Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Don’t feel guilty, Gail. I was witness to the difficulties my parents went through in their forties when they took the plunge and left everything, for an unknown future in a strange land with a strange language, schlepping three kids with them. I don’t think everyone is up to it. I doubt if I could have done it.

As I near the age they were when they came here, I feel great admiration for them. It must have taken tremendous courage. I always used to think that, despite the trials of their absorption, it was easier for them than for those who came from Arab countries or Communist countries, usually with nothing. But my folks had a problem those other Olim* didn't have - the constant temptation of somewhere more materially comfortable to go back to.

*Jews who go to live in the Land of Israel are known as Olim = those who go up, ascend. Until a few years ago, Jews who left Israel were refered to as Yordim = those who go down, but this has been dropped because it was perceived as offensive.