When one opens up a newspaper one of the columns to be found are letters TO the editor. Today, 1 January 2017, I have received a letter FROM my editor. In beautiful words, Miriam Herschlag, Opinion Editor of our newspaper, TIMES OF ISRAEL, expressed her gratitude to me for the more than 320 articles I have published in the past year.
She wrote to me: “You enrich our marketplace of ideas, continuing to share your thoughts and experiences even at the time of your deepest grief….” And she praised my late beloved wife for constantly encouraging me to tell positive stories about Israel.
How could she not? Rahel was born in Ramat Gan 81 years ago, was educated at the Alliance Francaise school, now the location of the Susan Dallal Center in Tel-Aviv, and from elementary school she was graduated from Mikveh Yisrael. She went on to work for HaAretz newspaper, when Gershon Shocken was the editor and publisher and she remained in her office until we were married in January 1960 in Tel-Aviv at Gil Hall on Rehov Gordon. which is now the site of the Nigerian Embassy in Israel.
In Miriam’s letter of appreciation she informed me that my article, MIRACLE ON BUS # 4, was shared on Facebook 27,000 times and read by more than 115,000 readers. She emphasized that number (“yes, 115,000 clicked to read your post”).
The numbers astounded me. I don’t know how to use Facebook and am therefore ignorant of its world-wide communication possibilities . The high numbers that Miriam shared with me truly touched my heart.
In her concluding statement in her letter she wrote “I hope that brings you a tiny measure of comfort….” And in my reply to her, I informed her that it was not “a tiny measure of comfort” but, on the contrary, it was immense comfort and my gratitude to her for those warm words knows no bounds.
In my grief at the recent loss of my beloved wife of 56 years, the one thing that helps me to preserve my sanity is my writing. Over many years, I have published books and more than one thousand articles in newspapers in Israel, Poland, France and the United States. They are the legacy that I bequeath to my grandchildren.
I have shared with them the notification that I was the 3rd best-read writer out of 20 distinguished writers in the year 2016, and their pride in my work gives me encouragement to continue in 2017 and, hopefully, beyond.
Anyone can write a letter TO an editor. Not many are so honored to receive a letter FROM an editor. Miriam Herschlag, my devoted editor, has made the first day of the new secular year a very happy day indeed for me.
I thank my tens of thousands of readers world-wide who have made her letter to me possible. Blessings to one and all for life, good health, happiness and peace in our beloved Israel in the new year.