Time Marches On…

August 24, 2006 by · 1 Comment

After thinking it over, Brian Blum decides not to join a protest against the construction of a luxury hotel in his neighborhood.Sometimes, he says, you have to let progress take its course:

Let’s be honest: were the “good old days” that much better? Would we really want to go back to a “simpler time” when it took four years to get a phone line, there was only one TV station (and it was in black and white) and customer service – despite whatever complaints I may have about it today – wasn’t even an entry in the Hebrew cultural dictionary?

Back then, your choice of where to eat in the German Colony was limited to a single café, the venerable Caffit. Ha’aretz newspaper now counts 42 fast and not so fast food establishments in the area today including what has to be one of the most elegant settings for a Big Mac in the world: a McDonald’s housed in a historic building faced with elegant Jerusalem Stone.

Looking for nightlife in 1986? Try Tel Aviv.

We also “get used to” things. The Transamerica Pyramid and the Golden Gate Bridge, two of the most striking visual images in San Francisco where I grew up, were both initially opposed as being hideously ugly and “out of proportion” too. In Jerusalem it’s hard to imagine we’ll ever get used to the monstrous Holyland apartment complex overlooking the Malcha Mall area…but we will. The same will be the case for the hotels at the entrance to the German Colony, I imagine.

So does that mean I support construction wherever and whenever in the city? Not at all. I think that the proposal from twenty years ago that called for a smaller hotel, more in keeping with the proportions of the neighborhood, would be a reasonable compromise.

Can we get there?

Well, that’s something else I learned growing up: you can’t turn the clock back, but you can move forward with dialogue and respect, integrating old and new with intelligence and creativity. It shouldn’t be impossible to preserve the small town feel of the German Colony neighborhood while still giving tourists a luxurious place to bed down on their way to pick up some Asian stir-fry in a baguette or a cornflake-fried schnitzel sandwich with pesto and garlic sauce.

It won’t be easy, but I’m confident we can find common ground and foster tolerance and moderation in all things…yes, even development.

Now that would be something worth rallying about.

Waiting for the Star to Make His Appearance

August 24, 2006 by · 1 Comment

Somewhere in Jerusalem, a nervous young man is waiting to become a father:

Was thinking about how the waiting for a person to enter the world is different to that of one who is about to depart it.

The latter is filled with reflection and contemplating. Looking back on a life’s work and deeds while possibly questioning the meaning of life. Trying to assess the legacy that person will leave behind as well as coming to terms with what life will be like without that person around. Sadness and grief.

The former? Optimism and hope. Joy. Hope that the person will grow up and have a fruitful and productive life. Hope that they won’t make the same mistakes we did. Hope that they will hopefully have the chance to live a life where man’s ultimate goal isn’t to destroy his fellow man. Looking forward to guiding the new person into the world and then giving them all the skills to ultimately go off on their own and tackle it head-on.

It is well documented how much the Torah and Judaism value life and what price they put on it. To give someone life is the ultimate gift and to think that B”H soon a new citizen of the world will be here courtesy of myself and Mrs Co.Il, well that is simply mindblowing.

The big money is on me fainting in the delivery room but I don’t think so. I want to savour every moment and to be there right from the very first seconds of life.

The Reservists Are Very Restless

August 24, 2006 by · Leave a Comment

There were many predictions that when the reservists returned from Lebanon that they were not going to go home quietly.Westbankblog reports that the predictions were on target:

The protests led by the reservists taking place in front of the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem are gaining steam. A core group of protestors have set up a tent and stay there 24 hours a day. Two days ago they were joined by Moti Ashkenazi, the reserve officer who spearheaded the protests against the government after the failures of the Yom Kippur War.

According to this report in Ynetnews.com hundreds more came to support them yesterday. Haaretz predicts that the weekend will see a jump in the numbers, as reservists who are just now released from duty will join soon. On Friday there will be a joint protest with the bereaved families of soldier’s killed in the war, and on Sunday there will be a protest march from Tel-Aviv to the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem.

The protestors are demanding that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz take responsibility for the failures of the war and resign from their positions. If they don’t, they want the public to demand a State Commission of Inquiry.

The three are of course hoping that the protests will blow over, and they can get away with receiving a slap on the wrist by a lower level investigative panel. I don’t think this will happen. Right now there are quite a few politicians who are standing on the sidelines and letting the reserve soldiers have their say, while they enjoy the results. If it looks like the protests are faltering, and the “troika” will escape, then they will join the fray and take out their already sharpened knives.

Possible Armagedon = Disney Movie Marathon

August 24, 2006 by · Leave a Comment

Raanana Ramblings confesses to having just been a bit nervous about the August 22 business. Her kids were the big winners.

Just after midnight last night my husband grinned at me and said, “So I guess I could have bought those green bananas after all, huh?” Yes, that’s his not-so-subtle way of making fun of me for being just the teesiest bit worried that Iran would send us a lovely parting gift yesterday.

But like I said the other day, I wasn’t really that worried. I was 99% sure that nothing would happen- the 1% of “concerned-ness” took the form of staying in town yesterday. My kids didn’t care- I let them watch Toy Story 2 for the 1000th time.

This explains so much

August 24, 2006 by · 2 Comments

Sharvul on the passing of August 22, the day that the president of Iran hinted he would do something very bad:

I think that the reports about Ahmadinajad planning something terrible against Israel this week were correct. However, it wasn’t a nuclear attack. It was something else.

His scientists seem to have been successful in devising a monstrous way to make us suffer. They found a way to heat Israel up to an intolerable degree. The heat wave here is simply out of this world and I refuse to believe God has anything to do with it. It must be the Persians.

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