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Look who is this Eli, this big Mr. X.

This is one of the reasons why I would like you to come this summer to meet Eli, so you can see exactly who this Eli is, this great Mr. X

A tape for parents from the second year of college at Beit Vagan 1972

Recorded in the winter, after being in the summer in America and about six months before the wedding

since I just heard your tape and then I'm in the mood to talk, and I want to explain a lot of things. And maybe it's better that I don't wait and plan out what I'm going to say.

I think that might be my problem a lot of times. For instance, you mentioned in the tape that there's two subjects that I seem to avoid and one of them is [Elie] and the other one is about me coming home this summer and not, and all that.

Well, they're two subjects, especially Elie, that... I'm not avoiding them. Of course I want to tell you about them. It's just that to me, it's something so... I'm so worried that I won't explain it well and that you'll get the wrong impression, and that you won't understand exactly what I mean, or I won't explain it well.

And it's such an [inaudible] delicate thing to me that I just think, "Ugh, I'll wait until I can really sit down and think it out and then I'll tell you." But I realize now that I'm never going to sit down and really think it out. Really, there's not anything to really think out. It's not anything that deep and hard understand. It's fine, so I might as well tell you already, right?

So I'll talk on this tape. I want to say a lot of things, I guess. And so here I am. I'm lying in my sleeping bag. Actually, it's not mine. It's Toby's. I've had it since [inaudible]. And I discovered it's so much easier to sleep in a sleeping bag than to put sheets and blankets and pillowcases and everything on every day, because we have to strip our beds here every day. And it's much warmer and much more comfortable.

So I'm all curled up in my sleeping bag with two pieces of bread... Yummy... And I'm alone in my room for the time being. I don't know, Rachel will probably have to come into the study, but I'll try to let that not inhibit me, and I'll tape to you.

First of all, I was very, very sorry to hear about your cousin Bernice. It's very upsetting and shocking. I hope that everything is okay now. It's such a sudden thing. How old was she?

Anyway, I'm glad though that you had a chance to meet her at least, and at least you created that link between you and her, and you and that side of the family, and Auntie Gloria got to see everyone. I don't know, send me more details. How many children does she have, and what will they do, and what will her husband do?

Anyway, I don't know. That was bad news. But I'm happy to hear about Henry, and I'm glad that he's okay. And Aunt Lil told me a lot of the details about how he's going to be coming home soon, and how the operation with his success, and how he shouldn't have any more troubles after this, right?

Anyway, so give my best regards to him and Cecile, and Nancy, and to Helene and all that stuff. But that's really great. By the time you get this tape he'll already have been home, and that in itself is a great thing. He'll probably get better much quicker at home than in a hospital, right Dad? Anyway. So that's about Henry.

What else did you tell me? Your Friday night meal sounded great. Aunt Lil spent all afternoon describing it. I was starving. I was very hungry today, and she spent all day telling us how good your meal was, and everything you made, and I was starving.

I didn't want to say anything because the minute I opened my mouth Yessel would probably take me to the fanciest restaurant and spend $50,000 on me or something to get me something to eat. And I knew that we were going to eat dinner soon. So my mouth is watering and my stomach is growling and I'm waiting for it to be dinnertime, and it finally was.

So today what happened was I had two classes early in the morning. So I went to them, and then from there I went and I met Yessel at [inaudible] we drove up to the Netanya, and we met Aunt Lil and her sister, and we talked for a while.

And then they wanted to lie down and rest. They were very tired. They just came yesterday and you lose a lot of time. It's very exhausting. So while they rested, we went to visit the [inaudible] who I don't know, but Yessel knows, so that was nice.

They live in a perfectly gorgeous apartment. Actually, I didn't like the way it was furnished that much. It was sort of ornate for me. But the apartment itself is really big and really pretty.

And the [Dobsons] also live there, and I don't know them, but their daughter Sharon went to the academy. She's three years younger than me, but she's [inaudible] and [inaudible] and all those guys' age. So she came over to see me, and we sort of remembered each other. Anyway, [inaudible] or anybody like that, all my regards to them from Sharon Dobson.

Okay. Anyway, after that we went back to Aunt Rose, to a hotel, and we had dinner there. And I ate my head off. I mean, I had a good meal. You'd be really proud. I had meat. I don't know when the last time was that I had meat. And I had kasha varnishkes but it came nothing near to your kasha varnishkes. And I had bread, naturally, and I had soup, and tea and cookies and stuff. And then we drove back. Here I am.

Let me see. And going on, my next thing on the agenda... I want to tell you about my day yesterday. I don't know why. It's nothing really special, as far as great events happening in my life, to chalk it up as a turning point in my life, it wasn't or anything. It was just a normal day.

But it was such a nice day. It was one of my nicest days here, and I just want to tell you. Being Monday, I go to... You know that lady in Machane Yehuda? So by the way, last week I took the whole box that you sent me, took a few things out that I wanted, and then I took the rest down to that [inaudible] lady down in Machane Yehuda.

