An affair to remember…


I have fallen in love with a 63 year old. A complicated, tempestuous and passionate 63 year old. These past weeks this sexy 63 year old has made me ride a rollercoaster of emotions.

Now before some of you scratch your heads in confusion, my delicious 63 year is of no particular gender (well, being quite tempestuous some may render my 63 year old a woman!) and though only “officially” 63, this love of mine is several thousands of years old.

It is easy to fall in love withIsrael. This is a country whose people value life and celebrate it with incredible vigour. In as much as we celebrate the sanctity of life, we also stress the importance of the preservation of memory.

Never is this more evident than on Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day). On this day, the entire country pauses to rememberIsrael’s brave men and women who have fallen in battle. When the first siren sounds at 20h00 the evening before, signalling the start of Yom Hazikaron it is a very humbling and sobering reminder that the lives of nearly 23 000 men and women have been cut short in defence of the security of our beloved State. In its short 63 year old existence as a modern State, this country has witnessed several wars and more than its fair share of clashes with its extremely hostile neighbourhood. The Middle East is a volatile neighbourhood where bullyboy tactics are the order of the day but pluckyIsraelis not one to stand down in the face of adversity!

But courage has come with a terrible price and that is the loss of precious life.

A recent Olah, I have never had the opportunity to serve my country in her army. I regret not coming toIsraelat an age where I could serve because I feel that as Olim we miss out on a vital part of Israeli society.

And then literally overnight the mood of the country changes from deep reflection and mourning to that of exuberant celebration.

Israelover the chagim (holidays) is a sight to behold! Cars and apartments are festooned in blue and white Israeli flags and the excitement is absolutely palpable. Saying that Israelis can party is an understatement!

On the eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day)Israel’s streets are lined with happy proud revellers. Modiin rocked toIsrael’s most popular singer Eyal Golan. His arrival was announced by the high pitched, ultrasonic squealing of several thousand excited teenage girls and more than a few ecstatic adult women. Even I knew the words to some of his songs and managed to sing along in badly mimed Hebrew!

Living inIsraelis a sensory experience. Whether it is hearing Hebrew spoken around you (normally at a very rapid speed!) or the feast for your eyes which this little oasis in the desert is, on Yom Ha’atzmaut it is your sense of smell which is heightened. By the smell of food a’la aish (for South Africans……BRAAI VLEIS!)

Normally debating is the favoured national pastime but this is given short reprieve for a la aish on Yom Ha’atzmaut. To my great amusement, pita vendors paraded up and down the beach selling perfect accompaniment to any meal – the pita. No not ice creams, pitot! Well as we say here, ZOT YISRAEL! (This isIsrael).

And what a treat to sea the best of Israel’s naval and air force hardware demonstrated in a flyover and a sail past on the coastline! The sight of a cluster of F16’s definitely had this Olah Chadesha screaming like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert!

These have been weeks of “firsts”. And what a wild ride they have been!

Even though I have been made to ride an emotional rollercoaster these past few weeks, my love affair with Israel is one I will gladly boast about.

13 thoughts on “An affair to remember…

  1. Dear Ro-ro
    As a fellow Chadesha I enjoyed your descriptive piece on our beloved 63 year old!
    I celebrated Yom’Haatzmaut with the community back in Cape Town, which was a good way of touching base with everyone again.


  2. She’s only2 years younger than me. I wonder how many times she has been patched up. I wonder how many times she has stood tall, despite haemmoraging her Life blood on a cruel soil that then blessed her by producing fruit flowers trees and homes for the tiniest animal to the brave men women and children who came to care for her.. I wonder why she never groaned and complained. I wonder why she sought always to remain true to her giant neshoma, face her foes and cry out “Do your damndest”
    She and I are almost the same name. And today I will stop complaining about my sore knee.


  3. Dear Ro,
    You have made it “real”and wanting to be there. It is a special experience that we were fortunate to participate in when your love turned 50. May she/he continue to grow and manage to weather all the abuse sent on her path.


  4. you simply stole this land , killed the natives and kicked them out of their land and they are without home for 63 years.
    How it called independence and the land wasn’t yours in the first place?


    • @Fkilani

      Maybe you should read your history books, archeological books and all the western bibles before you spew your uninformed opinions.

      Israel is the only country in the world that has a valid certificate as it were to show that the land is legally ours. The UN gave it to us if you remember, and before that it offered the 1947 partition plan giving the so called locals more workable land than the Jews. They rejected this, as they have rejected all other deals that could bring peace to the area and give their people great freedoms and rights that they sadly now do not have.

      Besides this, if we look at the bible you will find that the claim of the Jewish people to the land of Israel overrides the claims made by Muslims. Judaism came before Islam! Jerusalem and the land of Israel were ours long before they were even a twinkle in their mothers eye. We pray facing Jerusalem, they pray facing Mecca, We go to Jerusalem on all our high holidays they go to Mecca. All our prayers, psalms and songs are about Israel and her Capital of Jerusalem. Mohammed never put one foot in the land of Israel. So one could in fact say that the Ottoman empire and the Muslim world in fact stole OUR land.

      So on a religious claim they have no ground or footing and this is why they have taken to the rewriting of history and religion as it suits them also destroying anything in the land that shows that Jews were there in ancient times.

      We did not kill the natives, their own people from the other Arab nations told their people to flee the land for they were going to wipe the Jewish people off the map and push them into the sea. So the people fled, awaiting a great victory, but instead they were destroyed. Shit happens im afraid! So after declaring a Holy war to kill all of our people, then they say woops sorry actually we now want to come back and be friends. Seriously, lets get real here.

      They had every opportunity to have land and an independent state, but decided rather to turn to terror, death and destruction using their own people as pawns. Just consider that at the same time their were roughly 300 000 to 500 000 Jewish refuges from Arab countries that expelled the Jews and hunted them, where is the Jewish refugee problem? Oh there is none! Why? Because Jews look after their own and absorbed them into the newly found state. Why did the Arab nations not absorb their brothers into one of their 22 states? why? I guess just like Hamas, they were concerned only for themselves and their own political agenda.

      The land was ours in the first place, the second, the third place and in all places.

      Actual evidence (not rewritten lies or fabrications but actual archeological and historical evidence) shows our connection the land for the last 3000 years+ and the so called locals of 1000 years+

      Where was the Palestinian state? the Palestinian flag, anthem, currency, court system, president, parliament and so on and so and so on and so on. oh ya, their were none because such a people or state never actually existed, while the Jews had an independent state in the land for over 400 years!!!

      So, please lets catch a wake up and stop with the pathetic attempts to change history and the world so that these people can have world domination, kill all lesbians, gays, Jews, Christians, Women who were make up, women who look at men, make honor killing a common accepted thing, basically take us all back to the dark ages.

      Facts are facts and I m afraid you have only lies and myths to guide you!!!!!

      Am Yisrael Chai!!!!


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