Friday, 19 September 2014

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem - Terror stopped in Oz, Scotland UK, Rosh Hashana

19th September 2014

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope you are well.

Many Jews fled Europe 70 years ago and chose the place farthest from the xenophobia which wiped out their families. They chose Australia which provided a haven of peace from the horrors they left behind. In the new world order even Australia is not immune from the horrors of our current war. A major ISIS terrorist attack was thwarted in Sydney, Australia by Australian intelligence. The terrorists planned to hold a major rally in support of ISIS and grab innocent civilians to behead publicly in order to terrorize the West.  , Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that there were extensive police raids in Sydney and Brisbane led to arrest of 15 people, including one Sydney man Omarjan Azari, who is a part of ISIS.  The fight against terror is very real for Israel, UK, USA,  Australia and virtually all  Western countries. We have to stand united against terror, it is in a town near you.,7340,L-4572583,00.html

Americas newest allies, the Iranians, continue their oppressive regime. The young people who made the Iranian version of Pharell Williams I'm Happy have been sentenced to 91 lashes for immoral behaviour!!!!

Highly respected Israeli journalist Ben Dror Yemini spoke openly about the insanity of media reporting, both here and overseas, in an interview on Israeli television. He describes the twisted and inaccurate final result of most opinionated journalists.

Scotland was at the front and centre of the news this week when the referendum to stay as part of the United Kingdom or become an independent country came to the fore.   It is not as stupid as it sounds, Scotland already has its own legal system and, like Wales, has its own Parliament as does Wales, and has most of Britiains natural resources as well as the Holyfield Nuclear Energy Centre. However 600+ years of history also mean a great deal and the decision was 55% against to 44% for. Hardly the time to rebuild Hadrians Wall. 

Israeli Minister of the Interior Gidon Sa'ar, favourite of the Likud Party, stunned fellow party members at a meeting this week when he announced his retirement from politics. While he quoted his wish to be with his little son and new wife to see little David grow and take his first steps (this is Sa'ars second marriage) opinion has it that he decided that he did not want to work with the Netanyahu government any more. Watch this space - he is too talented to leave politics.
This video is for those who want to boycott Israeli innovations - let them boycott these Israeli medical wonderful life saving and life changing inventions.

Charlie Chaplin is better known for his funny walk and sad face but his speech in the movie The Dictator shoes his acting ability and his true leanings. This brilliant monologue could fit any era in history but particularly the present day.

The Gaza War in 5 minutes Richard Kemp

Our friend Boutrous (Peter), a Greek Malachite Catholic in Bethlehem came to visit us. Each time Boutrus comes to say hello I learn yet another horror story of the Christians in Behtlehem and become more angry at the Christian leaders in the world who have abandoned them. Boutrus has not worked in18 months after he fell froma balcony at work and spent a long period in hospital. His eldest son has now graduated form University, he studied theology in Bethlehem, but now has now work because there are not enough Christians left in Bethlehem to create a flock to lead so few Malachites left in the almost Christian-free city. One of my readers was generous and helped Boutrous financially so that his other children could study and gain knowledge to leave Bethlehem and go into the world. There is no life for Christians in the Holy City.

Now for the good news!! Last week saw a huge exhibition of childrens innovations. First prize in teh safety category was an Israeli innovation - the Doona. The Doona is a car seat, with all the safety requirements, and when you take it out of the car, this lightweight car seat becomes a buggy/push chair/ stroller. At the flick of a switch, the push of a button, the legs drop down so that one no longer needs to have bulky separate wheels! Brilliant eh?

Yesterday I had a meeting in Aroma in the German Colony and thoroughly enjoyed people watching as I waited. While it is fairly clear from facial expressions what each persons origin was, once they began speaking on their cellphones the rules changed! It is so funny to try to identify their country of origin! No cheating, one mustn't listen in to language, just watch their gesticulations!  Israelis are easy, their waving hands and direction giving while speaking to the person on the other end of the line are obvious, but Americans use facial expressions rather than hand gestures unless they come from New Jersey; Brits tend to sit quietly while listening then become very animated when speaking; the French pout, irrespective of the conversation; Australians  hold the phone close nod a great deal; Germans are quite happy to use their ear-pieces and talk loudly - etc etc etc - Try it it really is fun!!!!

Talking of fun........ A religious Jewish man in New York decided to "High Five" the raised hands of New Yorkers hailing cabs!!!! I enjoyed the horror on some faces that someone actually touched them and the smiles of the others -

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennet arrived in Israel to show their support and had a ball here in Israel. Perhaps the high point was when  Bennet surprised Lady Gaga and came on stage to sing.  Can't give you anything but love baby

Yesterday was a special day for me because I got to see one of my very favourite people in the whole wide world - Nancy Bloomfield. Nancy is a special person in her honesty, her kindness and her incredible intelligence and warmth. We met with two friends in the botanical Gardens, sitting in the shade from the searing heat but enjoying the beauty of the lake and the wonderful water lilies. The food was scrummy as always and the conversation even better - and to be honest, I just loved sitting with Nancy!!!

Tonight we have a dozen or so friends coming for supper, just because I wanted to see them!! The menu is easy, the food honest and fresh - and most of it is ready!!! We will start with Guacomole made from the delicious local avocados, followed by my famous "Orange" soup, then fresh salmon and baked whole lavrak (sea bass) with salads and new potatoes and finally...... Lemon cake and Anats chocolates.
Thought you would like this - Shana Tova the Israeli way. Apple and honey while skydiving, surfing, or climbing. Tell me where you're eating apples and honey this year!

My beautiful friend Sheila Zucker sent this wonderful greeting and I pass it on to you. Wherever you are in the world I wish you a beautiful year in which our leaders finally stand up to a clear enemy and learn to defend their citizens or flock. I wish us a boring year because this last year was far too interesting!!!!
Shana Tova -שנה טובה – Happy New Year – מזל ניו יאר – Feliz Año Nuevo – Bonne année – سنة جديدة سعيدة -С Новым годом - 新年好 - Glückliches neues Jahr – Buon anno - Godt Nytår -Gelukkig Nieuwjaar - Bonan Novjaron - Onnellista uutta vuotta - გილოცავთ ახალ წელს - Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος - नया साल मुबारक हो - 明けましておめでとうございます - Kalendis Ianuariis -Godt Nyttår – سال نو مبارک – La mulți ani - Срећна Нова година - Feliz Ano Novo - Heri ya Mwaka Mpya - Gott Nytt År - புத்தாண்டு -สวัสดีปีใหม่ -Yeni Yılınız Kutlu Olsun - Blwyddyn Newydd Dda -Chúc mừng năm mới -З Новим роком - Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh -ಹ್ಯಾಪಿ ನ್ಯೂ ಇಯರ್ – Feliç Any Nou – Gelukkige nuwe jaar -Yeni iliniz mübarək - З Новым годам - শুভ নববর্ষ - Srećna Nova godina​

My favourite song (yes another one) and my favourite Israeli singer, Shlomo Artzi who, back in the 80's understood the situation and the cost.

