Grapevine: Family in the rubble

The voice that came out of the rubble was that of Maria Rachmilov, 86, who miraculously was only lightly injured.

A smoke trail is seen as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel July 16, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A smoke trail is seen as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel July 16, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
■ WHEN A rocket destroyed houses in Beersheba last Friday, Simon Yuntayb, 24, ran from ruin to ruin among his neighbors to check if anyone was hurt and needed help. Moving through the debris, he shouted out in Russian.
The voice that came out of the rubble was that of Maria Rachmilov, 86, who miraculously was only lightly injured. Rachmilov was taken to Soroka University Medical Center, where Yuntayb visited her two days later.
To his surprise, it transpired they were distantly related – but Rachmilov told him that after he saved her life, she considered him to be a close relative.
■ AS TRAUMATIC as the rocket attacks from Gaza are for people living in Israel, they are no less frightening for Israelis living abroad. Speaking this week on Face the Nation on CBS television, Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer noted that last week the Iron Dome had intercepted a rocket over Gedera, where his mother was born.
■ PSYCHIC, SPOON-BENDER and international television personality, the Tel Aviv-born Uri Geller, who for many years has lived in Berkshire in the UK but returns to Israel from time to time, has been moved by the plight of people in the South, and has temporarily returned home with the aim of boosting morale.
■ INITIATIVE IS not lacking in Israel. At the premiere of the Beit Lessin production of Stern-Blum Pharmacy, which took place in the auditorium of the Eretz Israel Museum last Saturday night, the Friends of Beit Lessin – which usually present floral tributes to the cast at the end of the show – were absent, frightened off by a siren over Tel Aviv warning of a rocket attack. Undeterred, Beit Lessin director Tzipi Pines went out to the grounds of the museum, plucked some flowers from the garden, and presented them to the actors and actresses as well as to leading members of the production team. The flowers may not have been as fancy as those from a florist shop, but they came from the heart.
■ THE CAMERI Theater has come in for criticism from patrons who because of the security situation wanted to cancel their tickets for last Thursday night’s performance. The theater refused to give refunds or deferments on tickets already purchased. Some of the people who wanted to cancel live in the South, and were afraid to drive to Tel Aviv in case of further rocket attacks.
Management was lambasted on its Facebook page by among others, Tammy Gaat-Aviv, who wrote “Shame on you Cameri Theater. I telephoned not to ask for a refund, just for the option to use the tickets on a safer day. I do not want to leave my children alone and go to an evening performance. I was refused.” Carole Karmoni wrote: “It is abnormal that you don’t permit people to cancel tickets in such circumstances.
People coming from the South needlessly endanger themselves.
So what if your premises are protected? There’s no protection outside. Why don’t you stop for a moment to think about the human side and not just the financial side?” Incidentally, President Shimon Peres was scheduled to attend a 70th-anniversary event at the Cameri on Friday, and also canceled – but he wasn’t paying for a ticket, so the problem didn’t arise.
■ THE CREATIONS of Tel Aviv fashion designers Yaron Minkowski, Tamara Salem and Amit Ayalon may soon be seen in China. The three met last week with a 30-member delegation of the huge Chinese textile conglomerate Heng Yuan Xian, which came to Israel to explore the local fashion and textile market. HYX, which gave its patronage to the Olympic Games in Beijing, comprises factory plants and shops, and is looking for new initiatives – one of the reasons it sent a delegation to Israel.
■ BOUTIQUE KATOM, an online store which showcases art and gifts made by residents of Judea and Samaria, has this week turned its attention to Sderot. American-born Gedaliah Blum, one of the boutique co-founders, together with some of his friends, has approached two of the pizza parlors in Sderot and commissioned pizza pies for the soldiers waiting for a possible incursion into Gaza. At the beginning of the week, he had already placed 630 orders and anticipated that before the week was out, the number would rise to 1,000.
Most other businesses in Sderot are faltering during the current Hamas aggression, but these two pizza parlors have closed their doors to walk-in customers, while focusing on orders to be delivered to the army base.