Ariel’s smart move

French-Israelis hold a sign reading "Jews of France in danger, your place is in Israel" during a rally in Tel Aviv in memory of the shooting victims in France on March 22, 2012. Photo by Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90.
French-Israelis with sign, “Jews of France in danger, your place is in Israel” Tel Aviv, 2012. Photo by Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90.

I met a French Jew in Jerusalem today, normally not a blog-worthy event but this fellow was from Paris, had just made Aliyah with his family and recently moved into our neighborhood having never seen it. Ariel’s cab had stopped on the street, he stepped out and hailed me then asked the question I am best equipped to handle in Jerusalem.

Do you speak English?

Ariel’s next question, while pointing at the roof of an elementary school, was, “I was told I could see the Knesset from here. Is that true?”

It was almost true, I explained, and once we got the Knesset’s whereabouts settled I learned that Ariel, his wife and children have recently left their home in France and made Aliyah to Israel, in haste, because they feel they can no longer live safely in Paris.

Ariel had considered himself a Frenchman, had in fact been a Frenchman all his life until it became too hazardous to live in France. According to Ariel twenty thousand more French Jews are on their way to Israel from France, and soon. I suspect that those French, German, Swiss, English and Spanish Jews—all Jews worldwide who successfully make it to Israel with their possessions and in good health—will eventually be counted among those truly blessed.

Ariel is not a victim of anti-Zionism, he and his family are victims of antisemitism. Jew hatred. It’s not new and it’s not going away, yet some would say it is ironic that Ariel came to Israel to feel safe. Not so. As a 90 year-old holocaust survivor told me three years ago…

There are many things wrong with Israel but it’s the only place for a Jew.

Her words ring truer every day. The world’s policy toward Jews is simple, they are not welcome in other countries and not entitled to a country of their own. Israeli apartment building is viewed the greater crime in the United Nations than the gassing of Syrian citizens.

My new neighbor, Ariel, and I discussed all this and more in a five-minute sidewalk conversation yet still found reason to smile, both aware of a higher, more authoritative policy toward Israel and the world’s Jews …

Thus says the LORD of hosts. I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy and I was jealous for her with great fury …I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem …There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.  …I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country and I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. (Zec 8:2-8)

Ariel told me he was a little sad to have left France but happy to be in Israel and to have found a good neighbor. I told Ariel that he has found a good home.

 Juttah update…

Juttah the wild dog, whom you may remember from previous posts here, and here, proved to be truly…wild. So we did what parents of many insubordinate children do; we got her chipped and sent her out of town to school.

Juttah the dog and friends at Kfar Rut
Juttah, not one for formal education, tucks her tail on her first visit to Doggy school in Kfar Rut.
doggy school sergeant at arms.
Miss Personality, 2015

Juttah, of course, can be forgiven her bad manners. If you have kept up with this blog recall that we discovered the big puppy on the apartment property half dead and scrounging for food during the Jerusalem winter. We fed her, slowly gained her trust and later “domesticated” her to the extent that she became totally trusting of Miriam and Marcia and somewhat trusting of others.

After she adopted us and came here to live, some of the students living in our building began to refer to Juttah as “our” dog, which was nice from an occasional petting perspective, but nothing we knew to do or try could persuade Juttah to behave. She sometimes barked at night for hours, chewed on her friends and knocked them down, uprooted plants, destroyed hoses and nozzles and ate paper…

Consider the shots below.


Juttah's Garden of Devestation
Juttah’s Sub-Garden of Perpetual Devastation
Juttah Garden of Devestation 2
“I don’t need no stinkin’ training.”


Juttah Garden of Devastation 3
Sweet to a fault (when asleep)

We have since visited Juttah in Kfar Rut, about 35 miles from Jerusalem, and learned that Juttah is happy, taking training well and very likely  to be placed quickly in a good home.

Author: Cliff Keller

Cliff Keller is an author and blogger who, with his wife, Marcia, made Aliyah to Israel in 2011.

5 thoughts on “Ariel’s smart move”

  1. Well Cliff, I think that you two should adopt the dog after the training! I wish we could adopt her, but that might be a little difficult from here. However, I’ve been training dogs for over 40 years now and would have loved to make a new friend like this. I love to hear from you.


  2. Shalom Cliff and Marcia!
    I’m glad yall are doing good along with Juttah being trained in a school. Reading your description of the person from France makes me think of all the Jewish people who return home. I will keep praying for the peace of Israel nightly and you two.
    May Juttah be trained well and a good home be found for her! Thank you for the update!


  3. So sorry for those that must uproot and move because of anti-Semitism, but thankful as you said, the Lord of Hosts is jealous after them. And thank you for the updates on ‘your dog’. 🙂


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