May 08, 2008

Donating Israeli flags to honor elders, country, and faith

For months, Yehudit and her husband, Yisrael, owners of the Weizman-Liman Flag Store and small factory on Tel Aviv’s Brenner Street, have been working nonstop (except during Shabbat, Passover, and the brit milah [Hebrew: covenant of circumcision] of their first great-grandchild). They have been producing flags to fill orders during the seasonal heightened demand in Israel marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day.

The couple loves their country of 7 million people, and exudes a sense of good fortune and privilege to be part of the historic process of the rebirth of the state of Israel in its ancient homeland, the land of Israel.

Last Friday, amid steadily mounting pressures to meet customers' deadlines, Yehudit called me about a commitment I had made to her last month.

Tamar, when are you coming to pick up the flags you promised to bring to the Beit Avot [Home for the Aged] where you volunteer? I want each resident to have a flag and for the Home to have flags everywhere on Yom Haatzmaut [Independence Day].

Not a little ashamed that I forgot and grateful to call such a woman, friend, I hurried to pick up the bundle of gifts.

At the Beit Avot on nearby Yavne Street, I pressed it into Ada's hands. As this director of programs and services gasped and shouted out, we laughed and wept, her expression (captured in the photo) saying everything.

Question: How do I know such righteous people?

Answer: By hanging out with their emissaries.

Yedidia, an Atlanta Torah MiTzion program havruta [Aramaic, study partner], instructed me to visit his maternal grandparents when I returned to Tel Aviv.

Just go to Allenby Street and slightly past the Carmel Market on your right, turn left onto Brenner Street. I forgot the number but go to the first or second building on the right and look for Weizman-Liman Flag Store on the mailbox. Up one flight, and you are there.

Weizman-Liman Flags
Brenner 2 (corner of Allenby)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel. 03/528-5385

My related posts
Israeli-made Bhutanese flags for Bhutanese refugees

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

שמחתי מאוד לקרוא את הפוסט על סבא וסבתא שלי, ושמחתי יותר לראות שה"שידוך" שחשבתי עליו הצליח, ואת באמת חברה של סבתא שלי.....

אני כרגע מתכנן לטוס חזרה לישראל ב 25 ביוני, כך שישארו לנו רק 10 ימים להצליח להתראות בארץ, אז מאוד כדאי שנעשה מאמץ שזה יקרה.....

בנתיים יום טוב, וד"ש לסבתא
ידידיה גרובר —

Deborah Lipstadt said...

Wonderful story... fantastic picture...great people... feel good post. thanks

Deborah

Jeff Green said...

Your blog's name is well chosen. Connecting with people, reaching out to them, seems to be your major life mission, and that's a fine thing. You're one of the people who lowers the degrees of separation.

Tamar Orvell said...

Johanna, my good friend from Music and Art [NYC high school we attended], sent this e-mail, with permission to post her comment —

Couldn't figure out how to post comment on this really extraordinary piece in your blog! I only wish stuff like this could get out THERE more, not merely to people you already know, and would be predisposed to share your views and sentiments.

Last night on Sundance channel, saw part of Israeli documentary "The Hebrew Lesson" -- about an Ulpan [institute or school for the intensive study of Hebrew] class over several months. Granted, I was sufficiently in & out of kitchen to have missed much, but bottom line: by end of Ulpan, EVERYONE in class, including teacher, felt worse about life in general, and all BUT teacher, life in Israel in particular. And one very interesting point: most in this class were non-J women who had met Israeli men elsewhere, and during their time in Israel had become disillusioned unto bitter about men and/or country. Every problem, every flaw, over & over. How many people watching this very well-made doc would know what authentic purpose of Ulpan was-- remains?

Tamar Orvell said...

ידידיה —
אתה שדכן מופלא. אני מצפה בכליון עיניים לראות אותך בחודש הבא ברחוב ברנר! בינתיים, ד"ש לחבר'ה ונסיעה טובה

Deborah — Thrilled I could deliver something feel-good for you and for Madeline, who commented on my earlier post, In Israel at 10 a.m. today, sirens wailed nationwide, "These last two posts will haunt me..."

Jeff — Your observation on my boundary crossing ways as my "major life mission" hadn't occurred to me (mostly because I never contemplated such a mission... and perhaps I should).

Johanna — Publishing on my blog or any blog or any anything does not alone prompt visitors to consider my views and sentiments. Your comment prompts me to ask (again), Do I go places to listen to what I don't already know or am predisposed to share? Honest answer: Rarely. Thanks for the reminder to wake up and smell the falafel!

I studied at Ulpan Gordon in Tel Aviv where they filmed "The Hebrew Lesson." And while I never encountered students seeking romance and adventure totally unrelated to ideology, national vision, or community project or enterprise, my teachers assured me (when I complained bitterly that the film misrepresents the student body) that most beginner classes are made up of this type. Again, a reminder that not all people in Israel, in the Ulpan, or anywhere in these parts share my thinking nor, more important — the vision of the founders, builders, and defenders of the modern State of Israel.