleep! The shops have closed, the shopping mall car park empty, the bus park full with silent green buses as their drivers go home and the train station silent, even the escalator stops for a Shabbat rest. The sun is softer, the heat of the day slowly dissipating and the breeze beginning to refresh the parched trees on the hillside opposite. The aromas of Shabbat meals are rising through the building and making the joy of families enjoying their togetherness closer. The children are at home now, shining and scrubbed clean for Shabbat - enjoying the aromas of Ima Rachel's freshly baked challot and conucopia of salads!

They loved their time in the UK, adored being with all their cousins, some of whom they met for the first time and extra thrilled by my beautiful, special big sister "Auntie Dordi" who they finally got to hug but very happy to come home to Jerusalem and their Daddy Igal.

So dear friends, I wish you a beautiful Shabbat of respite from our insane world. Enjoy your families, remember to recognise the we each make our own world, our surroundings depend upon what we create from what we have.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem - Jerusalem.
Love
Sheila

-- 
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv
Involvement   http://www.impact-se.org/   http://www.yurishtern.org.il/eng/content.php?id=17

Friday, 7 August 2015

150807 Iran, Maccabi Europe, Shira Banki, Duma fire, Andrew White

150807
7th August, 2015

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. 

This week I promised our wonderful friend Ron Carner, President of Maccabi USA, that I would dedicate an entire newsletter to the European Maccabiah. Held in the Berlin Stadium that the United States agree to remove two athletes from team USA because they were Jews. Marty Glickman and another Jewish sprinter, Sam Stoller, were taken out of the 200 metre relay team. 79 years later, Jewish Olympics held in the self same stadium and Nancy Glickman, daughter of Marty, wore his unused Olympic Uniform to the Games, the Jewish Games.

The Games went off with great success, not only Europeans, over 300 Americans came too! It was an historic event, deeply emotional, held in the place that no Jew was allowed to tread and thanks to Maccabi - they ran, jumped and leapt there this year!

I can procrastinate no longer. This has been a ghastly week. Fanaticism created an emotional earthquake here in Israel as a 16 year old girl, Shira Banki z"l, was stabbed to death for supporting her gay schoolfriends at a small Gay Parade here in Jerusalem. The perpetrator, Yishai Schlissel , was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his knife attack at the Gay Parade 10 years ago and the Supreme Court saw fit to reduce his sentence despite the fact he never expressed remorse for his actions. 10 years and 3 weeks afterwards, Schlissel took a long-bladed kitchen knife and attacked marchers. His crime is against Judaism, against all our ethics, morals and tenets. We do not have the death penalty in Israel, but he should be denied all rights as a religious Jew because he is not. He does not represent any aspects of a deeply tolerant religion.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/laid-to-rest-and-under-arrest/

The village of Duma is close to Nablus, biblical Shechem. It is normally a quiet village but this week it hit the headlines for the worst of reasons, terrorists threw Molotov cocktails into two houses, and in one a family slept. Eighteen-month-old Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha died in the resulting inferno and three members of his family are still in serious condition in Jerusalem hospitals. The first reaction of all Israelis, all Israelis of conscience which is 99% of us, was shock, horror and remorse. The Prime Minister, President and religious leaders all spoke out of their sadness that such a thing could happen. Israelis turned out in the thousands to demonstrate against such repugnant violence. http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Rabbis-Palestinian-peace-activists-unite-in-show-of-solidarity-against-violence-410925

I was among those who felt despair that Israelis could possibly have committed the crime which is the ultimate antithesis of Judaism - In Judaism the loss of life is considered a failure, a failure to save, a failure to change. I admit to a sense of shame that someone in my country, my Israel, could have done this - what have we come to? Then I began to analyse the situation, because before I write to you I have to put things into perspective rather than give you knee jerk reactions.
Shootings, stabbing and arson are everyday events in most part of the world but here it is felt.
We took care of the family in Israels finest hospitals where they receive everything they need
We will never laud the acts of these fanatics or name streets for them. They will be hunted down and imprisoned.
No sweets will be handed out to children in celebration of their heinous crimes.
Our religious leaders, both Chief Rabbis, made a joint announcement condemning the acts 
Our political and diplomatic leaders expressed disgust and fury at what was done
All our leaders, secular and religious, described these acts as terrorism.
So dear friends, do not compare us to our neighbours who laud such acts, or their religious leaders who call for death - we are a moral society which reached out and displayed regret not jubilation when a baby died. Think back to the Fogel Family - and the nightlong celebrations in the PA at killing those babies.  Do not compare us, do not think these terrorists represent anyone. I pray they will be found and incarcerated together with all the other terrorists and let them do what they will and leave us to live in peace.
Our problem is that these disgusting youngsters are clever. They remove all clothing use in the act; the refuse to speak or give names etc to the police and it is very tough to get the to make incriminating statements. The police decided to refuse them the right to a lawyer and are held on suspicion and so it will continue at six monthly intervals. 

