Yesterday I met a co-worker in the corridor who told me in passing that he’d just come back from a few days in my homeland, my Moledet (which literally translates as birth land). My homeland? I asked, not understanding. He apparently meant he had been in London. It was crazy, he said. A few days before Christmas, you never saw so many people, you couldn’t move. But I was hardly hearing. I was transformed back to a fourth grade classroom in another century. The teacher Tziona was explaining to a perplexed nine year old that even though she was born somewhere else, this was her real Moledet.
I am struck by the thought that I haven’t been to London for seventeen years. And even that last trip seventeen years ago wasn’t all that marvelous. That’s when we discovered Bish was allergic to aspirin. We were in St. Paul’s Cathedral of all places, and I had given him an aspirin because he had complained of a headache or something. I suddenly noticed his lips were bloated to twice their normal size and the rest of him was covered in red blotches. This had happened once before, at home, but we’d thought it was because of the fish we’d just eaten (we weren’t vegetarians back then). We rushed to nearby St. Barts hospital, and ended up spending most of our time in London in our hotel room, Bish in bed, half alive, me watching TV.
No, London is certainly not my Moledet, that's for sure.