Friday, 27 May 2016

160528 Shabbat Shalom from Edmonton


28th May, 2016

Shabbat Shalom dear friends.

Here in Edmonton, Canada it is only eleven o'clock on a Friday morning, so Shabbat is still a good few hours away, and many adventures are behind us, with even more ahead of us!

Last week was uneventful for both of us since we discovered our incredible lassitude was a result of pneumonia - in both of us!!!! 

Undaunted by the pneumonia, which by now was no longer infectious, we left Jerusalem on the 23rd of May at two o'clock in the morning, heading for Ben Gurion Airport to catch a 06:00 flight to Vienna - then to Frankfurt (which has to be the longest walk between gates of any airport in the world) then from Frankfurt to Denver, Colorado and the waiting arms of Zvi's old friend from his Mexico Days, Monica Minkoff.

Monica took us home to meet her wonderful husband Harry and generally spoil us and prepare a plan for the next two days. Next morning we set off for their home in Vail (me in the back seat with the oxygen attached) through beautiful countryside, then early next morning set off on a drive to the Colorado National Monument, conceivably one of the most glorious sites and sights I have ever seen. Huge, fascinating and evidence of time immemorial. As gorgeous as it was my favourite part of the journey was listening to Zvi and Monica going back to schooldays and talking of their common friends.

Monica and Harry, I can't thank you both enough. Sadly I didn't get to see our friends Pete and Marilyn Coors - our lines got crossed! I did however get to talk to Steve Lillard who called to ask me some pertinent questions. Steve - I hope I answered them!

Yesterday We flew up to Edmonton - to Barry and Cristine Slawky in preparation for Barry's 70th birthday Bonanza!!! More of that next week!!!

Our time in the USA gave us a chance to hear opinions on the elections from both American born voters and from Ethiopian and Latino immigrants. My favourite people to talk to are always taxi drivers - they tell their truth because they will probably never see you again! Thoughts are varied but in general they are for Trump - believing that he will stop his rhetoric and get down to business once elected. Gosh I don't know who I would vote for, it's none of my business. I just want the best person for America.

Fires raged in Jerusalem as careless teenagers celebrated Lag b'Omer! Large areas of forestation burnt and my grandchildrens riding stables was evacuated.

Mr Netanyahu is further vilified in the media -while those who oppress and express determination to kill Jews and Christians  are treated as saints - but then that is nothing new!!!!

The Ethiopian taxi driver told us he was a recipient of political asylum in the USA, his life endangered in his native land. He told us horrific stories of the persecution of Christians and the takeover of Islam. This is a story so familiar all over Africa, so distressing, so ignored in an uncaring world.

I was thinking about the 70th anniversary of the Kingdom of Jordan being celebrated right now. The Hashemite Kingdom (think about the name Hashemite - Godly) given to the descendants of Mohammed and his two sons Hassan and Hussein in the same division of land that created many new states, and yet nobody questions Jordans existence. Pure racism drives the forces that deny Israels existence - pure, evil, constant and inexplicable racism.

Racism - who would know better than Black Christians about racism. It brought many to love and understand Israel as no others

Since we spoke of the Ethiopian taxi driver I thought an appropriate song for Shabbat could be Masa - The Journey, sung by the Sheba Choir

Barry's favourite Israeli singer is David D'Or, and we approach American elections so only one song seemed appropriate, David's performance of Amazing Grace for President Obama - incredible indeed

Finally, Lecha Dodi, again David D'Or but as you have never heard this Shabbat song before - Welcome Bride of Shabbat -

With much love from Edmonton - looking toward Jerusalem and our veranda overlooking that incredible city.

Shabbat Shalom


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

Friday, 20 May 2016

160520 Bibi, Bougie, Bogie, Ivet and Sisi

20th May 2016

Shabbat Shalom dear friends.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful wishes and concern for Talia and Ayala. They are doing remarkably well as their bruises begin to fade and their sleep is less disturbed. Indeed their school is gathering all 1,000 girls for a huge party of thanks today and Talia is speaking before the entire school!!

