Friday, 27 November 2015

151127 Trudeau, 29th November, Hamas, Shmuel Benalal

27th November 2015
"Black Friday"

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. It is so incongruous that in the United States people are willing to risk life and limb, even get into fisticuffs to buy something they don't need for the sake of "saving" money when half of the world is in utter turmoil and fighting for its life and sanity.
Our world is in a dark state and we are unable to see a way out because the predecessors of our current leaders did not have the vision, were unable to imagine the unimaginable, of human beings so filled with rigorous, unerring belief that all who do not believe in their version of Islam should die. I am not talking about your neighbor, your friend or mine, I am talking of those who would take the world back into the Middle Ages through acts of foul slaughter inducing terror into the hearts of all of us.

In Israel we have an additional problem. Our terror attacks are not on the massive scale of NYC, London, Bali, Paris or Mali, but every day, mostly in disputed land, against soldiers and "settlers", apparently sane people are persuaded to take kitchen implements and attack, stab or their cars and ram and kill people – and the world says we deserve it! Why do we deserve it? because we stole land from the indigenous people. What a gullible world we live in. A world in which people are ignorant of the Bible and even more ignorant of recent history believe the rhetoric over the facts. So lacking in a sense of history that the United Nations made the 29th of November Palestinian recognition day!!!! 29th November – on that date in 1947 the United Nations itself declared the State of Israel!!!!

Just in case some gullible and naïve person still thinks it is all about land and settlers, it's not, of course it isn't. By the way do you see the absurdity of comparison between Thanksgiving in the USA which glorifies the settlers and the denigration of Israeli settlers?  Rhetoric wins again. Just ask Fawzi Barhoum

We all feel sympathy with the genuine refugees from the dire situation in Syria and other ME countries. Well, perhaps not all. Christian refugees in a little dinghy had their dinghy pierced and were left to die had they not been saved by a passing boat.
 I am sitting before the computer and the tears run freely down my cheeks, in preparation for what I must write next.
 Shmuel Benalal, was a dear friend, wonderful man, incredible husband to Flory and a fine example to their sons, Avi, Asher and Netanel. Clever, kind, the ultimate gentleman - was killed in the attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in faraway Mali. Mali, when just a dozen kilometres from their home young soldiers are being attacked every day. Shmuel, sweet of voice and manner, travelled the world setting up systems of education in many countries, in all corners of the globe. The Ministry of Education of Mali requested his help to set up an education system that would give the children of Mali a chance in todays world.
The murdering fanatics, after entering the hotel shooting in all directions and throwing hand grenades, killing those eating breakfast, took hostages and went from one to the other asking if they could quote the Koran - if not they died.

I am so incredibly angry that our leaders have not found a response to this deadly disease of death and oppression.

After a week of uncertainty his body finally came home on Wednesday night and his funeral yesterday gave evidence of the level of love this man, this giant of a man, emanated. Everyone spoke of his genius, humour, patience and tolerance. Zvi also spoke of his beautiful voice, as lyrical and tuneful and his person. Sammy was a beacon of light in a dark dark world.
Steve Linde, Editor of the Jerusalem Post wrote a beautiful editorial about Sammy. Shmuel, Shmulik, Sammy - Loved you so much. יהיה זכרו ברוך

If you wondered how on earth these young people become so fanatical, so incredibly hyped that they can perform these acts of terror – read on.

Many were concerned at the election of another Trudeau as Prime Minister of Canada, having trounced the incumbent and strong proponent of Israel, Stephen Harper, many of our fears were allayed when PM Justin Trudeau voted against numerous propositions against Israel in the United Nations. His decision comes as great relief to many.

Canon Andrew White is globetrotting again! His enthusiasm for human contact never waning. This article captures his personality, devotion and honesty as few have.

I have often written about IsraAid the amazing Israeli NGO, run by Shachar Zahavi, that provides aid and succor around the world. This Monday, the 30th of November, IsraAid has a fabulous conference in Tel Aviv, with Sean Penn, concerning their work in Haiti. I am honoured to have been invited and of course will attend.  

