I always loved words and how stringing them together in different ways could change how they are understood and capture my feelings.
I don’t have the kind of words in my vocabulary that write works of great literature.
I have the words that feel real and grounded like the pavements I walked, the dirt I sometimes slept in and the raw hearts I had the privilege of knowing.
So I write, colloquially speaking, and I hope someone will read it and nod their head as they do because they get it.
One thought on “About”
I see that I am now #312 of your enumerated followers. For a long time I have been one of the thousands of your followers. I just didn’t get around to telling you, to becoming enumerated.
I appreciate the words from your heart. (More of that in a moment.)
I appreciate your words, pictures and videos that connect me to Eretz Yisrael.
I appreciate your practical internet tips. (Somewhere I have bookmarked your video on concatenating a website URL, even if I can’t find that bookmark when I need it.)
You describe yourself, among other things, as a sister, part of a broken family. Yes. You are my sister and I am your brother, and our family as been broken in oh, so many, many ways. But we survive. The flame that cannot be extinguished, we survive.
Your Op Ed in today’s Times of Israel got to me more than most of your writings from the heart.
Semi-retired, I now live half-time safely in Chicago and half-time even more safely in Colorado. I have never heard the sirens and I have never run for a bomb shelter. But I have known fear, albeit a far more distant fear.
In a Los Angeles grade school in the late ’40s and early ’50s, we practiced “Duck-And-Cover”. “When you see a blinding light, dive beneath your desk, curl up, and place the arm of your non-dominant hand over the back of your neck.” How silly all that sounds now. It sounded anything but silly then. It was all serious, deadly serious.
In the mid-’50s and later, we lived in Chicago. Dad would occasionally take us for an excursion down Lake Shore Drive. As we approached downtown, where North Avenue Beach is now, there was a Nike Anti-Aircraft Installation, part of NORAD, there to protect us from Russian bombers coming in over the polar cap. Yes, I have felt fear of varying degrees, but not terror.
The terror in my heart came in 1977. As part of the Young Leadership Cabinet of UJA I went on a 4-day, first class, all expense paid trip to Israel. That’s right, “first class, all expense paid”, but we all knew better. During the course of the trip each of us was individually double-team solicited in the back of the bus.
During the trip we had visited the home of a typical recent immigrant family from North Africa. I was surprised and appalled that there was not a single book in the apartment. The only printed material was a TV Guide.
My mother had been a preschool teacher all her working life and I have always placed a strong value on early childhood education. So when it came to be my turn in the back of the bus I committed to build two preschools, part of a national project at the time. All of the preschools had the same layout: V shaped, two class rooms joined at the base of the V, where the rest rooms, a common cloakroom and the bomb shelter were built. Just, matter-of-factly, a bomb shelter as an accessory to a school for infants, my children. THAT brought terror to my heart! Even today, perhaps especially today, as an old man, a lifetime later, the thought, the memory still brings tears to my eyes, uncontrollable sobbing to my heart, and the tightness of terror deep in my chest.
Bracha, thank you for your writings, your videos, all the things you give us from the generosity of your heart. Also, please always remember where the closest bomb shelter is. Stay safe. Keep our children, yours and mine, safe.
With appreciation and love,
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