For anyone finding it difficult to follow the Israeli political scene and what just happened in our Ministry of Security, Zvi wrote a simplification for you
Bogie got upset with Bibi. Bibi wanted to get rid of Bogie, but then heard Sisi. Bibi turned to Bougie. Bougie was with Bibi, but while Bibi had talks with Bougie he also flirted with Ivet. So, Bougie left Bibi and went to argue with Sheli. Meantime, Ivet became Sisi so Bibi gave him the ministry of Bogie.
In short, Bibi stayed as Bibi, Bougie got Sheli, Bogie is out and we got Ivet Liberman! However – it isn't over so watch this space……………………….

Seriously though, I am sad that the Labour Party (aka Zionist Union) didn't jump at the offer to join the government thus giving it a much wider political range, indeed had Yair Lapid also joined it would have given us a more representative government. I know the press loves to hate Ivet Liberman but his bullish appearance belies a wily and able politician. Bougie (Isaac) Herzog is much stronger than his puppy-like appearance but is pulled down by his party and Bogie Yaalon, who was a Chief of Staff of the IDF, decided to go public with his disagreements rather than approaching the PM.

The disagreement over the punishment of the soldier in Hebron who shot and killed a terrorist who was already on the ground is clear. The soldier claimed, after the fact, that he thought the terrorist was dangerous, but we don't kill for no reason, yes a terrorist but we don't kill unless in a situation of mortal danger. That is the difference between the IDF and all other military bodies in the world. Can you imagine an American (or indeed any) soldier on guard getting placed on trial for murder for killing a terrorist? The young soldier is a proclaimed member of Kach (right wing Kahane party).

Yet another Egyptian aeroplane seems to have gone down for no apparent reason and President Sisi suspects terror. Why? Because he is fighting terror, together with us, and their answer is to kill innocents.

Terror is not only what you see reported on CNN, ABC, BBC, Sky or any of the other stations. Every day, every minute thousands are victims to the horrific terror of Islamic fundamentalism. If it isn't close to home we tend to wash over it. Nigeria is sinking and her Christians dying; Syria, Yemen, Tunisia, Mali, Sierra Leone, I could go on and on but the sad fact is that Africa doesn't get the coverage and the carnage is diabolical. Boco Haram doesn't disappear after kidnapping 300 Christian girls from school and subjecting them to rape, beating and murder; our lack of concern encourages them to continue undisturbed.

Not everything is dark and ominous though, there are beams of light at the end of the tunnel that are not trains. My lovely friend Canon Andrew White has a new and truly magnificent project. In the Jordan Valley lie some ancient churches but most are inaccessible because both Israel and Jordan laid land mines along that length of the River Jordan during the Six Day War. One very important Christian site was cleared by Israel about 5 years ago "Qasr El-Yahud" or Crossing of the Jews, the site where Joshua led the Israelites and the Ark of the Covenant over the river to safety. More than 300,000 pilgrims come to the site where Jesus was baptized and enter the waters in white robes, blessed by priests on the Israeli and Jordanian sides of the River Jordan, just metres apart. It is wonderful.

Anyway back to Andrew White. Andrew and the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, together with the Halo Trust are clearing the minefields to allow access to the churches. Israeli authorities have been wary to clear up until now for fear of damaging the ancient structures but through negotiation and careful planning it is going ahead.
This is an excellent report except being the BBC they had to accuse Israel for the mines and emphasise the Occupied bit.