This week has been a flurry of cooking for the bereaved family, shiva without the funeral, a nightmare of uncertainty. I made them a huge pot of warming vegetable soup and then another huge pot of stuffed vegetables. Israeli stuffed vegetables bear no resemblance to those of the West – probably closer to the Greek dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) – but wrapped in onions, carefully boiled and separated into individual layers; cabbage leaves, also parboiled; aubergine slices carefully grilled; tiny baby multicoloured peppers, all filled with herbs, round rice, Tivol mince and lots of love. The first batch went so quickly that one of the sons didn't manage to eat even one, so the next day they received another potful. Even at the funeral he said "But I still didn't get any" to which of course I already planned the next batch, then he relieved my distress by admitting that he did eat, they were delicious and he just wanted more!

Tonight, once the Shabbat table is set, the challot baked, the food prepared (actually I am in the middle of grilling the antipasti, running between keyboard and grillpan) I will light the candles in the silver candelabra that I stood beside my Mother so many years ago, and the light from the Shabbat

Lighting the Shabbat candles fills my heart and brings light into our lives. Only then we will be able to rest, relax a little before the children and grandchildren arrive. Once Zvi's children and grandchildren arrive everything is crazy, and we love it. The food will disappear at a rate of knots! Their favourite oven baked cauliflower in turmeric and paprika; a mangold (swiss chard) and feta roll; Moroccan mushrooms; spicy carrot salad; chopped salad; roasted potatoes; and for the children their favourite sausage rolls (I use the wonderful Tivol vegetarian sausages); Tuna and sweet potato patties;  all this after two soups, my famous veggie soup for the adults and a pureed courgette and sweet potato soup for the children. We will round it all off with jelly cups for the children and fresh fruit for us.

I love Shabbat. It allows me to rest and catch up with myself.

Your songs this week include a beautiful song by Hakol Yachassi The choir that Zvi loves, where we have so many friends and Shmuel was an integral part of every event. You will see a tall, bespectacled, kindfaced man next to Zvi, that is Shmuel. The song Israel Mio, My Israel,  sung in Ladino, written by Eli Yaron, music by Adi Hayat both of whom mourn with us.

Yom ze l'Yisrael. "This day, for Israel (Jews) is a day of light, joy and rest; Shabbat rest, Shabbat rest".

I wish you a Shabbat Shalom. I wish you, your country and our beautiful Israel a week of peace, a week of respite, a week of light.

With all my love from Jerusalem the spiritual home and City of Light.


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

Friday, 20 November 2015

151120 Paris terror attacks, Israel terror attacks, Yitzhak Noy, Mummy Yahzeit

19th November 2015
Shabbat Shalom dear Friends

I am confused, sad, angry and don't know where to begin. Perhaps I should begin with the diabolical attacks on Paris, attacks that shook the world and horrified us as we realized the extent and evil intent as trendy Parisians were out for a night of enjoyment; perhaps with the fact that there were two more attacks here in Israel yesterday, killing five people – two of them while praying in a synagogue in Tel Aviv, by a knife wielding terrorist who knew them because he worked nearby; three by a Palestinian terrorist who shot randomly as he drove past ordinary folk driving along in Gush Etzion, one a young American on a years trip to Israel, studying in Yeshiva and volunteering with the less fortunate. Our world is topsy turvy, moral judgement is out the window and our sense of security disappeared – wherever we live.

With your permission I will start from a different angle – from the angle of a friend, a young Israeli Arab man from Shoefat, who lives on the Israeli part of Shoefat. Uzi is a delightful young man, as a Moslem, he suffers from every aspect of our situation. When he drove his car to Ramallah to visit relatives and do a bit of shopping in the huge shopping mall there, because it is cheaper, his car was stoned because he has an Israeli licence plate! When he took his new wife for an evening out in Tel Aviv, she wears a traditional head covering, they were insulted and shouted at by some who passed them in the street. I told him that for the first time in my life here I am wary of Arabs – and believe you me I am the last person to judge someone by their mode of dress or appearance. He agreed, he understood and I understood that he too was scared because Jewish Israelis, even friends, began to look at him differently. This situation is a no-win, for us all.