For Shabbat I send you this beautiful song dedicated to the soldiers of the IDF by Shwekey

Finally, Eli Luzon is a highly talented Israeli singer and this song has nothing to do with Rosh Hashana nor Shabbat, it is just wonderful.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. In the next few days before Rosh Hashana may we learn to forgive, to judge less and accept more. In the words of the famous Nun's Prayer "Be too busy in self-improvement to see the faults in others"

With love from wonderful Jerusalem

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv

Friday, 12 September 2014

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. 9/11 Memorial, Ted Cruz. Pais Arena Jerusalem

12th September 2014

Shabbat Shalom dear friends

I find it hard to absorb the fact that 13 years have passed since that diabolical moment when the world stood still in disbelief as one then two aeroplanes ploughed into the symbols of  democracy, the Twin Towers in Manhattan then the Pentagon and more. I couldn't believe it was real even though I read Steve Emerson's book Jihad in America. Then, as the truth began to dawn on me my first thoughts went to my children, two of whom were in Manhattan, close to the Towers. I found them 8 hours later but over 3,000 people were not so lucky. Families were devastated and Manhattan went into mourning, no America went into mourning.

"This diabolical event will wake America up to the danger within." I thought. That great power has suffered a horrific attack on her own soil, surely she will now understand the danger. Sadly I was wrong - Steve Emerson's words were given credit for a short while then forgotten. I am sorry if I offend anyone but it is time for honesty. It was not Israel, nor Jews, nor Christians, nor Yazidis or Assyrians who felt such intense hatred for America and all she stands for that they could reach such levels of emotional ire that they kidnapped passengers and flew aeroplanes into buildings killing innocents then rejoicing in the streets at their victory! May the souls of those who died rest in peace, may their families be consoled and their leaders understand.

There is one 9/11 monument outside the United States, just one. In Jerusalem, nestled in the peaceful Jerusalem Hills near the entrance to that wonderful city. Israel loves the USA, we are loyal and true friends.

As parents we all know that if you don't rein in a bully at first their actions become more and more dangerous, cowing their victims into submission, feeding their megalomania. 

When Hamas and Hezb-Allah began no international leader took their stance seriously. Al Qaeeda evolved with the horrific result of 9/11, 7/7 and a series of dastardly acts in Bali, Delhi and so on. Responses were ineffective because they were pinpoint, not taking into account the spread of evil in our midst. Well the chickens of our leaders lack of understanding and foresight are coming home to roost on our doorsteps.

As to the United Nations, well this farcical organisation again looked to Israel for help! Last week we saved Filipino UN peacekeepers threatened by Hezb-Allah and this week we succeeded in saving the Fijian UN troops who were kidnapped by Hezb-Allah. All came to Israel where they found safety and a warm welcome. Ironic eh?

This week, US Senator Ted Cruz spoke "In Defense of Christians." He began by stating, “Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” at which point a minority of audience members yelled and booed. Cruz responded:
“Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason...if you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you."  He then walked off the stage.

Douglas Murray tells it like it is. He blames laziness and convenience as the cause of victimisation of Israel and the Jews

The dire situation of the Yazidis and Assyrians is well known, although the leaders of the various Christian denominations seem unable to speak out and the Christian countries around the world appear unable to absorb them which is very strange to me. I was asked last night why Israel doesn't offer to absorb the thousands fleeing Moslem persecution. While it is a wonderful idea in principle, each and every Oleh that is brought from the FSU,  Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa, France, the UK or the USA costs this country a fortune! Housing and studying Hebrew for 6 months, finding jobs, finding housing, subsidies - the ransom for their release, each Oleh cost the country a fortune. We are in debt for our defence budget and with the very best will in the world, why can't other countries step up to the plate. While contributions from abroad help the Israeli citizens pay over 85% of the cost of the various Aliyas.

I decided that this weeks letter would be positive. I am tired of the constant horrors of this world, horrors that are not of our making. Herewith the positive, the kind, the everyday heroes who make life so much better.

Mo Freitas is a world champion surfer. He came to Israel during Operation Protective Edge and surfed Israels beaches along Israel's amazing shoreline.

Yank Barry, Canadian philanthropist saves at least 1,218 Moslems and Christians - the Jewish Schindler. His sense of morality pushed him to save the same number of Christians as Schindler did for his Jewish ancestors.

Israeli company Elbit creates Music (Multi Spectral Infrared Countermeasure) - a system to intercept any hand held missiles from harming airline traffic.   This innovation will save many lives and ensure the safety of passenger aircraft all over the world. Israel cares.

Not all Israeli innovations are medical,  scientific, Hi-tech or military, some simply make life easier!!! The Doona car seat cum baby stroller (pushchair) is taking the world by storm. Such a logical idea. A safety car seat which when you take the baby from the car you simply click a button and lo and behold it becomes a buggy!!!! It was just the biggest hit at the Las Vegas baby show Already on sale in the UK.

Last night Zvi and I went to a truly amazing function. It was the official opening of the beautiful new basketball arena right here in Malha. We have been watching its growth from our veranda but nothing prepared us for the beauty of this 11,000 seat indoor arena. We, the official invitees, sat in the grandstands; the students of years 11 and 12 sat in the upper rows and then the centre of the arena, the playing area, filled with about 2,000 soldiers! 

The Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat dedicated the gala evening to the soldiers who served in Gaza with special emphasis on the families of those who died and those who were injured. The evening began with singing groups from the Army, Navy, Air Force singing beautiful songs of each of the divisions as the photos of those who gave their lives were placed up on the screen above them.  General Yoram Yair (Yaya) Chairman of LIBI the organisation which takes care of Israeli soldiers, spoke as did Major-General Uzi Dayan, and then all hell broke loose!! Crazy music of "HaDag Nachash"and others had the soldiers dancing in the aisles alongside the youngsters who go into the IDF in this coming year. That is the difference between 18 year olds in Israel and 18 year olds elsewhere - they learn responsibility. They still listen to the latest music and want the newest iPhone, but they understand responsibility. As Yaya said "Many say this is a spoiled generation but your work in Gaza, the responsibility and care you took not to harm innocents while defending Israel, is an example to the world". What an evening - I still can't hear properly but loved every second. By the way, the Pais Arena is amazing!!!

Billy and Ruth Shapiro of Mexico City raised funds so that the soldiers of the IDF could enjoy genuine, home cooked Mexican food made by Caterers Jaime and his lovely wife Rosie who live in Ashdod. The food was much appreciated and it just goes to show that being thousands of miles away does not stop those who really want to help!!! . Kol ha Kavod.

As we near Rosh Hashana and the period of Selichot Rabbi Jeremy Rosen yet again puts everything into perspective

So another Shabbat is here. I haven't finished cooking but today is easier since i am sharing the preparation with our daughter-in-law Shiri. Right now the incredible burnt, smokey aroma of aubergines roasting on the open fire is filling the house - much to Zvi's dismay. I love it because I love the delicious result of skinned roasted aubergine with freshly made tehina and a red pepper coulis poured over the top. It really is one of my favourite foods.  In a little while I will drop Zvi at his parliament, collect my Rachel for a meeting and then take her home via the fish shop. The latest food fashion in Jerusalem really suits me since I love fish, real, good fresh fish. Growing up in the UK meant we were spoiled for choice for both fresh water and sea fish but for a long time the only source was frozen. Now we grow our own for many fish but also import wonderful fresh fish too. The one near Rachies home is always buzzing and he does ready cooked fish meals too. 

Next to him is Nehamas Bakery, where they have a production line of Challot and all sorts of local baked goods. Nehama also has some delicious ready made stuffed vegetables - baby local vegetables to help out the weary working Mums!!!  After seeing the children and hearing about their return to school I will drive home past Samuel's Tomb.......... and my breathtaking favourite panorama. By the time I get back to our neighborhood everything will be closing down - the Shopping Mall emptying, the buses rushing back to the depot, families arriving with pots of food to share with their families - indeed a normal Shabbat in Jerusalem. 

And so to music
Something different this Shabbat. Wonderful Mizrachi music for Shabbat from Israeli singer Revivo. I love it!

Yedid Nefesh - another beautiful song as you never heard it before

Finally, the most important song for our sanity- Tevye singing Tradition - that's what it is all about.

I wish you a beautiful Shabbat in freedom and joy. I wish you a Shabbat in which each of us will find understanding and love for the other and recognition of our right to live in freedom and peace.
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem - Jerusalem of Gold and of love


If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv

Friday, 5 September 2014

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. James Foley, Stephen Sotloff, NATO,

5th September 2014

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope you are well and not too worried about the fate of our world.

This week we learned some diabolical truths. We learned that ISIS/Daish/Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Hezb-Allah are one and all believe that it is their right to decapitate Westerners. In their blood lust they create videos of the suffering of those about to be decapitated, be they journalists or simple people who went against the dictates of Islam according to them. We felt the decapitation of James Foley and Stephen Sotloff because we could identify with them, with their families, and they were used for hasbara purposes. Foul. Why is it taking so long for Allies to join Prime Minister Camerons call to arms to fight this foul situation? At least he is now joined firmly by President Obama but I still don't see any action.

Talking of NATO, my home town of Cardiff has become a fortress, although today all the NATO representatives went home. The number of world leaders was enormous, the danger overt, but was it Israelis that presented a danger.............. of course not!!! Israelis do not decapitate nor threaten world leaders - we are perceived as the aggressors but.... let's allow Matt Friedman to explain.

Matti Friedman, former AP journalist, tells the truth of the Disproportionate Focus on Israel in the media- 40 AP journalists in Jerusalem more than in the entire Arab world of the Arab Spring. Friedman says "Jerusalem is safer than Portland Oregon, one of the safest cities in the USA". Remember that next time you cancel your vacation in Israel!!!!!

Ben Caspit is an Israeli journalist of note. Every Brit should read his view.

And another very important video by CNN talking to a former leader within ISIS.

Israel is the Safest Place for an Arab in the Middle East by Anat Berko 
Do men in your village serve in the IDF? " Yes, he said, they were Muslims but for them and their families, everyone who lived in Israel was an Israeli and had to serve. Hamas' rockets, he said, did not distinguish between his family and ours, they were meant to kill all Israelis." <>

The White House spokesperson, conceivably the woman with the least expression in her voice, repeatedly says that Israel must not build in the "settlements" aka Yehuda and Shomron and indeed in Jerusalem, because, and I quote "It will cause instability in the region".  Are you kidding? Are you serious? A few buildings will cause instability in a region that has been in flames for two or three years? That is insanity. Speak quietly to the PM but to once again publicly vilify Israel for building a few houses (incidentally over 2,000 are in Arab neighborhoods) but to claim that those few houses are the cause of the instability is sheer insanity. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon and so many other regions are in a state of war and the White House chooses to once again point the finger at its closest ally. Sorry but now I am cross.  Just as a matter of interest 12% of humanity live in areas of conflict today. Why concentrate on this area?  Because Israel is an easy diplomatic target - because sadly we are the only ones who care what America says!!

My father, rest his soul, was brought up in the European Yeshiva tradition. Somewhat rebellious he was also a great admirer of another religious rebel, his friend the late Rabbi Kopul Rosen. One thing is for sure, he would have agreed with my favourite religious rebel, Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, Rabbi Kopuls eldest son. Jeremy speaks to my soul and my religious beliefs. Be prepared to love and be surprised.This week Jeremy talks about our relationship with religious leaders. It is appropriate to most religions. 

This was yet another insane week! Our grandchildren went back to school, here September 1st is the official return to school date. New back packs - this year every little girl worth her salt has a backpack with a little lamb called NICI, new pencil cases and a lot of books and writing implements. Most families it is Saba (grandpa) and Safta (grandma) who do the honours! In Israel it all coincides with buying the children new clothes for Rosh Hashana. The greatest problem is fighting through the multitude of "But Safta you know I HAVE to have that one" is an international problem. Peer pressure is alive and well in Israel too.