Khaled Abu Toameh is the journalist who dares. Here Khaled describes the awful methods of torture in the PA and Hamas

My love and admiration for Rabbi Jeremy Rosen is well known. This week he wrote about something that touches us all, helping someone in trouble – especially after the incredible generosity and help afforded to the girls after the bus crash. He writes

"In 1964 Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death late one night in Queens, New York by Winton Mosely who said that he simply wanted to kill a woman. He was sentenced to life, and a few weeks ago he died in prison. The case generated immense publicity because it seemed that a lot of people heard her scream and no one came to her rescue even after she was left bleeding to death. 
Israel has a law requiring citizens to go the help of another. Its legal system is a compound of Ottoman law and British law, and they do not require going to someone’s aid. But the third element, Jewish law, most certainly does. The Torah explicitly says, and we read it last week in Leviticus 19, “Do not stand by (while) the blood of your neighbor (is being spilt).” For us it is a moral, religious obligation to protect someone under threat of danger. Not only, but Jewish Law as reflected in the Shulchan Aruch insists that one should even be prepared to risk danger to do so. "

Since the trauma of the accident two days of visitors have cheered us up!  Claudio Grubner surprised us and it was such a delight to spend time with him. He had amazing, highly relevant questions about politics and diplomacy in Israel and of course Zvi was delighted to explain – in detail. Our second visitors were Roy Solomon and his lovely Binnie. They called us from a walking tour of the Old City "We have to see the Veranda"!!! Zvi went to get them and brought them home. Oh the joy of watching their delight to find every tree I had described and the view, oh the view. The weather chose to be perfect so we sat outside sipping a tisane of herbs from our veranda, talking and relaxing. They couldn't decide where to go after our visit, but I knew! Mahane Yehuda market…… on a Thursday evening it is full of Shabbat shoppers and fresh produce, of course they were thrilled with the idea and I await their report!

We are going away for a while so I may not be in a position to give you the usual reports. We are heading toward Denver, Colorado and Monika Minkoff; Helena, Montana to Barry Slawsky's 70th Birthday Bash then to New York to see my son Daniel's beloved family, Karen and the two children Joshua and Callie. Gosh I miss them! We will see lots of friends too and we are going north to Bedford, to Shaarey Tefila Temple to speak to Rabbi David Greenbergs community on June 8th. They haven't met Zvi so are in for a treat!

Music music music. This week I have a problem. Binnies favourite song is Al Kol Eleh, but I don't want to repeat my favourite songs too often. Will you bear with me? She is such a lovely lady and this version has transliteration!

Yaacov Shwekey is a musical phenomenon, his songs uplifting. We Are a Miracle is the ultimate , I can be stronger, I can be greater – Everything I need in inside of me.

Be well, be strong and believe in yourselves. Remember the power of one.

With much love from Jerusalem

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

160517 Miracles, Shaare Zedek, Statistics


17th May, 2016

Yesterday was a tough day! Talia and Ayalas school bus was in an accident, it spun several times and turned over completely after the driver veered to avoid another accident right in front of them. An idiot driver thought she could turn into a side road across the traffic, travelling fast.

16 little girls found themselves and their school bags flying against the side of the bus. Talia thought she smelled smoke so quickly managed to get most of the girls out through the broken back window and passersby stopped to help the others out. Everyone and gave their phones to the girls to call home - including cars with Palestinian licences whose drivers went out of his way to help them. In Israel, no-one simply walks by, the girls remember a huge wave of people coming to see how they were and gently seating them at the side of the road until the ambulances and first responders arrived.

Rachel raced to the scene almost immediately but couldn't get to the hospital when the ambulances left because all traffic was diverted  due to the accident. She called me and of course I raced to the Shaare Zedek Hospital, just 10 minutes from our home.

The children were all in shock. Some of the mothers had not yet arrived and the girls saw a familiar face in me.  Ayala had a bump on her forehead and Talia's shoulder and arm hurt - but by some miracle, none of the children was seriously hurt but all were silently traumatized, except Talia who gave a full description of exactly what happened. Ayala and Talias Auntie Shiran came too – so that we had one on one with the girls until Rachel could get there.