Even these foul acts brought a beautiful response as Rabbi and Palestinian peace activists held a solidarity meeting. http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Rabbis-Palestinian-peace-activists-unite-in-show-of-solidarity-against-violence-410925

Yesterday, a car driven by an Arab man drove intentionally into 3 soldiers waiting at an official hitchhiking site. Two are in serious condition one has light injuries. The soldier with light injuries succeeded in shooting the attacker and injuring him. I doubt if it made the back page in the news media where you live!!!  Bassam Tawil explains it http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6281/palestinians-israel-terror-shame

The New York Times write that our relief at the release of Jonathan Pollard shows that we Israelis don't understand the USA. Yeah well, maybe their dismay at his delayed release shows that the NY Times does not understand what espionage means, because according to this official definition, Pollard did not commit espionage. Espionage - The act of obtaining, delivering, transmitting, communicating, or receiving information about the national defense with an intent, or reason to believe, that the information may be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation. Espionage is a violation of 18 United States Code 792-798 and Article 106, Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Meanwhile, the Republican leadership debate took place last night, apparently dominated by the man who creates a birds nest on his head because he loves the camera, The Trump. I don't believe that he is crazy, but Presidential Candidate? Not sure about that.  One thing I do appreciate it his desire to bring in a third political Party to the American system. It would possibly level the playing field and prevent the absolute power of either Republican or Democrat. Worth thinking about.

Last weekend at Kfar Maccabiah was gorgeous! Being in Tel Aviv enabled us to meet up with lots of friends and then on Shabbat the children spent the day with us revelling in the  two pools and the beautiful gardens. It really is a childrens paradise.

On Sunday Zvi, Eli and I went to the Yuri Shtern Holistic Center to meet with the founder, Lena Shtern. We had great news for her! In October the Choir is organising a national choir festival which will be held in Jerusalem. At Eli's suggestion the choir is giving 150 tickets to the Center to raise money Eli says that I live and breathe the Yuri Shtern centre!!!

On Monday, despite the horrific heat, I braved Shouk Ramle - the once a week market that has just about everything you don't need, very cheaply. I love the babble of voices, the yelling of the costermongers (yes it seems to be international that costermongers yell their wares) as you pass from children stickers to cheap dresses, bras, lighting, awful pictures, make up and so much more!!! I love it. Zvi says he always knows where I am between 9 and 10 every Monday morning because I try to get out before the crowds arrive!
Last night we went with friends to a gorgeous performance of Ha Gevatron - the famous choir from Kibbutz Geva in the North. It was a rare cool evening with a beautiful light breeze enhancing our enjoyment - such a relief to feel normal!!! The choir has been performing for over 60 years and incredibly some of the original sopranos still sing - beautifully - you can hear her stand out in this video. 86 years young,  Incredible https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXTHYHO9Acs 

When we got home the late summer moon was rising and what a sight!!! Suddenly I saw a huge bowl, orange and tipped sideways, rising from the horizon. It was breathtaking.

Tonight I am thrilled to tell you that my lovely friend Canon Andrew White is back in Jerusalem and at our table for Shabbat Dinner. Andrew just got back from Baghdad where he successfully underwent treatment and saw his beautiful community. We will have his favourite Gefilte Fish to start and then I made a, hopefully, delicious concoction which is as close as this Polish/Welsh girl can get to Moroccan Chicken!!!! Lots of onion, prunes, apricots, cinnamon, ground coriander and cumin seeds, garlic, pumpkin and of course chicken!! Salads and Couscous and then Andrew's other favourite, chocolate cake, for dessert.Among the other guests will be Navonel Glick, who has also come back from Irbil, Iraq, where IsraAid is helping the Yazidi community - yes Israel goes to the places others won't even consider.

Tomorrow we meet up for Shabbat lunch with a large number of Zvi's friends from his youth, most of whom I am happy to say have become my friends too. I love hearing the stories of way back when............. of an Israel I rely on their memories for rather than the incredibly modern, technologically advanced, green and beautiful country which has everything that I came to.

