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 – CCXXXIII. The Ma’abarot Stage (9 of 26)

I quickly lost count of the number of times we travelled to Tel Aviv.  For the first few months we travelled an average of two or three times a week.  We were city folks and were obviously not going to settle in a rural area.  Thus most formalities required a visit to the JA in Tel Aviv.

My father wanted to go into business for himself; for that he needed a loan and the necessary permit.  As well, he requested to be transferred as soon as possible to a ma’abara that was closer to Tel Aviv.

Robert wanted to go to a technical school to learn a trade. This would allow him to exercise it when he joined the army, and later to support himself when he returned to civilian life.

In my case, my priority was to learn Hebrew, and then attempt to get an administrative job after I finished my military service.

Every time we went to Tel Aviv, we headed straight to Maurice’s home.  Both Maurice and Souma opened their heart and hearth to us.  They had a two-bedroom house; and in their small home in Kiriat-Shalom we all managed to squeeze there!

It went beyond hospitality.  We constantly complained and expressed our frustration at how long it took to accomplish anything in Israel.  Maurice didn’t seem to mind, but Souma offered strong advice and forced us to face the realities of everyday life in our new country.

With our four cousins, there was a language barrier since they spoke only Hebrew.  However, we often went out with them and somehow managed to communicate.

One day, when we came to Tel Aviv, uncle Maurice had a bulky envelope for us (we had given his address before leaving Italy).  It was our immigration visa to the U.S.!  All we had to do was pass our medical examination; thereafter, we could live in the promised land!  The fabled America!  Alas, it has come too late!  We could barely afford the bus fare from Kfar Saba to Tel Aviv, let alone plane tickets to the U.S.!

I can laugh today at my reaction; but at the time, I was, to put it mildly, very frustrated.  Little did I know back then that this turn of events would prove to be a blessing in disguise.

I would in time go to Canada (a country better suited to my temperament).  And I would leave Israel much richer than when I came.  I would have acquired another language, another culture, and a degree of maturity only hardships can bestow on a person.

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