Shaare Zedek Hospital was incredible, over and above the call of duty. Not only the incredibly efficient and thoughtful medical staff who gathered the girls after triage, taking them to paediatric ER ensuring they were all together in one place. The social worker spoke to them, brought in the clowns (literally), medical clowns who helped them through their trauma, teasing, blowing balloons, tricks and gifts, the nurses brought them all gifts from a special cupboard of surprises, age appropriate; their headmistress, school supervisor, hospital social worker, school social worker, senior and incredibly patient junior doctors came to check on the girls. In fact the hospital social worker took them to the petting zoo up on the main children's ward, to break the tension before they were examined again.

The parents were also cared for and given hospital food to sustain them and a lot of love from the staff.

Talia received the recognition she deserved, her quick thinking was exceptional for a 9 year old. Both girls are now home, sore and bruised but OK.  Rachel, who finally managed to get to the hospital after about an hour, is my heroine. She kept her head, asked the right questions and eased the other mothers. Big brother Yosef was so worried that Saba Zvi went to get him from school and brought him to Shaare Zedek to put his mind at rest.

Shaare Zedek Paediatric ER - I cannot imagine any other hospital going all the way to ease the pain of 16 little girls the way they did.

This morning all 16 girls went to school and they were greeted with a room full of balloons and treats, the teachers all came to hug them and the other girls in the school waved and cheered. Good will can turn a trauma into a good experience, but both of the girls are in pain today as their bruises come out. Rachel is watching them carefully – an amazing Mother.

Independence Day came and went with a wonderful party in Ramat HaSharon and a beach birthday party for Gili. Friday night we had dinner with Sam and Debbie Bettsak at the Dan Panorama here in Jerusalem. It is always good to catch up with the Bettsaks, great friends.

I thought you may like some general statistics and wonderful videos about a 68 year old lady, more beautiful every year – Israel of course!!!
68 Things you didn't know about Israel
Finally the somewhat dry but very accurate statistics of Israel at 68

May 19th sees the 100th anniversary of the Sykes Picot agreement. The entire region was divvied up according to interests by Britain and France, with Italy and Russia taking a minor role, basically cutting Germany out of the equation As a result of the division of said countries, with no consideration of ethnic or national divisions, we have had incessant wars, displacement, extremism and revolutions ever since.

I am usually the optimist - I tend to love everyone but something made me furious this week.
A religious friend was walking on the Tel Aviv beachfront with her sister when suddenly a lunatic began throwing bottles and other things at them yelling (in an American accent) "I love to see Harediot run" Nobody helped them - no-one, not a soul despite the fact that the promenade was full.
I am angry at the lunatic but much angrier at all the Tel Avivim who allowed it to pass............ shame on them.
All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

My mind is still on my grand-daughters – I'm sorry if I haven't written in a well constructed manner but I think I am also a little traumatized!

Let's go straight to music
The first song is a beautiful melody sung by Zvi's choir Hakol Yachassi – lyrics by Eli Yaron (Ladino) Music by Adi Hayat; dancer Liron Mussachi and violin solo Alexandra Denissov

Arik Einstein (z"l) wrote Ani ve Ata – You and Me, about changing the world together, no matter what anyone says

So friends, let you and me change our world. You know we can do it one person at a time. Don't leave anything to the politicians and diplomats, their self-interest is evident and their populism and desire for control obvious in every move. The quiet revolution is the effective one, the war of words, the determined letter writing, the talking to journalists, the simple act of standing up to be counted.

Miracles happen. They did for our family yesterday.

With love

PS I will try to give you a Shabbat Shalom but felt the need to tell you about yesterday too.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

160511 Remembrance to Independence

11th May, 2016

יום הזכרון 5776

Remembrance Day for soldiers who died fighting so we could be free and for those who fell to terror.

Only two nights ago we celebrated a truly special wedding. The groom, my nephew Ofer,  stood under the chuppa with his father Steve and his brothers Sagi and Yair watching with deep emotion as his beautiful bride Rifka Talia walked up the aisle on her mother and Shulis arms. It was a wonderful night of pure joy for Steven and Shuli to see their Ofer married. The celebration was absolute, the evening perfect.