On Sunday 6th September the Israeli football team will be playing Wales at Cardiff City Stadium, to qualify for Euro 2016. It’s going to be a huge match, and we want as many Israel supporters as possible to be there on the day. We’re also going to give the Israeli football team the welcome they deserve. We’ll be holding a celebration of all things Israel-related outside the stadium before the match, with food, music and plenty of flags! Sadly, BDS bigots plan to protest in the city on the day, so we want to make sure that if they reach the stadium, they’ll be confronted by the sight they hate the most: hundreds of proud Israel supporters enjoying themselves! Coaches from around the country will be available, and tickets for the match will only be £20, so come and join us, fill the stadium with blue and white! For information,  Steve@zfuk.org

So, time to set the table. I think we will eat indoors, although I haven't quite decided. I am afraid it will be too hot, even if three of the guests have just come from Iraq where the temperature reached well over 50 degrees!

I dedicate the first song this week to my incredible grandson Sammy, Samuel George, who taught us all the real meaning of love. Yaacov Shwekey I Can Be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3nF2KHmQ60

Nearly 20 years ago I sat in the Rotunda in Washington for the opening of the American celebrations of Jerusalem 3,000. Despite the vast number of famous faces around me I was so excited to find my self sitting next to Cantor Joseph Malovany, arguably the finest Chazan of all time. He stood and sang Hatikva in the Rotunda and I was transfixed. Here he sings niggunim for Shabbat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_8WfO0O-ho

Wishing you Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. This is the most beautiful city and it is a city of peace, as her name suggests - Ir Shalom. It really is amazing!  Just before I go - Stanley, Stanley Roth - I succeeded in saving the lemon, orange and pomegranate trees and most of the herbs!!! In fact the pomegranate tree is flowering afresh! I am so happy but next week will go and replace all the dead myrtle bushes - not a problem, life goes on. The veranda will be even more beautiful afterwards - everything happens for a reason.

With love
Sheila
 


-- 
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv
Involvement   http://www.impact-se.org/   http://www.yurishtern.org.il/eng/content.php?id=17

Friday, 31 July 2015

150731 Jewish Terror, Pollard, Iran, 50 most dangerous cities, Gay Parade

150731
31st July 2015

Shabbat Shalom dear Friends.

Extremism is extremism is extremism and when one burns buildings one day people will be inside - that is the Price Tag. Price Tag is the foul group that chose to become terrorists in the name of Judaism - well all I can say is NOT IN MY NAME

In the village of Duma four Jewish terrorists wrote hate messages in Hebrew and burned a home. A baby died and three other family members were horribly burned. Personally I would put the thugs responsible in the same prison as the Moslem terrorists and let them fight each other and leave us to live in peace. IDF spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner "This attack against civilians is nothing short of a barbaric act of terrorism. A comprehensive investigation is underway in order to find the terrorists and bring them to justice. The IDF strongly condemns this deplorable attack and has heightened its efforts in the field to locate those responsible." http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4686046,00.html

I never understood the Jonathan Pollard Affair. Pollard passed on information to a friendly country, information that in the agreement between the United States and Israel, should have been available to Israel anyway. As a result of that act of espionage Pollard was kept in prison for longer than any enemy spy, even those who committed treasonous acts. 56 people were imprisoned on charges of espionage in the USA, all were released early, excepting 3, even those who spied against the USA for countries of deep enmity and danger to the US. So difficult to understand. Now he is to be released, is it yet another diplomatic trick? Who will be exchanged for him?  Did the PM agree to reduce his anger over the Iran deal if Pollard is released? Why is it necessary for him to wait until November 20th? Why is the question of his  emigration to Israel an issue for the State Department? 

I kept very quiet on the question of Pollards release, not knowing the background facts, believing that a close ally like the USA would not use a sick man as a diplomatic pawn, but I admit I find the entire situation highly suspicious. http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Jonathan-Pollard-to-be-released-November-20-410419  

So we appear to have saved the Ayatollas regime - sorry I mean we came to a nuclear agreement with Iran. Of course the various administrations still had time to condemn Israel for their treatment of the Palestinians but I thought you should know what happened to the Iranian people this week. Amnesty International reports that Iran has put almost 700 people to death so far in 2015, on pace to surpass the previous year's executions. It doesn't take a genius to understand that the last thing the world should be doing for the Iranian regime is adding $100 billion to their economy. The terrorist regime wins, and the Iranian people lose.

