I suppose it’s time dust off this old blog and start writing again. Who knew it would take a war to get me back here?
While rockets are flying and CNN is lying and all the rest of us are just trying to figure out where to stand (and what supplies to put in our safe rooms) I wanted to share a snippet of seemingly unrelated life.
Yesterday morning I met with a lawyer in a city in Northern Israel for the second time, her name is Sachar.
She owns her law office and has 2 assistants and one other lawyer working there. My purpose was just as a translator for a new Olah (let’s call her Shira) who needed Sachar’s services.
Sahar called my cell phone at 8am to confirm the appointment. First she asked me if I was alright and if everyone was doing ok, something about the concern in her tone made me connect the question to the operations in Gaza. Then she reminded me of some things that Shira needed to bring along with her for the appointment.
During the appointment, I read the diplomas on her wall. Sachar graduated from Bar-Ilan university and had certificates from a number of other Israeli institutions.
While we were there she took a call from a client. I heard her compassionately tell her client that she would make sure to meet with the client’s brother and mother and that she will do the maximum to ensure that the client on the phone got all the help they needed. She took another call that I couldn’t follow because she was speaking in Arabic.
I’m not sure if Sachar is a Druzi woman or an Israeli Arab, but she’s certainly not a Palestinian (which is a made-up nationality created when Israel was under the rule of the British Mandate, Jewish old timers who lived here before 1948 call themselves Palestinian, too). She knows as well as you do that there isn’t anywhere else in the entire Middle East where an educated Arab woman can own a law office, where a professional Arab woman can call her assistant in to her office to make copies at the copy machine a foot from her desk, while she sat and continued to focus on her client. Only in Israel.
Today was Shira’s court hearing to which I accompanied her. I wasn’t allowed into the hearing but stood outside and peeked through the door occasionally to see if I could get a sense for how it was going. Sachar caught my eye at one point (she had to turn around to check if I was watching) and gave me an encouraging nod to let me know things were going well.
After the hearing, which seems to have gone well for both parties, Sachar briefed me on what happened so I could help Shira with the next steps and gave Shira a hug and reassured her that everything would be just fine! Having be involved from the beginning of Shira’s saga and in touch with Sachar a few times over the course of it, she and I also hugged and I told her how compassionate and thorough and caring she is.
Outside of the Middle East there are many free countries, where women of any ethnicity have equal (or quasi-equal rights) but in this region, there is only one. Only in one country, roughly the size of New Jersey, situated on a continent twice the size of the US, can a woman like Sachar get an advanced education, and become an independent business owner and a lawyer. Only in Israel.