We were visiting friends last weekend when one of them suddenly jumped from the couch and said "There has been an attack in Paris" We immediately turned on the news and sat in front of the television for hours of disbelief. The well co-ordinated attacks were aimed at ordinary folk, doing what Parisians do so well. Eating, drinking, enjoying a rock concert, watching a friendly football match between French and German national teams – doing things we all do – and that is what shocked us to the very core. The cold-bloodedness of the attacks was beyond our comprehension. Such intense racist hatred, such determination to scare us into submission is alien to our moral and ethical standards, we simply cannot fathom why. Sheik Anjem Choudry explains all too well.

If you are offended by bad language please do not open this link. The language of John Oliver is extreme, but he uses strong language to shock us into understanding the attack on Paris.

Israelis reached out to the French, we empathised and sympathised, we rallied in our city centres in support of the people of Paris and both the Knesset and the Old City walls were lit with red, white and blue. We care, we really care. However the Turkish crowd at a Greece/Turkey football match in Istanbul, were asked to stand in a minutes silence for the victims of the Paris attacks, instead many booed and catcalled.

The Tel Aviv attack was aimed at those praying mincha in a synagogue, in an office building. The terrorist worked in a restaurant in the building and probably knew everyone and where they were on that day. Yet another terrorist from Hebron but this time a father of five.

The Gush Etzion attack took place as a terrorist obtained an Uzi submachine gun illegally, and as he drove past innocent civilians he sprayed cars with bullets, killing 3. He was stopped and arrested. In the previous Gush Etzion attack, again a man from Hebron, the crucible of Islamic fundamentalism, a Red Crescent Ambulance stopped, and then carried on its way without tending to the wounded. The case is before the Red Cross.

The Violence Policy Center of the USA published these figures of drive by shootings in the USA. During the six-month period covered in the report, 733 drive-by shooting incidents were reported, claiming 154 lives and injuring 631 individuals. For Israelis these numbers are unthinkable. So why quote the report? The shootings here are because we are Jews. No other reason, not land, not property, not politics, because we are Jews. Anyone who still thinks that the violence is because we stole something from someone is delusional. We stole nothing. In fact a synagogue in Givat Zeev is in the process of being demolished by court order because an Arab from Ramallah laid claim to the land even though the congregation had proof of purchase!

Life must go on and Zvi and I drove all the way to Netanya for a lecture. Yitzchak Noy broadcaster, raconteur, author and historian, has lived long enough, close enough to the centre of activity, to tell the story with confidence. Titled "The lead up to the Dimona Nuclear Facility" he took us through Israeli and international history until that day, barely touching on, but leading up to the subject matter of the title, through the discussion and fights between Golda, Dayan, indeed all those who we hold as heroes. His talk was incredible, jumping from era to era, surprising us at every turn, but one thing came out loud and clear – Do not pay attention to the media or the rhetoric – Britain, the USA, France and Germany are totally and utterly with us and behind us, unequivocally, entirely and without reservation. We work together at every level and should never doubt this United States President or his loyalties. I left the lecture with greater understanding and positivity. Zvi wrote a precis, but in Hebrew.

Jonathan Pollard will be released from his 30 year prison sentence today. Released but on a parole with conditions that Professor Alan Dershowitz described as irrational and abusive – but then so was his incarceration and the conditions thereof. He will not be allowed to use the internet, restricted with whom he will speak, where he goes, indeed restrictions so stringent that it is truly offensive. What about all the Russian, Korean, Chinese, Iranian and so many other spies for countries that wish evil to the United States? Did they have conditions such as these? Why?

Ordinary Moslems have had enough. They are speaking out and speaking out together.

Wednesday night, as I lit the memorial candle for my beautiful Mother, who exuded love and kindness and compassion, I could but think how difficult it would have been for her to understand the world today, despite seeing three of her four children through the German bombing of our home city of Cardiff. She too never saw creed or colour, only people. She would not have understood the hatred we see on college campuses, the incitement of the media or the attacks on ordinary people. She was funny, kind and loving and I miss her terribly, after 52 years she is still irreplaceable. She loved Shabbat, loved my Daddy's Kiddush, which sounded much more like Yiddish than Hebrew! Tonight I will light the Shabbat candles in the candelabra we lit together and my children will do the same, carrying on the tradition taught to me by someone they never knew but love deeply as she would have loved them.