But this Monday it was a gorgeous day outside, and warm, and nice, and sunny, and really pleasant. And I woke up and I decided... I don't know... I have all these tests to study for. I have my math test starting all over again.

So I have this huge, huge math test that I should be studying for. In fact, tomorrow we have half the day off to study for it, and I don't even feel like it. I have no [inaudible], I have no desire to. So yesterday also, I should have studied. I had time. But instead I decided... I don't know... I was going to spend the day nicely. I don't know.

Anyway, I went down to [Zakia] in the morning, and I usually spend like an hour and a half or something with her. I stayed there about three hours. And we talked, and she told me all about her family. It's so depressing. She has such problems.

And yet we ended up... We were laughing together, and we had Turkish coffee together. And one day I'll learn how to make it because every time I try... She's blind and old, and she can hardly walk, and she cooks the coffee while I watch her. And I can't even offer to do it because I can't do it. Every time I do it, it overflows and it gets all a mess, and it makes her nervous.

But we had a few cups of coffee and... I don't know... I left there. It was about 12:31. And I decided, instead of coming home and studying, which every normal person would do, it was so nice that I wanted to go to the Kotel. So I went to the car Kotel.

I took the bus to the [inaudible] and I walked through the shuk. And as I walked through the shuk, there's a store right before you come to the Kotel. There's a store on the left. It's called [inaudible] and it's a spine store. It has all kinds of books there.

And I love to go and walk around, and then I want to buy all the books, and I want to read them all, and I wish I knew them all by heart or something. I wish I could learn them all. But I can just settle for just going through and browsing around. And since I go to [inaudible], I get such a huge reduction on books that sometimes if I have some money, I could buy some.

But I went in and I was looking around. I always like to go there before I go to the Kotel. And I found this book that I've been dying to buy since the beginning of the year, and no one ever seemed to have it. And I don't get to go to the bookstore that often. And they had it, and I was so excited that I grabbed it and I ran over to pay for it.

And I said, "Here, I want to buy this book." And he said, "Okay." And he started taking it, wrapping it up. And then he told me how much it cost. And all of a sudden it occurred to me, "Oh yeah, I have to pay for it." The whole idea that I had to pay for it, I completely forgot about that aspect.

And I didn't have any money on me. It was the most embarrassing thing. He said it was five and a half pounds, and I said, "Oh, I have to pay for it?" Like I was just realizing myself. So then I felt really stupid. I said, "Oh, but I don't have any money."

So he said, "That's okay." He didn't even look the price. He said, "That's okay. Take it. And next time you're around you'll come in and pay for it." So I went, "What?" I said, "No, no, forget it. I'll come to other time." He said, "No, take it. And when you're in the neighborhood you'll come pay for it." So I couldn't believe it. That's the nicest thing. So I said, "Okay."

And he was so nonchalant about it. He hardly even looked me or anything. I said, "Well, at least write it down somewhere. Write it down somewhere." It made me nervous that he just said it and he didn't even write it down. He has to make it official, at least. I mean, I'm not used to this. Or give me a bill or something. I don't know.

He said, "No, if I write it down, I'll lose that paper, and I have enough paper floating around here. I don't need to have another one with your name on it, and five and a half." And he went, "I trust you. When you're in the neighborhood, you'll come and pay for it." So I took it. It was the nicest thing. Only in Israel, I guess.

And then I went to the Kotel and I was about the only one. It was the middle of the afternoon, Monday. And it was really nice. I don't know why. Every time I go there, it's nice. I don't get sick of going there. Or sometimes I go there and I think, "Oh wow, what a big thing. You are standing in front of the Kotel." And really, I don't feel anything. And I'm just thinking, "Feel something. You're standing in front of the Kotel."

And sometimes I go there and I'm just overcome. I also say to myself, "You're standing in front of the Kotel." But the full connotation of what it means to me, what it really means to me, and what it means in terms of everything... I don't know why sometimes yes and why not, but yesterday, yes, yesterday... I don't know.

And I stayed there much longer than I expected to. And I walked back, and my head was just full of thoughts, all kinds of thoughts that... I don't even remember walking back to the bus stop. I walked through the shuk, and usually I feel so nauseous I run through because of all the meat hanging up.

I don't even remember smelling anything. And I came back here, and I went to the library, and instead of studying for my math test, I read that book that I bought. Then I went to math class, and that sort of brought me back into the world. It brought me down again.

And I don't know, I had such a nice evening. Everything worked out. Then I studied in the evening, and I went to bed at a decent hour. Everything was very nice. So I just want to tell you about my day. I don't know why especially. It was just a nice day.

And now, let me see. Where am I? There's not so much to tell you. Everything here is fine. And I spent the day today with Yessel. I explained to you in the last letter how... Just a second... I have such a funny apartment mate.

