The right to be a critic

Usually it is my wife who points out to me my faults, errors, and occasional misbehavior.

But recently a new critic has appeared on the scene. She is a very lovely woman, a few years older than I am (and I’m almost 83), almost a sabra, a daughter of a Tel-Aviv physician, a graduate of the Herzliya gymnasia and someone who knew Shaul Tchernichovsky personally.

She is the mother of a gifted writer who has published with a colleague three best-selling books dealing with the Mossad and Israel’s security problems. She has been our wonderful neighbor for 46 years.

She reads several of my columns (well….only the ones I share with her) and I slide them under her door in the wee hours of the night.

Recently she commented to my wife that she likes my writing but wishes that I would be less harsh on Israel and its problems. She hopes that I will write less of the “negative” Israel and more of the “positive” Israel . And she is perfectly correct.

Both she, my wife and I are Israeli citizens, completely devoted to Israel and like a parent to a child, loving her when she is both good and bad.

My readers must surely feel my love for our homeland. It is the only homeland we have and we need to defend it , as the Shema tells us, “with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our might”.

My daughter has a magnet on her refrigerator door that says something about one city… “I love xxxxxxx but Jerusalem is home”. Nothing could be truer. Outside of Israel one exists, but only in Israel does a Jew truly live.

I am grateful to my neighbor for her comments made in good faith. And at her age, she has earned the right and the privilege to be a critic. I wish her many more happy and healthy years to continue reading my columns, commenting on them, and yes… even to criticize.

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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