“This Thing,” Or Thinking about Death and Getting Older
Redneck Man & City Woman Talking: Seeing Across the Red-Blue Divide in Conversation

My Latest Post at The Times of Israel

My latest post at The Times of Israel has just been published. Please go there and read, "My Failed Aliyah: Back in the States, But Where Is My Heart?" In this piece I talk about my initial aliyah journey to Israel and how I ended up back in the States for so many years, understanding that a place can have physical and emotional meaning.

And now, while there is so much going on in Israel, it's important for me to think about what it means to me--and clearly to so many Israelis.




Laura, I always enjoy reading and hearing about your time in Israel. It is such an important part of your life and there is so much to love about your stories. The communal aspect of working to build a thriving community together is fascinating to me and something I feel a longing for (an almost unheard of concept in America aside from small experimental types of communities).

Keep doing what you're doing with your daughters--one day they will appreciate what you've shared with them over the years, whether they realize it now or not.

My thoughts are with Israel during this troubling time. I hope they are able to ride out the turmoil and move forward.

Laura of RTOAW

Thanks, Margaret. I always appreciate knowing that you will be a thoughtful, appreciative reader.

Troubling times, indeed. But, you know, there are things happening here with SCOTUS, and abortion and education and voting rights, that should have gotten us into the streets, but we all seem to just go about our lives and hope for the best. But in Israel people are out in the streets. They are creating the turmoil because they want their voices heeded and don't want to move forward without that.


Yes, absolutely. Our societies and the threats to democracy seem to mirror each other in some ways. In the U.S., our democracy seems to be hanging by a thread with the next election being the most important (and who knows how many after that being the "most important" to stave off fascism). I grew up hearing we're a large country, and we can bend quite a bit before we break. Then I was hearing we were big enough with enough protections built in to survive The Former Guy, but seeing what's happened with SCOTUS and post-Roe, it's not looking good at the moment.

Speaking as a non-Jewish outsider, I can at least understand where those on the right in Israel are coming from and why the idea of more control would be appealing where I have less of an appreciation for the far right in America bent on regression. I saw this line in a ToI op-ed piece, "Israeli society is a delicate ecosystem requiring constant balance," and I think honestly the same could be said for us here and our pendulum swinging to the right, back to the left, then right, and the delicate balancing act of trying to bring it back to the center.

Laura of RTOAW

I wonder what's the center, here and in Israel? There seems to be a point when compromise--I give a little and you give a little--needs to be deeper, where I really listen to you and you really listen to me must come first. It's not a game with ups and downs, but [something else] where there isn't just abiding the other's presence, but true respect and from there we find the balance. Not just those in the middle get a voice, but heeding all perspectives to find a consensus that hears--somehow!--all perspectives and their unfolds the understanding that we are each right, we each deserve our point--but, I cannot just hold onto my points, I need to have yours be considered. A marriage. A classroom. That really works.


Those are million dollar questions (adjusted for inflation, billion dollar questions?) When the two sides are so opposed (as they are here), how do you meet in the middle without compromising strongly held views?

I do these little thought experiments with myself all of the time, and I don't know if I'm getting anywhere.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)