Just one night later, last night, the entire country stood in silence in the knowledge that Ofer, Sagi and Yair all lost friends in war and Shuli, Steve, Zvi and I all knew parents who lost sons and daughters – indeed Steve and Zvi also lost friends, this war to prove that Jews also deserve their own country is seemingly never ending. Remembrance Day in Israel is not a shopping opportunity or even a visit to the Senotaph, it is all encompassing.

Let me take you to the ceremony we attended on Mount Herzl, in the Military Cemetery. I made notes when we got home so that I would not forget one moment, one event.

Breeze, pines, Jerusalem, scouts, silence waiting, siren rising filling the hearts, massua lit by beautiful young widow, names and lights around water.
Shelley Silver and friends reading poems
and singing beautiful songs.

The ceremony was given by Modiin Troupe of the Israeli Scouts, in honour of those from their troupe who fell in war since the founding of the nation. Each troupe had a ceremony all over the country; there was a ceremony in the Knesset; every municipality held a ceremony and today all schools will do so too. The main ceremony, or Tekes, was held at the Western Wall, the Kotel, for the bereaved families. The President takes part and of course the Prime Minister who is himself a bereaved brother, his brother Yonni died as a hero in Entebbe.

We sat under the pines of Mount Herzl, young scouts standing to attention on the natural platform waiting for the siren which would express our deep and abiding heartache at the loss of friends, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters and a life that was cut short by fury so great that it kills. We waited, the silence of Jerusalem complete. The breeze ruffled the trees and then the deep, throaty rise of the siren began reaching a wailing crescendo of tears. As the siren tapered off we couldn't speak, it held us in a grip of grief.

The scout leader asked one of the widows to step forward to light the beacon, the flame of remembrance. She was very young, very beautiful and as she walked forward, her head held high, it hit home yet again, another widow, another life in tatters.

The ceremony continued with beautiful songs, written of hope and sadness, poems by great Israeli poets, our lovely Shelley read so beautifully with true pathos; then they began to read the names of the fallen, the screen showing their faces……… 20 years old, 19, 27, 21, 47, 18…… their age irrelevant. As they read the names of the 34 members of Modiin Troupe, scouts lit a remembrance flame around the shallow pool representing the sea, the flames reflected in the water. It was a magnificent tribute to those who died so we could be free.

Today there will be more ceremonies, families will go to the military cemeteries to light a Yahzeit candle and cry. At 11:00 precisely the country will come to a halt. Cars will stop on the highway, buses will stand by the roadside letting the passengers stand beside them; schools will stand in silence, the children dressed in white as they learn of the history of our little country; religious schools will stand in silence and read Tehilim – Psalms.

This evening it all changes. At the huge ceremony on Mount Herzl, as the guard is changed and the flags handed over to a new Troupe of soldiers, the mood does 180 degree turn and the celebrations begin. Only in Israel can you go from deep grief to sheer joy in a split second! From beacons to barbecues!

The parties begin, the ozone layer thins as barbecues are lit all over the country and Israel will celebrate being an exquisitely beautiful 68 year old lady. Of course we have the right to exist – anyone who claims otherwise needs to come here and see our achievements – indeed to share in our achievements, we are not only innovative we are generous!

Tonight we will go to a huge party, laugh with friends, dance and enjoy a glass of wine and great food…………. Tomorrow we join other friends for another party and our joy at being Israeli will be complete. It isn't that we forget the fallen, we honour them by celebrating the very country they died defending.

There are so many songs I could give you but one always stands out. Mark Knopfler, the lead singer of Dire Straits, wrote this song for the IDF and no matter how many times I hear and watch, it reaches into my heart. Brother in Arms

Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu – Peace will come to us and to everyone.  Salaam Shalom

Finally, of course, Hatikva, the Hope. The Hope for peace, for life, for joy…………… 

כֹּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה
Kol ‘od balevav penimah
As long as in the heart, within,
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה
Nefesh yehudi homiyah,
A Jewish soul still yearns,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח, קָדִימָה,
Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah,
And onward, towards the ends of the east,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה,
‘Ayin letziyon tzofiyah;
an eye still gazes toward Zion;

עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ,
‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu,
Our hope is not yet lost,
הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם
Hatikvah bat sh(e)not ’alpayim,
The hope two thousand years old,
לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ,
Lihyot ‘am chofshi b(e)’artzeinu,
To be a free nation in our land,
אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם.
’Eretz-Tziyon viy(e)rushalayim.
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

May G-d bless you, Israel and all peace loving people in this world

With love

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

160504 Pesach and Yom haShoah

4th May, 2016

Dear Friends,

It isn't Shabbat, Pesach has been and gone and it is almost Holocaust Remembrance Day here in Israel.

Those who can tell their story and those who heard their stories are slowly leaving this earth and we must, we have to honour their memory and the memory of those who perished. How we ensure they are never forgotten is up to you, up to me, up to all of us. This link of Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum gives you the testimonies of the survivors. Click on a town and hear the words!prettyPhoto

We are not a people that wreaks revenge, we are a people that avenges the deaths of millions by thriving, by celebrating life, which is why I want to begin by telling you of our Passover, our Pesach.

We set the tables in a "Chet" shape, an open rectangle, with everyone sitting around the outside so we all faced one another, a feat achieved by putting our lounge suite onto the famous veranda to leave space for the tables. All achieved with the incredible help of Elisabeth and George Gelb. It really was delightful. 26 people, 4 languages, rapt attention and space in the middle for the little children to play. We ate all the traditional foods – from the parsley dipped in salt water (karpas), the sinus clearing freshly grated horseradish (maror), the delicious combining (charoset), the hard boiled eggs in salt water and then the real food. The traditional foods depend upon the provenance of the family, being Ashkenazi we don't eat rice or beans or any legumes (kitniot) which may seem to limit the menu but really doesn't! The reading of the Exodus was fascinating, especially as the children are getting big enough to join in and of course the songs at the end great fun – especially when singing about "only One Kid" (Chad Gadya) we make the appropriate animal sounds!!!

Passover continued with a short visit to Tel Aviv to see our lovely French friends Alain and Martine. We went to the Tahana and discovered the IDF Museum next door. Somewhat dilapidated for lack of funds it is still a fascinating museum, full of history and artefacts. Well worth a visit. Imagine my delight at finding a kosher for Passover Pizza place (Mehadrin even) in Tel Aviv – really!!! I had Matza Spinach Lasagne which was absolutely delicious.

On Wednesday we went to Mahane Yehuda on the light rail. It was packed. The display of fruit and vegetables was back in soft fruit mode. Amazing nectarines and peaches, piles of cherries and grapes, everything aplenty. We went to Tzidkiyahus for our pickles, then across to Shmulik for the cheeses – wonderful, tasty, local cheeses, every single one kosher for Passover. The sound of the costermongers and the aroma of their wares don't change – they are as sweet as their displays.

On Thursday we celebrated the second days of Passover by inviting 11 friends to dinner on Thursday and then Shabbat dinner by inviting another 10. It was so much fun!!!! I loved the discussions, some arguments and their delight at hearing my Zvi's melodic Kiddush. Many Israelis are amazed to find I change all my dishes, as per the tradition of Passover, and we do not allow any food into the house unless Kosher for Passover. A few try to tell us the "in the modern day" one doesn't need to do all those things but I do it for my parents, and their parents and theirs……….. and for our children, for Jewish continuity, and because I love it!!!

Sunday Zvi and I went on a special Press Club Tour of the new Israel Museum "Pharaoh in Canaan – the Untold Story" Exhibit. Highly recommended

Sunday night my Cardiff friend Adrienne came to stay with her Abe. They had a Bar-Mitzva at the Kotel the next morning and stayed with us rather than schlepp from Haifa early in the morning. Adrienne and I talked of our childhood and our traditions, old friends and new lives, and I got to know Abe as we sat out on our veranda overlooking Jerusalem.