Gosh, I know you always look to me for hope and positivity, but in truth, Pollyanna finds it a little hard this week. I apologise. Perhaps this interview with a little boy from Paris will give you hope

A constant ray of light and hope is my friend Canon Andrew White who is currently back in the USA travelling and spreading his good word. This is a wonderful article about him. Read The Vicar of Baghdad is missing his flock -

Let's end with some happy Shabbat songs. Yedid Nefesh, Beloved Soul, a prayer  beseeching the light of belief and love  The words are so meaningful, please read them.

Ha Dag ha Nachash is an Israeli group with a sense of humour! They made this excellent video about the lead up to Shabbat, from the orchards to Mahane Yehuda. Sorry it is in Ivrit but you will understand it all!!

That's it! It's Friday, TGIF, because Yom Shishi (the sixth day) brings Shabbat

With all my love for a peaceful, uneventful Shabbat. May the souls of those who lost their lives this week rest in peace and may the injured recover and may we learn tolerance – Sovlanut -  toleranssi – goddefgarwch – सहनशीलता -  تسامح – verdraagsaamheid – for tolerance is the only route to peace.

With love from Jerusalem, as beautiful as ever.

Some people are receiving the newsletter erratically - on and off. If that happens sign on to my archives and read there 

Breaking News. 140 guests and 30 staff of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali have been taken hostage by Islamic terrorists  The Radisson Blu is the favoured destination of foreign visits to Mali


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

Friday, 13 November 2015

151112 Boris Johnson, EU decision green line, Moynihan in UN 40 years, President Navon zl, Earl Cox

15th November 2015

Shabbat Shalom everyone – friends, foes, family and acquaintances – may you all live in peace. When the noise around us abates, we find inner peace so please may our enemies find love, conciliation, tolerance, amity, peace………. The world has turned upside down, morals gave way to greed, ethics to politics and honesty to interests. Evil is rewarded, democracy ignored and appeasement is the order of the day. This time I am not sure anyone will stand up against the enemy – Winston Churchill left no heir.

Israel was very sad this weekYitzchak Navon, 5th President of Israel, passed away at the age of 94. Arguably the most beloved of Presidents, a brilliant linguist, playwright, author, who spoke Yiddish with equal fluency to his beloved Ladino Yitzchak Navon, 10th generation Jerusalemite, will be missed. May his soul rest in peace.

It was hard to discover the truth behind the double-speak of Presidential spokespeople, but apparently the meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu was fruitful and amicable. We'll see.

Well, the European Union found a strange way of remembering  Kristallnacht, they voted to deny the labelling of all goods made over the green line as Israeli, irrespective of the site of the parent company. This brilliant move could well cause 20,000 Palestinians to lose their employment (which only in Israel includes all social rights) but the cause is obviously more important than the results. I repeat and repeat – the answer lies not in whining about antisemitism but in positive labelling of all products, innovations and initiatives that emanate from this little country with an Israeli flag. Not just the essential drugs and medical aids, but foodstuffs and technology – I want to see them trying to take their cellphones and computers apart to take out the so-labelled parts or better still, removing their Israeli heart stents!! It isn't that Europe chose to boycott all countries that have border disputes or all countries that have questionable human rights issues……… they chose Israel. Europe gave in to hatred, racism and injustice, again.

The Wave has broken over Europe, again. Goebbels lies have won the populace, again. Nothing new under the sun.

At least two Mayors stood up to the BDS racism. One is the Mayor of Munich  and the other, who has been against any such move from the beginning, is Boris Johnson, Mayor of London. Johnson said, "I cannot think of anything more foolish" than to boycott "a country that when all is said and done is the only democracy in the region, the only place that has in my view a pluralist open society."

