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 – CCLXXXVIII. A Return Visit (3 of 19)

October 17 & 18

I am still busy getting reacquainted with Bat Yam, determining what has changed and what has not.  The shdera (garden running across the city and ending at the sea), and the corniche (promenade along the sea shore) are still there.  The rest exists in my memory only.

What has remained unchanged is the Israelis and their “I don’t care attitude.”

On this Saturday, I walked along the corniche and had a chance to observe the people on the beach.  Dogs were running freely and barking at the bathers; people were still playing racquetball, oblivious to where their ball landed; volleyball nets were stretched amidst the crowd; and invectives were continuously hurled at the balagan (lack of order) thus created.  Yes, I was back in Israel, and glad to be among my brethren!

Since we were halfway through October, you may be wondering how so many people could be at the beach.  Actually, the weather was warm and there were many swimmers in the sea.  Indeed, when I came to Israel in 1996, I swam in the Mediterranean Sea in November!

In the afternoon, aunt Étty and uncle Joseph came to see me.  Joseph looked quite well despite his age (83).  Étty is the same lively person I remember, but aged of course.  I should point out that I accepted, with a great deal of equanimity the fact that my relatives have aged. Old age is a close relative of youth, just as death is a close relative of birth!  It’s all an intrinsic part of the life cycle.

Joseph and Étty’s visit was short, for thereafter, my aunt was taking me to visit Aunt Souma.

This was an emotional reunion.  Hugs and kisses rained on me.

Since it was the period of Sukkot which culminates with Simchat Torah (it marks the end of the cycle of reading passages from the Torah in the synagogue and the beginning of the new cycle), Souma`s children were all there with the exception of Isaac who had immigrated to the U.S. and was now living in New York.  Thus I had a chance to see my cousins:  Shlomo and his wife, Levana and her husband, and Leah (Étty had told me beforehand that Leah had cancer and that it was incurable).

It took me a while to accept that the youths I had left behind were now middle-aged people.

At a certain point, the rest of the family withdrew and left me alone with Leah.  I did not mention her illness nor did she broach the subject.  It was her choice to bring it up and even discuss her feelings; but she opted not to.  So why did the rest of the family left us alone?  Simply to allow us to say a final goodbye, albeit not openly.

Aunt Souma looked very good and I was so happy to see her.  She has a good heredity, and indeed her mother was still alive (she was 91).

Souma was not a traveler; she hated to leave the confines of her home; but with her beloved Isaac now in North America, she did cross the Atlantic and admitted that she enjoyed her journey.  She visited New York; Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas; and Toronto, Canada.

When I left aunt Souma, I went with aunt Étty to her home.  I had a light supper, chatted with uncle Joseph and watched television.

Recently, the cable had been introduced to Israel; thus Joseph proudly showed me how many stations he was able to watch.  We made a quick tour of the dial.  Because of their proximity to Europe, and the rest of the Middle-East, we saw programs from France, Italy, England, Holland, and Egypt.

Sunday, October 18, was an uneventful day.  The following day was Simchat Torah, and despite the fact that this was a statutory holiday, and almost all businesses would be shut tight in the nation, I was going for my first tour.  (In the tourism business you need to be flexible, some tourists may be in Israel for a few days only).

Comments are closed.