zondag, maart 11, 2007


A life....

As I, 2 weeks overtime for giving birth to my son and with my 5 year old daughter on my hand, reached the third floor on my climb to the fourth where we just had bought an appartment a lady was standing there telling me "shalom, I'm Simcha" - Well, obviously I greeted her back and thought about how nice it was of her to come out of her house to greet me. Next thing she offered me her childcare services 'if' I'd ever needed them. She told me she had taken care of many children whose mom's went out to work and they all been satisfied. I didn't plan to work after giving birth so I thanked her and the conversation went on to almost pushing me to have tea with her some day.

Well......... this woman was almost all the time on the stairs, or outside and I saw a lot of her, had talks with her and she showed me her bathroom in which she had raised chickens (not for fun, for eating). She told me about her immigration from Iraq to Israel, about her time in Pardess Katz -where I also had lived for a period of time- and I really liked her. Her sons liked me, I liked them - one of her sons even found a solution for my mentally ill dog when I had to give him away. That was a terrible ordeal because accompanied with a lot of heartache and also almost impossible. I mean: nobody wanted a seven-year old dog, everybody wanted a puppy - let alone a seven-year old mentally ill dog. I'll be forever grateful to Simcha's son who I still see from time to time.

We used to discuss the atmosphere of our block of flats in Ramat Gan and the difference between here and Pardess Katz. She missed it. She missed walking outside and meeting half the neighborhood having always time to chat to eachother. She missed the people... (although Pardess Katz is a 15 minute walk from Ramat Gan). I told her about my experiences there: how - after my daughter was born and I (having no family or friends that could help me) came home from the hospital with a baby in my arms I just had to take care of all by myself I was met by the neighbors of my block soon as I stepped out of the taxi with throwing candies at me, and a lot lulululu calls (for me, a person that had just moved in there and they hardly knew) and compliments on the sweet baby together with wishes for 'bli ayin ha-ra' etc. and how, one morning a neighbor knocked on my door and said 'I'm here to show you how to bath the baby' since she had picked up somewhere that I was afraid to do it for the first time and confidently stripped daughter off her clothes, set up the bath and showed and taught me how to do it. I told her about how a few evenings a week different neighbors would just knock on the door and walk in to visit. How I never ever had to look for a babysitter since if one neighbor would be busy accidently there were another 10 orso in my block who would exit their doors and offer to do it before I could utter even one word. The friendliness and the warmth that that people carry with them and that shone out over everybody that was taken up in their midst. Pardess Katz is looked down upon - soon as you say you're from Pardess Katz you called off a stigma on yourself. I was proud to carry that stigma although it -as is almost always- is intended to do exactly the opposite. I've lived there only for 1 year of which 3 months were spent abroad, but I'll never forget that special togetherness I experienced there. Eventhough my whole house (which didn't contain that much) was robbed empty while being abroad ;-)

Simcha told her stories about Pardess Katz and we agreed: there's nothing like it.

Simcha liked to complain. O boy did she complain: about her neighbors, about her 'poor' existence, about the difficult times, about how she felt not understood, about everything. But - she never cursed and always complained with a laugh, making it a joke. It's that 'typical' trade many Iraqi ladies have btw. If there was a celebration of some kind, you could count on Simcha - she would sit and sway and clap her hands like a child totally in extasa from joy and she knew all the old arabic songs.

Anyway, today I heard she passed away. I hadn't seen her around for quite a long time already, and wondered - but didn't want to intrude. And then, I saw her last week a few days before she died, as if to say goodbye: half of her that is. She just seemed to have faded away into a shadow of herself. We met, how can it be else LOL, on the stairs and we spoke but not too much because she had trouble climbing up and her son was waiting upstairs and he always is a big talker so I spoke more with him - But, for one moment when we talked about the nice weather there was that wonderful happy glimpse that made her face shine again as in old times when she confided in me that she'd been to the moadon (club).

I thought long about her afterwards and also that unfortunately she looked like she was not going to make it very long anymore, but who could have imagined that it would come so soon?

The death of people still has a big impact on me, no matter she was an old woman, no matter how many people I knew passed away - it keeps on having this imminence of never again. That's a tough, almost incomprehensible, thing... so I just had to write this eventhough it's not bloggerstuff and eventhough she was 'just' an old neighbor.

Simcha, yihie zichronech baroech.


ps - I don't know why - but this is the song that came directly up in me when I heard about Simcha...

Baruch Dayan Emet

Tse,my condolences to you and Simcha's family
It is sad. :(

Good people part with this world every day. I would like to think they leave for a better place.

It's great that you have good neighbors who could give you a helping hand when you need it.

Have a great week. ;)
My condolences, Tsedek.
Thank you.

Today I went to the Shiv'a and this is so important: people come and tell about their experiences with the deceased, tell all kinds of good things about her and the family is hanging on their lips - hungry for every kind word being said about their mother/his wife.

Also from my part condolences!

Whenever someone dies it reminds me of how fragile life is and that it is just there once. Every moment will only be there for its own time - and then wil be gone.

..but also people who die live on in our memories.
Indeed, a from berlin: how fragile life is....

i must say my neighbours are the most amazing people i have ever had as neighbours.. so helpful and warm and welcoming.. they certainly tipped the scale of my decision when i chose the apartment..

one thing i love here is the sense of the binyan.. the building.. the hellos.. the how are yous.. the endearing nosiness that i have sometimes detested but could never do without..

the endearing nosiness that i have sometimes detested but could never do without..


I know exactly what you mean! LOL.
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