To all descendents of the Sheikh-Moukhtar of Colonia, the former Arab village near Jerusalem Salam Aleicum Va' Rkhamat Allah.
I apologize for not sending you this letter to your address because of two simple reasons: One, I do not have your family name. Two, I do not have your addresses. Yet, I have decided to write this letter and place it on the Internet hoping that one of you or your friends will come upon it and will deliver it to you.
The urge to sit down at my desk, open my laptop and write this letter came to me during my evening walk, which as usual is up the western slope of Mount Herzl. During most evenings one can enjoy in these hours the beautiful sunset over the mountains of Jerusalem and the typical breeze, which adds to the charm of this special city. Reaching the top I sat to rest and looking to the west I could see the village of Motza. This reminded me that I forgot, last month to observe my second birthday. You may wonder what do I mean by my second birthday? Well, I was born twice in Jerusalem. The first time I was born on July 13, 1928 and the second time I was born again, with all my closest family, namely parents and elder brother, about a year later, on 24 August 1929, when I saved the lives of my entire family by getting the mumps. I got it just two days before my family was scheduled to travel and spend a long weekend at the home of my parents' friends, the family of the Makleffs, at the village of Motza in the close vicinity of Jerusalem. Just then the enigmatic virus causing Parotitis epidemica decided it is time for the general attack. My mumps cancelled this vacation. We were invited by Mrs.Batia Chaya Makleff, Let Her Soul Rest in Peace, who was a friend of my mother's family, to come for a weekend to their place on the outskirts of the village, surrounded by a beautiful orchard. When my mother expressed her anxiety because of the rumors of riots by the Arabs of the neighboring Arab village of Colonia, Mrs. Makleff calmed her anxiety by saying: "They are our brothers, they come to me whenever they need any advice or need an injection. They call me their sister." As my parents and the Makleffs were observant Jews, the voyage was planned for Friday. I got the mumps on Thursday so we stayed at home.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/05/palestine-nakba.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.