Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Being alone feeling alive!

Corona cannot be blamed for everything. Prevention of inter action with family and friends or even travel overseas. My family on both sides of the ocean are getting about almost with no restrictions. Of course there are always those who are stuck at home but would be anyway!

However we older citizens are feeling our age acutely. What was possible for me before Corona and before the realisation that even if you still feel young and can involve oneself seemingly in the actions and activities of those around you… now there’s nada!

I am luckier that most because after the realisation that I could not rely on hands-on  family support for my  invalid husband whilst we lived in Netanya, a move to Tel Aviv to be near my eldest son and daughter in law, was the only option. Both of the forementioned had  professional responsibilities which were almost  24/7 and the older grandchildren too were either working or otherwise engaged.

So we made the move and its as well because eleven months  later, my beloved husband Leon died.

At that time I still felt needed and was able to keep up some of my previous activities. I could also get around unaided, whilst today I have a dedicated carer mother of three, from the Philipines. She speaks to them daily and they are always laughing and smiling, while I feel a bit guilty for taking their mother away from them.

One of the final causes that I undertook before retiring, was to work for prevention of road casualties and deaths.

I am comforted today that the roundabouts and speed bumps which we fought for, are an integral part of any transport planning.

However its not enough. The Ministry of Transport is not primarily involved in saving lives on the roads. That was Metuna and other organisations which fell by the wayside as it were, when Or Yarok took over and literally dominated all the decision making in that arena.

Added to which, one person who had aims and so called good intentions but with no long range vision, was culpable of using money and connections, which caused all the small dedicated groups, some started by relatives of victims, to simply give up.

Road death is unlike any other, because it is never anticipated. However the consequences of a road crash, can destroy a family forever.

Nothing has really changed!  Our activities, in the 90’s did bring a reasonable change in the behaviour of Israeli drivers and adherence to laws. Also an impressive drop in deaths then, particularly in Netanya where our first trial using a road side camera and monitor was first applied. We have to thank Miriam Fierberg and Deputy Mayor Shosh Arar for their support for without that we could not have made the first moves. Also Professors: Gerry Ben David and Physicist Zvi Weinberger and the Jerusalem city planner Dr Katz, Dr Jakov Adler and many more. Names escape me these days.  Realisation that you are no longer whom you were!

Why is it in France  that one can travel for miles and no one steps out of line…that is a contradiction in terms no doubt. However one feels calm and relaxed driving with a car pool driver on a 5 hour journey from Marseilles. Would that it could be so in Israel.

I sincerely believe that I am privileged to live in the land with those who believe in one God. I also believe that we need to use and understand the language of the other.

Death does not discriminate.

Drive safely and enjoy those journeys with your friends and family.

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.