Who I really am - Goodbye from a dear friend
They came for breakfast.
The girls were running in the yard, while we sat with our tea and had a calm talk, looking at our cute neighborhood routine that is about to end. Since they are leaving.
They are good friends of us, and were part of our daily Romanian life. Actually, we miss them even before saying goodbye. We talked about the move to a new country, about summer vacaion and about my In-laws that they met a few days ago at the pool.
|The kid on the right side of the bride, is my grandfather. Germany 1929|
This unique reunion, allowed her to ask me: why did your Inlaw's immigrated from Russia to Israel, from all the countries? This made me tell her the stories I heard about life in the Communist era (not easy) and coming from Jewish heritage in the Communist era (really not easy). I told her about Kobi's grandfather that, as many teenagers, left for university in another city when he was 18 years old. This act saved his life, since a bit later the Nazis arrived and murdered his entire family (parents, sisters, nephews….) burring them naked and alive in a mass grave…..
Our tea got cold. The girls kept playing nicely and my friend, that for a year and half saw me on a daily basis and was an inseparable part of my life, suddenly looked at me in a different way.
|Last year we went to Babi Yar and found this, in a middle of a green park|
"Do you want the girls to be Jewish when they grow up?" She then asked.
This caused me to talk about the Nuremberg laws, and how they taught me that it doesn’t matter what they will choose. People will always remember and know that they are Jewish.
I believe that if this is what we are, we better know what it means and to be able to stand for it.
So I told her about my grandfather, a blue eyed boy who ran away from Germany with his parents and brother, leaving their entire life behind and starting from the scratch in Peru. The rest of the family escaped to the Netherlands, but it wasn't far enough…. They got caught and were (almost) all murdered in Auschwitz.
She is one of my best friends here in Romania, and for the first time, she understood who I trully am. My family history built me. We had to get to our last day together to be able to talk about this. I hugged her and invited her to read about the Jewish community in Salonikiand Greece.
|Once, her mom tried to teach me to cook Greek food.... I was'nt so good|
This is the reason we will go back to Israel, I whispered.
Life in Israel is hard. The salaries are (so) low, the prices are (so) high, everybody is stressed, and the climate is (so) hot. Oh yes, and there's a war going on and we send our kids to the army. But it's the only place in the world where I don’t need to explain in school why we celebrate Chanuka instead of Christmas, it's the only place in the world where we are not a minority and my daughters will be simply - normal.
And so we hugged again, and said our goodbyes. I wished her the best in her new adventure, building a new home in a foreign country and creating her girls a normal life. Now, when all the masks are gone, our goodbye was even harder.....
Good luck my dear friend! I will never forget our time together.