Orna Raz

Week 32 At Kaplan: We Must Persevere

Since my current blog on Times of Israel focuses on Judicial Reform, I haven’t written anything in the past month due to being away on vacation. Over the last six months, starting from January, almost every Saturday night has been spent in Kaplan for me. I never schedule any other activities on those nights. Although missing a Saturday due to conflicting plans is understandable, it doesn’t alleviate the situation. I can liken my emotions to a time when we were heading for a family vacation while my elderly father was hospitalized. I had thought of canceling the vacation, but my brother convinced me that our father was in good hands and he would step in. I went with a heavy heart, and he turned out to be right. This time around was even more challenging; I’ve never felt so sorrowful about leaving Israel, not even during all the years we lived abroad.

On one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation, but on the other hand, I felt guilty and remained closely connected to all the protest-related WhatsApp groups.

Upon my return on August 5th, I joined the protest with my 9-year-old granddaughter who is visiting from the States. She repeatedly asked me about the fate of Israel without democracy. Finding an answer was difficult; I’d rather not even contemplate it.

This past Saturday, the 32nd of Shabbat, I was at Kaplan with my daughter, an activist, and two of her children. It was heartening to witness the dedication of so many people who braved the August heat and humidity of Tel Aviv. There seems to be no end in sight, and it’s truly frustrating to witness the grievous harm being inflicted upon our country. However, this is a battle we must be a part of, and for the time being, we must devote ourselves without self-doubt or needless despair. We are in an emergency situation, engaged in an attrition war that has been forced upon us, and our only choice is to persevere.

As I prepare for the upcoming Shabbat, I fervently hope for better news.

About the Author
I hold a PhD in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in writing about issues related to women, literature, culture, and society. Having lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994), I bring a diverse perspective to my work. As a widow, in March 2016, I initiated a support and growth-oriented Facebook group for widows named "Widows Move On." The group has now grown to over 2000 members, providing a valuable space for mutual support and understanding.
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