Grapevine: Almost 116 years old

News briefs from around Jerusalem.

Gila Gamliel. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Gila Gamliel.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
• A TRADITIONAL Jewish greeting on someone’s birthday is “Till 120,” which according to biblical sources is the age to which Moses lived. In the Carpathian mountains there have been people who have lived even longer, and in Jerusalem there is someone who is well on the way.
According to the files of the Interior Ministry, Zachariah Broshi was born in 1900; his next birthday will be his 116th. At the inauguration of Senior Citizens Month, Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel presented Broshi with a citation attesting to the fact that he is Israel’s oldest citizen. Gamliel said afterwards that she had been privileged to sit with someone who has lived through the history of the state and is a fount of knowledge and wisdom.
• JERUSALEM IS rich in opportunities to study the myriad aspects of Judaism at many different levels. There are various classes and lectures available every day of the week in a number of different languages, with no shortage of variety for those inclined to attend a lecture or study a text in English. More often than not, while the works of famous scholars may be explored, the biographies of the scholars themselves are overlooked or presented only in the briefest of mentions.
For those who are interested in learning more about the scholars themselves, Pardes is introducing a six-part series of literary portraits of central rabbinical figures in which veteran Pardes teacher Leah Rosenthal will focus on a close reading and discussion of central scholars whose names have become legend, and who have produced the canonic texts that form the foundations of Jewish tradition. In the first class, scheduled for November 24 at 8 p.m., the discussion will be on Rabbi Elazar ben Arach, who has been described as ‘an overflowing fountain’ and who appears to represent the creative and dynamic impulse of the intellectual and spiritual world. Rosenthal will explore how the rabbinic narrative preserves the image of the man, what his story tells us about him, and the impression that he has left on mainstream rabbinic culture. Others in the series include Rabbi Eliezer ben Horkanus, Rabbi Akiva, Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai and Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi.
• FORMER HADASSAH Israel president Annabelle Yuval will be presented with a Life Achievement Award at the Hadassah Israel Special Gifts event on Tuesday, December 1. The presentation will be made by Marlene Post, a former National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, who has since occupied several high-ranking positions in the Zionist movement and is in and out of Israel like a yo-yo. The presentation will take place at Beit Belgia on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University, and will include a reception and dinner, plus entertainment by Israel’s new singing sensation Otsar. Proceeds from the event will go towards the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Karem.
• BEFORE JOINING in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Jerusalem Foundation at Mishkenot Sha’ananim on Tuesday evening, Boris Johnson, the highly popular and extraordinarily witty Mayor of London met with President Reuven Rivlin and Mayor Nir Barkat in the afternoon to jointly open the Jerusalem soccer season of the Equalizer organization, which works with Jewish and Arab children across the country. Rivlin and Johnson were greeted by 10- to 12-year-olds from Jerusalem’s Geulim School and from Ein Rafa, who later played a friendly match after the dignitaries had kicked off the season. Rivlin is a former chairman of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club and still an avid football fan, who frequently tells new ambassadors about matches that he watched in their respective countries. He also kicks the ball around with his grandchildren or visiting groups of children in the grounds of the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.
• LIKE HIS predecessors before him, Rivlin on Wednesday addressed a choral prayer service marking the Sigd festival of Israel’s Ethiopian Jewish community, which took place on the capital’s Haas Promenade. Jerusalem has always had special meaning for Ethiopian Jews, who each year flock to the city from other parts of the country in honor of Sigd. Also participating in the event were MK Ze’ev Elkin, minister for immigration and absorption, and Mayor Nir Barkat.