Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Israel – CCC. A Return Visit (15 of 19)

October 28 & 29

After all the touring, I was glad to have two days to myself; there were no visits scheduled even to relatives.

I went out for walks, bought items I needed, or simply sat on a park bench listening to the people speaking in Hebrew.  While Israel has totally changed, judging by the conversations I overheard, the average Israeli remains unchanged.

At the time of my visit, Israel has welcomed millions of Russian immigrants; the former Soviet Union no longer restricted its citizens, and many Jews were finally allowed to leave a country that has never cared much for them.  To say that Israel has welcomed these immigrants is to stretch the truth; the government was happy to have them, for Israel needed more Jewish immigrants; the average Yossi in the street was decidedly unhappy; and he made that clear whether you brought up the subject or not.  The good news was that in time the Russians integrated, did well in their new country, but it took a long time for them to be accepted; they were after all the product of a totalitarian state.

What I love about being in Israel is the fact that Israelis are so gregarious; you can’t feel lonely here because people will approach you and engage you in conversation whether you want to or not.  I talked about sitting on a park bench by myself, but in reality, I was rarely alone; there was always somebody asking me questions or telling me about their tsarot (troubles).  A favorite topic is gripping about the government; Israelis almost never agree with their government; really the country is barely governable.

There are always throngs of people on the streets; I couldn’t help contrasting that with our Canadian streets which are largely empty except for the odd teenager.  The rest are in their homes or in their cars.  At the time I was there, most families owned at least one car, but they used them only when really necessary; otherwise they used transit, walked, or bicycled.  One reason perhaps was that gas was really expensive, but that doesn’t fully explain the disparity between the North American society and the Israeli one; indeed, as the price of gas reached astronomical levels here, larger cars were purchased, and families were no longer content with one car!  The obvious statement:  “We value our privacy; leave us alone.”

One final comment:  the average Israeli totally lacks in sablanout (patience).  While waiting in line at the bank, the people around me were continually complaining about the wait, and were clamoring for more tellers.

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