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 – CCXCVI. A Return Visit (11 of 19)

October 23, 24 & 25


Fate has decreed that my mother’s family would live in a different city than the one we lived in.  In Egypt we lived in Cairo and Flora’s family lived in Alexandria; in Israel, we lived close to Tel Aviv and my mother’s family lived in Haifa and environs.

Thus an extended stay in Haifa was on my itinerary.

The day started early since I had arranged to meet my cousin Gilbert at Haifa’s Tahana Merkazit (Central Station) around 1:00.  Before that, I was to meet with Moshe at 10:00 in downtown Tel-Aviv; and we used that short time span to catch up on 28 years!

It only takes an hour to get from Tel Aviv to Haifa.  The bus doesn’t leave at a specific time, the moment a bus fills up, another one comes in.  A bus leaves on the average once every twenty minutes.

As soon as I arrived in Haifa, I located Gilbert sitting on a bench.  By now, I was prepared for the fact that the young relatives I have left behind were now older; thus I was easily able to strip away the years and happily accept my older cousin.  The good news was that his wife Esty had successfully managed to remain young-looking; I actually didn’t recognize her!

Gilbert and Esty had invited the rest of the family so that I could see them all at once.  There were Nina and her husband Toto; Michael and his wife Carol.  Since this was Shabbat, the supper started with the Kiddush.  Thereafter, we ate the superb supper prepared by Esty, and filled the room with our reminiscences and laughter.

On Saturday, Gilbert and Esty took me to Rosh Pina to see their son Illan (Victor) and his family.

Rosh Pina started its life as a moshav, the first one to be established in the Galilee.  It’s a quiet town with little to see or do for a visitor.  But that didn’t matter, for we met Illan’s large family, and then left.  The plan for that day was for Illan to take us on a tour of the Golan.  Since the Golan can be a dangerous area, Illan and Gilbert reassured me that we would be reasonably safe; and that at any rate, they had taken the necessary precautions.  They did not elaborate, and I didn’t question them!

This was my second visit to the Golan Heights; and Illan took me to different areas than the ones I had seen during my tour; he took his time, and I once again lost my heart to the splendor of this corner of paradise.

One of the places we visited was the Crusader’s fortress.  It was not built by the Crusaders, but rather to defend against the Crusaders, and its actual name is Nimrod.  It was built around 1229 by Al-Aziz Uthman, nephew of Saladin to contain the crusaders of the Sixth Crusade.  When the Crusader rule in the Holy Land ended at the end of the 13th century, the fortress lost strategic value and was neglected.

We visited the excavated and restored portions of the fortress, and via “secret corridors” were transported to the past, to a time when wars were fought very differently.  Winding staircases, underground water cisterns, and windows specifically designed to shoot arrows are some of the features that I remember.

The day ended at a fish restaurant where we could choose our fish.  The pools containing the fish were all around us; it was grilled to perfection, and came with potatoes and a variety of salads such as teboulah, humus, tehina, various pickled vegetables, and green salad.

Before we parted, I thanked Illan profusely for an unforgettable day.

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