My Facebook friends already know that I went to hear the Mayor speak at Mishkenot haShaananim (The houses of those who dare), where he was eloquently introduced by Daniel Taub, Ambassador for Israel to the Court of St James. The two are clearly friends and Johnson's support for Israel unquestioned. The Lecture was the first in what will hopefully become a series of Winston Churchill lectures. Boris Johnson, in addition to eight years as Mayor of London has also written a scholarly work on Winston Churchill. He spoke of Churchill's affiliation to the Jewish State and his determination that such a state will come into being. Johnson spoke with enormous eloquence and infinite wit, the tough audience unable to hold back their laughter at his self-effacing humour.

I have to thank Steve Linde, Editor of the Jerusalem Post and true gentleman, for getting me in to the lecture because I was late in booking and would have missed it but for his ingenuity. Thanks Steve.

My response to the European Union, indeed to BDS, must come from the community. Buy Israeli goods, complain when they are taken from the shelves. STAND UP AND BE COUNTED! Don't be weeds, be strong sunflowers and reach upwards.

If you think the EU decision will help the ordinary Palestinian, check out the huge par in financial status

Hillel Neuer of UN Watch - I am sorry to announce that IRAN just won a leadership role in UNESCO influencing world education, science & culture.

We cannot forget that day 40 years ago when good men were not afraid to stand on their beliefs. US Ambassador to the UN Patrick Moynihan speaking to quash the proposition that Zionism is Racism. "The United States rises to declare before the General Assembly of the United Nations, and before the world, that it does not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act.

The USA targetted Jihadi John, the Kuwait/British beheader of ISIS who threatened to return to Britain and behead all who oppose Islam. They are 99% certain that he is dead. Let us pray they are right although it is too late, an entire generation of jihadists follow his example as their hero.

Perhaps now is the time to see this video which shows the harm, banality, inanity of PC for PC's sake. It diminishes the incredible work of those who fought for equal rights – true equal rights

Gosh a page and a half already, I must give you the remainder of the news in a somewhat less wordy fashion!

Earl Cox, one of natures true gentlemen, is in Jerusalem. Earl is a true Christian whose tolerance knows no bounds unless you criticize Israel!!! We met some 12 years ago and I was instantly taken with Earls utterly selfless love of Israel. Unlike many he does not ask for money he asks only for loyalty. Earl and his Kathleen now have numerous radio and television slots in the USA and worldwide. Earl and Kathleen built shelters for children in Sderot and many other quiet kindnesses. I took Earl to the Jerusalem Press Club to hear a talk and Q&A with Dr. Thabet Abu Ras and Amnon Be`eri-Sulitzeanu from the Abraham Fund Both of us were pleasantly surprised by the tolerance and sense of their aims and achievements. The question of whether one can be both Israeli and Palestinian when one is an Israeli Arab was addressed. Good men. Eating lunch with Earl at the University Coffee Shop Zvi and I were reminded of how proud we are to call him friend.

We all know the @ sign means at….. @gmail………@hotmail………@home…….. but this is a Jewish country and almost no-one knows it is AT…. Here the sign @ is called a strudel! Therefore my address would be sheerav, strudel, gmail, nekuda, com. Ha ha!

Your first song is one of both beauty and tolerance. It is called Shalom lecha dodi – Peace to you friend. I wish it had a translation because the words express our wish to live in peace with everyone but I will let David D'Ors voice, words and music do the work

Vehi sheamda,  I have given you this song many times but I particularly love this version, Yaakov Shwekey with Shlomi Shabbat – a prayer to God, our thanks that he promised to deliver us from the enemies that come with each generation to threaten our being. If you wonder why so many soldiers, Yaakov Shwekey always gives a large portion of his show tickets to the IDF.

Finally, the wonderful children of Kinderlach sing Shalom Aleichem, the song with which we welcome Shabbat, standing around the Shabbat table the childrens faces shining with expectation in the reflection of the white tablecloth and the candles. I love this song and am prepared to give it to you in every form!

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem, the very heart of our prayers for 2,000 years of dispersion. We are here, this isn't the first time we have been persecuted and apparently it will not be the last. Just remember that those Empires that did us evil no longer exist and we, we keep coming back. Just remember, we were enslaved, now we are not. We were afraid, now we are not. We were exiled, but now we have our own country and nobody, but nobody will exile us again.

