Well, dear readers, I’ve made it to my 700th article. How I did it is a mystery. Much of it is due to you, to your interest and to your support. Most of it is due to the greatest love of my life.
Let me share with you how it all began.
It was in 1945 and I was a young boy of 12 years. I had written a long poem for my school newspaper and surprisingly it was published. My very first publication.
When my father came home, I ran to him with a copy of the student newspaper. He read it once. He read it twice. And then he asked me, “where did you copy this from?”
I don’t think I quite understood him but he continued . “This is a well-written poem but you could not have written it. It is not your vocabulary. It is not the work of a twelve year old boy. So tell me the truth . Where did you copy it from?”
I ran into my bedroom and cried. My mother defended me. “Of course he wrote it”, she said to my father. “He read it aloud to me when he finished writing it. Our son has talent. You should be proud of him”.
But my father remained silent. No apology. That had to come two years later.
In 1947 I entered an essay contest sponsored by the Keren Ha-Kayemet L’Yisrael in Jerusalem. The subject of my essay was about Jewish Palestine. And on May 21, 1947 I received a certificate for winning second prize in the contest and I was entered in the Sefer HaZahav L’Yeladim, The Childrens’ Golden Book.
Seeing the certificate, my father hugged and kissed me and told me how proud he was that I had won second prize in the essay contest. And it was then that he apologized for doubting me two years earlier.
It was then that my writing captured my leisure time and I yearned to become a journalist. Several other poems and short stories were written and most of them published over the years.
“You ought to write a book”, my English teacher told me many years later. And in 1967 I did.
My first and only book was published and called “Poems and Poets of Israel: Selected Masterpieces”.
I noticed that a copy of it is in the Library of Congress in the United States.
I autographed a copy to my mother and father and although he was not keen on poetry, he cherished his son’s first published book.
The majority of my writing in 1959-1960 consisted of some 110 love-letters to the woman who was to become my wife.
It was she who inspired me. It was she who suggested that I write articles for the TIMES OF ISRAEL.
And it was she, a few months before her death, who said to me “Promise me that after I die you will continue your writing. It will be good for you. It will help you. It will be your therapy”.
So it is now, two years after her death, that I have kept my promise to her. This 700th article is dedicated to Rahel’s blessed memory.
I don’t know how many more there may be.