Anyway, what was I telling you? Oh, about Yessel and coming to America. So he decided that he can't come for Pesach. It's a mixture of looking for excuses and being lazy. And there was some reason. We found out a reason. If you look hard enough, you can always find something. So we found a reason, which is not very legitimate, but if he wants to use it, I guess he can. So he's not going home. He's not going home for Pesach.

But he says he has to go home. He has to get everything in order with social security and all this business. And he wants to come. And he's thinking of coming the beginning of the summer. All this I told you, I think, right?

So what we figured out today, me and Yessel and Aunt Lil, is that that Uncle [Sydney] will come for [inaudible], Yessel will go back to America with Uncle Sydney and you'll come back to Israel with Yessel. How's that? If Daddy makes that thing that Yessel will come just like Uncle Sydney will come, then he can really have a good time with this. Yessel will come, Uncle Sydney will come, you'll come.

Only that means that if you do come, that means that they're all equal, and you're coming, that means that so will Uncle Sydney and so will Yessel. So you see what a responsibility you have to come here in the summer? You see what it would mean? If you come here in the summer, then so will Sydney and so will Yessel. How's that for logic?

Oh, well. Anyway, nothing so exciting has happened. I really have to apologize about my last tape, about my [inaudible]. I didn't describe it well at all. I wasn't in such a good mood, or much in the mood to describe it.

And now it's so far away that I don't have so much to... I don't know... I've said it so many times, but I guess you should just know. I guess usually I try to share all my experiences on the tape and I try to tell it to you as the first time that I'm telling you to anyone, because then I can really be most excited and really go through it.

So I guess you sort of missed out on my [inaudible] but you should know that I had a fantastic time and it was extremely beautiful. If you come in the summer, then we'll do it again. And I'm [foreign language]. I'm an expert in Sinai now, right? I've been there twice.

It's kind of ironic that I've been to Sinai twice and I've never been to Knesset, and I've never been to the Israeli Museum, and I've never been to the Jerusalem theater. But Yessel today told me that he bought two tickets and he wants me to go with him to the theater next Monday, which ordinarily I'd be quite excited, except for Tuesday's my big test. So I was mad in fact, but I didn't want him to see I was mad. I have no time to go Monday night. Really, I don't.

But he was so excited that he brought the tickets and everything, so I didn't want him to see that... You know. So I'm going with him Monday night. I'll just have to... I don't know. I don't know what I'll have to do. But anyway, I don't want him to even know that... I don't know... But I was ready to kill him for buying those tickets. Anyway.

So my [inaudible] was great. And since my [inaudible] I had one week of a lot of tests, which I really enjoyed because they were things that I really liked learning. And now I have my math test, which I don't so much like learning, but I just like to get them over with. I don't know.

And after my math test then comes Purim vacation, and then after Purim is about two and a half weeks until we're off again for Pesach. Purim vacation's about three days. I don't know what I'm going to do.

And then we are off for Pesach. And between Purim and Pesach, I think I also have some more tests and papers due. And by Pesach time I'll be free. So you can think of me in Pesach and you can sigh and relief because then I'll be free and I'll have three weeks vacation, a real vacation. And then after Pesach, it starts all over again until the end of the year. And that brings us to the summer.

Now, what I want to say is when I wrote home... My roommate is sitting here and she's my witness, even though she's trying to study and I'm probably bothering her... When I wrote home or when I spoke on the tape home about you guys coming here for next year, for the summer, I wasn't trying to be... I told Rachel, I told my roommate. I said that probably when Daddy hears the tape... You and Daddy will listen to the tape... Probably the first thing Daddy will say is he'll guess that I don't want to come home in the summer. Even though I never once mentioned it, I was sure Daddy would guess that.

And then I was all worried that he was going to think that I'm trying to be all devious, and that I'm just talking about how you should come here, and I'm hiding it.

So now I want to set the record straight. The truth of the matter is that when I said all those things about you guys coming, I really, really mean it. If you would only know, if you could just see me now, and if you could see just how happy I am, and just how gorgeous this place is and how beautiful it is, all those things that I write you about Israel, I just have to tell you. You just have to see. You just have to come.

And I'm not so fantasizing, I'm not so in dreamland to think that it's always great and I'm always happy. You see that sometimes I'm depressed, sometimes I'm sick. I mean, bad things happen here too and I'm very much aware of that.

And it's not pleasant. Look at me. I have tests. I used to think that, "Well, in Israel you don't have tests. You don't suffer with their tests." But you do.


No, it's the truth. I used to sit with Rhoda, and used to sit there saying... We were in high school and we had all this work to do, and everything was horrible. And [inaudible], "Ugh, if only we were in Israel." And then we'd look at each other and think, "What? You think the kids in Israel, you think they have tests? No, couldn't be. They couldn't be unhappy." But it's true, they are.

