Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mother, May I


When I made Aliyah twenty-five years ago I became a citizen of Israel but that didn’t mean I became an Israeli. That transformation came about slowly with a series of steps. Some of those steps were baby steps like the first time we went to a parent-teacher’s conference and had to use our rudimentary conversational Hebrew to communicate. Then there were giant steps, such as the two weeks my son spent in the hospital, unable to walk, and we began to understand the Israeli medical system.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Times Have Changed


In the autumn of 1974 my cousin was living her dream. Learning Hebrew in a Haifa ulpan she met the man she would marry. Life was good and then she discovered a lump in her breast. A visit to the doctor confirmed her suspicion that the mass needed to be dealt with.

“We can do a biopsy in March,” he told her.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ignorance Kills

Last Friday afternoon there was a horrific car accident on the highway some twenty minutes from my home. The roads were closed and traffic was rerouted. Slowly word wafted in that the accident had been between two cars driven by Arabs. Several were dead. Who was on hand to aid the victims and help the survivors? Israeli soldiers and emergency workers. I wonder if anyone living outside Israel heard that story.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Cat in Heat

Late Monday night, or rather early Tuesday morning, I awoke to the sound of a cat in heat. As I tried to tune out the snarls and yawls I imagined myself climbing out of bed and just shutting the window. Perhaps that wouldn’t have helped but I’ll never know because I couldn’t find the energy to get up. At the same time, unbeknown to me, my husband was having his own thoughts of getting up. Rather than closing the window he fantasized shooting the annoying animal. Whether he also lacked the energy to get up or, even at the ungodly hour of four am, he knew that was an overreaction, the cat remained alive. Somehow or other we both fell back asleep. I woke up late to the horrible news that there’d been a real shooting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Everything Really is For the Best: A Short Story


“You sure are impatient.”
Rachel gave the woman sitting next to her an annoyed glance. Taking in her flowing skirt, intricate head covering, and serene smile Rachel decided to ignore her seatmate but that wasn’t possible.
“The bus isn’t going to get there any faster no matter how many times you look at your watch,” the woman told her.
Rachel nodded impatiently, adjusted her hat, and addressed the other passengers. 
“What’s the problem? Is there an accident or what?”

Monday, June 15, 2015

In Honor of My Mother's Fifteenth Yahrzeit: Not In Kansas Anymore (First published in Aish.com, August, 2008)

Growing up in the sixties, I, like countless other youngsters, looked forward to that special Sunday evening every spring when The Wizard of Oz would be aired on television. I clearly remember the Monday mornings following the special viewings. No teacher would dare to teach a normal lesson without first allowing discussion time for the movie. I don't know if that happened in other schools across the country or only the ones in my state. We were special. Like Dorothy, Kansas was our home.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

It’s Been a Year


A year since the three boys were kidnapped
on their way home from school.
A year since we searched and prayed.
A year since we began realizing war was likely.
Last week we had air raid drills.
There were bombs on Ashkelon.
Soon it will be a year
since the boys were found murdered.
A year since the funerals.
And then a week later the war began.