Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Being Ninety!

I felt that today I needed to communicate. When I was young we never spoke about dying and I was the only one of my class mates who’s father had died on the final day of WW2,aged 39.

My own son aged 47 died when he was at the peak of his career as the CEO of Hilton International. He left a young widow and three teen age children.

My mother died at 89 and she actually had a weak heart, However I am Thank God, strong of heart, if a little soft on the cognitive side!

So I want to share this special time. Its great to have been in contact with masses of people who are both family and friends in several countries, thanks to modern technical innovation which I have to admit I do not completely understand to this day. However there again, I have family nearby and wonderful neighbors whose children are far more adept than I and help out when I am stuck!

What a world where even an oldie like me still is involved in politics, has strong opinions and refuses to be on the garbage dump. Of course, all our families are expected to love and help us but, many are separated by miles and oceans.

Having now had my final dose of vaccine I feel empowered. I wish I could get back to my Airbnb business. I wish that I could fill my apartment with young and not so young guests. I say not so young because at one time sixty was considered elderly. Having reached the stage that the next major birthday could be double O I dare not go there.

I pray for one thing only: that I not become a burden on my loved ones in Israel. As it is, my eldest son is an angel. It must be tedious sometimes when he sees a message from MAMA, as he calls me.

I have reached the phase of giving away my most treasured things. All of which remind me of my dearest husband Leon who passed away in 2008. We had been married 60 years.

Yes, it could be said that I was a child bride and even had to get my parents’ approval when we went to the local authority to arrange the marriage. Even though we married in synagogue we had to go through all the officialdom.

I am lucky to live in a neighborhood where from my balcony I can watch the lively youngsters on their bikes or on the football pitch. The mothers and babies on the lawns so tenderly cared for by the Tel Aviv authorities.

Birds sing in the trees every morning and at evensong.

Nature is stronger than man and we need to appreciate and guard it and the same goes for relationships between humans.

If Corona has taught us something its that no man is an island. Would he were and we would go and join him or her, in the way that Israelis do. So I wish everyone born in the first month of the year a very happy birthday and a fulfilled year.

I am proud to be here and hope God will bless me with a few more happy and useful years.

Have a good week everyone.

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.
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