Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Rosh HaShana Surprise

The Rosh HaShana tradition of giving sweet gifts took a sweet turn this year.

I was sitting at one of the cafes I often frequent, sipping my coffee, when someone set before me an exquisite plate of a honeyed sweet potato slice covered with glistening rimon (pomegranate) seeds, all swimming in some delectable sauce.

Delighted, I asked who/what/why was it coming to me. The server waved towards the kitchen, where Kareem, the main chef was waving and smiling - a Rosh HaShana gift to me.

Kareem is an Arab Muslim, and a wonderful chef, who has become my friend over the months I have been coming to the cafe. The fact that he, a Muslim, was sending me a Jew, a Rosh haShana gift brought tears to my eyes, even as I waved back with a thumbs up toda rabah.

What made it even more remarkable to me is that this man observes Ramadan, fasting during the day, all the while preparing food and surrounded by the sight and smells of his cooking. That must take nerves of steel and a strong faith to do such a thing.

So, if you've ever wondered if co-existence is possible and if anyone truly gets along in this neck of the woods, think of Kareem and his Rosh haShana blessing.

L'Shana Tova

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Asaf Ramon, son of Ilan Ramon, killed in flight accident

It is with great sadness I give the news that Asaf Ramon, 21 year old son of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, died in an IAF training flight accident today - over the southern Hevron Hills of Israel. Asaf was the oldest son of Ilan Ramon, who perished in the space shuttle Columbia when it exploded upon re-entry to the earth's atmosphere.

See the full story here and here.

We mourn the loss of yet another Ramon family member due to such tragic circumstances. Our deeply felt condolences go to Rona (wife of Ilan, mother of Asaf) and the rest of the family.

Friday, September 4, 2009