Grapevine: Happy birthday to letter writer Toby Willig!

One of the most prolific letter-writers to the 'Post' and occasionally to In Jerusalem, Willig had a party toward the end of last week.

The Jerusalem Post newspapers 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
The Jerusalem Post newspapers 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
FEW PEOPLE enjoy life more than Toby Willig, one of the most prolific letter-writers to The Jerusalem Post and occasionally to In Jerusalem. Willig had a birthday party toward the end of last week, and as usual refused to discuss her age, beyond admitting that she’d been “a teenager at the end of World War II.”
It’s customary at intimate gatherings of this kind, where there are not more than a dozen people or so, to go around the table so everyone present can say something about the guest of honor. Almost everyone had the same thing to say in slightly different words: They had never met anyone as positive as Willig, who never has a negative word to say about anyone or anything and who takes delight in all the places she visits, the events she attends and the people she meets; she loves everyone and shows her affection by kissing them; and several of her friends would barely have a social life were it not for her calling early every morning except Shabbat to tell them about her experiences of the previous day, or what they absolutely must go to in the next day or so.
She is forever seeking new adventures and never seems to tire of them. This week, she was off to America for the first time in three years to celebrate the bar mitzva of a great-grandson, and the milestone wedding anniversary of the youngest of her children.
SURPRISE? SURPRISE? Anyone who thought that the key contestants in the mayoral race in Jerusalem were Nir Barkat and Moshe Lion may be surprised to learn that former mayor Uri Lupolianski is seriously considering throwing his cap into the mayoral ring. According to a report this week in Israel HaYom, Lupolianski will announce his candidacy straight after Rosh Hashana.
If he does decide to run – or more importantly, if he is legally permitted to run while facing charges in the Holyland corruption scandal – it will put a whole new spin on the support that both Barkat and Lion thought they could count on. Many in the haredi camp would swing their votes in favor of Lupolianski, leaving Barkat and Lion out in the cold.
Conventional wisdom says Lupolianski can’t run. But then again, Israel is the land of miracles where – to quote the late Vera Weizmann, wife of the country’s first president, Chaim Weizmann – “the impossible takes longer.”
THE HAZVI Yisrael congregation will be hosting the David Cardozo Academy Jerusalem in a choral Arvit prayer incorporating special Slihot (penitential prayers) in the Spanish and Portuguese tradition on Monday. This portends to become an annual tradition, as a similar event took place last year, with a homily by Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo. Cantor Daniel Halfon led the prayers at last year’s event, accompanied by the Kolot HaEsnoga singers. This year’s event will take place at 8:30 p.m. in the main synagogue.
IT’S NOT always easy to get back in touch with someone when you’ve fallen out of contact. But Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg, who heads Chabad of Rehavia, has urged all his congregants (and subscribers to his regular email messages) to remember that the month of Elul is one of introspection, forgiveness and outreach.
As such, he has encouraged everyone to pick up the phone, call people to whom they haven’t spoken in a long while and wish them a Happy New Year. It may be difficult, especially when there has been bad blood between two people, but doing it and healing a rift can put a person on a high for weeks afterward.