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A Word from The Editor - 203

And the river flows…
I love the rain, the storms. I suppose it is because I grew up in Bulawayo, a town where we suffered from chronic drought. We used to wait for the rains, and wait and wait… The skies used to promise, there was tension, anticipation, and nothing. When on a rare occasion the skies did burst, I used to lie on the porch listening to the welcome music of the rain as it pelted down on the corrugated iron roof. Wonderful memories.
And the articles too flow in, from new writers, new towns, local and abroad. It's exciting never knowing what we will receive, and from whom. This eclectic magazine is the product of all your creative writings, which you send in spontaneously. Thank you all. You make ESRAmagazine interesting and dynamic.
Take for instance our cover story, The Man Who Helped Build Ashkelon. Out of the blue Selwyn Lurie, aged 97, who lives in California, sent me his story and photos from 64 years ago, which he remembered so vividly. What clarity, what efficiency, what digital expertise. Chapeau, Selwyn.
Memory plagues us all, what we remember and what we struggle to remember as we grow older. Sharon Bacher, in her story Singing with Dad, captures the poignancy of this when she writes how she stimulated her father's memory when he developed dementia through songs he loved and used to sing.
Fifty years after the 1967 war in which he lost two close fighter friends, Mark Pinsky visited Australia in 2017 and met up with the brethren of these friends. Together with them he relived the times he had fought together with their brothers in El Arish, Sinai. To his utter astonishment Victor Rosenbaum pulled out an article by Mark that he had found in his late brother Norman's
wallet after he had been killed.
Health issues preoccupy us, how to prevent, how to treat. I had to laugh recently when I was spending time with my three daughters, in their late 50s, and the main discussion point was what to eat to keep healthy, hearing complaints, and whatever. So in this issue you can read about celebrating a kidney transplant 20 years later; Thrivacious, which was founded by Alona Metz who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28, aims to ensure that no English-speaking woman will be forced to face cancer alone; David Friedlander, who has a rare slow-growing blood cancer called Erdheim-Chester Disease (ECD), was saved by doctors getting to the cause of the illness which enabled them to suit David with a personalized biological
treatment regimen, and following therapy, his multiple tumors have nearly disappeared. There are moments when we can laugh about our health – Vera Freudmann in Put it Down to my Condition tells how relieved she was when she googled this  phenomenon of her inability to tolerate the sound of a nail file and discovered she has "misophonia", and was not just a grumpy person. Most people consider going to therapy at some stage – Claire Rabin puts into perspective what therapy can and cannot do! If you do need support, you can freely call on ESRA's Counseling Service.
Fortunately, life is not only about health issues, but also about food. So enjoy our winter recipes by Janine Levy, and David Rhodes is back with his wine articles. If you are a foodie, Herb Hahn's story of his Gourmet Men's Club should kindle your enthusiasm about creating great meals together with friends.
Things just happen in our lives, or so we think – but aren't they beshert, synchronicity, as Carl Jung called meaningful coincidences that are not causally related? You'll find instances of this in Brush with the Past by Gail Lustig and A Bit of New Zealand at Rosh Hanikra by Brian Dodds. 
For music lovers there are some real treats in March: the Felicja Blumental International Music Festival in March at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 20 concerts in 6 days; The Sound of Music by Logon in locations all over the country; and The Wandering Israeli in Karmiel, a fun show which shares Israelis travel experiences.
Nine Israeli inventions were in TIMES's 100 best 2019 choices. Is Israeli democracy in question? – read what Alex Rose writes.
Ballet aficionados will enjoy Georgina Yacobi's brief history on Israel's ballet, its teachers, its dancers, its development.
Two people very dear to ESRA passed away recently: Carl Hoffman was an exceptional writer and human being, and a valued member of our ESRAmagazine Editorial Board and we will dearly miss his stories and his input which enriched us all. Channi Hurwitz was a former chairperson of ESRA, and it was she who brought us to Raanana, and created so many exciting projects in ESRA.
I was sad to read Lydia Aisenberg's story about the demolition of the children's house on Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek, built to protect the community's collective pride and joy, their kibbutz-born kinder, but instead had a tragic past. It reminded me of the unnecessary demolition in 1962 of the historic landmark and beautiful building of Israel's first high school, the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium in Ahad Haam Street in Tel Aviv, which was pulled down for the construction of Shalom Towers. It created an uproar that led to the recognition of conserving historic landmarks.
For travel ideas there are articles on Cuba and its small but active Jewish community, beautiful Croatia, and in Israel read Sharon Finegold and Frankie Cronin on trips to Bet Shearim and Tzippori, Tel Hatzor, the Hula, the Banias and Golan Heights et al. 
Do you want to volunteer? ESRA can offer you a volunteer "job" to suit your desires and talents, that will make you feel good. So please do contact the ESRA office.
Do you want to have an active and stimulating social, cultural, and educational time? You'll find it in our Events page, so please read it carefully, as well as looking at our ESRA adverts. And if you like hiking, you'll find that too. 


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Thursday, 29 February 2024

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