Many of my readers ask, “Mort, where do you come up with your ideas for your Times of Israel blog?”
I surprise them with my quick reply, “I follow the linear progression method.”
“What the hell is the linear progression method?”
“Many stories arrive in my head through linear progression—-a process of connecting daily-event dots with straight lines to form the theme of a story.
To put it simply, one thing leads to another.
Here’s an example.
Please listen carefully, I don’t want to have to repeat the process.
A newspaper publishes my story, ‘Planting the Seeds in Your Jewish Heritage Garden’.
In that story, I mention Israel Bonds as one of the seeds in my Jewish heritage.”
I pause to recall my Israel Bond experience.
Remembering buying, giving and getting Israel bonds as bar/bat mitzvah gifts.
Remembering as a 13-year-old:
How rich I felt holding the bonds and
Adding together their monetary denominations;
Touching their textured high quality paper
and examining the beautifully drawn and colored menorah centered on the top of each bond.
Remembering how emotionally invested I felt reading the bold print “The Development Corporation For Israel”.
My money is developing a Jewish homeland.
Here I was a 13-year-old schmendrick, living in a country town in the Catskill Mountains, transforming a country located on the other side of the world.
It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Enough diversion, let’s get back on the linear progression track.
So lo and behold, Liron, a representative of Israel Bonds, emails me a request for a powwow.
She says, “Here’s a chance for us to discuss our mutual interests.”
I prepare for the meeting by reading Wiki on Israel Bonds.
Nothing better than walking into a meeting mit a bissel knowledge under your belt.
I learn Ben-Gurion conceived the idea to float the bonds in 1950.
As a newly created state, that had just fought a war for its independence, Israel desperately needed funds for immigrant absorption and for the construction of a national infrastructure.
The bond drives were a huge success.
So I meet with the Liron at Starbucks.
We talk, we schmooze and I learn about Israel Bonds.
One story catches my attention.
It’s a story about what happened to Cuban Jews that fled the Communist island in the early Sixties.
Castro did not allow these Jews—or anyone else—to leave the Island with their valuables.
Liron opens and shows me the palms of her hands and then points to her feet,
“Years earlier, some of these Cuban Jews had bought Israel Bonds.
They knew they could not take their bonds with them.
So they wrote the bond identification numbers on the soles of their feet or on the palms of their hands.
In Miami, they presented themselves to the Israel Bond officials, they presented their ID numbers and received their funds.
Those funds helped them establish a new life in the States.”
“What ingenuity! What chutzpah,” I exclaim.
Then I add, “Under these tumultuous times, that’s one hell of an important lesson for all of us to learn.
Liron, I’m going to write a blog on those Cuban Jews.”
“Mort, I can introduce you to some of the people that wrote those numbers on their hands and feet?”
“Thanks Liron, I’m going to take you up on that offer; I’m going to buy some more Israel bonds.”