Rising From the Ashes: Raanan and Beit Meir

Hatred against the Jewish State reared its head once again as multiple fires were set by an undetermined number of people, throughout the state of Israel. In an orchestrated effort to destroy the homes and businesses of innocent Israelis, the country was set aflame over an eight day period this past week.

The government went to work within minutes of the fires being reported, sending in psychological teams to assist the families most affected. Israelis throughout the country opened their homes and welcomed the 80,000 people who were forced to evacuate their homes while the fires burned. To this day, many have been told that the air quality in the remaining homes is unsafe for habitation as a result of the burning of nearby asbestos and ash.  The chesed and kindness of the Israeli citizenry towards those in need  has trumped the evil of those trying to destroy.

Once it was determined that terrorism was the cause of the fires, the government assistance plan was immediately set into place to begin the rebuilding effort for those now without homes or businesses.

Left adrift from this horrific event are the residents of Moshav Beit Meir as their losses have not been deemed a result of these horrific acts, but a result of the action of border policemen who were searching for the perpetrators of the fires.  It was a flare sent up to catch two suspicious men in the area, which landed and began the fire that destroyed areas of Beit Meir.

Among the residents whose lives were changed forever, are Meira and Yoram Raanan. Yoram’s exquisite oil paintings grace my home, and many other dwellings throughout the world. In the new Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem, his work was selected as one of the highlights of the dining room decor. One of Israel’s pre-eminent artists, his studio with over two thousand of his paintings, lay in the ashes of the fires. His collection of his life’s work is gone.  What remains, thankfully is his talent.  Fortunately for us all, he decided to create professional quality prints of some of his favorite pieces, and those prints were stored elsewhere and were not lost.  They can be viewed on his website; www.yoramraanan.com.

Let’s talk “tachlis”-  as my Grandmother used to say.  There are many ways to help the residents of Beit Meir at the moment. My favorite is to support the StandWithUs Relief Fund.

StandWithUs  in Jerusalem became quickly aware of the legal quagmire of the residents of Beit Meir and has instituted an Emergency Relief Fund to help  those who have lost their way of life, their petting zoo and their homes with  immediate assistance. You can help them directly  through the following SWU link which can provide US taxpayers with a tax receipt.:


For those wishing an Israeli Tax credit, it is necessary to donate directly through the Jerusalem SWU office. Please contact the SWU Jerusalem office at:  israel@standwithus.com .

Normally, I do not quote from religious texts to make my point, but in this case I wish to make an exception. In Maimonides’ laws of “Gifts to the Needy” in chapter 10, law 7  it states as follows; “The highest form of charity  … no level is higher,  is to create for him work so that he may be self sustaining without dependence on lending from others.” I would go even further in the case of Yoram Raanan and suggest that the highest kavod for an artist in dire straights, is to know that his art is appreciated and that others want to support his talent through the purchase of that art. For those who would like to help Yoram Raanan directly and at the same time have one of his stunning prints either in their home or shipped to a loved one for Chanukkah,  you can go to www.yoramraanan.com and order directly.  Prices vary depending on the size of the print you select.  For those of you who have always wanted to own an Raanan painting,  original oils can be commissioned. Please send your enquiries directly to ;  yoram.raanan@gmail.com. What a wonderful way to support the artist in his effort to begin again!

Please be so kind as to forward this article to any and all friends who you feel might like to share in this rebuilding from the ashes.



About the Author
Born in the Washington DC area, Barbara has been a pro Israel activist for over four decades, having had a radio show in Jerusalem called "Barbara Diamond One on One" , doing in depth interviews which aired in Israel and in the UK. She participated in missions to the USSR to meet with Refuseniks, to Ethiopia with a medical team to help the Jewish villages and to China to open up relations prior to China recognizing the State of Israel, She has been pro-active lobbying congress and helping to start a Pro Israel PAC in Los Angeles. She stays involved through the Jerusalem Press Club attending up to the moment briefings which she would like to share with the readers. Ms. Diamond is the 2018 recipient of the "StandWithUs"-Israel leadership award.