An Israeli airstrike Wednesday reportedly killed Samir Kuntar (his brother denies it) a senior Hezb-Allah operative in the Golan Heights; one of the most reviled terrorists in Israeli history. Kuntar was 16 years old in 1979, when he and three other members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine sneaked into Israel, killing a policeman and kidnapping a man and his 4-year-old daughter, Einat Haran, who he then killed by smashing in her head. Kuntar was released in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. http://www.investigativeproject.org/4927/israeli-strike-kills-ruthless-child-killing#

The Jerusalem Gay Parade is a small affair, the main, international event takes place in Tel Aviv. The Jerusalem Parade includes young religious Jews, secular anti-circumcision, gay, lesbian and those who just support their right to be. 10 years ago a Haredi man, Yishay Shlissel, stabbed participants in the Jerusalem Parade. He was caught and served a prison sentence, and was recently released. Yesterday he attacked again, this time with a long blade knife injuring 6 people. Police, guarding the parade, caught him within seconds, through him to the ground disarming him. Under no circumstances can his actions be considered in accordance with Jewish ethics. If you disapprove then demonstrate but violence - never, never ever.

Happily, the parade continued and many Jerusalemites, secular, religious, straight, joined the parade to show solidarity. They went on to celebrate freedom at Ayn Yael, just beneath our home.  http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Police-Man-stabs-four-people-at-Jerusalem-gay-pride-parade-410687

BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, is ludicrous. They want to boycott our aid to the third world or is it our medical research that distresses them?

And then there are those who seriously fear coming to Israel!!! What? Jerusalem is one of the safest cities in the world and that isn't me saying so - it is a worldwide survey according to police statistics. The 50 most dangerous cities in the world and we didn't make it at all - not even the top 100!! What was that? You fancied Acapulco because it is romantic? Honestly - who is kidding who? http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/50-most-violent-cities-in-the-world/ss-AA8LUZK#image=51

This week my daughter Rachel and her wonderful children ( all our grandchildren -and yours- are exceptional) flew to the UK to see Rachel's father and of course her brothers family, Stephanie, Sammy, Olivia and Zac, her lovely friends and ultimately next week she will go to Cardiff to see my sister Doreen (and all my family there) to give her a big hug from us all.

I managed to see the fabulous panorama from Samuels Tomb several times this week however. First when I took them to the airport, where they were thrilled to discover that Rachel's sister in law (Shiran) was their stewardess on El Al. She had changed with her friend and the kids got to visit the pilots cockpit!!! I love El Al. The food is always the best, the service friendly, the passengers chat to one another and the seats are comfortable - and best of all I step on board and come home!!!!

The second panoramic view was shared with Sue Yakir - I still call her Sue Gaba though!! We were on our way back from meeting up with Cardiff girlfriends. We grew up together, our parents and siblings were friends and we "understand" each other, indeed the evening after our meet my sister Doreen was at the home of Jill's sister Wendy and the guests were Jenny's former sister in law Truda and Sues sister Paula-  Cardiff has wrapped my sister in love -such is the warmth of a small community. We, along with many other Cardiffians, made Aliya. I am the new girl, just 25 years since I made the best decision of my life. It is fascinating that Wales is the same size as Israel and the Jewish community came there prepared to work hard as miners, handymen, salesmen etc, to survive and become Welsh - real Halutzim. The Cardiff community was exceptionally Zionist, we absorbed our love of Israel through our parents and to a large part, many of us through the words and actions of Norman Berg - the ultimate Habonim Madrich, who passed his love down to Andrew Stone, who passed his love .. so it happens. We came to Israel out of love not because we needed to escape.

Anyway, I digress, for a change!!! 

Ira, Valeri and Sheli came to see us. Just one year after I came to Israel on Aliya Zvi told me of this couple he met when he was in Moscow. Valeri spoke Hebrew since his Mother was Israeli and Zvi wanted us to "adopt" them. It worked out very well since they gave us Sheli and Tomer long before our children gave us grandchildren! Anyway, Valeri and Sheli stayed over because Sheli was going to Scout Camp at the crack of dawn. As we sat in the gorgeous Jerusalem air, eating a pulled together meal, Ira told us that they had been at the Flam winery, http://flamwinery.com/home-eng/  met Israel Flamm the founder and learned that Chardonnay comes from Hebrew. The Gates of Adonai. I was sceptical so checked, lo and behold https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Chardonnay 

This Shabbat my husband decided to be romantic! On August the 8th we celebrate 25 years since the day I walked into his office and we fell in love. It really was like that - well almost. I was running Womens Division of the JIA in London at the time and no-one showed me how to do the work, until my divorce I had been a lay-leader and was then broke so needed to earn bread, so while on vacation in Israel I met with the world Director, then Batya Rekem. After a lovely day, Batya said "I have someone I want you to meet" Zvi was way too busy and expressed his dismay in no uncertain terms to Batya who came back and said "He would be delighted to meet you"!!! Both alone and in pain after coming from failed marriages, both wary, I guess we proved that hope never dies! I went to Zvi for instruction and he has been telling me what to do ever since!  

