The bar mitzvah of Lea Beraha's nephew

The bar mitzvah of Lea Beraha's nephew

This is a picture from my second visit to Israel - on the occasion of the bar mitzvah of my nephew, my sister's son, in the 1960s. The photo was taken at his bar mitzvah. My nephew is the boy in the middle. I am standing to the right of my nephew. My mother, Rebecca Delareya, nee Mamon, is first from left. The others are relatives. Unfortunately this is all I remember of this occasion.

As I was already a doctor, I was offered a salary of 1,000 USD - the workers normally earned 5-10 USD a day - in order to stay and work in the biggest hospital in Belinson, because they didn't have such a specialist. [Shekhunat Belinson is near Petach Tikva.] I was thinking about it but gave up the idea because of Bulgaria, to which I felt strongly connected because of my communist ideals.

I have visited my relatives in Israel more than ten times. It was only difficult in the first years because then even letters weren't allowed. I was among the first people who visited Israel. I wasn't able to 'warn' my relatives about my arrival. They were at the cinema when it was announced that Jews from Bulgaria had arrived at the airport. They heard my name and immediately rushed to meet me. My mother hadn't seen me for seven years and she fainted at the airport.

Regarding the Israeli wars, I am definitely on Israel's side. At first I was more inclined to understand the Arabs, but it is no longer like that. I think they are intolerant in terms of politics and reaching of agreements. Maybe it's simply that a new leader should come and replace Arafat. It's a pity that young people from both sides die or become disabled for life.

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