Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

It Can’t Be!

“It can’t be that in places where we couldn’t be there, will be police violence against civilians and civilians struggling with a legitimate democratic struggle. Netanyahu is sending police to treat the minds and masses as a terrorist threat. The police must not fall in this bin. Police and civilians will be here long after Netanyahu, don’t let him burn our country.” That’s a quote which was on Facebook and I translated from Hebrew.

Are we suffering from eco anxiety?

Anxiety around environmental issues may stem from the awareness of a rising risk of extreme weather events, losses of livelihood or housing, fears for future generations, and feelings of helplessness.

I think we are? More so we are actually fighting the establishment, which is making our lives miserable, purely for our Prime Ministers’ political  and personal concerns.

However, every evening when I go out to demonstrate at the corner of Refidim St facing the Ayalon Motorway, I am filled with pride. I  meet the young couples with their kids and everyone is waving creative and colourful handmade banners.  When I see on TV, Doctors and Nurses who are in the front line in  our hospitals giving all their attention  to Corona patients, while their families at home are having to cope without them, I am humbled.Taking off hats, to them  is not the answer! It’s high time that they had a Minister of Health who understands the subject.

As an elderly person I am so sorry that I cannot volunteer to help others!

I remember during the second Lebanon War when I was living in Netanya, how we packed hot food which was transported to the North, where most of the population were confined to bomb shelters. Also when others from Kiryat Shmona came to Netanya to escape the rocket bombardments, we were there to provide any help they needed.

So all we at home can do, is to keep cheerful through Facebook and email. Also WhatsApp and Signal connections, or Zoom notices.These can transport us to another environment. Maybe see things through other eyes? My close friend Noah, spoke today to former schoolmates in Chicago. They normally  have a reunion every year even though, they are mostly over 80 years old!

The media also provides us in Israel with a vast selection of events and activities, including cultural and musical performances, which are really exceptional. The night shows which  are broadcast from an empty auditorium in Hayarkon Park, plus the beautiful and timely performances of fabulous singers,  pianists and violinists from the synagogue  of Rabbi  Erwin Birnbaum in Netanya, with the help and support of his  son Dani and all the family, are also not to be missed.

Today we were blessed with a performance of pianist Nadia Fridowsky who received her first public platform in Netanya.  She was then invited to take part in a competition in Milan and was hosted there by my family Anthony and Jacquie Harris and their children. After her visit my daughter in law commented that she pounded so passionately on their piano that they had it re-tuned after she left.

Not so many people know that, from the moment  the immigrant FSU musicians arrived in Israel with the massive Aliya in the 80’s, Rabbi Birnbaum provided a Stage in the Square facing the Mediterranean Sea, every Friday at midday,with the help of the Municipality.

Could any backdrop be more beautiful or meaningful?

We are such a small country and if we just open hearts and minds we will find so many fascinating aspects which are all related to ingathering of exiles. All related to the fact that many of us formerly lived in societies, where there was no DEMOCRACY!

That is why democracy, which includes of course the freedom to demonstrate  has been a dominant  factor, throughout our history. Wherever we have come from we are a people who have always been courageous, in the face of outside threat. We have now to deal with the threat, within!

I attend Beit Daniel,Reform Synagogue in Tel Aviv. Usually I go there on Simchat Torah so that I too, can hold the Sefer Torah close to my heart.

This year it will be virtual, but if we all hold close to our hearts those precious values most of us adhere to, maybe we can, make “THE CHANGE WE WISH TO SEE”!

SIMCHAT TORAH SAMEACH!

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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