Grapevine: Multiple choices

As was expected, there was a very large turnout for prayers at the Western Wall last Friday to celebrate Rosh Hodesh Heshvan.

Women on the Wall 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Women on the Wall 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
AS WAS expected, there was a very large turnout for prayers at the Western Wall last Friday to celebrate Rosh Hodesh Heshvan. Even though Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz had asked the ultra- Orthodox leadership to ensure there would be no demonstrations against the Women of the Wall, one man did abuse them, but the masses who turned up – perhaps to drown out the voices of the Women of the Wall – claimed they were there to pray for the well-being of Shas spiritual mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died on Monday.
Women of the Wall leader Anat Hoffman told reporters that despite having been severely criticized by Yosef, the Women of the Wall were also praying that he be restored to health. Looking around at the huge crowd, she said she was glad her group had been the catalyst toward bringing so many others to pray.
SEVERAL SYNAGOGUES have two or more morning services at different times, to suit the needs of different congregants. During Succot, the Hazvi Yisrael Congregation in Talbiyeh had four such services, and last Saturday honored the hatanei Torah, Bereshit, Ne’arim and Maftir. Speaking on behalf of the honorees, Rabbi Shubert Spero, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday but still walks straight-backed and with a spring in his step, delivered his address in a firm, strong voice. Spero, who is a professor of Jewish thought at Bar-Ilan University, observed that honor eludes those who pursue it, and those who flee from it also miss out on being honored. “But when you’re 90, you can’t run so fast,” he said, in a jocular form of self-denigration, for having allowed honor to catch up with him.
AUTHOR AND journalist Dvora Waysman, whose byline has occasionally appeared in The Jerusalem Post, is in the process of writing her 14th book. Like one of her previous books, The Pomegranate Pendant, which was made into a film, this book, Searching for Susan, though a work of fiction, will be partially based on fact – if someone can provide her with information regarding an unsigned painting.
The story goes that some time in the 1980s Waysman rented a rooftop studio apartment on the corner of Jaffa Road and Moriah Street, just a few doors from the central bus station. While she was there, she found in a cupboard an unsigned oil painting of a girl wistfully looking out of the window. Although it wasn’t a great work of art, something about it touched her soul. She asked the landlady about previous tenants, hoping she could find the artist and purchase the painting. Unfortunately, the landlady did not keep records, and tempted though she was to simply take the painting, Waysman reluctantly left it in case the artist should ever return to claim it. But the painting continues to haunt her, and will feature in the novel.
Waysman would be most appreciative if previous tenants of the studio got in touch with her – especially if one of them happens to be the artist.
She can be reached at or (02) 651-3096.
Anyone who might care to speak her in person can find her on Monday, October 14 at 3:30 p.m. at Yad Sarah, where she will be talking to members of Hitachdut Olei Britania about “Keeping a green tree in your heart, and perhaps the singing bird will come.” The theme is how poetry can be inspiring and how when life touches you, poems appear like bruises. Waysman believes that people need poetry in their lives for the times when emotions run too deep for ordinary speech.
FEW THINGS arouse greater interest at a fashion show than seeing relatives and friends as models. The Tamar Chapter of Hadassah Israel did that a couple of years back, and it proved to be highly successful – partly because designer Lea Toren also does theatrical costumes, and is therefore used to designing for people of different shapes and sizes.
The members of the Tamar Chapter are not exactly spring chickens, but Toren, with her expert eye and bold imagination, clothed them in very becoming attire . They have prevailed upon her to once again come to the party, which will be on Monday, October 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Beit Shmuel. Tickets for the high tea and fashion show are NIS 180, with proceeds earmarked for the pediatric intensive care unit at Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem.