A letter from Hana to Rachael

August 8, 1992

Dearest Rachael, 

Do you miss me? I miss you terribly. It’s a week since I saw you. I miss you running into me and “goring” me with your head and then laughing with delight. What a beauty laugh you have!! Your entire being is full of joy and delight, at your cunningness taking me by surprise. I miss seeing you eating with such a hearty a appetite. As your Ima says, you eat as if you were a teenage boy. 

You’re sturdy in body and spirit. Full of confidence in your abilities, as you want to do everything for yourself by yourself, yet at the same time you’re social and love interaction. You can distinguish the beautiful from the mundane. Where did you learn to comment, to give compliments on clothing? I not only miss your smile and your laugh, but also your frown and your curiosity. 

Do you remember we slept together in the cabin? Do you remember me reading the book “A day in Maine,” and your knowing it by heart kept correcting me. We read by flashlight under the sleeping bag. And when your eyes were closed, I stopped reading only to be told in a commanding tone to continue. Yes, we all were in  your parents cottage for one week. Jesse, who was a delight, your father, your Ima, Rebecca for a few days, your aunt Nina and your cousins Elana, Yoel, and Daniel (with whom you had several fights for possessions), Bernd and myself. What a crowd!! It was so much fun and pleasure. 

I often think how lucky I am, how lucky Ima is, how lucky you are having such a loving, extended family. Your Ima didn’t have the pleasure for nor the luxury having grandparents. She as well as aunt Nina and uncle Peter (father of your favorite cousins Ross and Emily) had only a nuclear family. When you’re much older and I’m still around, I’ll tell you about it. 

The world was bad, crazy and vengeful then. And today, half a century later, it’s no better by much. People will always fight for one reason or another and kill each other. 

We’re in August 1992. We had presidential elections. George Bush is president and wants to be again next term. Bill Clinton, Democrat, is running against him. The 25th Olympic Games are taking place in Barcelona, Spain. In Somalia, children by the hundreds are dying of hunger and illness. Israel has a new Prime Minister, Rabin, who is more willing to give into Palestinians demands than his predecessor Shamir was. There is a terrible Civil War in Yugoslavia. Serbs are killing Kroats and vise versa. Small children are killed and/or separated from their parents for no reason and no fault. They didn’t do anything bad. 

You are lucky to live in a country where you are protected by us all. You’ll grow up to be as compassionate as your parents, who are concerned about the human race, as well as te environment (which is getting polluted).
In the cottage in Maine, which is a beautiful state, we forget about it all. The outside world. Didn’t even listen to the radio. We just enjoyed each other and mainly, I enjoyed so much spending this precious week with you. 
I am so grateful for it. I am only sorry that you live so far away and I can not see you more often. 

Hope to see you soon.

With all my love,