Kibbutz Thanksgiving 1963
LIVING IN ISRAEL
There must be about a million reasons for living in Israel, but I like to think mine is a bit unique. Actually, my daughter thinks this is her story and I suppose it might be. You decide.
Summer, 1963. Young Jewish Leaders tour of Israel. I could have been considered a young Jewish leader but I was pregnant with my first child. My then husband wasn’t really young but they were looking for warm bodies to fill the plane; the leader of the Leaders had been called home.
After touring kibbutzim, moshavim, the Weizmann Institute, various banana plantations and so on, we arrived in Tel Aviv. Dinner that night was in the hotel dining room, with the food laid out on a long table that almost divided the room, approached from both sides.
As Israel was just at the end of tzenna, a lengthy period of food shortages, the table was set with only farm products of which there were too many—at least 15 kinds of eggplant dishes, hard-boiled eggs, salads. As I chose my recently acquired favourites, I was poked across the table, in the abdomen. I looked down at the offending arm then up into the face of David Ben Gurion who, continuing to point at said abdomen demanded, “Where will that be born?”
“In Canada”, I replied.
“Will you send him back?”
“If he—OR SHE—(this was in the days before ultrasound) wants to come back, then he or she will come back”. Pre-feminist attitude, that was.
“OK. Beseder”, nodded Mr Ben Gurion, who turned on his heel and left the room.
My legs shook, suddenly turned to rubber. I’m not easily star struck but it took time and effort to return to my table where I regaled the others with my incredible experience. And have been dining off it, ever since.
Pass 22 years. My daughter has made aliyah, lives in Jerusalem and is a student at the Hebrew University. She’s also a part-time employee at the Minehal hastudentim, answering questions and trying to be of assistance. A man with a camera approaches and asks her if she knows of anyone whose aliyah story is really unusual and worth reporting in the El Al magazine. Well, she says…
to be continued ...
cross posted from Geoffff's Joint Bar and Grill
Totally enchanting. Love the video, haven't seen Israelis dancing since then. I think I'm the one in the white dress, on the left of the geese...