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Happy Fourth of July
Last uploaded : Thursday 4th Jul 2002 at 17:39
Contributed by : Sheila Raviv


July 4th, 2002

Happy American Independence Day!! Happy birthday to the greatest example of democracy and economic freedom in the world.

I am going to let you into a secret. Today, with all the warnings that abound of a huge terrorist attack planned for Jerusalem, as a celebration of the 4th of July, I decided to slather myself with sun block, pour myself a Cuba Libre and pretend I still lived in a world where the only ozone we
thought about was at the sea side where we tanned ourselves to look beautiful and drank Coca Cola without guilt. It was a very productive half hour because I also made myself a foot bath. Well, I deserve it every so often!!!!

Mahane Yehuda (literally, the Jewish Market) in the heart of Jerusalem is a song of sounds and smells. The fruit and vegetables are the freshest and juiciest in town, set out in a picturesque riot of colours; the fishmongers and butchers call out their wares and the myriad of freshly churned cheeses tempt the tastebuds. The all - pervading aroma of the exotic spices follows you as your senses soak up all the
different experiences. Until recently this market was bustling every day, filled with buyers, pushing and shoving happily to reach the juiciest peaches or papayas.

Things change dramatically when terrorism strikes. The market is half empty since the
last murderous bombing when Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, was nearly killed as he went about his regular shopping. An angel watched over him that day; he left the shop with his Sabbath loaves, ten seconds before the homicide bomber walked in.

Last night, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra set up on the main throughway of the market and invited the citizens of Jerusalem, for the princely sum of $2 a seat, to rejoice with them. It was spectacular!!! David d'Or, a wonderful singer, performed "Jerusalem of Gold" and many other songs, and invited the audience to join

It may seem strange to celebrate in Mahane Yehuda, a place that has seen such tragedy, but, Jerusalemites are not beaten down. We will celebrate, we will sing and we will rejoice. We thank G-d that we are alive and we are here in the most beautiful and exciting and spiritual city in the whole world, Jerusalem.

Our prayers are working! Kinneret Chaya [severely injured in the Moments Cafe bomb] began to breathe alone and took a shower last week. At the weekend she sat up in a chair! Yesterday the feeding tube was taken out and she ate her first meal!!!! The menu that she ordered from her
Auntie was, Potato pie with eggs and parsley and Actimel, a type of yoghurt. The fact that
she only picked at it didn't worry anyone, after all her jaws are not used to chewing any more!! For dessert she delightedly sucked on one of Aunt Gonni's lemon popsicles. Kinnerets physical wounds are healing, slowly, and against all
the odds.

Your letters and prayers help her overcome the terrible psychological agony which accompanies the physical trials of such terrorist attacks.

I am so very proud of our Israeli soldiers who not only protect us, they volunteer to transport disabled and sick children, Jews and Moslems alike in a venture encouraged by the Commander in Chief, Shaul Mofaz.

The "vultures" of the press have run to Ramalla today, because they think we may kill Arafat. Yesterday Mr Arafat invited all of his religious advisors and mentors to his HQ to prepare himself for death. He intends going with a bang, organising the biggest ever terror attack in Israel, just to celebrate the Fourth of July. He thinks we will kill him for it...but we won't, we do not need to. Arafat's own people have turned on him; he has one child who is sick, he stands alone and he is himself very sick from both
advanced Parkinsons and psychopathy, an ugly dinosaur trying to achieve his megalomanic
dreams through terrorising both us and his own people. I believe that Jibril Rejoub, head of the Tanzim that Arafat tried to fire this week, is much more likely to perform this "mitzva". Alternatively Arafat will shoot himself and make it look like we did it. He continually says he wants to be a Shahid....I hope not, not on Jerusalem's soil.

OK I am going back on my "mirpesset" (veranda). There are times when one cannot absorb the bad that others wish you, so you go into a quiet place, sort out your mind and get on with life.......maybe a concert tonight, or shall we go for a delicious meal, maybe invite friends and barbeque on the mirpesset, watching the incredible moon-rise over Jerusalem.

Yihye beseder...it will be OK. We do not need the doubters, the negative folk who make us depressed. Live life and enjoy every second, that way the evil of this world cannot reach us, we will always survive.

Shabbat Shalom to you and all of us


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