On Monday we went to an amazing wedding. It was so fun - most of the choir were there - a beautiful traditional chuppa (wedding canopy) and of course the pre-chuppa hors d'ouevres were delicious! The choir gave a little performance since the brides Mum sings with them!

On Tuesday I met with my very special Welsh girlfriends to catch up on our lives and then raced home to prepare for the evening. 40 friends who came with us to Romania met up at our place for food and fun....... and of course music. Sasha played the violin, Adi, Yossi and Gadi played guitar and Meir played his piano accordion. Yitzchak Mossachy from Zvi's choir made up a video of our Romania trip. There is some Hebrew but it really doesn't make a difference to your enjoyment. Meet our friends!!!!

Yesterday we went to Tel Aviv to see our family there and take little Ella for a walk. I don't know how anyone lives in that humidity and heat!!! Jerusalem gets hot but at least it is dry - Tel Aviv is exhausting. while enjoying the idea of "lehizdangef"to walk on Dizengoff street, it was hot hot hot. We met up with Zvi's cousin Dalia Friedland, actress and singer,

So the bride of Shabbat is nearly here, putting on her finery and dressing for us. The food is cooked, this week I tried a new recipe for the stuffed veggies, my daughter Rachel makes the most delicious stuffed veggies so I tried it. Gently saute chopped onions, chopped celery stalks and leaves, garlic, mint - salt and pepper. Hollow out potatoes, onions, peppers and courgettes and when the vegetables are clear and cooked add a couple of tablespoons of rice and then stuff the vegetables in a wide pan. On top of the stuffed veg place a couple of celery stalks and dot around some cherry tomatoes. Add a tiny amount of water and cook over very low heat for a couple of hours. Scrummy!!!! We also have Tabouleh salad and roasted aubergine with fresh tehina. I don't need to prepare the rest because we are with Zvi's son Leor and his wonderful family and they are doing the bulk of the cooking. Of course Rachel's famous Challot will be the stars too!!!!

As I came over the hill from seeing the grandchildren, right there are Samuels Tomb, I looked to my right as usual, but instead of feeling the joy of the panorama I was very pensive. I could not work out why our minute dot on the map should be so bothersome to so many!!!!

Maybe Joan Rivers could have explained it in her straight from the hip style. Joan, rest in peace knowing your last performances were for Israel. You told 'em - you really told 'em.

I warn you that this video is a 5 Kleenex job!! I love it so much. If anyone doubts the importance of Jerusalem to us. Just watch

If I forget the O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.…

For our special friend Canon Andrew White who has been very poorly I want to include By the Rivers of Babylon. Andrew had to leave his beloved Iraq to return home to his family for treatment. Andrew dear, I hope this make you feel a little better.

So dear friends, another week, another Shabbat.

I wish you all peace and to all members of my family who have birthdays this week - hey you know how much I love you.......arms and legs.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem, Jerusalem slowly turning to gold and of course, the view from our veranda.


Friday, 29 August 2014

Shabbat Shalom from Sheila, Daniel Tragerman, Chicago, Yair Lapid,

29th August 2014

When we heard of the death of little Daniel Tragerman this week, his photograph everywhere, videos of a happy and funny little boy jumped back from the television screen and I, along with all Israelis, sat and  cried. Such beauty, such potential, wiped out in one moment of hatred his parents and siblings never to be the same. Why? Why did little Daniel not run for cover from the big tent his Daddy made form sheets in their lounge so the children would not need to play outside? Why do people hate with such foul passion that they celebrate the death of a wonderful little boy, changing his family for ever? Why?

Three Israelis died this week. One was 4 year old Daniel in Kibbutz Nahal Oz and two brave men men who went to repair the electricity supply of Kibbutz Nirim which was damaged by rocket fire so that the children would not add fear of the dark to their daily terror.

The missile was launched from beside an UNWRA site. UNWRA the United Nations organisation which keeps the Palestinians in constant refugee status which foments fury, degrades the Palestinians and allows rampant fanaticism to enter the lives of people without hope. Hamas began as a provider of free schooling, medicine and food, filling the void, and thus kidnapped the minds of children into the cycle of hatred.  If you think this war is over you are wrong. Until the UN is disabled wars all over the world will continue unabated because the watchdog has no teeth.

As soon as the ceasefire was brokered through the hard work of Egypt and others, I said that trouble would start on the Northern border of Israel. I barely had time to form the words when the rockets fell on our northern border from Syria. Oh and by the way, Al Qaeeda placed a huge flag on a hill in Quneitra, merely metres from our border, just in case you still  thought it was about occupation! Evil by any other name, be it ISIS, Al Qaeeda (you remember 9/11) Hamas, Hezb-Alla, Daish and so many others each more extreme than the other. They behead their detractors. We saw it last week. After so long in dire captivity they beheaded a journalist, a young handsome American, James Foley. Why? Maybe even more importantly, WHO? The why is easy, because he was an American. The who is so much more complex. A young British guy, wealthy, educated (relatively) with nothing to gain but violence and hatred, went over to ISIS, aloong with many others from Western countries, young men who took the best from freedom and then spit in our faces.  This week in Gaza Hamas decapitated dozens of detractors - supposed spies - who simply disagreed with them.

I couldn't decide whether to show you this video but it explains the extent of the nightmare. It isn't bloody but it is bloodcurdlingly terrifying as a child learns to decapitate using doll

 I received this letter from my niece Ruth in Canada. It is a letter from a young Journalism intern in Israel who saw the truth with her own eyes.

The ultimate idiocy took place in Chicago this week. Two women from Jewish Voice for Peace, Lynn Pollack and K. Émilie, stood up during a fundraiser speech by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel shouting “We are Jews, Shame on You! Stop killing children now!” In case you wondered, they are not on my list!!!!
Not everyone is stupid or uninformed. Even Hollywood has moral upstanding folk who want to show their support for Israel. Good people.

What you don't see on the map of Gaza - excellent presentation

My birth city of Cardiff is hosting a huge NATO conference next week and Cardiff has been forced to build a huge defensive Wall!!! The bustling city centre has been turned into a fortress to protect the participants from.............. well not from Welshmen that's for sure!

