Tuesday, July 06, 2010


A room with a view
(originally featured on JPost.com Blogs)
It is not by accident that the popular American TV talk show is called "The View." Everyone needs a view, whether it is an opinion or the scene you see when looking out your window. When reserving a room in a hotel, most people want the one with the best view, and are willing to pay the extra fee if necessary. A view is something special, something personal.

I used to have a window with a view. Whether I was sitting at my dining room table, or on one of my black leather couches, it demanded and commanded my attention.

From our sixth floor window, my children and I sat mesmerized as we watched a Hercules transport plane approach. Remember seeing it on TV as it brought the hostages back home from Entebbe thirty-four years ago? It is huge, and it was aimed right at my window! When I could see the pilot in the cockpit, I panicked, but a minute later, the plane began to climb and passed over our building.

Once, when the three story building across the way was about to be demolished, the army and ZAKA, a humanitarian voluntary organization, came in. Stuffed life-size dummies were strategically placed on the different floors and then the building was imploded. For days we watched in awe while the special forces worked through the dangerous rubble as they rushed to rescue the trapped dummies. Ambulances, police and ZAKA were all there working, brushing up their skills as well as instructing and training new people.

They were able to rescue most of the dummies. Working their way through the crumbling debris, they risked their lives to find and save their victims. Men and women gently put their charges on stretchers and snaked their way back down to safety.

It was not long after the building was destroyed that the bulldozers, cranes, tractors and construction crews arrived.

The happiest person in the country was my little grandson. He was in his mad-for-tractors phase, which had just replaced his love for ambulances. Every chance he got, he would come over and press his nose to the window. The kid was in heaven.

However, I was not as happy about it. Dust, noise, more dust - we were now living in the middle of a construction site. Our parking area was destroyed. My neighbors on the lower floors began selling their apartments. Who could blame them? From their windows it was like living directly in front of the Berlin Wall. At first we called it "The Monster", and then other, more colorful adjectives were added.

Its official name is The Holyland Park.

Since then, I have resorted to hanging our laundry between our dining room table and our black leather couches. Our windows are shut until sunset. And, correct me if I am mistaken, but I do not believe that the people in the area have wheeled out the welcome wagon for our new neighbors.

Then, by the grace of God, people started getting arrested. Terrible stories about bribery involving all of Jerusalem's top people began to swirl. Huge sums of money and scandals began to surface, and the building stopped. The noise ceased. The dust... well, what can you do, this is still the Middle East.

My father, may he rest in peace, once told me, "Marallyn, if you are going to steal, steal big - because you most certainly will go to jail." My Daddy was not wrong.

So, even though I have lost my view, I still have one.

See, I am waiting to hear who will end up in prison. They can go directly to jail... they have already collected their two hundred dollars.

have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.

Monday, July 05, 2010


Gilad Schalit : Dry Bones cartoon.