The kids and Earl are downstairs playing 'Settler's' as we all take a pre-Pesach break from cleaning. It's a great game, has nothing to do with us, was invented by a German, no less, in the '90's. Guess the name hasn't hurt sales. I just brought home an expansion pack so they're busy and since the chair I collapsed into is in front of my computer you guys lucked out. They're eating whatever is left (peanut butter on tortilla wraps, cereal, stale granola bars) so I don't have to do dinner.
I had a brief but emotional phone conversation today with Vivienne from Ramle. When I was in LA her son, whom I'll call Saul, was our driver when Arieh Eldad and I went to Fresno (raisin capital of the world, yessiree) to see Victor Davis Hanson. Google him, he's amazing. Very pro-Israel, brilliant, Stanford prof, farmer, advisor to the White House, but so unassuming and modest. He didn't meet any Jews till he was an adult, which may account for why he likes my kind of Israel. See Clinton for what happens when you know Jews in college, the liberal kind. Oy.
Back to 'Saul'. He's been in LA for 3 years and is very bitter and sad about Israel. He felt he had to leave, that things were not the way he needed them to be. Under the anger you could hear so much pain, though. He and Arieh had a rather, um, lively discussion. Arieh said that he agreed with him that things needed to be changed, but that can only be done by living in Israel, and that the chances of Saul's grandchildren being Jewish if he stayed in the US were really not so high. Jews can't afford to stop struggling and let the indecent and incompetent people run the show; we have too much at stake. Anyhow, I took his mother's number to wish her a happy Pesach and tell her what a nice son she has raised, and that I hope he and his wife and daughter come home one day. He had told me how he once called her on the way south with 40 other soldiers and asked her to get some pitot and humus for them, only to walk in the door to a barbeque feast. She was so touched that he had shared that with me. I didn't tell her the sadder story of when he saw 10 American servicemen get off a plane in LA to a standing ovation and salutes from everyone in the terminal, and that he had to go to the restroom till he stopped crying from grief that he never felt that appreciation at home. As he should have.
My Dani came home in uniform on Friday for the first time. It was a huge mix of feelings; pride, fear, sorrow that it's 70 years too late for 6 million of my people, wonder at where the time has gone so that my little curly top boy now towers over me. And carries a gun.
May he and all soldiers fighting for the free world be safe, loved, supported. And most of all, successful.
Happy Pesach on a cool and rainy Judean eve.