Yair Lapid is Israel's Minister of Finance. Although relatively new to Israels political scene he comes from a very politically involved family and understands the media. I did not recognise the power of his ability to deliver a message. Please listen as he speaks from Berlin, standing on the railway tracks that took his grandparents to the camps

I am thrilled to say that not everyone deserted Israel this week!!! Lots of wonderful friends visited and sat on our veranda to soak in the view.
I told you that Arlene and Milty Wittels were here and we had a ball. They decided to stay here in Jerusalem rather than going to Tel Aviv which thrilled me because it gave me more time with them!!!! Despite the language difference they had a great time with our Tel Aviv friends on Shabbat evening. Arlene got to absorb the stories I always tell her and of course she loves the insane amount of food I put on the table!! If I don't tell you that the group of 16 friends included Ilan and Cilla Horowitz Ilan will never talk to me again. He believes he is my greatest fan but didn't dare say it in front of Arlene.  Ilan made me laugh because he inspected both the veranda and the view and came to the conclusion that I do not exaggerate!!! When I made my special herb tea from herbs picked right next to him his smile grew and grew!!! 

Arlene and Milty got to do everything she usually has no time for. We went to Zion ha Gadol where Milty loved seeing the huge number of salads places on the groaning table; they sat on our veranda and had Shabbat Dinner with us;  got to spend time with Orna and Isaac Levy too; we went on a tour of the new Waldorf Astoria and enjoyed the wonderful architecture and the exquisitely appointed rooms; we sat and had the unbelievable breakfast in the King David - no guys, you cannot imagine the sheer variety and plethora of food of every nature. From home smoked salmon and herrings to 15 types of cheese and a huge display of every vegetable and fruit  which can be whizzed  into drinks or eaten whole and pastries....... oh the pastries.
On Tuesday I met the Tarsh family in the Botanical Gardens. I didn't know Elaine but she is the daughter of Victor Brazil, partner of my friend Jill in Leeds. It was love at first sight! We shared a huge sweet potato Oreganatto salad while the children all had fish and chips! Sitting beside the lake of the gardens I was fascinated to hear the stories of Joe, the eldest son who just made Aliya and who already wants to do great things with WUJS (World Union of Jewish Students) I see Joe as a future politician or diplomat - once he finishes his IDF service of course. We came back to the veranda after lunch and Joe continued his conversation this time with Zvi - who was exactly like Joe at his age. Loved it!!!!

Finally for now, last night was very special for me because an old friend came to supper. I collected him from his hotel and we slipped right into conversations as if years had not passed since last time. Our children were at school together in Carmel College and they are still as close as ever. Ivan and Daphne were an integral part of our lives and Justin, ah Justin, still is together with his Daniella. Whether in Dublin, Belfast, Manchester, London or Jerusalem the Seligs will always be part of our lives.
Tomorrow about 20 people come for Shabbat lunch to celebrate Amiads birthday and then on Tuesday about 45 people are coming for a get-together of the group who travelled to Romania with us. You see guys, life goes on with gusto. While you worry about anti-Semitism and anti-Christianism we live a full life where everyone can live in peace - if only we are allowed. I went down to the shopping mall yesterday and was thrilled to see that the normal rainbow of society was shopping together again - black, white, brown, hijabbed, kippot, bewigged - mini-skirts and ear-locks passing each other without comment. This is Israel.

For your musical delectation this week three videos. The first has no purpose but to make you smile! Where the hell is Matt (from the lovely Martin Myers) brought a smile to my face. Martin, Love it love it.

This song is not a Shabbat song but my goodness it is phenomenal. IDF soldiers singing Leonard Cohens "Hallelujah". Breathtaking  ​​

Yehi Shalom - Peace will be. The ethos of Israel.

We wish you a Shabbat Shalom a Shabbat of peace for you and for Israel. All we want is to live and let live.
​ With love from Jerusalem, beautiful Jerusalem.
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv

Friday, 22 August 2014

140822 Shabbat Shalom from Sheila. Deif, Rockets, Glasgow, James Foley

22nd August 2014

Shabbat Shalom dear friends

The fighting didn't start again, it never stopped. Except for a few rare days the South of Israel, especially Sderot, has suffered rocket and missile attacks for 14 years.

This week brought no surprises. Riots in  an American town after a policeman shot and killed a suspect captured more attention than the utterly horrendous beheading of an American journalist who was forced to demand that his President and country leave them to their heinous ethnic cleansing. I feel the West has lost its moral compass.

The other unsurprising aspects of this week were in the form of over a hundred rockets on Israeli children by Hamas.  The surprise is that the world hasn't twigged that Hamas is ISIS is Islamic  Jihad is gigantic threat to our way of life.

A rocket in Sderot or Tel Aviv is just a prelude to bombs and attacks near you. When a theatre refuses a Jewish Film festival; a city proclaims itself Israel free and Jews are beaten up for being Jewish it is no different to the Yazidis,  Assyrians or Anglicans persecuted raped and murdered,or the foul beheading of a beautiful photo journalist. Wake up time has passed

We cannot sit back and calmly accept, we must react.  G-d forbid,  I do not mean physical action but vocal and legal responses and initiatives. Now.

After Bradford and Edinburgh we now have Glasgow. Glasgow decided to fly the Palestinian flag over the Municipality, claiming that they do not support Hamas jut the Palestinian people. Yeah. Happily an American Conference decided to cancel after the flag incident. Excellent.

Western leaders in general and President Obama in particular keep telling Israel that they must adhere to proportional response is essential. On the "Contentions" website, Evelyn Gordon reminds us about a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009. It found that, of the victims of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq from March 2003 to March 2008 whose age and gender could be determined, 46% were women and 39% were children. By contrast, according to the UN, 12% of all Palestinians killed in Gaza were women and 23% were children, far lower than the percentages killed in U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

Israel may not get world sympathy for its lack of victims and injured in this war of attrition but when you spend all your money on defence it also teached parents to defend their children - any children. A brave father saved the lives of all these children at a birthday party.

