Shalom everyone,

All I want to write about really is what I see. What I see, however, is very little really compared to the world. I can enlarge this picture by seeing more of the world and by thinking more about what I see or imagine.

On Friday and Saturday I saw Ophir and Tamar. Each one is cute in a different way and I have to adapt myself to suite them.

I showed Ophir how I balance plastic building blocks on my head and how they fall off. He also tried to do it and we both laughed and enjoyed ourselves.

Tamar wanted me to read her a story; she chose Little Red Riding Hood from her library and we discussed the reason for Little Red Riding Hood’s downfall; it was clear that this was caused by her carelessness in not examining the credentials of the Big Bad Wolf. She should have been much more firm with him and told him just to go away and stop bothering her or she should have just ignored him. But how could she go against her own better nature which was to be kind and generous; unfortunately these characteristics don’t go together with being firm and forthright.

On Monday night I saw the opera “La Gioconda”. I recommend you to see it, especially the production by the Israel Opera Company. It’s the first time I’ve actually heard an entire audience gasp as a scene opened up on the stage. This was a mystic scene of angels and gods dancing out of heaven to earth. The melody that accompanies this scene is well known; “The Dance of the Hours.” I recommend downloading this from emusic.com, an excellent website. Once you’ve downloaded it you can save it on Windows Media player and it’s as good as having the record or the CD.

La Gioconda is a story written by Victor Hugo. It’s only a more complicated version of the Little Red Riding Hood tale. It tells about the kindness and beauty of a street singer who lives in a harbor town, where the rich ogre, a secret informer of the church, has fallen in love with her. But she’s in love with the handsome prince, but he’s in love with one of rich and beautiful married women of the town. The informer (ogre) reveals the handsome prince’s sin and has him sent to prison to await punishment of death.

La Gioconda comes to the rescue of the handsome prince and promises to give the ogre her body in return for the release of the handsome prince.

The scene of the angels and gods dancing out of heaven is a magnificent exaggeration of the god’s and angel’s adoration of La Gioconda’s act of salvation; she has offered up her glorious body to the gods to save an adulterer. This is not the purpose for which the gods blessed her with beauty.

Certainly the gods don’t sing and dance with praises for such an act which is false holiness; on the contrary they send fire and brimstone.

The result of disguising the unholy as holy is tragedy and La Gioconda kills herself, so giving the ogre her dead body. Her death demonstrates that gods vent their wrath on the good and kind people, like Gioconda we punish the real criminals in our society, the adulterer and the one who lusts, because we can identify them and catch them.

The gods take care of the punishment of the good and kind people like Gioconda because only they can identify the evil disguised as good.

We thought that La Gioconda was innocent and moral but the story shows us what the gods saw; that she committed two crimes: She aided the act of adultery and lust.

The greatness of an author like Victor Hugo or the Bible is that they don’t only describe what they see but also what the gods see. They (the Bible and the many great authors) are telling us that we too should try to see things as the gods see them.

Without their advice I started doing this when I was very young, not knowing what I was doing. In each age of my life I had a different “first thing in the morning”, which now I realize was my moment to see things as God saw them.

At first I lay in my cot examining my surroundings. A little later I told people my dreams. Later I attended to my animals; dogs, rabbits and chickens. Still later it was plants. Then it was exercise and sport. Then there was the religious period when I said my prayers. Then it was the girl friend period. Then it was exercise again. Then it was checking my e mail. Then it was meditation. Then study. Now it’s writing my no newsletter.

Recently, for the last 5 years I’ve tried writing as “my first thing”. This hasn’t been easy because I often I get side-tracked into checking my email first before doing anything else.

I would like to lie and tell you that I’m trying to find out what interests people. Unfortunately I cannot lie; the reason is that I’m an egoist and I’m easily flattered by getting mail.

I wish you all a great no news day.

Yours truly.

Leon.