According to Jewish tradition, Tuesday, the third day of creation, is the best day of the week other than the Sabbath, because it is the only day on which God twice saw that it was good.
Thus it comes as no surprise that Tuesday is a favorite day for weddings and for other social events, as evidenced below.
■ BLOOMSDAY IS officially marked on June 16 in celebration of the life of famed Irish writer James Joyce, but in the Middle East nothing starts on time – not even a funeral. This accounts for the fact that the Israel Ireland Friendship League is celebrating Bloomsday on June 28.
According to IIFL chairman Malcolm Gafson, the event titled Kahol-Lavan- Yarok rounds off a month of worldwide Bloomsday festivities. The venue is the newly refurbished Shamrock Irish Beer Garden in Netanya’s new industrial zone.
There will be a lot of Irish music and song provided by the Gabriella Lewis band, a lot of blarney by Gafson himself and a lot of spontaneous Irish dancing.
In addition to Gafson, the event will be attended by Irish Ambassador Alison Kelly and by Orli Weitzman, deputy head of mission designate to Ireland. There’s also a good chance of Netanya Mayor Miriam Fierberg-Ikar putting in an appearance.
The festivities begin at 8.30 p.m.
■ MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS are just a little over two years away, and unless there’s some major political upheaval on the national front that may deter Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat from running for a Knesset seat, the mayor’s office in the capital will be up for grabs – and there are plenty of people who would be only too willing to move in when Barkat moves out. But not too many would be willing to follow his example of being a dollar-a-year man. Barkat is in the fortunate financial position of being able to work because he wants to and not because he has to.
One of the people who would like to take over Barkat’s role is Deputy Mayor Ofer Berkowitz, who heads the community- conscious Hitorerut (Awakening) party, which by and large has a young membership that believes that there’s room for every sector of the community, including the secular, to do their own thing. Hitorerut campaigned unsuccessfully for Cinema City to be open on Friday nights and Saturdays, but has chalked up successes in other fields of endeavor.
Now that he’s at the halfway mark of the current term of the municipal council, Berkowitz has decided to hold a conference, but it will be a combination of business and pleasure. The venue is the Colony in the capital’s Bethlehem Road compound, where Berkowitz will review the movement’s activities, after which lectures will be given by Dr. Micha Goldman, who will speak on “Extremism and Moderation,” and by celebrity chef Assaf Granit, who will reveal some of his culinary secrets. After that, there will be roundtables in which participants can vent their opinions on culture, education, economic development, employment, the eastern areas of the capital, religion, neighborhoods and young families. Berkowitz is determined that the event will be a something for everyone affair. And needless to say, the date is Tuesday, June 28.
■ ALSO ON Tuesday, June 28, is an Abrahamic Reunion Ramadan multifaith iftar gathering, hosted by the Tent of Hagar and Sarah and the community of Fureidis.
For those who are interested, a bus carrying Israeli and Palestinian passengers will leave from the car park at Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Park at 1 p.m. Participants will spend several hours together at Hof Dor/ Tantura beach, and will learn about the history of the village of Tantura before and during the 1948 war. Toward twilight, they will make their way up from the beach to Fureidis for the Ramadan iftar meal in which Jews and Christians will break bread with fasting Muslims at a school overlooking Fureidis and the Mediterranean Sea.
For those who are also interested in a spiritual experience, there will be opening and closing prayer circles conducted by male and female religious leaders of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths. To reserve a place on the bus, contact theabrahamicreunion@ gmail.com and indicate if you need a kosher meal option. For further information, call Eliyahu (058- 757-8522) or Abed (054-924-7795). For those traveling under their own steam and requiring directions as to how to reach the venue in Fureidis, call Ibtisam Mahamid (054-743-3956).
■ THOUGH CONSIDERED to be the bad boy of the Knesset, Likud MK Oren Hazan is considered to be a good guy by mayors of the South who spent eight days on what they called an equality march, making their way in the blazing heat from the Negev to Jerusalem, where they were greeted by Barkat, who marched with them into the Knesset, where Hazan was among the MKs with whom they spoke.
The march was initiated by Yeroham Mayor Michael Biton. He and his fellow mayors have pitched tents opposite the Knesset in protest at the unfair budgetary allocations to municipalities in peripheral areas. Hazan, who earned the ire of his party and its leader when he refused to vote for a two-year budget, joined the mayors as they entered the Knesset and has also pitched a tent in the Wohl Rose Garden in ongoing support of fairer allocations to peripheral communities.
■ AMONG THE Yemenites who came to the Knesset this week to tell personal stories about members of their respective families who disappeared without a trace as babies and toddlers, with neither death certificate nor grave to indicate that such children had died, was famous singer Boaz Sharabi, whose twin sister, Ada, disappeared in this manner. Although there seems to be more consideration for the suffering of such families and the outrageous lies that so many of them were told about children who were healthy one day and supposedly dead the next, the fact that a famous person was also affected by such a tragedy may lead to ongoing attention to this blot on the nation’s history. Radio stations have for several days been broadcasting Sharabi’s most popular song, “Halevai” (If only…) in which one of the poignant lines is “If only we won’t abandon the path of hope.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tasked Tzachi Hanegbi, who was recently appointed a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of national security and foreign affairs, and whose maternal grandfather came to Israel from Yemen, to deal with the issue.
■ IN A selfie era, almost anyone can get photographed with a celebrity if they manage to get close enough. That’s what happened to actor and comedian Adir Miller, who decided that because parking was so difficult near the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, he would take his family in a cab to the premiere of his new television series Miller Junction. Just as he was about to go inside, he turned back and saw the taxi driver running in his direction. Puzzled, he reminded the driver that he had already paid him. “Yes,” confirmed the driver, “but you didn’t wait for the photo.” The driver whipped out his cellphone struck a pose alongside Miller, clicked and completed his mission. Now he can tell all his friends that he’s buddy-buddy with Adir Miller.
■ THE REVIVAL of Jewish life in Poland has produced a growing number of religiously observant Jews, even in communities in which very few Jews exist.
An example is Yaakov (Kuba) Wasilewicz, who is the son of Halina Wasilewicz, the head of the Jewish community of Czestochowa, which toward the end of this year will receive frequent mention in the Israeli media due to the 80th anniversary in December of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, created by famous violinist Bronislaw Huberman, who was born in Czestochowa, and whose name is linked in perpetuity with the home of the Czestochowa Philharmonic Orchestra, which stands on the site of the former Great Synagogue of Czestochowa.
Halina and her son were both born in Czestochowa, but Kuba is now living in New York as an observant Jew and is researching the history of Jewish life in Czestochowa, especially Jewish religious life. He is interested in preserving that history and collects old photographs and stories about families, including where they lived, from what they derived an income, whether the family prayed in a shtibel or a synagogue, and in either case, which one. He also wants to know if the girls in the family studied at a Bais Yaakov and the boys at heder.
In all probability Wasilewicz will return briefly to Czestochowa in September for the fifth reunion of Czestochowa Jews and their heirs. The reunion will take place from September 19 to 22, and on the last day will mark the 74th anniversary of the liquidation of the Czestochowa Ghetto on September 22, 1942, a day after Yom Kippur.
Anyone who can help with information is asked to contact jakub.wasilewicz@ gmail.com firstname.lastname@example.org