Pessach is almost upon us. Last Thursday, instead of joining my colleagues for a day of fun at the Dead Sea, I took the day off, spent the morning koshering my kitchen and in the evening, travelled down to Tel Aviv with a friend to see Bellini’s Norma performed by the Israeli Opera. It was an excellent performance, the singers were magnificent (especially mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona in the secondary role of Adalgisa), as was conductor Daniel Oren – and the mise-en-scène was also acceptable. True, it was hard to reconcile the Roman-Gallic costumes of the heroine and her druids with the Empire-style furniture, nor was it clear why Pollione was dressed as Napoleon, but considering the current trend for transporting Romantic operas from Renaissance Italy to Stalinist Russia or Baroque operas from Arcadian fields to lunatic asylums, I felt we had been let off lightly and breathed a sigh of relief.
On Shabbat, we celebrated the seventh birthday of my twin nieces. I got them cameras. I myself was given my first camera (a Kodak Brownie box camera) for my eighth birthday and I gave my nephews cameras when they too reached that advanced age 😉 But cameras today are so much more advanced, they say even a baby can operate one (I don’t think) – so Mai and Shir each received a digital camera and within a very short time, were happily snapping away.
Today, another kind of spring cleaning brought about the arrest of the spawn of Satan who massacred the Fogel family of Itamar last month. My one regret is that the murderers were taken alive. Israel has never imposed the death penalty, even on the basest, most vile of terrorists and the very fact that they still live and breathe is likely to turn them into part of the ransom the Hamas kidnappers will demand for Gilad Shalit. Yet I still hope that they will be tried by a military tribunal, which is empowered to impose the death penalty and that the court will exact from them the only possible retribution for the kind of filth that considers it a sacred deed to slit the throat of a three-month old baby. Hang them high.