Chanukah 5778 has ended. But the miracles keep on coming. My poor words are inadequate to express my feelings of sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful readers and fellow-writers who made it a point to reply to my most recent article, # 709. In it I expressed disappointment that my comments were not shared by our readers.
The malach ha-nissim, the angel of miracles, touched the hearts of many who made an effort to comment.
For Mark, Zimra, Aliza, Sarah, Yael and Shira among unsigned others, thank-you is not an empty word It is rather a heartfelt feeling.
Reading their warm comments my heart rejoiced knowing that the words I write do not vanish in the air but instead they touch the hearts and minds of others.
The comments which were written by thoughtful readers deserve my heartfelt thanks. I am truly happy that others are concerned over issues which concern me.
One reader who knows me personally told me today, “don’t feel too bad. Many people just do not have the time to write a comment”. I simply do not agree with him. If someone reads something that either pleases or angers, there are always a few moments in a day, in between the London & Kirschenbaum news broadcasts or the current version of Law and Order on the television, to find the time to express individual opinions.
Most especially, Israeli readers. We have a national hobby of having an opinion about everything. I cannot remember when someone has not commented on something, either the light-rail or the train delay or, most definitely, the traffic jams on our highways. We always have something to say about something ! Probably that is why we have so many dysfunctional political parties in our coalition.
Even our President, Reuven Rivlin, is criticized by our Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, when he offers an opinion on some matter being discussed in the Knesset. Bibi would prefer that the President of Israel, a figure-head with no political powers, would keep his nose out of politics and his mouth closed.
We Israelis treasure freedom of speech and written expression. We do not insist that everyone must agree with us but we do not have the right to deprive anyone of their rights to think aloud or on paper.
Some of our greatest leaders have been men and women whose words were objectionable to many and who yet proved themselves worthy of being recorded in the annals of our national history as “gibborai Yisrael”… heroes and heroines of Israel.
Yair Netanyahu, the loud-mouth son of our Prime Minister, has written today that he wishes all Muslims in Israel could be expelled from our country. That is his personal (and mis-guided) wish. There is and always has been and hopefully always will be freedom of religious or anti-religious beliefs.
Nazi Germany is well-remembered for its “Juden raus” doctrine. God forbid that democratic Israel should express similar words in reference to the non-Jews who live among us.
I am going to try to take some time off from my writing and return to the age-old pleasure of reading once again. Nothing terribly serious, mind you. I am more the Agatha Christie type and Hercule Poirot has long been one of my favorites, putting Sherlock and Dr. Watson on a back burner for the present time.
To those who took the time to comfort me by their gracious comments:
Bolshi spasibo, dziekuje bardzo, danke schon, merci beaucoup, muchas gracias, obrigado, grazie molto , todah raba, a shainem dank, shukran, dank U wel —- and to put it simply but clearly — heartfelt thanks.
Your sincere and warm words have made my day.
Chanukah may be gone. But miracles are still here.