Dear Dad and Mom,
Today, the 17th of Tammuz, is a day of fasting and reckoning of souls, "sought through us and interrogated and returned to God," and Sages note all the calamities that befell Israel on this day. With each event score, we find ourselves in a different era, a different "setting", and the date as the second thread, connects all periods and threads event to event and one daughter connects them all.
Today, too, is a day after the wonderful party you had for yourselves yesterday, and yet I am still walking around under the strong impression of this lovely encounter.
You, Father (Rabbi Moshe Horowitz), have spoken such happy things in their simplicity. Warm, embrace and uplift both - full - striving for love - for the mother, love for the family, love for the Torah, love for Zion and Jerusalem.
The boys spoke - each in his own tune and there was such a deep harmony, astonishing in its beauty, composed of shades of different tones, varying intensities, complex rhythms - but the whole was a "symphony" (to continue the metaphor!) Of unity and brotherhood.
And the grandchildren sang and blessed - and what do I have to add and describe about such a perfect picture ?! And it is not customary for girls to demand the words of the Torah - and who am I anyway? - But maybe thank you is allowed.
I (as you know!) Am a champion at remembering dates from the near and distant past, and in the spirit of these days of soul-searching and searching and inquiry, I too want to connect event to event, to thread together different eras.
Speaking of which, Dad, you mentioned three axes around them and because of them you brought us together. 45 years of your marriage ("heart" + "love"), your immigration to Eretz Israel and the end of the Shas. And it is interesting that each of them is enough for him to celebrate and rejoice in a "kind of" day.
And I thought to myself that in these three subjects we have something in common, but for me it is not the date that connects them all, but one person. And to explain myself - this is the purpose of my letters:
22 years ago, on June 17, 1968 (your wedding day, right?) I finished ninth grade at the Hebrew Academy. That day, because I was in Valedctonion, I had to deliver a speech, which is why the farewell ceremony is so deeply etched in my memory and meaningful to me.
But not just because of that speech (you wrote) - the end of the road testifies to the road itself - and for me, my years at the Academy as your student and apprentice deeply affected me and shaped my way to the future, and you can definitely say that thanks to those years - thank you - For everything Jewish, and a thirst to "fill in the blanks."
A thirst that did not fade even after 4 years of folk high school, so much so that the memory of the content you gave us at the Academy influenced me to postpone a brilliant opportunity to continue my studies with all my high school friends at a very prestigious university, and to look for a suitable "study Torah" framework.
In conclusion, all my attraction to Judaism, repentance and the great thirst to learn the values of the Torah - from you and thanks to you. And I immigrated to Zion and Jerusalem? Also thanks to you.
And now I'll tell you a story I'm not sure you know:
In my applications, at the time to the college for admission to their institution, I was not aware - at all - that in those days the chance for an average daughter, from a family with pedigree, with excellent Jewish education and background, from studios - high schools the "cream" of American Jewry (in New York for example) , With the highest grades, with knowledge of Hebrew at the level of a mother tongue - such a girl, even her chances of being admitted to college in those days, were slim. This is because demand has exceeded capacity. 7: 1.
Rabbi Eretz told me all this at the end of my IAF year, when he gave me my IRA grades (he said, the highest in the class), when I was already engaged (unofficially) and Eli was already in the stages of replying.
I did not know all this, so I innocently approached the test - the test material - the Bible - when the day before I had read the whole Bible in English all night, and hoped for the best. My test with my "Hebrew" was one large square fiasco. So much so that I was not in matters, that I did not feel it and sent it back.
I sent the test to the college, plus a recommendation from the Academy and a questionnaire that they asked to fill out personal details. Among the details there, they wanted to know the names of relatives in the country and whether they are religious or not (perhaps, in order to know if the daughter has a place to stay on Saturdays).
I registered my relatives in Kibbutz Naan, in Ben Shemen, in Tel Aviv - but since none of them were religious, I felt a little uncomfortable and revealed a fourth family (with the addition of slurred Hebrew "It's not relatives, it's friends"): - The Horowitz family - Bolivar St., etc. .
I put all this in an envelope and sent it back to college.
A few weeks later, when I received a positive answer I received - I raised an eyebrow with satisfaction and thought to myself that I had probably passed the test more than I had imagined! And so I went to the country. As mentioned, at the end of the year, R. Eretz told me the truth.
He said he tortured himself by sorting the girls who were accepted and because of the lack of space in the program, he had to reject really great girls, and the competition was so tough between them, and how to decide who is accepted and who is not ?!
And suddenly he came across my test - a joke - something terrible and awful, and happily threw it at the rejections, without any remorse, but intrigued him to know who even dares to send such a test bad and far from tradition, and perusing the form indeed present that she has no family with pedigree - even There is no religious background,
Then his eyes came across the small print "The Horowitz Family..." He told me he had called you to ask "Who is this girl anyway?" And you, Dad, told him, he said, that if the college had the courage, the guts and the flight - they would accept me and not be sorry. " And he, R. Eretz, accepted the challenge you posed to him and in spite of everything accepted me - so he said!
Well, I immigrated to our good and wide coveted land - all thanks to you!
And last but not least, my / my own. And not just because he's your son with all that implies - I would say that too - our day! But on this subject I also have a story - which may also have been forgotten from your hearts.
It is well known that you "knew" me seriously in the sand of Passover (which for me was a good Monday of postcards) when you all went to the Dead Sea and I was left alone at home.
Our acquaintance was extremely intense, agitated, quick, and very wonderful, but to me it was barely 19 years old. Eli, however outwardly, was secular (to say the least). Inwardly I felt great and besieged. Toby was stinging and hurt in her jealousy, my parents are far overseas and I Anna I come? Who will I ask? Who will I consult? All my teachers and gentlemen from the college were on Passover holiday.
And so, unintentionally, I put you, Dad, in no small trouble when I asked you, 'Continue with him? Despite not being observant - far from it - or stop? '
And I took it upon myself to obey everything that was commanded me, even if it was to stop. And who is it? In the company of your daughter who had (informally) a degree of parenting outside the home, with all the responsibilities involved, and with your son, with all the complication he had these days!
You were silent for a few minutes, you asked me a few questions and then you said you would give me an answer a few hours later, in the evening. And as I said, if you were to tell me to stop, I'm sure that would be what I would do.
And so ... marriage too - thanks to you too!
Well, when you united the three themes: the Torah, the Land of Israel and the years of your marriage with mother, with these summer days - to me those three themes, the pillars of my whole being and existence, they connected to me through you and thanks to me in my heart full of gratitude and appreciation and love.
I dare (a little ashamed) to write these lines, to thank you - you and to participate with all my heart in your joys and also to attach my very sincere blessings to the blessings of all.
May we be blessed together for many, many, many more days and years of happiness and contentment, and the joy of the Torah, here in our holy land, Amen.
Debbie - Dina
post Scriptum. I have a whole lot more to say and especially to you, Mom, but it no longer goes into my words or orderly editing, but, to such a pleasant (literally) kind, a gentle and caressing melody and accompanying and soothing and also strengthening and encouraging and sometimes crying and mostly praying and wishing and smiling.
In the words of the poet (Air Force band ??) "This tune cannot be stopped..."
The melody is good, and it sounds good in everything, and we will continue to play it ...
And there is more but life will tell