But anyway, when I tell you that you should come, I really mean that you should come. And I really think... And I was talking with Aunt Lil, and she agrees. She said it even before I did that, you guys so much need a vacation, and the summertime, our house becomes a hotel.

So why not for once, instead of turning our house into a hotel, why don't you leave and go to your own hotel? And you always have so many pressures and so many troubles. I don't have to tell you.

Last summer, I think, was an extreme case, but it wasn't such an exception last summer. Every summer, Texas... I can think back, and every single summer is an exception like last summer was, and every single summer turns out to be hectic.

So what better way? And I'm not kidding. What better way to spend the summer? You have to come Israel anyway, and you want to come to Israel, and I can't think anything better. I'm so busy during the year. So that if you had your choice of coming, the best time would be in the summer.

And what better way to spend the summer than in Israel? I don't know. We could spend it in Netanya and Tel Aviv on the beaches, we can spend in [inaudible], we could spend it going on [inaudible].

And what you say about me not being realistic about the money... It's not that I'm not realistic about money. I'm very much realistic about money. I'm living on my on the money... I have to budget it. I'm aware of money and I know how much things cost and things. But another thing which I notice, which I've begun to realize is, if you want to spend money on something or you want something very much, then you manage to do it.

And it doesn't apply to say... How do you [inaudible]... To say, well, something you want very, very much that you don't have enough money for it... If you want to go in New Year's Eve and spend a whole lot of money, you can blow in one night what you've saved up for months and you think it's worth it to blow in in one night. I'm not knocking New Year's Eve by the way, I'm just giving you an example.

Or if you want to go on a vacation, or if you want to go out to eat somewhere or something. So same way. If you want to come to Israel so it's a lot more, but it's also a lot more pleasure and it's a lot more reward.

And not only that. So besides that... That's the main thing, but then you should also know that it's not as expensive as you think. Lil told me how much her seven week tour is costing and it's almost nothing. And I think if you really wanted to... I don't think money is the main thing that would stop you if you really wanted to.

Anyway, I don't know who I am to tell you what your money, financial matters are. I guess living this far away I can be pretty [inaudible], I don't know. So that's from your point of coming. And there are many reasons why I want you to come. There are lots of things. There are lots of reasons why I want you to come.

First of all, I'd like you to see where I am, and where I live, and where I've been living for the past two years, and where I'll be living for the next two years. And when I say, "[inaudible 00:22:07]," when I say, "The [inaudible] library," when say, "My classrooms," and when I say, "My teachers," and when I say, "[inaudible 00:00:22:12]," you'll know what it is.

And you can see the Horovitz's house and you can see Yessel. I mean, just all these things that you know what they are, even though you sort of know now. And of course I want you to see the country.

And there's something else. There's something else that I want to say, and that is that, when I make tapes, like what I said before about how planning how to say things and all this stuff... So right now I'm making all these [inaudible], I'm making all these calculations in my mind. I'm trying to think how it sounds to you when I say these things.

Because I realize that I have a tendency sometimes that I sound like, like Rachel said before, real mushy or real unrealistic or something. And all the time, I'm always thinking, "Well, I've got to watch what I say so I don't sound so unrealistic."

But I guess that I can't do that anymore. It's too much of a pressure on me when I make a tape. So now I want to say things, and I'm saying my heart, and I'm not thinking about how you're going to react to them.

So I take no responsibility, but what I really want to say is that Israel, [inaudible] has a special [foreign language] about it. It's special. It's holy. And I don't exactly know how to translate holy, and I could get myself into a lot of trouble if I try. But the truth of the matter is that I think you know what I mean.

When I say it's holy, I guess what I'm really trying to say... I think what holy means is it's separate. It's different from anything else. Why Shabbat's holy, because it's different from the rest of the days of the week.

And why is certain food holy? Because it's different from... You can't eat anything. So the things that you eat are different. And the same thing with Smita which is the year that you can't grow things in Israel, which is this year. It's a whole year because it's different.

Holy, I think, sort of means separate. And I don't think anyone could deny, especially you guys, that Israel's different in whatever way. I guess it's different to every person, each in their individual way.

But it does have something special about it, and it has a special [foreign language] about it. And it's not a subjective thing, really. It's sort of objective. It's a fact that anyone that comes to Israel feels that way. But even if they didn't feel that way, it doesn't mean that the fact isn't there. It's a holy thing.

I think about it a lot because I'm so amazed. And I see myself now, and I see myself how I was in the summer, and it shocks me because... I don't know... I remember how I was last year, and I think how I was in the summer. [inaudible] Even to the point where being in Israel or being in America makes a difference in how I feel, and in how I act, and in how I look at things, and how I see things.

