Monday, April 17, 2006

Golda's Balcony

Never Again
Those are the words inscribed on the nuclear warheads in Israel. I didn't know that until yesterday when I went to see Golda's Balcony, a one-woman play starring Valerie Harper. This is the story of a woman who grew up in Milwaukee, only finished the 8th grade, left home when she was only two years older than my grandson to go to Denver and live with her sister, and eventually came close to ending life on this planet. Hearing about her decision to go to Palestine in 1921 and work for a state for the Jews, I could not imagine myself doing such a thing. But maybe for her it was the same as when I threw as much as I could into 3 hefty bags and loaded my kids in the car and left home and eventually made a life unlike the one I thought I would have.

It was amazing to realize that when Golda was agonizing over whether to strike first at the countries aligned against Israel during the Yom Kippur War in October of 1973, I was agonizing over whether or not I had cancer, not knowing that this growing tumor in my belly would turn out to be my darling daughter, Nancy. I had no idea that across the world, a fearless and tough woman was the one who truly held my fate in her hands.

This play revealed a truth that I had not seen quite so clearly before: that history is made by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
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