Letters to Tuvia#98: Tuvia Tale #4: A Powerhouse of Friends (12-10-15)

Evening T,

I just lit the candles for our menorahs.  New candles coming to you from Bed, Bath and Beyond!

Tonight, as Rachel Maddow is sharing Republican Party polling numbers that support Donald Trump’s proposal that would ban Muslims from entering the US, I’m going to dip my head in the sand for a few minutes and remember a saner time. Okay?

Tuvia Tales #4

Probably the most exciting event in your life ( or one of them) was when  the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor “picked you up”  to  join their medical staff as a visiting professor toshare your groundbreaking work in blood coagulation that  persevered blood during the Viet Nam War.  You were offered your own lab and research money and teaching opportunities.

So with a Fulbright and your family along for the US adventure, you were off to a very wintery state in the USA.  But it was a wonderful place to work and a wonderful place to find a very high-end community of  dynamic Israeli  minds in science, history, literature, archeology, and media.

Early on in our relationship you shared stories about this group of friends and I shook in my shoes, wondering if I would measure up.  Of course I prayed that they were as  comfortable with English as you were,because the Hebrew language was a challenge for me then and now, even though I continue to keep my ears open.

Even before our first trip to Israel together, Ricky and Asher,two of your favorites in this group  were visiting  in New York City and met us.  I was more nervous than you ever realized but like my first meeting with Ami, I had nothing to worry about.  We picked them up at a Marriot somewhere in New Jersey- I can’t remember now. From that first introduction,  I loved them.

I loved watching you with them.  Your softness with Ricky, your laughter with Asher, your moves from Hebrew to English and back…

Ricky, originally from Toronto- (my mom’s hometown too) was lovely- tall and willowy and warm and very interested in getting to know me and my teaching and my passion for digital documenting. She loved writing poetry and creating documentary films. There were no silences.   Asher was an attractive and charming physicist, a professor at the Weitzman Institute with sparkling eyes and a passion for good scotch and daily tennis matches.

You could care less about tennis or scotch but you loved talking about Israel with them and together then, you all believed there was hope for a 2-state solution.

A two-hour dinner flew by way too quickly but we were planning our first trip to Israel for July and plans were already in the works for a reunion of your Ann Arbor circle with a tour of the Institute and Asher’s lab of course.

Asher and Ricky, Donnie and Ophira, Violet, and more… Zionists who welcomed me, watched us together and gave us their seal of approval and friendship.

There was never a trip to Israel without a meal with one or more of your Ann Arbor friends. Just a few weeks after you passed I had Sunday brunch with Ricky and Asher and Jonathan and Lisa and when I’m back in Tel Aviv next month I already have Ricky on the calendar.

Thank you T, for sharing your treasures with me.

I will be with them with you at my side, okay?

Love you,

Bonnie S.

 

 

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6 thoughts

  1. Thank you again, Bonnie, for sharing these stories of Tuvia and you, and the past exciting moments. It feels like the circle, while missing Tuvia, will remain unbroken, for you will carry on these friendships with those who first welcomed you into the circle. It’s such a warm feeling to read the stories.

  2. Special time when Tuvia shared this part of his life with you. I can see why you’d be nervous, but clearly he was proud of you and wanted to show you off. Friendships were formed through love and respect.

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