And what I mean by how I feel and how I act... I don't know... You could say, "What? You've been sick in Israel and you weren't sick in the summer." I don't mean that. I just mean that here, I can wake up in the morning and if it's raining outside and I have a whole lot of things to do, somehow some I can see above that. I can see things better. I can see things clearer, and I can see, "Oh well, it's one thing." Where... I don't know... Even when I'm in a bad mood, I just seem to think more clearly and feel better.

Maybe it's a futile attempt to even try and describe. But I also know, I'm positive, that I'm better here. II feel much better, and in every way. I just feel so much more normal here and so much more healthy here.

And it's true of any person. It's not just of me. Oh, and the tape is running out. Now I'm getting nervous because I keep thinking it's going to end. Oh, here we go. But anyway, it's just such a... I don't know... That's the only way I can put it. I feel healthy and normal. And I feel right here.

And I'm talking in terms of I, me, but it's true of anyone. I think every Jew's place is in Israel. A Jew's place is in Israel. And that's why a Jew feels better in Israel. But I won't go into that, because there's a lot to be said, and here I go again, trying to think what your reaction is. Forget it.

But anyway, even talking in a personal level, I think you feel better here. And I think anyone feels better here. And Rachel was just telling me before how she writes a friend a letter, and she writes to her friend. She says, "Dear Mimi, the sun is shining." And she draws a picture of the sun shining. And she says, "And a cat knocks over the trash can." And just little things here, you're bursting with them. Or the stones are so pretty, or I don't know. It's true maybe there are prettier things in the world. It's the [foreign language] which makes it so special.

So why am I telling you all this? And the tape is running out, and I can't go on really, because I'm inhibited by the tape. God, I wish it would end. Anyway, so I saw how in the summer when I was back in America... The only thing which gnaws at me in Israel is not being home, is not being with my family, is not being with you. I don't so much care about Silver Spring, Maryland. I've gotten over the home sickness for the place.

But the people you can't get over, of course, in fact, it grows all the time. I guess that means it's real. I don't know. So I miss you very much. And of course, like last year I miss the place very much, the change of it all and everything, but now I'm gotten used to that. I have my routines here.

I look fondly back and I do miss it. I'm not completely... I don't know... The tape has to end. I can't go on. I don't know, maybe I'll just stop and turn it over to the other side.

Okay. I wonder how much tape I wasted on the other side, but it just made me so nervous... I don't know.... I couldn't talk freely. Anyway, it's sort of a queer place to break it off, but all I want to say is that I don't know how to convince you. I don't know how to show you without you're being here to see yourself.

It's like, how do you tell a blind person... And it's not such a bad analogy, I don't think, as it sounds at first... But how do you tell a blind person, let's say about colors, without them seeing them themselves?

So the same way, I can't describe to you what Israel means, and how it works, and really how great it is here, without you being here. And I thought that I could, I thought that I could succeed. I couldn't understand, "Why not? Why shouldn't I be able to? If I feel, and I understand it, and I understand it very well, then why shouldn't I be able to explain it to you?"

But first of all, there's no way that I could explain it to you when I was in America, because we were both in America and it was far away. And I didn't succeed, and I didn't succeed at all in the summer, in telling you.

I wanted so much to show you, and to show you how happy I was, and how great and how great it is here. And somehow not to show you facts and to show you stories, but somehow to give over the feeling and the love and everything that I have for this country... I can't describe it... For this country, and for the people, and for the whole world.

And I'm not just talking off the top of my head, I'm not talking like an eighth grader or something. I'm talking really seriously. I sound like a little baby on this tape. I heard my voice a second ago and I sound like I'm about in eighth grade, but what I'm saying now are things that... They're not emotional. They're rational things. They're things I've thought, not just felt.

And this summer I wasn't successful at all because all kinds of things, all kinds of complications inside of me, and all kinds of complications inside of you, plus all the outside factors, all the company, and all the troubles, and all this stuff.

I mean, I think we all realize that. And with working in camp and being tired and all this. So it really wasn't even the most pleasant thing all the time. At least for me, being very frank, it was such a drain on my emotions and everything.

I felt so bad all the time because I wanted so much to talk and everything. And as you see now, I'm not very coherent. I'm not very articulate. And it was just very frustrating, the whole thing, and I couldn't understand why.

And I even saw that when I was writing to Elie, that we were also having trouble communicating. He was writing things, I wouldn't understand what he was saying. And I would write back and he wouldn't understand. And I felt like I was going crazy... I don't know... No one's understanding and I'm not understanding myself, and I didn't know it was happening.

And now I understand more clearly that, how could I have expected to give over the things about Israel when neither one of us were in Israel? At best, I could just give you memories, and show you pictures, and tell you stories, and tell them nicely you so that it made you have a good feeling, but even that isn't enough.

So when I say that I really want you to come to Israel, what I mean is I want you to come to Israel so that you can see for yourself. I feel like an idiot, because I think that I'm a sound like one, when I know what I'm saying is true and right.

