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The turtle with a secret in Dubai

בתמונה: ה"מזוזה" הסודית והמזוזה
בתמונה: ה"מזוזה" הסודית והמזוזה

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Last night, I took part in a meeting of female diplomats and journalists from The United States, Germany, Romania, and the UAE.
At the close of the meeting, I stayed behind with the hostess, Israeli general consul in Dubai, Liron Zaslansky. And then her husband Ohad Horsandi came in and pointed to a paper turtle and asked me: “Do you see this turtle?”
I looked at the turtle and Ohad explained: “We were here for more than a decade in secret. It was forbidden for us to speak about Israeli representation in this part of the world or the warm diplomatic relations that were developing here under the radar. Not even friends or family knew what we were doing.
Until three years ago, we were not permitted to display objects of Israeli culture and it was prohibited to put a mezuzah on our door. You never knew which foreign housekeeper might come to our door and see a mezuzah there.
A good friend of ours makes artistic paper mache objects. She made a turtle for us in which a mezuzah scroll was hidden. This was our secret mezuzah.”
I asked if I could take a picture of them with the turtle. The mezuzah scroll was still there, they told me. It was a souvenir from those day before the peace agreements. When I left, I looked at their door and noticed a highly visible silver mezuzah.
“Behold a people that rises like a lioness and raises itself like a lion.” “How goodly are thy tents Yaakov.” All the beautiful blessings from this week׳s Torah portion, parashat Balak, are coming true.
Good morning from Dubai.


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