My friend Yleem Poblete, former right hand woman of Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen, wrote an outstanding synopsis of what is truly happening in our region in particular and Gaza in particular. Please read. The Gaza conflict has again revealed that Hamas is not alone in its campaign against Israel. It has a vast and diverse terrorist network that supplies it with the resources it needs to carry out its destructive objectives. This web of terror must be targeted. It is the only way to prevent Hamas from rearming and thus ensuring sustained calm 

Our friend, our dear friend, a major correspondent for a large media company, while sitting on our veranda, relaxing after time in Gaza City, painted a picture of what he saw in Gaza

1. When in Gaza in the safe area IDF promised that they would not shoot toward the area but the journalists heard the loud whoosh of early morning missiles launched next to hotel.  
2. Gaza city is intact but the surrounding former camps are virtually destroyed - the main rocket launchings were from there.
3. One cannot identify Hamas soldiers because they take off their balaclava helmets and green bandanas and pretend to be civilians the moment rockets are launched
4. Many journalists were threatened by Hamas and those journalists who spoke out about Shifaa hospital and rockets in schools, mosques and so on got out immediately.
5. Sadly he saw dead children, a fact that distresses us too
6. This is not necessarily related to Gaza but very important - when American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan use drones for targeted killings they declare all the dead in the vicinity of the site as terrorists irrespective of age or sex. That changes the percentages dramatically.

In the Muhammed Deif targeted killing, his house was destroyed yet all adjacent buildings were intact. There has been no official announcement of his demise, maybe he got away in his armoured car and didn't have room for his family!  Another three leaders were killed in targetted killings this week, including the organiser of Gilad Schalits capture.

Not everything is bad news. I always tell you that life in Israels hospitals is a microcosm of what life is really like here. For Dr Ahmed Eid the most annoying question is whether it is difficult for him to heal and save soldiers of the IDF. He sees no difference, he sees a human being not a Jew, Moslem, Christian, Druze or any other "type".

We spent most of this week in Eilat with Zvi's boys and their families. Apparently the rest of Israel decided to spend the last week there too!!! It was fun, it was hot (imagine 42 degrees celcius/108 Farenheit at 10 o'clock at night) it was an interesting anthropological exercise, the full gamut of Israeli society seemed to take advantage of the last weeks of school vacations.

For a reason I have yet to discover, we went down to Eilat on the bus. It was efficient (both the boys had cars there) it was good timing, air conditioned, comfortable and full of 14-16 year old teenagers on their first foray without their parents. Noise - oy gevalt!!!!

On our return journey I had time to think and observe the surroundings. Firstly, Eilat and Aqaba are virtually twin towns. Israelis cross over to shop and to pick up their tours to Petra and Jerash. As we pulled out of Eilat we had a good view of the beginning of the wide plain which typifies the Syrian African Rift Valley. A wide dusty plain between the mountains of Jordan and those of Israel. Not a wall in sight, barely a fence. There is no need. Agricultural experts from Israel shared knowledge with Jordanian farmers and from sandy nothingness suddenly, on both sides of the plain, one sees large expanses of Date Palm plantations, greenhouses growing incredible tomatoes, well shaded from the searing sun. We may not be the best of friends but Jordan and Israel have both chosen to benefit from peace rather than suffer from war.

The Israeli mountains on the left of the road are short - that is the Israeli part is short - just a few short miles to Egypt. although there is a clear border there we enjoy a basically quiet relationship with Egypt, one of common understanding, of recognition of a common enemy. Driving north, it is strange to realise that the Israel/Egypt border ends and the Gaza/Israel border begins. We can't see it, it is much further toward the sea and we are quite inland, but then nothing is far from anything in Israel!!!  

Passing Yotvata and its delicious chocolate milk,  the magnificent Massada, as impressive and its history, Ein Gedi, glorious kibbutz on the Dead Sea and then the climb, the ascent to Jerusalem. All this time following Jordans bank of the Dead Sea.

And so to Shabbat in Jerusalem. This morning Zvi collected my beautiful friend Arlene and her Milty to take them to Mahane Yehuda for a unique experience. The full rainbow of Jerusalem life is there buying fresh produce, meat, delicatessen and fish for Shabbat. Fish, well actually carp, is so fresh that it is still jumping! Really! I don't know if that is why I don't like carp, or is it the very grey fishy smell to it!!!!  

Zvi bought fruit for our guests tomorrow, bright red water melon, crunchy and juicy - without pips of course; bright yellow melons; dragon fruit both magenta and white; passion fruit, big and fragrant; mangoes, it is the season for the yellow and orange ones and their scent fills the house; and finally marvellous green and purple grapes - seedless of course. I will do a huge platter of cut fruit to go with the wonderful smelly cheeses - a perfect marriage!!! He popped into Tsidkiyahus for  olives - the best in town!!!

Arlene and Milty came back with Zvi for a quick lunch, which is why I took a hiatus in my writing and just got back to tell you that they enjoyed my "speciality"- fried fish balls! Arlenes favourite! 

So Jerusalem is yet again preparing for Shabbat. Everything continues as before, we are aware that there are differences but life must go on. I am thrilled that Arlene and Milty came and to be absolutely honest - don't quite understand why so many cancelled. My friend Andrew Stone came, Canon Andrew White came, Elaine Brazil came and we'll see her next week together with her lovely family - indeed I can't help feeling that if people just stopped to consider that if someone is murdered in Miami one does not refuse to visit Aventura!  There are murders almost every day in New Jersey but you never stop going to the Mall!!!! Every person that cancels a trip to Israel is putting a smile on Hamas face.

I wish you a Good Shabbes - Shabbat Shalom - from our home to yours. Sadly for a community in Ashdod it will not be a good Shabbat - a rocket just seriously damaged their synagogue, injuring two people, just before Shabbat.

Now for your reward! The music!
My big sister Eddie sent me this amazing music video - old songs get a new sound!
Steve Linde, the Editor of the Jerusalem Post sent me this video and I am in love with it!!!! Just wonderful - and HAPPY!!! Adon Olam as you have never heard it before

With much love

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv

Friday, 15 August 2014

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. Rivka, Zoabi, Galloway, Shimon Peres on BBC

15th August 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear friends

I had so many ideas for this weeks Shabbat Shalom. So many items of news, serious,frightening and even amusing, but it all became irrelevant when we received tragic news yesterday. A true light, a flame, the life of a beautiful woman was snuffed out in a moment yesterday as Dr. Rivka Bertisch Meir crossed the road to meet the love of her life, her husband Dr Michael, and an errant driver mowed her down. 

Probably the most vibrant, intelligent, warm, loving and generous person I had ever met, a true friend in every way, Rivkas tiny frame filled the room with her personality. I am beyond sad, I am devastated. I know that Rivka earned her place in heaven a thousand times with her innate Jewishness, her ability to turn every situation into a positive one. May her sweet soul rest in peace and may G-d console our dear Michael, Rivka's Michael, among the mourners of Zion.
My heart breaks but I must continue to inform and bring you the news so I will try.