You just have to trust me. Really, you have to trust me. If you trust in anything I've ever done, no matter what you think of me, trust me in what I'm saying now. That's one of the main reasons, besides seeing the places so you know where I am, and getting a vacation, and all that stuff.

I really want you to come so that you can see what Israel is, so that when I say that I want to settle and live here, it's not for my own comfort exactly. It's not because I see it's nice here, and it's nicer than America, and I'm scared of America and I want to come here, and so it would be most comfortable for me.

It's not only that, it's that it's what I have to do. It's the right thing for me to do. And this is my place. And this is where I can best help. I'm not saying that this is where it can best help me. This is where I can best help in every single way, or in my own way.

Every person can help in their own way, and everyone has their own special talents that they can do, and they can contribute and they can give, and mine is here in Israel. Actually, I think every Jew's are here in Israel, but when I say that I want to live in Israel, I want you to understand why. I want you to understand why I'm so grateful every single day that I'm here.

And I'm really grateful that I'm here. I really do appreciate it. And as far as Daddy saying, "Well, that means that she isn't coming in the summer," the truth of the matter is that I hadn't much thought about it, but during the course of this tape... I really want you to come in the summer.

And the truth of the matter is that I don't so much want to go to Washington in the summer. I feel dead there. I feel stifled there. I felt frustrated there. I know you could say, "What do you mean you felt stifled? All you did was lie around, and do anything." Which isn't so true, but why was I that? I don't know. I'm a different person there. I'm a different person.

I'm like in a graveyard there. I'm speaking very strongly just because I can't find the words and it's very late at night. But I don't so much want to come home in the summer. I want you to come here.

I'm telling you, the only thing which even makes me hesitate is seeing you. It's seeing everyone of course, but those are my feelings. I would very much prefer not to come in the summer, and I would very much want you to come.

To me, it's the most important thing in the world. It's one of the most. It's very, very important. And I don't know, I just think it would be a great experience for you also. And more than experience, it's such a trite thing of, "It's a very important experience."

I don't know, I think the time has come and I think it's necessary. I don't know about this tape. I really don't. I'm having right now [foreign language] inside of me, a big fight, a big war, whether I should send it at all. But no, I decided at the very beginning of the tape that I was going to make, and I was going to just talk and say what I really feel.

Very often, in writing letters, I'm in a rush, or making tapes, I tell things and I don't always get in what I feel. And I always think, "Well, when I'm in person. Or some day I'll down and I'll explain it all.

When I'm in person, I see that I'm not very successful either. And when I sit down and plan it I'm not very successful either. Maybe now, when I'm just talking from my heart, maybe now something will get through. I don't know. I pray that it will.

And then of course the other reason that I want you to come in the summer is because I want you to meet Elie [inaudible] finally. That's another reason. It's also a very important reason.

Mommy, you said in your tape that it seems that I'm avoiding the subject. You said that these two subjects about coming home and about Elie are the two that I seem to avoid, and everything else I've answered your questions.

And in a way you're right. I mean, I thought about it. In a way you're right that I avoid the subject of Elie, but it's not really consciously that I do. It's sort of subconsciously that I do. Because that's another one of those things that I so much want to know and understand, that I never feel adequate and I never feel that I'm doing it justice, and I only feel that I can only cause more misunderstanding, that I just sort of don't mention it and think that one day I'll explain it very well.

What I mean by causing misunderstanding is that, when there's such a long distance between us... What is it? 9,000 miles away, so things tend to get... There's no way that what I say can reach your ears the way I wanted it to and vice versa.

And I don't have to go into the problem of what it means to communicate long distance, besides the fact that it takes so long, plus the fact that Daddy never says anything at all. And there's a point, I think, where I can stop knowing and reading his mind, and where I just have to start guessing.

And it was pretty good reinforcement to know that I knew exactly what Daddy was going to say when he heard the other tape, but I'd like to hear from him also. I really would, besides his voice echoing in the background or something, when Mom manages to sneak in the tape recorder, when he doesn't know. But all these things contribute to make it very, very hard to communicate so far away.

But I guess now, what should I tell you about Elie? I realize that when we talk about Elie, the reason why it's not so successful, we sort of talk at each other and we don't talk with each other, because of a lot of things.

What I mean by 'at each other' is we listen to what the other person says and we understand the words. Yeah, we take into consideration and understand the words, but we don't really take it into our hearts and understand the words, and we don't really swallow it up and utilize it and relate to it. Oh, isn't she nice? She brought me another piece of bread. This is terrible.

And I think it becomes... Thank you Rachel... I think that one of the reasons is because we're each of us starting from a different point of view. So we're looking at it differently. And I guess it's a pretty normal thing. It's an extremely normal thing.

Why? Being that I met Elie here, and I went through a whole lot of things with him, and I wasn't in the framework of America, and America's society, and American rules, and American ideas. I was in the framework of Jewish society, and Jewish rules, and Jewish ideas. And I was in Israel, and I was... I don't know... And I was in my rules and my thoughts. I was completely free. The evolution was very, very natural.