Why on earth would I bother with such normal stories when the world is going crazy? Because that is how we cope. We do not try to find logic in a world where a Palestinian terrorist who was shot by a soldier makes more news than ethnic cleansing in Africa, hundreds of thousands murdered in Syria and bombs in Churches in Iraq. We do not try to find logic in a world which denies the Holocaust to excuse their deeply rooted racism. We do not try to find logic in hatred for Israel which gives the world Tikkun Olam on every level, hatred based on lies and rhetoric. We cannot find logic in the media which spits hatred on Israel, ignores the killing of Christians, while kowtowing to Islam.
We do not try to find logic in the Shoah because there is none.

This afternoon all places of entertainment and restaurants will close, throughout Israel. The television will show only movies about the Shoah, testimonies of Survivors, stories of the greatest horror the world has ever known. Tomorrow morning, at 10:00 precisely, Israel will come to a standstill as the siren wails our grief. It is an eerie, all-encompassing grief, as if the souls of those who perished are screaming out "But you said Never Again". The siren wails over our amnesia, over our determined obliviousness to what is happening in our country – in your country. Jews are again the scapegoat after a clever, thorough and intentional campaign of anti-Semitic rhetoric by a very clever enemy.  

We believed it could never happen again but it has and is. Ethnic cleansing has taken place many times, cruel and determined. The Tutsi genocide in Rwanda; the Armenian genocide by the Turks; Cambodia, Bosnia, Darfur, Iraq, each horrific, each created by intense hatred, but none as precise, as calculated, as organised as the Holocaust. I cannot envisage 6 million Jews, or 10 million victims, I really cannot. Two nights ago we went to see a prize winning film at Yad Vashem "Son of Saul". The film doesn't follow the "usual" Holocaust movies – no foot-clicking Nazi guards or emaciated bodies; a hand-held camera follows the  face of the hero as he goes about his robotic gruesome business just trying to survive, until he decides to save the body of a young child. A harrowing and important movie. Tonight we will see a new production of "Anna" the story of Anne Frank at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv. I cannot imagine 6 million, but I can identify with one young girl.

Will our children remember? Will our children care? Can our children recognize the warning signs? Can we?

To set one lie aside, one that is perpetrated constantly as a great excuse to hate Israel, The Reverend Dumisani Washington speaks on Prager University about refugees – the Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

To set another lie aside – The Temple Mount and UNESCO. Khaled Abu Toameh explains why the Palestinians don't want security cameras on the Temple Mount

The Holocaust was just a German thing- Prof Alan Dershowitz shows us the lie there too

As I look at the view from my veranda, I wonder why we are vilified. IsraAid is in Ecuador, Japan, Nepal, Haiti – wherever needed; Mashav, the governmental aid programme teaches agriculture to feed the hungry and provides medicine to the sick ; Save a Childs Heart Brings children to Israel irrespective of race or religion ; 180,000 Palestinians were treated in Israeli hospitals  - all this and so much more yet we are vilified. Why? Sadly, there can be only one reason.

Now do you understand why I began with the stories of a wonderful Passover? What holds us together as a people are traditions. What will keep us safe is our pride in what and who we are. The second we regret our inheritance as Jews and go back to the groveling, apologetic, Uriah Heep stance, we are lost.

Perhaps two songs relate to our constant struggle against hatred. Vehi Sheamda,  our Passover Prayer (English translation). The song has haunted me for days – I cannot stop singing it, praying

The second song is of greater importance perhaps. Al Kol Eleh – Above all this. The honey and the sting; the bitter and the sweet;

This morning I am meeting some very special friends at the Botanical Gardens Caffit. Surrounded by beauty, nature, kindness and personal history I can better understand the importance of our inherited memory of a time without beauty, nature, kindness and the determined attempt to wipe out our inherited memory.

Bring a little love into the world and the light will brighten a million lives. Bring honesty and morality and it will brighten a billion.

Remember, it starts with you.

With much love from Jerusalem, the Golden City, the core of our dreams and prayers.