In response to reactions, both gleeful and concerned, that the relationship between the White House and Prime Minister Netanyahu have soured, the White House spokesperson said that rumour that the warm relationship between Israel and the USA are false and the arms that the media claims were stopped have already been sent. I don't know this lady is not C J Clegg. She is emotionless, cold and her manner hardly friendly, but her message was clear. The bad press against the PM will continue but....................

Former President Shimon Peres still seems to be the go-to person for the media interviewers. He is more than able to counter their insane accusations as he proves in this interview for the BBC He states without any question that he was for leaving Gaza, believing that it would bring peace but now, his greatest fear is that if we leave the West Bank then the same extremist will take over thus threatening Israel again.

Tomorrow night I will be glued to Channel 10, Israel, as the family of Haneen Zoabi express their anger, distress and shame toward the Member of Knesset who abuses every one of the rights given to her to deride, lambast and endanger the very country that gave her those rights. Zoabi would not have survived in the countries she so admires. A proud Israeli family with Officers in the IDF and Israeli Police. Young Mohammed Zoabi, nephew of the MK, has already endangered his own life by his pro-Israel activities on Facebook

As the evil George Galloway declares Bradford, Yorkshire "an Israel free zone" most of us yelled expletives but a group of Jews in Bradford knew better. The Bamba invasion of Bradford!!!!

Sorry guys - my mind is not on what I am doing - I can only think of Rivka and her darling Michael. I know she wants me to keep going with my writing but, hey I need to take a break. So I am going to give you some videos so that others can tell you what I believe.

Walid Shoebat who discovered the truth the hard way.
Newt Gingrich, who studied the Middle East and is one of the few who truly understands.
Douglas Murray, one of our best spokespersons.
Brigitte Gabriel who learned from personal experience that those who taught her that Israelis are bad were lying.

Finally, a very important article, written by Dr Boaz Ganor, sent to me by my wonderful friend Andrew.

OK Whenever I find life just too hard I need to touch the earth. To plant, change, prettify, move and work with my hands on my veranda, all the while calming myself with the view of Jerusalem readying herself for Shabbat. I moved some plants, changed pots, got y hands wonderfully dirty, stopping to see the view, the buildings glistening in the searing heat,  the preparations for our guests of this weekend and next week. I want Arlene to see everything at its best. Now I can tell you the good things of this and of next week

Rabbi David Greenberg, Rabbi of the Bedford, New York community, not only gave Leor funds to buy Leatherman toolkits, he came to Israel, travelled to the South, spent time with the people and Mayors of the affected towns and sought out where his community's help was most needed.In his letter to the community for Shabbat David told them of everything he saw, of  his love of Israel and of how important it is to come to Israel- now.  Kol ha Kavod David.

Arlene and Milty Wittels have never turned away from Israel, never refused to come here because of strife, always stand beside Israel and her people. I am thrilled to say that Arlene and Milty will be occupying their regular room at the King David at the end of this week. I am so thrilled, so happy that they are coming and we will spend our Shabbat lunch on the veranda, and every second they can spare us!!!

Another  person who doesn't listen to rumours of danger is Victor Brazil's daughter Elaine, here with her family to tour, go to Ulpan and hopefully meet up with the Raviv family. Elaine told me that she is having a ball, enjoying every moment and feels so secure here, because this government cares about its citizens and visitors and protects them.

Soon Zvi will return from his Parliament and we will go to Abu Ghosh where there is a solidarity meeting between Moslems and Jews. I did not say Arabs because the Moslems of Abu Ghosh are not Arabs they are descendants of the Circassian Abu Ghosh family, most coming from Chechnya and have always had an excellent relationship with Israel. We want to go to stand firm with our friends in Abu Ghosh to tell them that we still stand together. From there I will drop Zvi home to sleep and I will go to see Rachel and the children, to give them a kiss before their trip to see their British family. Rachel of course is longing for some rain and cool weather. She dreams of doing one thing we did when she was a child............. to climb up Ilkley Moor and yell!!!!

Tonight we have Shabbat Dinner with friends and tomorrow Amiad and his beautiful family and our friend John Vause are coming to lunch.

Nothing is working I am sad, I already miss Rivka, miss knowing her incredible smile has faded and her beloved Michael is alone. I can't bear it.

The songs this week are special, ones that I believe represent our feelings. David D'Or  sings Shmor al ha Olam Yeled - Guard the world child for we did not do a good job
The second is not new to you - I have presented it before but Rivka loved it so -

With all our love for a beautiful Shabbat
Sheila and Zvi

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv

Monday, 11 August 2014

140811 Shevua Tov from Jerusalem. Canon Andrew and the Yzidis, Prof Newt Gingrich, Arlene, Sheila,

11th August, 2014

Shevua Tov dear friends. Wishing you all a good week.

Today's letter is different

Let me explain. Last week my beautiful friend Arlene asked me for something about myself to put into her speech for Israel Bonds. About me and my connection to Israel. Of course I jumped at the chance for two reasons - I adore Arlene and try not to get too personal in my letters, about my past that is, and maybe you deserve to hear.

Before I start I need to tell you some truly diabolical news. Diabolical. Canon Andrew White is back in Iraq. The plight of the Yazidis hit the headlines - as they should - and he does what he can to help, but there is so much more. A few months ago Andrew baptised a baby boy, who the parents named Andrew, after Canon Andrew. A few days ago Little Andrew, Christian, was found cut in half by the foul and evil ISIS. Canon Andrew discovered that young girls, Christian of course, were kidnapped and sold, by ISIS, and so much more that only a man with his faith can still continue.

In case you think that Hamas is any better than ISIS, Islamic Jihad, Hezb-Allah or any other name, please listen to Prof. Newt Gingrich. Democrats, don't dismiss him. Ignore press reports, we spent a week with him and he is an erudite, quiet and thoughtful man.

Now to lift your spirits with the promised Arlene part of the story.

My name is Sheila, Sheila Raviv, married to Zvi, mother of Daniel, Gideon and Rachel, step-Mother to Amiad and Leor; mother in law to Karen, Stephanie, Igal, Shiri and of course Noga thus grandmother to 13 glorious children 8 of whom are Israeli, sister to Eddie, Doreen and Ronnie and most importantly  - daughter of Betty and Jack Silver who gave me life and taught me a deep moral responsibility which I absorbed through osmosis and love. Both parents were immigrants from Poland, both proud to be British and while intensely Jewish determined to be good Brits. 

