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April 22, 1988 - Image 154

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-22

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

E t

SA Israel Comes In A Tidy Package For The Silent Duo'


As the Hebrew letters and
vowels watched from the bulletin
board, a young man carried a
package into the empty
classroom and placed it on the
teacher's desk.
"That must be Dov, the
teacher's cousin from Israel,"
Ayin told Aleph with his thoughts.
"He's a sabra."
Since Aleph and Ayin are
silent letters, they communicate
by reading each other's minds.
And, occasionally, they speak
with the sound of Hebrew vowels.
"A sabra?" Aleph asked.
"Umm ... a person born in
Israel is called a sabra. The
name comes from the sweet,
thorny, prickly pear that grows
wild in Israel. Like that fruit, the
native Israeli is said to be "tough
on the outside yet sweet on the
inside'," Ayin explained to his
"Are most people in Israel
"Not at all," Ayin told him.
"There are olim — newcomers —

e ver

who come to settle in Israel —
from about 80 countries."
"I see," Aleph responded
absently, watching Dov head for
the door. "Look! Our visitor is
leaving, and all the Hebrew
letters are jumping down from our
Aleph-Bet chart to inspect the
"So it seems," Ayin agreed.
"Let's join them."
"This package must be from
Israel," Yud yelled excitedly,
leaning over the large box
wrapped in brown paper.
"How can you tell?" Kuf
quickly questioned.
"Because it's addressed in
both English and Hebrew, and

FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 1988

Hebrew is the national language
of Israel," little Yud explained in a
big voice.
"And it has postmarks in
three languages: Hebrew, Arabic,
and English," Peh pointed out
politely. "Israeli money, stamps,
and signs are also written in
those three languages."
Aleph immediately wondered
why Israel would have postmarks,
money, and stamps written in
three languages if Hebrew was
the official language. Ayin read
his mind and answered.
"Although Israel is a Jewish
country, not all its people are
Jews. There are many Arabs who
are Moslem or Christian, and
there's also a small religious
group called Druze."
"You don't need to tell me!"
Aleph pouted. "I would have
figured it out!"
"Oh," Ayin responded,
somewhat confused by Aleph's
prickly attitude. "Look at all those
postmarks! This package must
have been lost many times before
arriving here," Gimel guessed.
"It's been in the Galil or
Galilee — the northern part of
Israel," Heh hurried to add.
"There's a postmark from
"And to central Israel as
well," Resh replied rather rapidly.
"There are postmarks from both
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem."
"Isn't the Kotel in
Jerusalem?" Aleph wondered.
"Umm," Ayin confirmed.
"The Kotel, or 'Western Wall' is
in the Old City, in the middle of
Jerusalem. It's the western part
of the outer wall that surrounded
the Second Temple. That Temple
was destroyed by the Romans
almost 2,000 years ago. Now,
Jews from all over the world
come to pray at the Kotel."
"I know! I know!" Aleph
insisted. "And Jerusalem is also
the capital of Israel where the
Knesset meets."
"Right." Ayin was almost
afraid to answer.
"Of course!" Aleph again
pouted. "You don't need to tell
me everything!"
"There's a postmark from
Beersheva!" Bet boomed boldly
as he saw his letter beginning
that word. "So it's been to the
Negev too."
Ayin glanced at his friend
Aleph but he tried to keep his
mind blank so he wouldn't be






accused of telling Aleph
something he already knew.
"Negev — the southern half
of Israel," Aleph responded with
a grin. "Israel's desert!"
Ayin only nodded.
"This package has also been
to Eilat!" Lamed said lightly,
looking over Tav's shoulder. "I've
heard that Eilat is the most
southern city in Israel."
"It's also a hot but beautiful
resort city on the clear waters of
the Red Sea," Ayin couldn't help
but think even though he
suspected Aleph might resent the
But before Aleph could
respond, Final Tsadi discovered

one last postmark. "It even has
been to a kibbutz," Final Tsadi
finally stated.
"Don't tell me- Don't tell
me!" Aleph demanded with his
thoughts. "I know a kibbutz is
like a farm where everyone
equally shares the work and the
"Right." Ayin paused. "I
hadn't planned on telling you. But
may I ask you a question?"
"Do you know what's in that
"No." Aleph frowned. "Do
"I think so," Ayin admitted

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