In recent times I have been reading Herman Wouk’s The Hope consumingly; I enjoy reading parts of this novel over and over. There is a quaint value, nonexistent in this modern day and age, I identify in the chapters which pair with my longings for Israel that make this a true gem in my petite library of favorite books.
Life was so rich, so hard, so rewarding, and beautiful in those days of Jewish immigration and liberation that I cannot help but feel a sense of envy from being born forty-years-later on the near-opposite end of the world.
Ten warm June days into the truce, Barak’s apartment was shaping up. Clad only in sneakers and faded shorts, his arm out of the cast and usable though stiff and crooked, he was cementing glass into a window sash, happy with such relaxing mindless chores. Nakhama was out shopping, Noah was back at his old kindergarten, and all was quiet in the household. In a week of hard work he and Nakhama had restored it to its former neat look, and there might never have been a war, except that the telephone remained dead, the water supply was chancy, and gas for the stove had not been restored until that morning. Electricity still came on only two hours a day, but candles and kerosene lamps diffused a romantic glow at night, suited to a sort of second honeymoon in their own flat, their own bed (Wouk, p.94).
The sentimental imagery.
Once I live in Israel, the elders will be this people of whom fought for their Independence during that hot Spring of 1948. They will be the concentration camp survivors, the grandmothers and great-grandfathers, the Communist immigrants fleeing from post-Soviet Russia, the Austrians and Germans and Poles with a history more starkly colorful than my baby-boomer generation who lived and rested in the American Dream.
I can only appreciate G-D’s works within the the diligent lineage of my Jewish forefathers, and what He is continuing within the persecuted heart of a strong nation. I hope, though cannot expect so readily, that when I am finally home that there will be a fulfilled sense of belonging, but there will always remain that belonging, that yearning, that admiration and gratitude.
I am proud to be a Jew.