Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Home or not?

Many states are home to ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities whose fundamental freedoms and human rights are abused. People from minority groups tend to be poorer and to have less power, less influence and less access to remedies to tackle their problems than those from the majority population.

WE live in what we believe to be a Jewish State, although I prefer to call it a democratic state for all its citizens.

We talk a lot about the problems between the Jews who live here and the minorities which include Moslems, Christians and Circassians. 

However we have to deal with deeper problems of identity within the state. The  honouring and adherence to, government decisions which are of a general nature and not aimed at one ethnic or religious group, but apply to the safety and well being of the community as a whole.

The handling of the Corona virus is purely an ethical issue based on common sense and expert advice.

However it seems that the  faithful followers of the long departed Rabbis buried in Uman in the FSU or rather Ukraine, reject the idea of strict controls on leaving and re entering Israel.

I always thought that once I would be in Israel the so called homeland and haven of the Jewish people, we would all become savvy in respect of problems of survival and social norms. This would allow for healthy spiritual and secular inter action based on the desire of us all, to be part of this land.

So a little Jewish girl  aged 13 joined Hashomer Hatzair in the midst of World War Two when  millions like me were being dragged out of their homes in Austria and Germany many of them to perish in concentration camps.

At 18, I was already here and with breaks back in the UK, have lived here for more than 70 years.

I still fail to truly understand what being religious means.

Or being Jewish, for that matter!

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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