GRAPEVINE: Boxes of blessings

An Israeli celebration of Passover.

By
March 29, 2018 19:51
3 minute read.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. (photo credit: BLAKE EZRA PHOTOGRAPHY)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

ALTHOUGH PASSOVER begins tonight, a Purim gift created by more than 800 children who participated in programs held at Beit Avi Chai during Purim deserves a mention. The youngsters worked to create small, colorful boxes of blessings that included words such as “happiness,” “laughter,” “light” and “blessing.” The boxes were all placed in a frame and taken to Hadassah-University Medical Center where Prof. Eitan Kerem, head of Hadassah’s Department of Pediatrics joined Dr. David Rozenson, executive director of Beit Avi Chai, on the third floor of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s Children’s Hospital for the unveiling of the framed “Boxes of Blessings,” Beit Avi Chai’s permanent and symbolic gift to child patients and intended as a prayer with hope for their full and speedy recoveries. Also present was Edna Pinchover, director of Hadassah’s Experimental School for Children.

Rozenson also distributed additional boxes and small gifts to the young patients.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


ON MONDAY, April 2, a video is to be released featuring 14 choirs from around the Jewish world, from Lvov to Toronto, Rome to Melbourne, Jerusalem to San Diego, Toronto to Cape Town and places elsewhere singing as “One Voice,” a new version of “Oseh Shalom” in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary. The multiple choirs singing simultaneously in different venues created an aura of Jewish unity, in that this short prayer for peace is sung throughout the Jewish world – albeit not always simultaneously.

A similar initiative was launched in 2008 for Israel’s 60th anniversary by businesswoman, social activist and former television personality Galia Albin with what she called “Live Hatikva.” Albin persuaded 50,000 people in seven foreign countries in addition to 38 Israeli towns and cities to simultaneously sing “Hatikva,” which is not only Israel’s national anthem, but the national anthem of the Jewish people.

Other than “Hatikva,” “Oseh Shalom” is arguably one of the most popular songs of both soloists and choirs. In 2008, Britain’s Shabbaton Choir, at the request of former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom Lord Sacks, performed Oseh Shalom as the finale to a double CD called Home of Hope. A video of the choir performing Oseh Shalom that includes Lord Sacks explaining its importance can be seen on YouTube. Presumably, 10 years from now, there will be another choral rendition, and perhaps then, the choir(s) will sing every known tune to “Oseh Shalom” to make it even more inclusive than it already is.

THE BUREAUCRATIC and humanitarian crises surrounding the Diplomat Hotel, which is the future site of the US Embassy when it moves to Jerusalem, is just another example of Israel’s civilian incompetence. In matters of security, Israel usually does an admirable job, but on matters of social welfare, authorization of permits, and completion of construction projects, there is almost always an inexcusable delay.

When the US embassy purchased the Diplomat Hotel in 2014, there was a hue and cry over the fate of the elderly, mostly Russian immigrants who live there. At the time, the embassy announced that it would not evacuate anyone for another two years. It was not known then that Donald Trump would become president, would officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and make good on the implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed by Congress in 1995. Nonetheless, the Americans wanted use of the building or alternatively to tear it down and build on the land. The original intention was to move the embassy by 1999, but a succession of US presidents signed waivers delaying the move.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The Immigration and Integration Ministry had four years in which to find or build alternative accommodation for the 450 elderly immigrants who want to stay together and not be scattered in different parts of the city. This was not done. In addition, the permit for the hotel to be converted from an immigrant absorption center to an embassy should have been issued by the relevant authorities in Jerusalem immediately after the Trump announcement, but here again there was inexcusable foot-dragging.

Meanwhile Yediot Yerushalayim, quoting the Central Bureau of Statistics, reported last week that there are in excess of 15,000 apartments in Jerusalem that are used as holiday homes and remain unoccupied for most of the year or are abandoned premises. Doubling rates and taxes on unoccupied apartments has obviously been ineffective.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (left) and Gaza protesters flashing the victory sign
November 17, 2018
MK Haskel: Liberman gave Hamas a victory photo

By HAGAY HACOHEN