Letter to Marian
Jan. 23, 1990
I noticed by the date on your letter's postmark
that it took 2 wks. to get here. Usually it only takes 7 days.
I hope your daughters surgery went fine and she's well.
Jan. 10th is my birthday. I've hit the big 30 now. David
became King over all Israel - a united Israel - when he was
30 & moved his royal residence to Jerusalem. Before that
he was only King of the Jews (Judah) in Hebron for 7 1/2 yrs.
May YHVH-RAFEH bless your surgery & grant you a quick
recovery. I understand your preference for warmer climes &
desire to spend your winters in Florida. I prefer such also
but wish I had Dorothy's ruby red slippers so I could
click them occasionally to see some snow - a real winter -
& quickly be back in Israel. Ha!
Our ulpan is going to Masada Shabbat. Erev Shabbat
we're spending the night at a youth hostel in Arad.
I've been to Masada many times, but always for me
also it's a "new" & different experience. Plus it's with
new friends from Regavim. The day your letter
arrived, an English friend of mine
arrived to visit me for a few days.
She's just returned from a
month in Egypt & said
she could kiss Israel's
ground & the first soldier
she sees. We were on the
ulpan together at Sdot Yam and
also were on the same moshav.
Though I don't celebrate Xmas (because of its pre-Christian
origin), I wanted to be in Jerusalem for Hanukka & to
see Bishop Tutu since he's so famous. So I went
to a midnight mass, ironically, at St. George's Anglican Church
(a first for me) in Jerusalem & saw & heard "Bullshit" Tutu.
It's obvious it's not the Hebrew God who holds the leash
to his clerical collar. I hate his self-righteous stand
against S. Africa, Israel & America. He's not a minister of
Jesus Christ, he's a political wolf in sheeps clothing.
As could be expected, we had to vacate due to a
bomb threat. Such is the Middle East. Xmas Day I
was at the Wall & was later told by many kibbutzniks
I was on TV there. I didn't even see the cameras!
Then I went to Bethlehem - David's City - & noted how
life is so ironic that I should be able to visit there on
Xmas which I don't celebrate & thousands around the world
would cherish the opportunity. I thought the same during my
visit to the Vatican. I've been to Bethlehem many times
but was never interested in visiting the traditional site of
Jesus' birth, but this time I toured the Church of Nativity
with 4 volunteers I met from Kibbutz Megiddo. We all
remarked about how vain & superstitious so many
religious traditions are. The important thing is
Jesus was born in Bethlehem somewhere
because David was born in Bethlehem.
Also because it's the "House of Bread" &
He's the Manna sent from Heaven.
Oh well. I'm happy to hear your
4th book is out. I wish you
continued success & happiness.
What was your third book? I'm
honored to know & have your first two.
I hope to finish my Levi chart this year.
To be continued... Your friend, David
Oct. 10, '89
OH HANNAH, DEAR HANNAH,
THE DAUGHTER OF JUDAH'S KINGS,
THE PRINCESS OF MANY POEMS,
THE QUEEN OF WHOM STORIES GLEAM -
WHAT MORE COULD I WRITE OF YOU,
COMPOSE ANOTHER MELODY?
A GEM POLISHED BY DESTINY,
OUR HERITAGE, OUR PRECIOUS LEGACY.
WHENEVER WE THINK OF YOU
IT CAUSES SUCH PERSONAL GRIEF
BUT REMEMBERING YOUR STRONG CHARACTER
WE'RE RENEWED IN NATIONAL STRENGTH
OH HANNAH, DEAR HANNAH,
OUR SISTER UNSEEN,
YOUR HEROIC WONDER AND AWE
WITHIN OUR HEARTS WILL NEVER CEASE.
David Ben-Ariel (signed in Hebrew)