My Amazing Stories, Musings & Recollections.

Part I is a collection of true, yet unbelievable, stories that might challenge your opinion of strange, possibly weird happenstances. The stories are true happenings and are based on my experiences or those of my extended family members or very close friends. Some may be coincidences.

Statistically these unusual stories are almost incredible yet they happened. People love to read stories that are awesome, inspiring and fascinating. While not all can be deemed spellbinding, many of the stories are alluring, captivating and will certainly holds your attention. Some events are so eerie they compel us to question whether life is really haphazard or is G-d orchestrating something supernatural for us. Either way draw out inspiration from these stories for they have the potential to transform your life.

Part II are My Musings (Personal thoughts, comments and reflections).

These include, “The Noise that time makes”; The Bridge with a Soul”; “Walking the  Streets of the Lower East Side”; ”Tears, the Creation of the Soul”; “Wrapped in Pain”; “Suddenly Jewish after 72 years!; “Affirmation of Life- Israel’s Successes and Failures” and other reflections/.

 

Part III –From Palestine to America & Back Home to Israel

From Palestine to America & Back Home to Israel is an excerpt from my unpublished autobiography which tells a story of a boy born in a tiny Yishuv 85 years ago in British Mandate Palestine. It is a story of his early life growing up in Kiryat Chaim, a tiny settlement of ten families surrounded by somewhat hostile Arabs and wildlife. His surroundings consisted of malaria infested swamps, sand dunes, a railroad stop, and a tormenting environment of insects, rodents, animals, birds, and plants.  This was his world which he shared with a few friends, his grandparents, his parents and his sister.

 

In those days Kiryat Chaim was noted for its railroad station-- well, not exactly a station. It was more of a ‘halt’[1] that existed as early as the 1930’s on the Beirut–Cairo Railway. The railroad, constructed by the British during their Mandate for Palestine, connected Kiryat Chaim with Haifa's sea port, its commercial and industrial zone. With little or nothing to do after school, we kids would sit on the sand dunes east of Kiryat Chaim waiting for the train to pass. With irregular train schedules, we would sit for hours in the blistering heat, sometimes running off to play ball or some other game that we would make up.


The next milestone was the family’s “vacation” to Europe sponsored by Shemen[2] Oil Refineries where my father worked as Chief Stores-Keeper. That beautiful vacation turned horrifying towards the end of August 1939 as the family sought to flee Paris under the French threat of mobilizing all foreign nationals.  Fast forward to September 1939. World War II detonated.  The stunned world traumatized millions. Shortly afterward our family boarded the last available cabin on the Queen Mary headed for America.  Fast forward again to share my feelings and experiences - a boy from a tiny village in Palestine to a major American metropolis- as I am thrust into a life of struggle and sacrifice. The cumulative effect of so many negative events forged in the crucible of my formative years taught me resilience from failures and fortified my motivation to excel.

 

These difficulties and hardships attendant on a way of life of a poor Jewish boy is told in a poignant manner—at times comical, at times heart wrenching.  The vicissitudes surrounding his integration into everyday life in a new country with a new language was daunting for his parents and older sister, but especially scary and overwhelming for him. How he overcame those difficulties and hardships is a stirring, exciting and stimulating story. His successful struggles, resolve and determination through education and interpersonal relations are a story worth reading.

 

The author continues:

I found myself in a new world. The United States was just emerging from the worst depression in its history triggered by the stock market crash of October 27, 1929. Unemployment was rampant. As we disembarked from the ocean liner that early September day, neither I nor my parents were aware of the breadth and depth of the staggering economic crisis. Nor had we grasped the import of the unfolding catastrophe sparked by the coordinated attack on Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union. While Britain, France, and others declared war on Germany, the United States decided to remain neutral. The signs of normalcy gave a false idea of a peaceful life as the United States hosted the World’s Fair in New York even as Albert Einstein convinced President Roosevelt to launch the A-Bomb program. My interests lay elsewhere. I was mesmerized by the surrounding kaleidoscopic milieu as we disembarked from the Queen Mary ocean liner. Then, seven and a half years old, I looked around at the massive buildings, the throng of people disembarking and the even larger number who were there to greet the new arrivals. Automobiles, taxis and busses clogged the pier area.  Papa directed me to stay close together. He had to shout to be heard over the tumult. Clearly the bustling crowd, though peacefully excited, milled about in disorderly agitation as the new immigrants sought to make eye contact with waiting relatives.  Outside the pier whistle-shrieking mounted-police ordered the shuffling throng to keep moving. Years later we would learn that New York City was a major historic gateway for millions of immigrants of amazing diversity.

 

We landed at the Port of New York in September 1939- the week my wife, Blossom, was born. We were married in November, 1959 and lived most of our married life in Brooklyn, New York. In 1995 we moved to Manalapan, New Jersey, to be closer to our younger daughter and her family. In August 2005 we made Aliyah to Israel where both of our daughters were then living with their families.

 

We have been truly blessed.  Life (read G-d) has handed us some beautiful memories. Someone once said, “Part of genealogy is nostalgia”, so here are some of my recollections. 

 

[2]  Alternately called, Haifa Oil Refinery or Shemen Factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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