Is Israel today a place for remembering or for forgetting?
When I arrived, the ideology of the New Hebrew was very strong. Like the line of the song we used to sing: “We came to the land to build and to be built.” But, thank God, I managed to distance myself from all this. It didn’t echo in my soul. Because I said to myself, I can’t ever forget my parents. I’ll never forget my grandparents, my uncles and aunts — that is, it’s pathological to make a collective effort to forget. The syndrome of forgetting came about because Jews suffered so much in the Holocaust, but it’s pathological. So you see evidence that Israelis are more interested now in recovering the past? Tel Aviv and especially Jerusalem, have become more like Warsaw, Lublin, and Krakow than like kibbutzim. It’s ironic. That is to say, there’s no longer a great deal of difference between the Jewish life that was in Warsaw and here. Maybe there it was more deeply rooted, more based on faith. Maybe there was more Jewish knowledge there, but still you’re in a small Jewish village here.