With love, all our love


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

Friday, 6 November 2015

151106 EU decision Israeli goods, HardTalk, JNF America trip

6th November, 2015

Shabbat Shalom dear friends.

The celebration of a man who tried to blow up Parliament on November 5th hundreds of years ago, has been and gone (Guy Fawkes Day) and the celebration of a group of settlers who were oppressed and fled their homes is yet to come in November, Thanksgiving, yet those event which are taught in our history books are still relevant today. They say that History is actually HIS-story, the view of the person who wrote it, which means that we had better get writing because history as we know it is being re-written.

Insane weeks are the norm these days, and our lives are no different from others. We heard of an aeroplane crash over Sinai, the plane just fell out of the sky according to the Russians who don't want to pay the insurance costs; was shot down by ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeeda (take your pick) among the Sinai Bedouin who couldn't be more different to Israeli Bedouin and provided a video of the incident mid-air;  but for the second time in one week the voice of reason came from Al Sisi of Egypt who stated that there was a mid-air explosion probably from a bomb.

The European Union decided, in its wisdom, disallowing the label "Made in Israel" for all products made over the green line, in other words in disputed territories. This removes the decision from Israel and puts some 20,000 Palestinian jobs in jeopardy.  They will not receive sick leave, vacation pay, overtime and travel expenses, that they get exactly as Israeli employees receive, they will not receive their current Israel wage of $50.50 but will get the Palestinian average of $24. Europe again chose the wrong side based on their natural bias.

Yesterday I had a great idea (if I say so myself) and sent it to President Rivlin!!! Why don't we put a label with the Israeli flag, on everything, including drugs, computer parts, stents, cellphones and MRI's, security innovations on aeroplanes, indeed EVERYTHING that is either invented or made in Israel. Then let's see who boycotts us then! Anyone with influence who wants to help me put this forward – you know where to find me!!!
In fact I want them to boycott all of these products!!!!

Unfortunately I watched some of BBC's HARD TALK (usually excellent viewing) in which Stephen Sakur interviewed Saeb Erekat. I have not heard such lies and calumny in many a year. This is what I wrote
I am so angry, me who never gets angry, find it hard to breathe!!!!
Saeb Erekat did his "Look into my eyes Mr Netanyahu" basically blaming the PM for the vile acts of stabbing over the last weeks. He claimed that for 22 years he and his President Mahmoud Abbas have proven their moderate stance by offering everything and getting nothing. I have never heard such calumny

1. 22 years ago it was Arafat not Abu Mazen
2. 22 years ago it was Yitzchak Rabin
3 THEY walked out of a very good deal with Ehud Barak
4. THEY agreed to the exceptional deal (98% of their demands) proffered by Ehud Olmert who discovered they had scarpered in the night.
5. THEY claim, in English, to recognise Israel, but in Arabic condemn us to death
6. THEY spit vitriol in every direction on Israel, take us to court for human rights violations while sending young people to their deaths in order to wreak terror in Israel. Stabbing 80 year old women and 13 year old children with equal hatred.
Why wasn't he questioned on his lies instead of leaving it as the highly inflammatory closing of Hard Talk????
I brought it to the notice of BBC top personnel but don't hold my breath.
Not the only idiocies this week.

The High Court in Gaza made a very important decision that shwarma (doner kebab) could not cost more than 5 shekels! One Gazan who has a shwarma restaurant in a posh neighborhood was spoke to Israeli television. He said that he uses prime products for his rich clientele and 5 shekels is insane. What are the anomalies in the story? There are rich neighborhoods; they use shekels and that the High Court of a beleaguered little country bothers with Shwarma! The interviewee expressed his annoyance in perfect Hebrew.

On Sunday my lovely friend Judith, originally from Glasgow, came for lunch. We had our favourite soup, with everything in it but the kitchen sink! Vegetables, lentils, barley, turmeric, cumin slowly simmered for ages and this and warming and satisfying.

On Tuesday morning I again headed off to the Jerusalem Press Club in the beautiful neighborhood of Yemin Moshe, overlooking the walls of the Old City, for a talk on Foreign Policy. The director and found of Mitvim, which analyses Israeli Foreign policy and its effectiveness both within and without Israel, Dr Nimrod Goren, presented the facts shown in the following link. Fascinating.

