Letters written by Debbie to Eli during the end of the first school year in Israel and when she returned to visit her parents' home in America. Her letters were sent after she received letters from Mali in which he takes care of her Judaism in the Diaspora (translated)
August 4, 1972
Eli, I can not stand it anymore. For the past 24 hours, I have been unable to think or concentrate on anything else. I do not know what to do. To continue my response to your 15-page letter and another 4 I received today ?! Also written while writing the 15-page letter. Oh, no matter, I can not even write one more sentence. The crying blurs my vision and I can not believe it.
I guess I should apologize for my letter in advance - call it temporary insanity (or vice versa). I can not stand it anymore, Eli, really, I can not. I do not know what you want from me - I do not understand you at all. What do you expect? I try and I study and seek to see what Judaism requires, but I do not understand you.
Forget it for me, it's Saturday night and I hate it - I wish it was not Saturday soon. Eli, what do you want? Do not tell me sages now, I know the words of sages and I work on myself and judge myself, but now I want to know what you want to know (you?) Me, and know how I try .. - Oh I have to go. I hate meat, but I eat. Have a Shabbat Shalom - I would fill in the page, but they shout at me that I am not coming. Toby [Debbie's girlfriend and Eli's sister who came to be with Debbie in America] is sick, still. Bye
August 6, 1972, 27 Av
Dear Eli, I lost my temper. Friday was a very difficult day because of the difficulties with Shabbat, and Toby felt terrible and she felt it was the reason for all the confrontations that arose, and I felt sick and wild all day because of your letters, and my mother was upset about something else, and Shabbat was not particularly pleasant or happy.
Since Toby is still sick so we stayed here to sit - for the first time. We usually spend the whole day with Roda. The fact that we stayed home caused some problems with my mother - she never heard all the kosher accuracy and was quite upset when I told her that Toby would not eat her chicken soup unless she cooked it deep and in a certain way. In the end she considered and agreed, but it came at a very hard and painful cost of complaining about my lack of consideration and selfishness, which I did not help her - which was not entirely related to the issue.
My mom refused to turn off the light in the fridge - I obviously did not open it, or used anything that came out of it on Saturday. It has never been so hard as it is now, as I was rarely home on Saturday, but we also wanted a cold drink and ice to help Toby. You will never understand what a sore spot this light is in the fridge.
Then I heard my father asking my mother to turn off the light in the fridge and she refused. She got mad at me for some stupid thing, that I did not take out the garbage as soon as she asked, so everything exploded into a big thing, and my father scolded me for not helping and that I am so inconsiderate when I demand such things from my mother (even though he respects and would agree). I need to be especially sensitive and careful not to upset my mom and do my job at home, even more than expected of me and even excessively (my dad says there is no such thing as an excessive amount of help at home). So they yelled at me, probably rightly, or not, but the fridge light stayed on, so me and Toby had almost nothing to eat all Saturday. My parents did not understand and the atmosphere was very tense.
Today has been such a fun day. I slept late (uh! Finally) and everyone came out except me and of course Toby, so I went downstairs and sewed for Toby a skirt that would surprise her and make her feel good. Then I fixed one of mine and just sat and sewed and sewed and listened to Chopin Bach, Schumann, Rimshi-Kovkov, Mozart and Judy Collins all day.
Toby is feeling better now. She's going to the doctor again on Wednesday and will find out more about what's wrong, but the doctor is almost certain it's Mono and he treats it as such. Toby is fantastic, never complains (unlike me in similar situations) and she is very beautiful.
In your last letters, you were very upset with me because of my "secrecy" towards you and raised all sorts of accusations. You keep asking me if I have any issues with modesty, and I usually do not answer you directly. The reason is that it's very difficult to say, to write down, what exactly I do well and what less - it's like I would ask you, "Well, what about you and anger?" You know the laws of anger, of course. It will inevitably help the second your faith enters the room. It's not that you're ignoring - it's just hard to hold on to a deal.
So do I with modesty. I can not say whether I fail or not - sometimes yes, sometimes no. But this is really not something to report to you. I myself must continue to remember and persevere and not forget and not lose it. Words in a letter are not what remind me - pictures, people, emotions and atmosphere - yes.
At home here it is very difficult. This kind of modesty is not seen here. Present, but transparent. So I have to work on it. I think about it for myself and I try - I really do. So sometimes I feel less, tell you it's out of proportion and distorted? I do not know. Do not worry please! ...
