Grapevine: Doing good deeds

Port of Ashdod (photo credit: REUTERS)
Port of Ashdod
(photo credit: REUTERS)
■ CHANNEL 2’s Sivan Rahav Meir, who was born into a secular family but became increasingly religious in her late teens and early 20s, has joined the lecture circuit of bright religious women – most of them mothers of large families – who found time to receive university degrees and are active in numerous spheres. Rahav Meir lectures on the weekly Torah portion every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at Hangar 11 in the Tel Aviv Port and attracts huge audiences that comprise a mosaic ranging from haredim to atheists and agnostics.
■ GOOD DEEDS beget others, goes the old Jewish adage, and a case in point is under way in Rishon Lezion by way of a joint initiative of Merav Caspi and city council member Keren Dana Jedda, along with Suzy Dahan, Adi Schwartz, Anat Penso Fengi, Anat Schwartz, Yael Turgeman and Idit Cardonis. They have collected used Purim costumes that are in good condition and are selling them for NIS 30 and less.
This is a boon to low-income families and families with several children, as a new costume costs about NIS 100 to NIS 250.
Proceeds from the sales will be used to provide meals for the needy on Passover.
International Good Deeds Day, observed worldwide on April 10, will be held on March 15 in Israel to ensure that the needy will be able to celebrate both Purim and Passover in the proper manner. Good Deeds Day was the initiative of philanthropist Shari Arison, who last week was named by Forbes magazine as Israel’s richest woman. More and more people sign up every year for voluntary activities such as painting the homes of impoverished elderly people, redecorating a kindergarten or community center, taking a group of tots on a picnic and any number and variety of other deeds that will benefit and bring pleasure to someone else. It is rewarding for those who receive and equally rewarding for those who give of their time and efforts.
On the subject of Rishon Lezion, one of the city’s former council members and football players was comedian Sefi Rivlin, who died of throat cancer in 2013. A comedy festival is held in his honor at Purim time under the title He Who Laughs First. This year’s festival will be held in central parts of the city from March 23 to 26 and promises to be a treat for the whole family.
■ As in the past, the Port of Ashdod will be closed to the public on the evening of May 11 as dock workers and their families celebrate Independence Day with a tavern for some 1,000 merrymakers out of the 4,000-plus people expected to attend.
The attractions include buffets, a huge amusement center for children and youth, bungee jumping equipment and computer games. The port’s management advertised for tenders for a company to produce this spectacular event, the budget for which is in the realm of NIS 1.5 million.
■ THE DISTASTEFUL incident at the Haaretz Culture Conference at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, where iconoclastic actor Ariel Bronz stuck a flag into his rear end and was forcibly removed from the stage, was a demonstration of how easily and how quickly the public wants to believe the worst of individuals who stand in the limelight. It was reported by several media outlets that Bronz had stuck an Israeli flag in his backside, prompting Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev to declare that he had broken the law. However, as television footage revealed, it was not an Israeli flag but a piece of off-white cloth.
A white flag usually indicates surrender, though Bronz gave no sign of yielding to audience demands that he cease his vulgarity. He was largely misreported, but the misreporting earned him his moment of glory.
Regev, who spoke before Bronz’s performance, was not exactly culturally correct, either. After stating that she had always been told to start a speech with a quote in order to make a cultural impression, she quoted Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu and shocked her audience when she switched to English and shouted not once but twice, “Cut the bullshit!”