Thursday, October 25, 2007

Filling time

Well, nothing much has happened lately.
That is not really true. It is just that nothing magnificent has accrued.
I try hard to fill my day- to- day routine and to find something to do every day.
Sometimes it is like filling time, more often like killing time.
The more one gets involved in reading about aging, the more depressed one can get.

Body and Mind – are they two entities or do they belong together, or should they compensate the other according to need?
Philosophies seem to differ vastly on this aspect. A few citations from a book, ed. by Yitzhak Brink (2005) Poverty and Aging.
Ruthenberg points out in his essay: If the body fails does that mean that the mind fails?
Freud, Darwin and Marx put forward theories that the strong young have to get rid of the weak old.
The culture of the poor sees old as belonging to the poor.
Israel Doron sees poverty as a threat to Justice and decency.

One can see poverty among the old not only as materiel poverty, but also as poverty of the mind, that is, unless the old take matters into their own hands.
If you have a mind of your own use it, even in old age or better said especially in old age.
Don’t rely on society to do something for you when you grow old. The older you get the more important it is to become the master of your own destiny.

Filling time (using the mind) is always better than killing time (poverty of mind).

Within the last couple of weeks I have taken part at a number of events. Some 2000 people from all over the country came to Binyane Hauma in Jerusalem to participated and share “20 Years Amcha”.
Amcha is taking psycho-social care of over 10 000 Shoa Survivors and Second Generation, in the various branches all over the country.
Harav Israel Lau, one of the speakers told among other things about his arriving on the "Mataror", the first boat that sailed after the war in June 1945. After having spent years in the KZ Buchenwald, he was amazed to be greeted in Haifa by soldiers, pointing their rifles at people.
To him, a 7 year old at the time, a soldier was a soldier, no matter what color his uniform. He thought that that was behind him.
He and his comrades and everybody else that had arrived on the boat, were shoved into open railway cars, just like those that took people away towards the camps in East.
This time they were transported to the detention camp in Atlith. A camp with barbed wire around it and armed soldiers watching, just like the camp he left behind.
Not only that. After awhile when his aunt and uncle came from Kiryat Motzkin to take him to their home to look after him, they were advised not to talk Polish or Jiddish to him, only Hebrew. That would help him forget the past.
He said that he did forget the Polish language, but he never forgot the past. For you can’t forget the past. It will always be part of you.
I arrived on the same boat, although a bit older, I was also amazed at the reception we got on our arrival in the detention camp. Men and women separated, our clothes disinfected, DDT powder shaken all over us. Being locked up in a camp was the last thing that I had expected after waiting for years and longing to come to our Homeland.

A couple of days later, it was the annual Open House Day in Jerusalem. One could visit Private Homes and Institutions. Across from my home was a long line of people waiting to be let into the flat in one of the famous Bauhaus building from the 1930th, 6 or 7 rooms packed full with books and furniture, a couple of large balconies and a huge garden with lawn and flowerbeds, very spacious and gracious living indeed.
When we came out again, a friend of mine together with her daughter accompanied me back to my place.
Although my flat is much smaller, it is a friendly looking place full of sunshine. They admired my paintings that cover the walls in all the rooms, and in their words my place is everything as gracious and inviting as the big flat across the street.

Today my granddaughter called and asked if she can came by. We had a light lunch together before she was off again to meet some of her friends before going back to Tel Aviv. Most of her time is taken up with her dancing carrier.
She is a good listener. I showed her some of what I am busy with and talked with her about a paper that I am going to present next week at an international conference on Women and the Shoa, for which I have prepared a power point presentation.

To keep going, in spite of the aging body and the restriction that come with that, I have to be constantly on the outlook to keep my mind occupied. Mostly, but not always, I manage to fill my time.


Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Ms. Golan, wonderful work with this Blog. I plan on returning frequently.

God love you,
Paul Anthony Melanson

Roger Vaste said...

Dear Ester,

Love your Blog. You should know that Paul Melanson has been opposing an anti-Semitic group based out of Richmond, New Hampshire (United States) which engages in Holocaust denial. Would you mind visiting his Blog and offering your comments? We would all love to hear from you.

Roger Vaste

Matlee said...

Roger, I too hope that Ms. Golan will write something for both La Salette Journey and SBC Watch. The Saint Benedict Center's anti-Semitism ad Holocaust-denial must be exposed for what they are. Ms. Golan's testimony would be most invaluable.

Matlee said...

Ms. Golan, Matlee here again. The Southern Poverty Law Center published an article on the Saint Benedict Center written by Susy Buchanan. Paul Melanson was interviewed for this article. As a result of this piece, the television program Chronicle (Boston, Massachusetts) did a story on the Center and its anti-Semitism/Holocaust-denial.

The SPLC article may be found here:

Thank you again!

Blake said...

Roger and Matlee, I would like to second your calls for Ester Golan to share her stories with readers of La Salette Journey and SBC Watch. Imagine the impact this would have!