What do you say on Father’s Day when your father is gone to a better world?
I think I have the solution, at least for me, I open photo albums, I look at movies or series he liked, I listen to the Israeli music that he loved, I go to memory lane about my dad, and I simply celebrate his life.
To each one of us, our dad is unique, and I know some people have terrible memories of their childhood, but I am sure even you guys had someone who was or still is a father figure you admire.
I at my humbled age still feel that my dad was the Hero of all Heroes.
My dad together with my mom (but her story is for a different day) are the people who showed me Israel. Anywhere from Mount Hermon to Sharem Al Sheikh at the time, the Sini desert with its Coral Island, where you swim from the beach to the island and back. They showed and taught me all the history of the Land of Israel, from Masada, Jerusalem, Eilat, Be’er Sheva and many more!
Just a week after the 6-Day War, my dad took me to the Kotel, “The Tomb of the Patriarchs” (Me’arat Hamachpela) in Hebron, the tomb of Rachel, Jericho. All of which are places that later I could not get a chance to see because of security. The Golan Heights, from Mount Hermon down to the Syrian bunkers, overlooking the lake of Galilee and all the Kibbutzim around it, are still there as witnesses for why we can’t give back the Golan Heights, through the Banias river and its amazing waterfall, and the hot springs in “Hammat Gader”, at the south part of the Golan heights, and so many other places I can make a very long list and stories on each and every one of them. I recommend visiting the places that are safe to visit when you are in Israel, you will not regret it.
My dad took my hand up to the Masada Mountain and climbed up to the top with me on the Snake Trail, I was 9 years old at the time, and when I had a hard time, that trail is slippery and steep, he would wait with me on the side and will encourage me that I was doing a great job, and give me water, etc. We did make it to the top and back to the bottom, one of the best experiences of my life, the view from the top of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea is breathtaking, and the history and legacy that the story of Masada is something we live by as Israelis.
My dad was born in Germany in Berlin and came to Israel as a 6-year-old boy, settled in Jerusalem with his parents and brother, he was the chief of rascals in his neighborhood, which by now is part of the very religious area of Mea Shearim, Zfania Street, the house he grew up in is still there.
This kid grew up and became a fisty soldier and an officer in the IDF, who did anything he needed to protect his country and family, and a great businessman. From a poor kid in Israel that did not have money for a cake he saw in a bakery’s window, he swore this will never happen again to him, and to a great businessman.
His family was always his priority, and I was his princess, but he raised me to know the value of hard work, respect, and integrity.
That same Hero (who got a medal of heroism on the battlefield but never spoke about it) taught me math and English, and a lot of History of his beloved Israel, through stories and logic, not by demands, he taught me that I can do anything I want in, I just need to put my mind and an effort to get there.
I have a lot of cherished moments with my dad, and I really hope you do too.
Dad was a rock, and he is still my rock in my heart.
Remember all of us will one day perish and go to a better world.
Take the time to sit with your dads this Father’s Day, talk with them, and get to know them because I am sure they are awesome, dads, stepdads, grandpas, and uncles, meet them for the hundred time or the first time.
Switch off your phone and leave it far from you, just sit and listen to the stories our dads have and can tell us, when they are gone the stories are gone too, so make sure you not only buy your father a present, but you give him the present of your time.
I just wish I had more time with my dad, he was, and in my mind and heart he still is, an awesome guy that so many people could learn from, but he didn’t get the time to teach, he was a doer, not a talker.
So, spend time with your dads and with your children, they are worth it, they love you, each one in his own way, and I am sure you will figure it out one day, so please take your time this Father’s Day and spend it with your family and your dads.
Just remember this:
“Dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knows.” —Al Unser
Have a great Father’s Day everyone.