So we are going to Kfar Maccabiah, with it beautiful hotel, gardens and pools. There I don't need to cook, clean nor prepare - just enjoy my incredible husbands company! After Shabbat we come home and then go to a reunion party from our choir trip to Greece. The choir has made two new youtubes and a fabulous disc of Israeli songs - in Hebrew and Ladino. Here is one of their songs https://youtu.be/0m0kTmKRd-o
 
In fact, this Shabbat will be different but still Shabbat, still beautiful.
Zvi has gone to his Parliament at the University coffee shop, leaving me to talk to you. As I write I look out of our huge windows overlooking Jerusalem. I wish my close family could know how incredible my life is here. I would love to show them my street, my view, that they could meet my friends and neighbours. I wish so deeply that they could understand what I see in this magical city, this amazing country and how much I thrive on the stimulation of life here and meeting and greeting such diverse visitors from all over the world who really "get" what I see and my love for this exceptional country. The joy of spending time with Canon Andrew White who loves Israel as I do and with whom I have the most empathetic relationship and crazy adventures yet laugh with him more than with anyone else.Each time I meet with people from IsraAid, MASHAV, Yrui Shtern, I learn of the incredible work done by Israel and Israelis to help others less fortunate. I want to brag, to boast, to convince those I love why I couldn't bear to live elsewhere.  I guess I just want my family to understand that I am the sane one!!!

If you want to know what crazy is - Jibril Rajoub, Hebrew speaking, former head of the Palestinian  Preventive Security Force and now the Minister of Sport and football at the PA, Jibril Rajoub, militant Palestinian has all his millions in Bank Leumi under the name of Gil Regev!!! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jibril_Rajoub

Incidentally, one of Zvi's friends at the Parliament, actually the only one able to control the rather strong expressiveness of some of the participants, is Elihu Ben Onn, radio personality and interviewer of Israelis and Hebrew speakers around the world. If you have something you want to say do contact Elihu and tell him what you wish to speak about.  elihubenonn@gmail.com 

Must go and pack a few things - we leave soon and I can't believe that i don't have to cook! This week is Shabbat for me too - Sabbatical from preparations.

This song is a prayer, a greeting and blessing all at once. Heveinu Shalom Aleichem - we bring peace to you 

Finally Moti Mor sings Mi ha Ish - Who is the Man? The deep meaning of the words, the call to be  (Savlani and Sovlani ) Patient and Tolerant  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-N-uzKNW7rY

With love from Jerusalem, the most beautiful city in the world which gives me solace in loss and joy always.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends
Sheila


-- 
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv
Involvement   http://www.impact-se.org/   http://www.yurishtern.org.il/eng/content.php?id=17

Friday, 24 July 2015

150724 Doctoroff, Wagner, Ari Shavit Iran, 10 years Gaza, Abdulla Dermibas, Melvyn

150724
24th July, 2015

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope you had a good week.

For us this has been a very difficult week, interspersed with meeting wonderful people but sad nonetheless. 

My beloved brother in law, Melvyn, passed away after a brave fight to survive. Melvyn was a quiet man but not quiet in the sense of weak, he had a rare moral and ethical sense which meant that he was a man who one could rely on, throughout, no matter what. For me when so many others were not by my side, Melvyn, together with my incredible sister, was loyal and never questioned or reasoned, he just was. He was an amazing father, what he didn't express with words he expressed with his magic hands, by making phenomenal toys and surprising for his children. He loved making things, from model boats to almost full sized planes.......... but above all that he was, quite definitely the most adoring husband to my beautiful sister Doreen. As a family we are heartbroken but if you are listening Melvyn, I promise we will take care of her as she has taken care of all of us. May his soul rest in peace and his family, the legacy he has left this world, be consoled. Melvyn, you left me with amazing memories, I miss you already.

