I remember crazy-scary days before.
I remember Minsk, summer 1979. The first Hebrew class. My parents were covering the windows of our apartment with blankets. They told me “not a squeak.” People were sneaking in, one by one like thieves. It was all very hush-hush, and I was wondering if my parents were criminals.
I remember the exodus, December 1979. After a long wait by the rails, a Polish man in uniform yelled in Russian “Kikes, your train is leaving in 2 minutes.”
I remember everyone running in panic at first. Then, I remember being pushed and carried through a bucket brigade, along with other children, and packages, and grandparents.
I remember the adventure in my body.
I remember the snow looked magical under the train station’s light, while I was passed like a package from one person to another.
I remember the train was frozen inside, but we made friends and warmed up quickly.
I remember watching the news. Israel, 1982-1985. Clinging to my mama, our bodies trembling in unison while taking in the names of the fallen. Maybe it was just one such moment, maybe it was night after night.
I remember that we still spent every Saturday at the beach and ate juicy watermelon as if there was nobody dying anywhere. Ever.
I remember the whole state of Israel putting kerosene in their hair on the same Tuesday at exactly 8 pm, but most likely it was 6 pm or 7. I can smell kerosene as I think about it.
I remember that the next day we were done with the national lice pandemic, but it felt unsafe to light a match for a while
I remember that 1984 was the year that spelled תשמ”ד (“Tashmad” – “destruction.”)
I remember there were rumors we were all going to die.
I remember the prophesies that said it was going to be the year of annihilation.
I remember when the clock hit midnight, we partied Russian style –which basically means, like there was no tomorrow.
I remember reading 1984 and thinking that it was the world my parents came from.
I remember never finishing 1984, because I thought I knew how it was going to end – everyone will suffer and die, but love will prevail.
I remember Israel 1991, Saddam Hussein declared “The great showdown has begun! The mother of all battles is under way.”
I remember, he gave us some time to prepare before the Scud missiles began to hit. Everyone was sealing their windows, and there was shortage in duct-tape.
I remember 36 of us living in the hermetically sealed bomb shelter. Read the rest of this entry »