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40 Years of Wonderful Insights

cover199_jpg Cover of issue 199

If I were to list all the poems, essays, books, the written words about time – its measurement, its philosophical implications, well, I'd run out of space, words and paper. A summary of a time span of forty years then is a small task. As luck would have it, a look at a marker of forty years demands no effort – simply an archive of the ESRAmagazine. How easy to look at the printed pages; how easy to correct a faulty memory.

A magazine so different from almost every other magazine. Because what those ESRAmagazines recorded can be compared to the pages of a daily newspaper. I can't think of a magazine whose pages trace the growth of a country, log with humor and understanding the events in the lives of newcomers to that country and herald the changing appearance of the country's map – including new towns and addresses where readers are requesting to receive the magazine. Indeed, ESRAmagazine's content is the raw material of a newspaper editor.

In the early history of Israel, there were many dailies and weeklies that "spoke" in a language other than Hebrew but slowly as the new immigrants were absorbed, as their families grew and children brought Hebrew home, "other" languages retreated into the cultural background. Persistent, English speakers with audacity and stubbornness juggled words that went from left to right and right to left. The ESRAmagazine was received and enjoyed by its subscribers not in the language of their adopted country, but in words learned in another country – what a delightful oddity. Bravo to linguistic dexterity!

Time, not the daily measurement of a clock, but a more eternal ticking, hovers over this land, no matter who holds the timer or who draws the map. My computer's fountain of knowledge yielded a chart titled "The Jewish Time Calculation from the Creation of the World". Startled but curious, I printed it out. The one page, imagine, a single page, lists the succession of our wars, the dates and times of solar eclipses, the dates of past Jewish holidays, total lunar eclipses, events dated both by Hebrew months and the Gregorian calendar. Pink, yellow, green – color bars marking 6000 years and last year.

So, friends and readers, ESRAmagazine – 40 years. A mere pulse beat. L'haim! A toast to youth . . . and another forty years of words that give us insight and understanding. 

yui

 

 

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Sunday, 24 October 2021

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