Monday, September 01, 2003

Well, my mother-in-law came home from her trip to France. She had a wonderful time (grrrr). Not that I begrudge her, I am very happy for her, I just would have prefered she had a wonderful time somewhere else. The sad truth of the matter is that she is a Francophile and always has been. When she was a child they spoke French at home until her sisters and her came home from school and demanded to speak Hebrew. That's how they got people to speak Hebrew in those days, through the children, because everyone spoke different languages, German, Yiddish, Russian, French, Ladino, Arabic. This is actually one of the great wonders of the Jewish return to the Land of Israel, the way they resuscitated a dead language, regarded as holy but never spoken. My mother-in-law also has a lot of family in France. Anyway, she was over there for a family affair, somewhere in the country and she had a wonderful time.

She met a young Lebanese-born Palestinian while she was there. At first he was wary of her, and kept his distance. Then he tasted her ma'amouls. (Told you they were good, Diane, but I didn't realize they were our secret weapon for bringing the Palestinians to their knees). She said he came up to her and said they were better than his mother's (praise indeed from an Arab man). And from that point on they were the best of friends. Maybe he realized that he had a lot in common with her. That makes me sad, on one hand, but on the other, it gives me hope. She said to him that he sees himself as belonging here more than her, although he's never been here and was born in Lebanon. But she was born here, she told him (she's seventy), and so was her father.

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