And you heard about it long distance from me and from other things, and you have to relate to it being in America with American ideas. I know I'm doing a horrible job, but anyway, we sit and we talk about it, and I understand very much American ideas. I'm very much still steeped in them, and the idea of meeting many, many boys, and looking for the one which is best for me, and the one which I'll be most comfortable with and most happy with.

And like Grandma said... Grandma once told me that marrying a boy is like buying a new dress that you try on a whole lot until you find the one most suited. And when she said that, I felt like slapping her, on one hand, because it made me sick, the thought of it. On the other hand, it just seems so logical, and that's right. I mean, that's right. That's what I always thought. That's sort of what I think.

And I think that, not in such a mundane way, but I think that's what you think also. But I don't think it's that way. Just a minute. Okay. I took a coffee break to finish my [inaudible] and now I'm going to go on.

All I can do here, at most, is tell you exactly how I feel, exactly what's going on, and hope that you try and look at it from my point of view, and see it for what it is and everything, because unlike what it might seem like, I'm not hiding anything from you, because it's much too great to even want to hide. I mean, there's nothing to hide. It's a very wonderful thing. So of course I want to share it with you.

I'm just always afraid that you're going to misunderstand, and then I think, well, it's better that you don't know at all right away. And then rather than you misunderstand and get upset, I don't want you to say anything rash without even really knowing, I don't know why I'm talking so much in generalities, but anyway, that's one of the reasons why I'd like you to come this summer to meet Elie, so that you can see exactly who this Elie is, that big Mr X or something.

He's really a person, and he's really human, and he's not a monster, and he is not a freak, and he is not Mr Wonderful, and he's not Mr America. He's 100% human. He's normal, I guess.

But what I want to explain to you is... How should I say? You should know that what I'm saying now, I'm very carefully weighing my words, I think. And maybe at the end, I'll tell you that I wasn't. I'll have to see how it comes out.

Anyway, Elie and I... It's not [foreign language] to say that I haven't been out with a lot of boys or anything. The truth of the matter is that I have been out with a lot. You just think of me as not having been out with a lot, but I once told you that, even though when I'm telling you now, that isn't a justification for me at all. This is just ease your mind, even though to me, it doesn't matter at all whether I'd ever gone out with one boy in my whole life before I met Elie.

But I just want to your mind that... I told you once, and you can ask Brian... In high school in these days, people don't go out on dates like they did in your day. It's a different type of whole... All different type of meeting or social set up or something.

And in my high school day, between [inaudible] and between [inaudible] and between public school, and between all my old friends from the academy... And they're extremely close... I've met probably more boys than I think any average girl has, and I've been friends and close with a whole lot. I think if you think about it for one second, you'll see it's true.

And in Israel also last year, I also met a lot of boys, and I went out with [inaudible] and I met a lot of others. And I don't know, I sound like I'm rationalizing for myself and justifying, but I'm not. I'm just saying that really for Mom's sake, so she just ease her mind.

I do sort of know what I want. And I do sort of know what to look for from the outside way, even though to me, it doesn't matter that much at all, because... I don't really know how to explain it, but Elie and I, our whole relationship isn't a rushing matter, infatuation type thing.

It's very long and very complicated, just, I think, as any deep relationship is. And it's very strong, and it's gone through an awful lot, and we've gotten to know each other very well in almost every single way and in every single situation.

And we've gotten to really, really understand each other, and really know each other, which isn't also that important. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I think this is even more futile than trying to explain to you about Israel. I don't know.

We've sat and we've talked, and we've learned together, and we've talked about what we expect together, and what we want for our futures. And we've talked in an individual way, what we want, and what we aspire to and everything. And it's very similar. And a lot together we've learned, and a lot together we've grown, because since we've met each other, many, many things have happened.

It's not coincidence, I don't think, that we met [inaudible] last year, and it's not coincidence that he became religious while meeting with me. I mean, all these things happened at once, and it all very much sealed a lot of things. And there's a Hebrew word, [foreign language] and I can't think of what it is in English, and when I do it'll be good.

We've unified a lot of our ways of looking at things and seeing things. I can't explain it. It's very, very unique, the way we act with each other. It's very, very unique. It's unique in that... How do I tell you? I'm trying to think what you're thinking now, and I don't know what you're thinking now. I can't begin to think.

I can't tell you. It's not like people going out on the date, and the boy takes the girl here, and they have a very nice time. And I don't know exactly how they know that they like each other. And I don't know exactly how they do. They just go on many dates or something until they decide they want to be married, and then they get married. I don't know.

But Elie and I, well, we're each serious about our lives, and we're serious about what we want to do. I don't mean that we never smile or laugh. That's not what I mean by serious. And we see our lives together. We see our future together.