After 24 years in Israel I am still considered a "new immigrant"! My husbands family, the beautiful Kalman and Alla were the sole survivors of the Holocaust, both living in the nascent state of Israel, while their families stayed in Poland and went to the ovens of the Holocaust. Both Kalman and Alla went back to Poland to tell their families to come quickly, the writing was on the wall, the hatred tangible, but both families said "Don't worry, it is all noise, we will be OK" Their stories, when I interviewed them, made me intensely aware of what is happening in the outside world today and determined to do my darndest to change  reality, one word at a time.

My husband also learned his lesson from his parents, he and his friend Yona Yahav (now Mayor of Haifa) held a stand up argument with Golda Meir, when she was Prime Minister in October 1969, which culminated in the Israeli Prime Minister bringing about the acceptance of the Israeli Governments responsibility and two cheeky students starting the "Let My People Go "Campaign to free Soviet Jewry.

What does this have to do with today, why should the past have bearing on our current situation? Well, in my opinion the determined dehumanisation of Jews has already taken place and we are in 1936 if not later. If you think it is a dehumanisation of Israel you are wrong, it is all Jews, you too, and it has been gradual, incidious and very very cleverly executed.

I see the boys and girls of the IDF, I meet the Generals and political leaders, I hear their words and I know their orders that we must be the most humane, defensive army in the world. We are. We send out fliers, we send text messages, we call homes and we ensure that families leave the areas where we know that Hamas (or Hezb-Allah) are hiding. We do everything possible, we even send medical supplies and staple foodstuffs daily - during wartime as the rockets fly above our homes. We call off airstrikes because we see human movement below.

So what is our reward for this care? The UN, the Red Cross, Oxfam, Amnesty, indeed almost every international organisation claims we are the aggressors, those who kept silent when the children of Sderot were traumatised, had nightmares about sirens and wet their beds, for years on end - those who could not care about Jewish lives then called Israel aggressor. Those who were silent when hundreds of thousands of Moslems were slaughtered in Syria and Iraq and Christians, Yazidis and so many others are tortured and oppressed unless they convert to Islam.  The only evaluation of the situation is that it is racism, anti-Semitism, no more no less. As to those Jews who criticise Israel automatically without knowing the true situation - they are no better than Kapos playing into the hands of the very greedy media.

I see my friends putting on a brave face, many of them busy on the social media trying to get the word out there, but to little avail since we are preaching to the choir. One possible route is the one I took, in addition to writing a newsletter, I adopt journalists. Yup, I take them home, give them a Shabbat meal, show them the incredible view from our veranda and together with my husband give them a history lesson - including the Bible. It is time one understood who the indigenous peoples are and who was taken into slavery and oppressed, time and time again.

The hardest part of this situation is to see our children, the little ones who are scared to go to sleep at night and the bigger ones who go to the army. For example, Leor, Zvi's son, left his job as a Vice President of a huge Insurance company with 1,500 workers, simply dropped everything when he got the reservist call-up "Tsav shmoneh" drove down to the border with Gaza, gathered his unit, cleaned off the tanks and got to work guarding the border for those who live nearby, making it home once a week for a few hours to see his wife and three little girls.  Another friend, a Haredi husband went off to war, leaving the wife with her four children and sick mother for a month. Everyone has a story, we just pray it ends with "and they all lived happily ever after" but that is just in fairy tales.

I look out on my view, a glorious view of Jerusalem from my veranda, laying before me, so peaceful, the white buildings glistening in the sun and I don't understand. Here I am in Royal David's City, the one everyone sings about at Christmas, clearly and obviously the Jewish City, yet suddenly it has become Al Quds, the Temple Mount is now Haram el Sharif, and the world tells me I shouldn't be here. Incredible! First they told us to go back to the Holy Land and when we did they tell us to go back to the ovens of Europe.  Israel welcomes all, the full rainbow of humanity yet we are fast becoming lepers, the Moslem countries deny entry, citizenship to almost all comers yet are considered acceptable............... where is the moral compass?
My friend Arlene did not hesitate for a second. When others cancelled their holidays in Israel Arlene did not. Why? Why is Arlene different to others? Connection. the secret is connection........ an umbilical cord which runs from Jerusalem to Manahasset, interdependent, because without our Arlenes in this world Israel is lost. 

Of course she is not alone Rabbi David Greeberg from Bedford is here now- Michael and Roselyne came from Miami to see their son Benjamin after his amazing summer camp and to stand firm with Israel. I hear only glowing reports from all the parents of children on summer camps here including my own family, my lovely niece-in-law Marilyn, married to my nephew Paul, sent her daughter as planned to have the time of her life here over the last month. I am not surprised to tell you that Marlee was overjoyed and had a ball!

This letter began as a few ideas for a speech Arlene was making at her synagogues Israel Bonds function. Arlene is a phenomenal speaker, often breaking into tears at the mere thought of her beautiful Israel. Her truth, her brilliance and her sheer beauty break through every word she utters. A true leader  and a fine woman. I meant what I said, her umbilical will never be cut - Arlene is an Israeli, the stork simply didn't have a GPS.

To end some wonderful videos to lift your battered spirits.
Andrew Bolt is an Australian journalist - see what he has to say.
The inimitable, wonderfully irreverent Pat Condell
The beautiful music of Matisyahu

and of course two more songs as we remember that Glasgow is flying the Palestinian flag, Bradford will be Israel free but Galloway laden
(wish they would do it properly ) and Jews are attacked in France, Belgium, Australia, Canada, UK, Germany, Austria, USA, etc ad nauseum

Sing along with me - 
 Am Yisrael Chai - The Jewish People lives
Finally, Lt. Col.  Shai Abrahamson, the Chazan/Cantor of the IDF sings a prayer for the Peace of the State of Israel. Proud to represent his country and comrades, proud to sing this entreaty for peace, finally peace in Israel and joy in the world. Incredibly moving.

Shevua tov, I promise to keep you in touch with what really happens but wanted to share some thoughts today.
With love from Jerusalem

PS The number for Elihu Ben Onn - for Hebrew speakers who want to talk on radio was incorrect it is  +972 2 6312296 . I think our friends in Turkey - Sadi and Adil - should call.

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Facebook      Sheila Silver Raviv