On Sunday evening Ettie arranged our annual family Hanukkah party. It required, according to Ettie, a spinach pie, a sweet corn pie, a cauliflower salad and another salad, which will have remain nameless until I find out what that slightly tangy orange tasting fruit pieces were and what that white, wheat tasting, grainy looking substance was. I might have a name after Ettie reads this letter.
Pnina, Ettie's mother and Tamar met for the first time and carried on as if they'd been together for ages. Tamar and Pnina embraced and chatted until I managed to draw her away with an offer to let her help me light the Hanukkah candles.
In the morning, while I was doing some writing at home I got an urgent call from Ettie that I had to rush to the supermarket at the top of the hill for some whipped cream, which was required for the absolutely necessary Malabie that Avishai would make when he came from Tel Aviv.
Malabie is a rose flavored, pudding like delight brought by Morrocan Jews when they immigrated to Israel in the 1950's. It's become so popular that even the Russian Jews are eating it. One could say the scattered tribes of Israel are being united by malabie, among other foods from the various lands of the Diaspora.
My walk to the top of Mt. Scopus, the hill on whose eastern slopes we live, once again gave me a moment of reflection about the beauty of the land where we live. The pale brown, sweltering Judean Desert, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea are at my feet and the jagged blue tinted peaks of Mt. Nebo, one of the mountains of Moab, loom up ahead on the horizon.
I feel like Moses who stood on Mt. Nebo and saw the Promised Land from afar before he died. I stand in the Promised Land, proof that God has fulfilled His promise to His people.
God always keeps His promise. Abraham obeyed God's command to him to offer up his son because, as one who trusted God, he knew that God would keep His promise that Isaac's seed would be the chosen people.
Had he doubted that God would keep His promise he would have refused to obey the command.
Trust in the Lord is what is important here, not obedience. God’s test was to see if Abraham trusted Him not if he was obedient to him or not to see whether or not he feared Him.
God judges human beings according to the righteousness of their actions not according to blind obedience of His laws. (Schweid "The philosophy of the Bible p. 134)
I've always dreamt of the view which I now have of the Judean Desert. This is the thing that makes our apartment a great place to live, in my opinion. The view keeps me aware that I live in the Land of Canaan, the Land of the Bible and this is significant to me.
I bought Ettie's whipped cream and then discovered that she'd already made the malabie. The whipped cream I'd bought was so that Avishai could make his special malabie.
Afterwards I discovered that originally Avishai was supposed to be making the malabie and Ettie usurped his privilege; thinking that Avishai wouldn't have time to do the malabie she decided, out of motherly care, to make the malabie instead of him.
Then she realized that Avishai was on his way home to make the malabie and he'd find that the whipped cream was all finished.
So my job was to cover up her crime of usurping Avishai in the malabie affair.
If you don't trust the one who says he's going to make the malabie you'll end up with double malabie.
We must always take people into account. I'm reminded of the saying of Shantideva "May I consider all sentient beings as more valuable than the wish granting gem for gaining the highest goal. Then I will always consider them supremely important."
Wishing you a great no news day