Two days ago, our dear friend Bernardo Romanowsky passed away after travelling to Chennai, India for a heart transplant. Bernardo, fought so hard to stay with his love, his Reizeleh, and like my wonderful brother in law, saw his Rosa as his Queen.  שיהיה זכרו ברוך 

In the meantime, to my surprise, the world continues, the sun comes up each morning and brings more joys and more concerns with it. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

One ridiculous news item was written by one Daniel Wagner in the Jerusalem Post who decided to take a photograph of HM the Queen, as a small child, giving an apparent Nazi salute. While true that her Uncle, the Duke of Windsor, followed his American wife in adopting several Nazi sympathisers as friends, but nothing suggests that the Queen was a Nazi sympathiser, indeed, the opposite. She, and her parents, constantly supported the troops who fought Nazi Germany from 1939 and throughout the war. Mr Wagner also suggests that Britain stopped refugees coming to the UK - what? The Kindertransport and many Jewish refugees were absorbed at a time when the USA did not allow refugee boats to land. Wagner also claims that the pressure from the USA caused Britain to allow 1,500 immigrants per month into Palestine - I understood that was in the White Paper!! The Royals are not perfect but are not responsible for British policy during WW2, nor in Palestine - unlike the USA where the President used his Executive Power, the Queen is a titular head without such powers. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-royal-family-the-Hitler-salute-and-British-policy-during-the-war-409879 

And so we come back to Iran! Ari Shavit is wiser than I and better able to look at the situation clearly. "After a long, intensive work week and an intensive hour in Channel 1’s television studio, I took a plane and craved for the moment in which I could finally close my eyes. But until take-off I decided to take a quick look at the thick document of the nuclear agreement with Iran. After reading all kinds of summaries, it was time to read the text itself. “The joint comprehensive plan of action” that was signed in Vienna on July 14, 2015, turned out to be a thriller. While my neighboring passengers plunged into their dreams, I couldn’t put down the 159-page document, which could turn the world we live in into a nightmare. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.667313

It is ten years since the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon, the warrior leader, decided to take all Jews out of Gaza. Despite media hype, the people of Gush Katif and the towns and villages of Gaza were secular and religious, farmers and ordinary businesspeople, indeed ordinary folk who just wanted to live their lives. I remember at that time taking our dear friend Earl Cox to interview Ehud Olmert, who at that time was Deputy PM. I went in first to see our friend and discuss what he would say in the interview. "Sheila, I know that it will not be popular but Hamas is taking over the Gaza Strip and I am terrified that we will have an awful lot of dead Jews if we don't take them out. This is a case of Pikuach Nefesh" whereby In Judaism, Pikuach Nefesh the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious obligations. Was it done well? Was it done efficiently? Was it essential? We can never know but the government and several donors decided to leave the highly successful farms intact for the residents of Gaza - and rather than benefit from them they destroyed them.

When are our leaders going to refuse to fund the United Nations? It has become worse than biased, it is a time and money wasting source of extreme racism and incitement to hatred. In the latest move the UN decided that Israel is the worst abuser of human rights in the world.... http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2015/07/22/un-singles-out-israel-as-worse-violator-of-economic-and-social-rights/

American Jewry was noted for its generosity, support and connection with Israel, led by the UJA and others. Sadly that truth has changed and some of those leaders have led their flock astray. UJA President Alisa Doctoroff apparently represents the new generation of apologist Jews in her support for the New Israel Fund and other negative organisations which support BDS. I am horrified. http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/uja-president-alisa-doctoroff-and-her-radical-support-of-palestinian-non-violent-activism-and-new-israel-fund/2015/02/22/

Zvi and I went to the stunningly beautiful International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem to hear a fascinating speaker, a visitor from Turkey, Abdulla Demirbas. His visit was even more emotive because that morning there was a homicide bombing on the Turkish border with Syria where over 30 youngsters were killed. The former mayor of a city in Turkey decided to change his world - and thus our world. Beginning with a relatively small project to revitalise and rebuild an old area of his city he began a magnificent journey of tolerance. On one street he built a Mosque, a synagogue, church, chapel, temple but instead of just building them, each sector had to rebuild the prayer house of another. Abdulla served time in prison for his ideas and there is a FATWA on his head, but as he said "You can kill me but never kill my ideals" From small acorns huge oak trees grow and he is here to meet and talk with other leaders. Impressive. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_Demirba%C5%9F

Saturday night and Sunday bring Tisha B'Av - the Ninth of the Hebrew month of Av. It is a day of fasting, of reflection and of determination to do better. It is primarily the remembrance of the destruction of both Temples and of many disasters which befell the Jewish people. Here I give you two different meanings, the traditional and Rabbi Jeremy Rosen who gives it a modern touch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tisha_B%27Av
“Those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana was not referring to Israel, but he might have been. When all is said and done, the fast of Tisha B’Av, the Ninth Day of Av, is a fast that symbolizes and commemorates bad decisions. The Israelites were always very good at that. The wonder is that they survived at all. http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.co.il/

