Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Again: Memories of the Six Day War

Once Lag B’Omer comes the weddings begin. Two-thirds of the mourning period for Rabbi Akiva’s students is over and many rule the stringencies of remembrance can be relaxed. Forty-six years ago, though, the period after Lag B’Omer was anything but joyous for the Jews in Eretz Yisroel.
At that time I was thirteen-years-old living in Wichita, Kansas and the build-up to the Six Day War barely touched my untroubled life. Summer vacation had begun. The municipal swimming pool had opened. I was going to have a fun summer. One morning I came home from a sleep-over at my friend’s house to find my mother listening to my father’s transistor radio. She was crying and she was angry as she listened to an Arab leader proclaim that Allah would assist them in this Holy War to push the Jews of Israel into the sea. Some of her concern did penetrate my carefree existence but I did not feel threatened. The same could not be said for my contemporaries living across the ocean in Israel then.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Minding the Kids: A Short Story For Grandparents Only (any resemblance to persons alive or dead is purely coincidental)

courtesy of dreamstime.com

“Guess what!” Sophia excitedly told her mother.

“What?” Mimi cradled the phone on her shoulder and continued sorting papers.

“Avi’s mother’s giving us the greatest present for his birthday. A long weekend in Greece!”

“Isn’t that nice,” Mimi exclaimed but inwardly she braced herself for what she was sure was coming.

“So we need to know when you can watch the kids.”

“Ah-ha,” Mimi said, but just to herself. Out loud she calmly stated, “Let me talk to Abba and I’ll get back to you.”

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ten Shekels: A Prequel

It happened a year before we made aliyah. A business conference for my husband on the east coast inspired us to take a family vacation. With four children aged two to eight it was a historical pilgrimage, a sort-of farewell to America.  After the Statue of Liberty, Twin Towers, Connecticut, Martha’s Vineyard, Lexington, and Concord we arrived in Boston.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Again, In Honor of Remembrance Day

I Believe

My eyes hurt. They are swollen. It is not because of the allergy season although that doesn’t help. No, my eyes are puffy and sore because I cried last night. I cried a lot. It happens every year at the Remembrance Day Ceremony in the Shilo Gym. Every year I realize I did not bring enough tissues with me. Every year I am amazed anew that I still have tears left to cry.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ten Shekels

He was a little chubby, dressed in normal schoolboy clothes with a backpack slung over one shoulder. Probably ten-years-old, certainly not more than twelve, he boarded the bus and scanned the passengers. Purposely he made his way to the woman sitting in front of me. 

“Can I have ten shekels to pay the driver? I need to go on two buses.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

courtesy of jjcjax.org

There were many silent heroes during the Shoah. Among them was Felix Zandman, z’l. Within his vast accomplishment he founded the company, Vishay. Our family business has worked with Vishay for twenty years. After seeing the documentary of Mr. Zandman’s life I am very proud of that connection.  The movie, an hour long, can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/127819629 . It’s a worthwhile way to spend an hour on Holocaust Remembrance Day or any day of the year.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Good Morning, Tahel: A Short Story of Fiction

courtesy of tsheets.com

Chana begins the story:
It was the most assertive thing I’d done in my life. My finger shook as I punched in the phone number.
“Good morning, Tahel. How can I help you?”
As soon as I heard her kind voice my whole body began trembling. How could they help me? How could anyone help me?