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Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.) Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching. She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:
I consider this whole hysteria about the Ramat Shlomo housing to be the best thing that has happened to us during US Vice President Biden's visit
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From Haaretz: Biden to Israelis: Mideast status quo is unsustainable Vice President says that Palestinians, Israelis must decide for themselves if they want peace. PA: Peace talks off until East Jerusalem housing shelved PA says indirect negotiations with Israel on hold over plans for 1,600 Jewish homes in E. Jerusalem.
I like these "unplanned" happenings. They are the work of G-d. Since we can't rely on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, G-d decided to shake things up no doubt. That's the best way of describing the timing in the building approval announcement for more Jewish homes in Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo. Israel, the government, the Jerusalem municipality and many Ramat Shlomo residents refuse to recognize that the United States and the Arabs refuse to recognize Jerusalem municipal boundaries as "kosher," approved.
As far as they're concerned, Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo, Solomon Heights, is no different from my Shiloh neighborhood of Ramat Shmuel, Samuel Heights.
I always get a kick out of it when G-d "interferes" to correct our bad planning. Just this week it happened to me. I had to take my father to Jerusalem for a few official errands. It would require more walking than he usually does and I was very concerned and nervous about it. So, I decided to try to find him a wheelchair. I advertised in our local email list and was told to call a neighbor who lends one out. When I went to her house to pick it up, her son couldn't find it. All he could find was a "walker." He convinced me that as long as my father could walk, that would be the perfect solution, rather than a heavy wheelchair. And, no surprise it is. Yes, is. We've been taking it on our walks. He rarely uses it, but when he does, he enjoys the speed and confidence it gives him.
So, yes, I consider this whole hysteria about the Ramat Shlomo housing to be the best thing that has happened to us during US Vice President Biden's visit.