So, as always the food is already safely in the refrigerator. Spicy Middle Eastern fish, Stuffed veggies, multiple salads including, beetroot in lemon, Moroccan mushrooms, Butter bean humous, normal humous, Veggie Noodles, Aubergine in Tehina, lettuce, tomato and endive and a few more........ I will set up the table outside on our veranda, the day is searingly hot and maybe, just maybe we will get the relief of the incredible, balmy mountain air of Jerusalem.  The children love it when we eat outside, it gives them the freedom to play as the grown ups talk about the week. I love their delight as Jerusalem spreads out before them, the lights twinkling, the fireworks from Moslem weddings and festivities in Beit Tsafafa attracting their attention. 

So life goes on, the vacuum slowly recedes and becomes a memory, never filled, just finds its own place. Tonight we will count our blessings as we watch the children play, as they help us make the blessings over the wine and the two loaves of plaited bread. Tonight will bring us Shabbat - time to gather our thoughts, to say thank you for our blessings and go through the virtual photo album of our happy times.

A couple of months ago I went with my daughter Rachel and her beautiful children to a concert of Yaacov Shwekey. This song, above all others, caught my heart. If I forget thee oh Jerusalem. Never https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GwnW1JKzco 

Yerushalyim Shel Zahav, we usually hear this glorious song in a very Western way, but when you hear Omer Benayoun sing it it takes on depth and a very appropriate Middle Eastern flavour. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5nbb7_yerushalayim-shel-zahav_music

The final song I want to give you today has nothing to do with Shabbat, but rather a tribute to my brother in law Melvyn and his love, his absolute love for my beautiful sister. Nat King Cole singing When I Fall in Love - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfAb0gNPy6s

Shabbat Shalom. Remember to show appreciation for your loved ones every day, in every way. Be remembered for your kindness, your warmth, your humour and your generosity.

With love from Jerusalem

Sheila


-- 
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv
Involvement   http://www.impact-se.org/   http://www.yurishtern.org.il/eng/content.php?id=17

Friday, 17 July 2015

150717 Iran, Mengisto, Greece, Rosen, Hammond, Rabbi CapersFunnye

150717
Friday, 17th July, 2015, Jerusalem

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I know we are all sick and tired of hearing about Iran so I may just decide to tell you about Persia instead.

 Persia isn't Arab, just in case you were under the illusion perpetrated by the media. Persia was the home of the original Aryans, it was the Greeks who decided to change the name and call it Pers, just like the Greeks called Yehuda and Shomron Palaestina. The Persians, not always kind, were not only not Arabs but always suffered attacks because they didn't belong. The last Shah, the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi of the Iranian monarchy. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi Pahlavi changed the name back from Persia to Iran (Aryan). Iranians are still not accepted by the Arab world and their politicans led the country to isolation and hatred in their attempts to find favour with the Arab Moslem world. By expressing hatred for the West (USA in particular) they hoped to curry favour with their former enemies but it simply led to greater isolation.

What about the nuclear threat, I hear you say? Oh that is imminent and obvious, in media speak "clear and present danger", no question but you have heard the politicians, diplomats and media flog that horse to death, maybe with good reason, but the problem is that we reach the point of not hearing the truth for the sheer quantity of information. Today, while listening to the radio, I learned that the people of Iran, those who are not extreme Moslems, love Israeli music, Rita in particular (she just made an album in Farsi) and crave fashion and fads from the West. 

The stories were told by, I think his name is Ran Arani, who when he was a child in school in Teheran, got into one too many fights with his Moslem classmates so his mother managed to find an illegal broker who got him out of the country through Afghanistan and ultimately to Israel. I am certain his assessment is right - not the hate-filled pictures we see. No, I am not naive, I am sure the hate and the nuclear facilities exist, and threaten the West in general and Israel in particular, but maybe our view is a little coloured by what we hear? David Horovitz puts everything into perspective in this article http://www.timesofisrael.com/16-reasons-nuke-deal-is-an-iranian-victory-and-a-western-catastrophe/ 

Greece came to an agreement with the EU! They agreed to pay back at least a portion of the monies lent to them by irresponsible banks and funds, of course they don't have a snowballs hope in hell to return it but an agreement has been reached. Some 350 billion Euro debt when ones Annual GNP is about 200 billion Euro is simply unachievable.It may well be the Fall of the European Economic Empire. De Gaulle was right with his Non, Maggie right keeping pound sterling.

