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December 26, 1986 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-12-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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,

poot.f04'., 46•S n•C:t.o.

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28. Friday, December 26, 1986 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

..-



THE HANUKKAH SALE YOU CAN'T HOLD
A CANDLE TO.

BRUCE

"

Scots Wisdom

Continued from preceding page

sects which harmed the apples.
Fortunately for her future as
an educator, her fair skin was
unable to withstand even the
February sun, and her painful,
chronic sunburn required that
indoor work be found for her
after 8 a.m. Among her other •
jobs, she worked in the kinder-
garten, scrubbing floors and
showers and "polishing 24
pairs of little boots" for an hour
each day. "I loved it. It was the
first time I worked with chil-
dren. They used to come and
talk to me a lot. I thought, 'This ,
is great. They like me!' It was
only later, when I learned more
Hebrew, that I understood one
child to say, 'Let's go talk to
Rina; she sounds so funny.'
Her responsibilities in-
creased, and she received spe-
cial training in child care. That
was the beginning. By the time
her year was over, she was a
full-time child-care worker, a
metapalet. Only the promise
she had made to her parents
persuaded her to leaVe the kib-
butz. She vowed that as soon as
she had saved enough to come
back, she would.
London seemed colder and
drearier than before, the work
in the office more meaningless.
Money was tight and it was
hard to save up enough to go
back. Israel seemed very far
away.
She was missed by the kib-
butz as much as she missed it.
"They wrote me and asked if
money was just an excuse, if I
had changed my mind." She
hadn't. They did what any fam-
ily would do for one of its mem-
bers — they sent. for her. She,
quit her job, packed her bags
and traveled to Glasgow to'say
goodbye to her parents. Then,
she went home to Israel.
The years spent on kibbutz
Were Rina's "formative years."
"It molds the kind of person
you are. It isn't the kind of
place where you live for your-
self. If you did, you couldn't be
in kibbutz. It's like a family,
not like a village, and the
bonds between people are so
strong, because you're always
striving for something to-
gether."
In 1964, she met Avraham
Amit, who had two sons, ages
14 and ten. As Detroiter.Albert
Jacobson, Amit had gone to Is-
rael in 1948, and stayed. In
1965, Rina moved to Av's kib-
butz, Barkai, and they were
married. The kibbutz sent
them to Cyprus for their hon-
eymoon.
Rina thought about convert-
ing to Judaism when she mar-
ried Av. "My identification is
Israel. I feel like a Jew. I'm
definitely not a Christian. I
identify with Judaism, but not
with the rituals. I never con-
- verted, though,. beCause I
would have had to promise that
I would say all the prayers, and
keep all the laws, and I couldn't
lie. ESpecially to someone
who's supposed to .be a man of
God. I would have had to tell a
rabbi that I would do all these
things, knowing that I
:wouldn't. He would know that I

wouldn't. Living on kibbutz,
it's obvious that I wouldn't."
By the time Gil, the .first of
Rina and AV'S three children,
was born in 1966, she had ac-
quired an extensive formal
schooling in the field of early
childhood education. "The only
group in the world which
spends as much money on edu-
cation for their children as the
aristocracy," says Rina, "is the
kibbutz."
Gil was followed by Alit in
1968, and Natan in 1969. All of
the children lived in "baby
houses, " -and then "children's
houses" from the time they
were infants. Rina is amused
by the horror with which
Americans view this practice.
"Even though the baby is in
the baby house, you do every-
thing with your baby. You're
there all the time. Even at
home, there's a buzzer, so when
your baby's awake, the
metapalet buzzes you and you
come. You don't work for the
first six weeks. You don't do
anything. • No washing. • No
cooking. Nothing. You have
time to be with your baby and
with your older children."
Although they were happy
on kibbutz, Av wanted to visit
the United States, which he
hadn's seen since he left in
1948. Rina wanted her chil-
dren to know their grand-
parents in Scotland. It would
have been years until it was
their turn for the kibbutz to
send them on an overseas holi-
day, so in 1975 they made the
difficult decision to leave the
kibbutz.
They planned only to be gone
a year. They went to Scotland
first, where Rina renewed old
ties. The family remained
there four years, during which
time the children adapted to a
new culture, and two new lan-
guages, English and "country
Scots."
Culturally, it wasn't much of
an adjustment. "The Scots and
the Israelis are really very
similar," she says. "They're
both blunt. They're both not
very strong on 'etiquette.
They're not impolite, but their
ideas of politeness fall far short
of the English or Americans."
The shock came in 1979,
when the family came to Oak
Park. "I found it was very hard
to, acclimatize," Rina says.
"What in Israel seems bluff,
hearty, and honest, here seems
boorish, irepolite and uncar-
ing. The pace of life here is fas-
ter. Maybe because of the cars,
the distances, your life isn't
with your neighbors. Because
people have air conditioning,
they're inclined to be indoors in
the summer, not outside with
each other. You don't know
your neighbors. I miss that
kind of open society. In Scot-
land, you have it. In Israel; you
have it. .I miss it here."
Determined to stay home
with her children to help them
adjust to new languages and
cultures, she •found new ac-1
quaintances turning away

.

Continued on Page 30
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