How Did I Get Here?

Dedicated to: Saul of Hallandale,  Mark of Hadera,  Binyamin & Shula of Ramat HaSharon,  Steven of New York,  Liora of RishonLezion  who insisted that #613 was insufficient and asked for more. Their overseas phone calls, e-mails and Comments added much pleasure to my life. How did I get here? And so  # 614  is a new beginning.

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I honestly do not know how much more writing I’ll be able to do. It’s painful to sit at the computer for so long every day. The mind plays tricks on me. I think of a subject and as I sit to begin, it fleets from my mind. I need to write everything down. Scraps of paper abundantly visible.

Binyamin and Shula insist that I should join the programs of a senior citizen center nearby.  I tell them “that’s only for old people. I’m 85 in body but 25 in mind.  Too young for those old folks”.

Liora keeps telling me that if I sit all day with nothing creative to do and if I want to become a dinosaur, she will have me stuffed and put me on exhibit in the Museum of Un-Natural History.

In the course of the past 613 articles I have revealed many random thoughts about my life, my family, my history and my Israel. What have I left unsaid?

I worry now for the Jewish communities in South Africa who are being threatened by black nationalists who promise a “Holocaust which will look like a picnic compared to the past one” and  threatening Jewish institutions with decimation and Jewish people with death.

It all seems so impossible for the word “Holocaust” to be used threateningly again. And it frightens me.  I have never been in South Africa but I am aware of its outstanding Jewish population who emigrated to the former British territory from their homes across Lithuania.  South Africa is probably the last place in the world where Litvishe Yiddish is still spoken.  Mir kann nisht fargessen unsere mamaloshen !

So…. On to the Sara Saga. Will she be found guilty of the “crimes” of which she is accused ?  Probably so. Will she go to prison?  Probably not.  Will Bibi be forced to resign?  Ask Sara. She makes all the decisions.

Israel needs a new ambassador to Zimbabwe.  Who should be appointed? Don’t ask. Sara will tell you. Should our national rails be extended for travel between Tel-Aviv and Cairo and Alexandria? No one knows.  But Sara will tell you.

Forgive me, dear ladies, but what kind of a male politician gives so much decision-making power on matters of national and international importance to the former El-Al stewardess whom he married?

And while mentioning El-Al,…. Shame! Shame! on its directors for not upholding the rights to dignity of seated passengers.  Just recently there was another bitter skirmish on a flight from New York JFK to Ben-Gurion TLV.

Four ultra-orthodox haredi men refused to sit in designated seats next to women. The women, correctly and rightly so, refused to move to other seats. They were seated comfortably in the places of their choice which they had paid for and requested prior to boarding the El-Al flight.

So the chutzpadik haredim begin to scream at them, shouting so loud that all other passengers were alarmed. When stewardesses approached and tried to resolve the problem,  the four haredim refused to speak to them and covered their eyes so that they should not have to look at women, God forbid.

The male staff took over and with long consultations and compromises, the women agreed to surrender their seats to the hungry wolf-like beasts who mis-represent religious Judaism. But the flight and its passengers was delayed by 75 minutes. …      1 hour and 15 minutes on an unnecessary El-Al delay !

If I were in charge, my decision would be very clear and abrupt: “Gentlemen, take your seats or get off this plane and fly with another airline. Your only other choice is to try swimming your way to Israel. It’s sink or swim. But you are not allowed to harass any passengers aboard my flight. Have I made myself clear to you  in Hebrew or do I have to repeat it in  Mea-Shearim-adik   Yiddish?”

So many discourtesies in our world from the very highest level to the very lowest level.

But as I began , many thanks to those who invited me back.  But my question remains: How did I get here?

And why?

 

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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