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Letters from Dotnuva (cont.)

 

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Translated by Sara Mages

Mitzpe HaSharon, Ra'anana [Israel] 23 July, 1939


Dear Freida and Avraham!

Indeed, I wrote you a letter some time ago, but since the correspondence between us is very weak I'm not ashamed to admit that in the meantime I lost your address and I was forced to send it to Shoshanna and asked her to transfer it to you. I don't know the fate of my letter, whether it reached you or if it is still sitting at Shoshanna's. Anyway, I'm sitting down to write you.

Freida, you scold me well for hiding important secrets from you, such as my connection with a young man, and now I will explain to you the reasons for this. First, as you can imagine to yourself, this isn't such a decisive event in our life, even though it is a change in our single life and we don't do it out of levity. But this event, the entry to a family life, doesn't have the same character and the same connection to married life that you have in the society in which you live. I want to explain things more broadly so that you'll not get my words the wrong way.

We have two ways of creating a family life. One on the background of love between two people who love each other and think that they should be together. In their opinion, this is a family that can succeed the most in life.

There's a second type of families. Although there was no great love between them before they got married, they match each other spiritually and physically, and they have the same character. According to the cold calculated logic, such a family could succeed no less from a family that was only created by reasons of love, because in the course of time they learn to respect and love each other. So, as you can see, we don't set economic, material or class conditions. The family is also exempt from raising her children, that is to say, every family is raising her children separately. Everything falls into place by common children's room and common education.

Our family is completely free from the burden which weighs on the proletarian family, mainly, the burden of existence. It is also free from same nagging question, what will the future bring. Therefore, each family doesn't have to worry about its existence (the same is also for the individual who doesn't have a family). This is a general question that the whole society takes care of together. We also don't have the same tension that we meet in families outside the kibbutz. It really gives the heads of our families the opportunity to be free and to divide their day as they wish, and not be dependent on the opinion of others.

In addition, families, who weren't able to create mutual understanding and interest, come to the conclusion that there is no harmony between and they can't continue in the future. Of course, one side usually suffers from such a separation, but at the end each one of them understands that they must separate. Both of them continue to work in the kibbutz. If they have children they are raised in the children room, and each one of them can find his own way.

But I ask you not to get the impression that we get together in order to separate. I just wanted to explain that the family in the kibbutz is completely free and can always operate at will, meaning, that it isn't tied to any stipulations. Well, this is one of the reasons why I didn't notify you immediately about my connection with a young man.

And now I want to give you a little information about my friend. First, his name is Meir Toledo, or as we call him here, Meirko.

Of course we didn't get married in a religious ceremony (although I wrote home that I got married), and I'm the same former Leah Shapira.

He originated from Bulgaria, from a Sephardic family. He was educated mostly in Bulgarian and also studied in this language. He doesn't know Hebrew very well but he speaks it freely. He came to Israel four years ago. At one time his parents were wealthy and gave a modern education to their sons. Right now his parents and his two brothers live in Sofia, and they're respectable people.

Meirko is a very good young man. He's not the most beautiful (like me), but he's a good athlete and he's very agile. He has a beautiful singing voice and he's one of the best polka dancers. Usually they say about us that we are a good match.

We have a beautiful room with furniture. They aren't the most beautiful, but they're comfortable and suitable for kibbutznikim [members of a kibbutz].

Meirko is working in the orchard and I work in all kinds of jobs. We spend most of the evenings together, but we also do various activities separately. In ours spare time we read together, argue and just have fun.

How are you? Are you working?

Last week I received letters from Shoshanna and from home. Everyone is well.

I added a picture or two to the letter that I gave Shoshanna. Maybe you'll get them.

I have to finish because it's late at night and a day of work is waiting for me tomorrow. Meirko is sleeping.

Shalom to you
Greetings from Meirko
Yours, Leah

 

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