August 6, 1972 27 Av 5732 (translated)
OK. I'm sorry. I really apologize for my last two letters - for the things I wrote and the way I acted. I'm so sorry. I do not really know why I sent the latter at all. I learned one thing - correspondence in letters is a pathetic thing, it's even absurd. We both have so much to say, we are loaded with new thoughts and insights - every day I learn so much, or think about so many things, and most of all I feel the need to write to you. No - talk to you. This is ridiculous in writing.
I find I always apologize - and for what? For being angry at the letter or depressed, or misunderstanding or something - and it's all due to my desire to be with you. I'm so bouncy and sensitive, I guess I're overreacting and saying a lot of things that should not be mailed and cause aggravation. Yet, Sometimes there is too much trouble and discomfort at home - stress from parents and myself, problems with Shabbat, exhaustion from camp, Toby is sick, and then your letters enliven me - I do not know.
I'm sorry, you just wrote to me, through quotes from Sages, that you expect from me something I could not quite understand, something that seemed completely detached and from your subjective point of view - I do not blame you, but it is completely without considering me as a person in a unique situation with emotions , With some drawbacks and even some good features - in exile.
Eli, I do not forget. I am not alone here - I keep in touch with Rabbi Landisman, Rabbi Anamar and the most religious society possible, and the demands of Sages are clear to me. I appreciate you quoting them to me - it really helps a lot, but what I can not understand is - what do you want? And those stupid letters make the situation worse.
If I were there, in the Holy Land, with you ... - We both know that all you want and all I want is to fulfill the will of God and live a life of Torah by keeping the words of Sages. If you can understand all my thoughts, you can understand every complicated gemara, differentiating a thousand thousand differences. Oh me, I love you.
I truly believe it's just the stupidity of our separation that runs everything. Sometimes I think it's better not to write at all - a pretty silly thing to say in the circumstances, because I can not stop writing to you more than to stop breathing, even if I am writing terrible letters.
29 Menachem Av 5732 (translated)
My muscles hurt so much. Arlene really works on me: 35 sit-ups (the hardest type), 15 push-ups (of girls - but they are still hard!) All sorts of stretching exercises, 50 toe touches and abdominal exercises, and I ate very little (well, kind of ..) too Today, then, we will see. I mean, I hope not - that's the whole point!
Oh darling, today I did not receive any mail - it arrives very sporadically. There are days when I get 6 letters at once (the best days here) and then almost a week or so without anyone. And they also do not come chronologically - it mixes my mind. Your letters take about 10-11 days to reach me, and mine should take 6-7 days to reach you. So a little over two weeks for a round trip - what a pain.
Today I played the piano for about two and a half hours. I'm so happy about it, but very angry at myself for my rusty moldiness - sounds very squeaky. And my knuckles are cracked! Maybe I should do these finger exercises too? I also knit all the time - by the way, someone said you wear the black velvet cap - well, what about that? Hmmm? If you do not like my domes, tell me fast and I will stop knitting, I really do not enjoy doing it.
I do not knit so that you have another dome, I knit because I love you and I love to do things for you. To give you - it somehow connects me to you almost every second, because when I'm not writing, I spend almost every second of my time knitting for you and nothing can make me stop!
My parents travel for a week - just run away after all the aggravation here (of training). So just Toby, Arlene and I will be here - a vacation for us too ...
Well? How is learning? How are you? You never tell too much and it's not good for wrinkles and my gray hair - worry.
Write to me about you because I love you.
10 Elul 5732 - (Translated)
This is the second time I'm writing to you today. The first one can not really be called a letter, I guess - that was the note I sent back along with your letter with Wolf - you probably received it a few days ago and you're really confused in terms of time.
I am full of pain and hurt and also completely drained, after writing a long letter to Rebbetzin Tao. Today Zeev went to Israel, so I came home from the camp, read your letter, wrote a short note and ran and gave it to him. Then I came home, I thought quite a bit, I wrote a letter to Rebbetzin Tao and now I am writing to you.
I do not understand what is happening, but please I hope you will pass and talk to R. Zvi when he returns from reserve or with the Rebbetzin even earlier - it is essential. what about us? We do love each other, and neither of us, God forbid, wants to hurt each other and yet we are both dead. I hope someone can understand and advise accordingly.
Eli, my head explodes, my hand hurts, tomorrow I will write better again. enough for the day.
post Scriptum. Can you please hand over my letters to the rabbi please? Thanks.