From there I went to meet Rachel and four little girls at Amirs Riding Stables in Ramot, for a picnic and fun riding horses for Ayalas 7th birthday. We succeeded in beating the imminent rain and it really was fun to see the faces of the other children who were first timers on a horse. Amir always takes great care of us.

Wednesday was my first participation as a member of the Municipal Committee on the status of women. A varied crew indeed, from strident feminists to powerfully feminine – a very different stance. I was thrilled to hear two women students of the Hebrew University who formed a group to break the silence on sexual harassment, on very real sexual harassment. They are determined, clearly spoken, unhysterical and made me very proud. Then came Tom. In Hebrew Tom is a girls name too. While she was a student at Maaleh Film School, Tom Dadon-Mishaly made the film about her own experiences, coming from a caring, loving family and her inability to tell them what happened to her when she was cruelly raped by someone in authority. It is cleverly made, sensitive to the viewers sensibilities yet shook me to the core. Tom was with us and told her story. . When one of the Meretz feminists began to attack her motives, My friend Yehudit Zvidetsky (Advisor to the Mayor) and I tried to shut her up and then simply went to Tom and hugged her.

That brings me to yesterday. Yesterday we got up at 05:45 (after having people for dinner the night before) and set off for the waiting coach to go North to the Western Galilee (there is no Eastern Galilee). The trip was arranged for the entire Jerusalem Parliament by Zvi's friend Eitan Carmon and the wonderful Avraham Kalman, of JNF America. JNF America should be justly proud of every project that Shahar took us to. From the wonders performed by the staff of the Maarag Centre which is a school, craft centre, restaurant and simply beautiful project for people with disabilities who have aged out of the regular system. It is a day centre that serves the entire community irrespective of race, creed or colour. We were taught how to make mobiles by students of the centre.

We went to the Stern Winery, to Booza Ice cream factory, we learned that the biggest kosher dairy producer in Israel is in the Arab village of Dir el Assad and the in the North there isn't "du kium" which has no real English translation but means two living as one, but rather just living – everyone intermingled and intertwined. We had a brilliant explanation of glass making by Israeli glass artist Danny Calderon. We visited a beautiful garden of a Moslem Israeli where he built a memorial to Yitzchak Rabin because Yitzchak Rabin was everybody's Prime Minister.  We arrived back in Jerusalem rather late thanks to the torrential rain in the Capital!!!

This morning we met with old friend and  good man, Paul Haines. Paul has remained a true friend to Kinneret Chaya and a staunch supporter both Israel and his native America. Paul came with his two grand-daughters, very strong Christians, who heard a different historical perspective on our land and our faith fro Zvi, the learned historian. I tried to explain to two ardent and very bright teenage girls that the future of our world depends upon accepting difference – remember the Hebrew word – SOVLANUT - tolerance? We have to accept that others think differently to ourselves and that does not make them wrong, or us!

We live in many realities, even the reality of the father of a girl who died as a Shahida (martyr) rushing to the father of a Shahid at their funerals asking that the boy marry the girl so they could be together in heaven. Yes you read it right, two dead martyrs' fathers joyfully proclaiming their dead children married!!!! 
Not only – but also, Israel pays over 1 billion shekels p/a in social security to Arabs living in the Old City, many families strangely living at the same address! And to end the anomalies, the young terrorists from Jabel Mukaber are actually Hebron citizens who moved to Israel (Jabel Mukaber) during the Intifada swelling the neighborhood from a few houses to 10,000. Hebron is the greatest hotbed of terrorism in the entire vicinity yet these areas receive all the social rights of Israelis while wanting to kill us.

Phew that was another long one!!!!

Now for music!
First is the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco at Massada. If you think it is not as operatic as it should be it is because after the third encore conductor Daniel Oren turned to the audience and conducted us, which is what you hear!
Our beautiful young people
And finally, Hatikva and Shalom Aleichem. May peace be with you this Shabbat.

May peace be with Israel, finally, finally.
With all my love from Jerusalem

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