Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Just came back from our Independence Day celebrations. Yes, I danced on the eve of independence day and saw the fireworks and the next day the nation barbecued everywhere in homes and private parks. Everyone except us because we always like to be a touch different than the rest of the crowd. Some thoughts - pity that my Arab brothers and sisters are not celebrating independence from the British in 1948 for reasons very understandable. I would think it would be much more meaningful if it included them as well. If we could both celebrate both our people's independence in a free, democratic society in the Middle East - that would be a real cause to celebrate.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Just learned how to link websites. It's scary working with templates. Thank you Steve P. and also the blog help site. Last night and today is Memorial Day for Israel's fallen and again the sirens signal a moment of silence. We were on the balcony last night standing still. It feels silly to do it alone in your home. When you watch tv the sirens sound over there too, so you cannot miss it, no matter how much you crank up the volume. There was nothing on tv but memorials and somber documentaries- but my 14 year old daughter - who is giving me a run for my money was at the police station (as usual) doing what the police officer called "shtuyot". This means "nonsense" in Hebrew - but is used in terms of teens rebel rousing. She and a friend grabbed someone's cellphone and ran with it. I told the officer - she collects these white papers the police station puts into one's file. Unfortunately. Unfortunately the system nor ourselves have been able to deal with her. She hasn't been in school since February. She'd been thrown out of three this year and now my weekly calls to the social workers result in "there's no money for her to go to a boarding school, there's no room in any schools that are suitable for her now". Great. So this is what we have.

After my hike to the police station, I threw off my sandals. My older daughter's Iranian-born boyfriend looked at the way the sandals were strewn on the floor and said from the way it looks I don't know what direction to turn to. He looked at my 14 year old's shoes and said she'll be going on a short trip/outing. What on earth is that? Shoe-ology?

The Jerusalem Municipality has a great link for activities on Israel's Independence Day beginning tonight. Go to:

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

On Holocaust Memorial Day people mourn the loss of their families to the Nazis - however, ironically, on that day I found family I never knew I had - from London. Distant cousins but cousins nonetheless. Richard's grandfather is my dad's first cousin. Apparently he was part of the Kindertransport from Germany in 1938 and changed his last name so who would know how to track him down? So that was happily freaky.

That day we had our interfaith meeting - a one year celebration of our group called Friendship/Sedeka (Arabic) /Reut (Hebrew). If there is anything in common between Jews and Arabs - be they Christians or Moslems - it's food. And we sat around the table together in that small oasis of peace in that room.

Our Jewish friend, Hadassah read her poem which went like this:

If there's a thread
A red thread
A thread I draw from within
Across the abyss
For a bridge
A passage
A way open
To vistas
As yet undestroyed

If such a thread
From heart to mouth and beyond exists
Fine, simple to extend like a
A smile
A flower that flies on the wind
We'll reach the other side

as well as one from our Moslem friend, Mufida

In that lonely home
My soul began to roam
Through this restless land
Looking for a helpful hand
From this chaos
I wish to fly
To the deepest oceans
Or to the sky
There is nothing more to say
Just to sit and pray.

That peace will come one day
And watch our children play
Let's sing together
Forever and ever

With one loud call
The sun is not for one
But for all
But for all

Monday, April 19, 2004

I'm a real newbie at this. I've been dilly-dallying for ages about blogging and finally have the time to DO IT.
Today in Jerusalem was Holocaust memorial day. The day began rather uncharacteristically grey for this time of year and the radio on the bus just played mournful tunes. Last night on the eve they showed only Holocaust documentaries and movies. I tune in once a year so my kids can view and ask as only kids know how. There was a bittersweet beautiful documentary about couples who found each other, as soulmates, during that period, either in the Ghetto, camps or DP camps. Their stories were relayed with a background of old documentary footage of that time, interspersed together with actors depicting the persons involved.

And to top the day off, I give a presentation at my monthly interfaith meeting in 1/2 hour - of my journey from the US to Canada to Jerusalem - both my spiritual and physical journey. More on that tomorrow.