(Editor’s Note: My mother passed away in 2019)
I have decided that were I to try and convey the words my mother just wrote to me, I would be accused of writing what I wanted to hear, not what my mother really thought. Many of you will remember from columns written over two years ago how the most difficult part of our decision to make Aliyah was leaving our families. We left amidst much bitterness against us, against Israel, and even against friends who had helped us make our decision. That is why the following is so stunning.
Isn’t Chanukah a time of miracles?
“CROSSING THE CONTINENTS”
By Yarden’s Mom
Having just returned from a trip to see my children and grandchildren in Neve Daniel, I find myself full of thoughts that are so overwhelming I must put them to paper (even though it’s now e-mail). When my children decided to move to Israel, I was very angry and sad. They would no longer be close enough for me to enjoy the everyday experiences of life and the growing moments in my grandchildren’s life. Like the gymnastics shows, dance classes, and games: soccer, baseball and any other sport the grandkids would choose to try. And, of course, those music concerts when you wished your ears would shut down!!! They would forget who their grandparents were and would miss having incredible family knowledge passed on to their generation.
Yes, I still miss them desperately, but I see how they have found a life that is so right for them I must salute their choice. They live in a community that enhances all they believe in (even though it does have some quirks). The grandkids are doing well: despite the normal prejudices they encounter – not so different than the ones I encountered when I was growing up in South Wales. The house they have built is so perfect for them – it truly is their home. And in a few days, we managed to catch up and reminisce enough to keep us going till the next visit.
I have tried to think about what went into their decision to make this incredible move. My parents’ generation struggled to make sure their children got the education they would need. My father used to call education the Jewish life insurance. My generation worked hard to succeed so that our parents could be proud of us and not worry about our future. But my children’s generation did not have to worry – we provided for them to the very best of our ability. We gave them the great life insurance policy – a first rate education. But, without meaning to, we depleted their drive to achieve. That is what they are now doing in Israel. They are driving to achieve a land where all Jews can go, if they wish. A land where our people will always feel safe and secure. Will this ever be achieved – who knows? But my children are trying to ensure that it will happen. And so, Jordan and Stella, I salute you.
With much love and respect, Mom
Since the subject of this column is about mothers, I am dedicating this column in memory of my friend Paul’s mom, who in his words “made everyone she spoke with feel truly special.”