The Mengisto Family, on the advice of the Secret Services, wanted to keep the disappearance of their son quiet. They knew that he had wandered into Gaza, they knew that he was mentally unstable, they knew that the Government was doing what they felt was right - which meant doing things quietly - after all we paid a horrifically high price for Gilad Shalit It was not racist, although it has been claimed that it was, it was a hard earned lesson. Now the price on their sons head has risen dramatically - we don't know yet what they want, but it will cost lives. Sometimes good deeds are not helpful.

What happens when money and numbers decide justice rather than the word of the law? The Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court, for the first time in its history, has ordered the ICC Prosecutor to pursue an investigation she has decided to close. The Chamber ruled that the Prosecutor was wrong to close the preliminary investigation into war crimes charges against Israel for crimes allegedly committed in boarding the Mavi Marmara and other vessels during the flotilla incident of 2010. The case was closed after the Judge saw the videos of the foul attacks UPON THE IDF by those aboard the Marmara. My thanks to Jack Winnet for this article  http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-icc-declares-war-on-israel/

To put things into perspective, the whole "Siege of Gaza"excuse is pure rhetoric and lies. Egypt is banning all trade and aid to Gaza but Israel is providing all staple needs. See this http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Volume-of-goods-entering-Gaza-to-double-this-year-409137 and Bassem Eid's assessment of the situation 

Rabbi Jeremy Rosen's letter this week studies the dichotomy of freedom, such as given by Napoleon to the Jewish people, and the theologists who claim religious freedom caused the downfall of Judaism. Enlightening as always! http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.co.il/

I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at the meeting between British Foreign Minister Hammond and Prime Minister Netanyahu as they discuss the agreement reached with Iran. Hammond represents a country that was undecided whether or not to sign - but did. http://www.bicom.org.uk/news-article/26199/ 

Rabbi Capers Funnye has been named leader, or Chief Rabbi, of the Black Hebrew Israelites of America. Nothing odd in that? Well, it would be just another news story except for one simple fact - he is Michelle Obamas cousin!! http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/198062#.VajUifmqqko

We had a relatively quiet week (as opposed to the weekend to come), but met up with our dear friends the Nankins of Mexico and San Diego. They are here for the bat-mitzvas of their grand-daughters and despite a very heavy schedule we grabbed the chance to meet with them at the First Station in Jerusalem. Gosh it was buzzing!!! Luckily we found a table for 10 on the platform, having walked down the boardwalk tracks to get there. It was fun to see the hive of activity around us. Every Wednesday there is a big screen showing of old Israeli movies; children rent electric cars and go off on the bicycle tracks nearby; families enjoy browsing the craft stalls and buying delicious ice creams.

For Pablo Nankin it was a different kind of treat,  he wanted information - answers to questions that had been burning since last time we met! Iran, Netanyahu, economy, politics, diplomacy, BDS indeed everything that Zvi and I could answer to the best of our ability!
Tonight we have friends coming for Shabbat dinner - just 10 of us tonight. I decided that since the weather is steaming we would go for a Milk meal - refreshing. Of course we begin with an array of Israeli salads - aubergine, courgette, tsatsiki, green and chopped salads, followed by soup, then Spinach and feta strudle, cauliflower quiche and salmon teriyaki with farfelle pasta and green beans. To finish - Danby and Marvin are bringing a fruit salad to accompany the chocolate cake, lemon cake, Eddies Peach Pud and chocolate chip cookies - my oven has been working overtime but then the children and some friends are coming tomorrow - another 16 people!!!

I wish I could say that our veranda was ding well, but I can't. The fact that the computer of the drip irrigation system failed me when we were in Greece - and the weather in Israel was exceptionally hot - meant that I lost most of my plants. Stanley, don't worry, the lemon, orange and kumquat trees survived, as did most of the herbs, but I lost all of the wonderfully scented myrtle bushes have gone, dry and brown. It is sad but as Zvi said - it is an opportunity to refresh the veranda and buy new pots and bushes.  At least my Valerie fuchsia and the hibiscus survived.

Now I am going downstairs to our store-room to find the paddling pool and fill it ready for the children tomorrow - they will be happy for hours!!!

Must set the table, get out the best china, glassware and cutlery because the bride of Shabbat deserves nothing but the best.
Be well, please remember to pray for the well-being of Ezra Dov ben Iska and Moshe ben Rachel - we love them.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends
Shabbat Shalom

Sheila


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