In fact, we don't see it any other way. I can't explain it to you, but if you would know, then you would see it's the most natural thing in the world for me and Elie to be together.

And our ideas... Not as just our ideas, but everything about us. I don't know. For want of a better word I keep saying ideas, but I just mean our ideas, our outlook, our whole lives, our whole future. We both match each other so well. That's [foreign language]. That's what [foreign language] means. It means we match our ideas. I keep using that word again, but our whole selves match so well.

And it doesn't mean that we agree in everything, because I think just about everything in the whole world we disagree on, but that doesn't matter about things, but we so much match.

You see, what's one person? One person that isn't anything. But in this world, this world is made up of the unit of families. The family is the unit, the family's the one thing. And Elie and I, as a family, as a unit, it's very positive. It's very right.

This is very hopeless. I wish I was was Walt Whitman or somebody that could express their feelings very nobly or something, and explain to you. I wish I was a poet so that I could tell you exactly what I meant, but I'm not. In fact, I'm the opposite. I have very much trouble explaining what I mean.

But all I want to say is that we like each other very, very, very much. And besides that, we're very serious. When I say we're serious about each other, I don't mean that we're serious, that we're going to be married, but we're serious about what we want to do. We're serious about our plans, and we're serious about how we want to live, and how we want to live our lives, and where we want to live our lives.

And we're doing it in terms of how we can best contribute. But now you're thinking, "What a naive thought, how you can best contribute, and give, and all this stuff." I don't mean that we're going to be living in the poor section, giving up everything to charity, and I'll spend my life begging in the street corner so that he can go and learn or something. I don't mean that at all.

What are we doing now? What are we trying to do now? This time for me and for him is the time that we're trying to both know exactly who we are. See, what's real modesty? What's real humbleness? It's a good trait, but it doesn't mean walking around saying, "I'm nothing. I'm this, I'm that. I'm being [inaudible] and the crooked." Jews have always been, in all centuries, broken down and everything.

Now, being modest, being humble, doesn't mean hiding away, all scrunched in a corner. It means knowing exactly who you are, and knowing exactly what you are, and knowing your good points and your bad points, and living yourself, being yourself, being you.

And Elie and I have found that when I me, when he's him, and we match the world together, and being ourselves, we can do so much. Being ourselves. If everyone was themselves, if everyone was what they're supposed to be, instead of trying to copy everybody else, if everyone did what they're supposed to be doing, if women are women and men are men, and the Kings are the Kings, and the servants are the servants...

I'm not explaining it well, but through learning, and through planning, and not by rushing into things, and not by being irresponsible, but Elie and I recognize, and understand, and know exactly who we are, and know exactly what we are together.

And we can build our lives, and it'll be the most productive, and the most happy, and the most normal, and healthy, and helpful lives and [inaudible]. And I'm really not explaining well. I don't know.

I'm sending this tape and I'm sticking my neck out, because I'm doing a very poor job. I really can't expect you to understand. It's something which isn't said very often, but you just take my word for it. I don't know.

When you say that I don't sound serious about going out with other people and all this stuff, first of all, no one has asked me. There's nothing I can do about that really. And second of all, I'm not interested in anybody else. I'm not interested in anybody else.

I don't know, I guess that's pretty clear. It's like I've found the dress that fits me, and if I haven't gone to Landover Mall, and Tyson's Corner, and Montgomery Mall, [inaudible] I'm sorry and everything, but I'm 20 years old, and if I'm naive at 20 then that's what I'm going to be the rest of my life, and that's the way I want to be.

I mean, I am the way I am, and I'm not rushing into anything. I'm not rushing in and getting married tomorrow. What our plans are... Obviously we're not in any kind of financial state to be able to get married. At all, we're not. And Elie doesn't want to get married, and I don't want to get married either, until we have a means of financial support.

And that means in terms of me being able to work, and in terms of of him. As far as those plans and everything are, there's plenty, plenty of time to talk about that and everything. I don't know if I've explained that good, I don't know how to explain everything in one tape.

But don't worry. We're not planning on getting married or anything. If we get married, we're not planning on getting married for a long time. A year and a half or two years. At least until I finish up here.

Not only because of outside reasons, what I just said, financial reasons, I guess basically being... And also, I mean, I want you to meet him, and I want you to share my happiness. I don't want to have to be on the defensive. I don't want to have to be sitting here having nightmares that you're going to be angry and upset, and you're going to be... I don't know what, because I'm so worried and scared, because you haven't met him.

And I know you have all kinds of bad impressions of him without ever having seen him because of this whole business of learning. I know it's very strange and very hard. That's why I want you to come and see for yourself. I don't know.

But anyways, to ease your mind until then, you should know that I'm extremely, extremely happy. And I'm very, very sure of myself, and I hope I haven't disappointed you too much, but you asked me to explain and I tried to explain it.


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