Translating Science

The title of the lecture given by Yivsam Azgad under the auspices of the Israel Translators Association was billed as ‘Translating Science.’ Although I personally did not translate that kind of material when I worked as a translator, I have a passing interest in the subject due to my husband’s occupation as a physicist.

The lecture was held in the very pleasant conference venue adjacent to the Herzl Museum on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, and was attended by some fifteen participants from all over Israel.

Mr. Azgad hegan his talk by stating that he had parted company with the Israeli school system at the age of fifteen, but that did not mean that he had not continued learning. This obviously marked him as a teenage rebel and, presumably, an autodidact. He did not say as much, but his appearance told us that his teenage years were long forgotten. What he did tell us was that he had gone on to forge a respectable career for himself as a scientific journalist.

Mr. Azgad proceeded to tell his audience that it was important when translating scientific material to understand the subject matter in the source language and, if possible, convey it as accurately as possible in the target language. That rule is good for any kind of translation, though it obviously might be more difficult to achieve when it comes to translating scientific subjects which are not universally accessible.

Mr. Azgad then tried to make us undertake a thought experiment (‘gedank experiment,’ as devised by Einstein) and transport us as physicists from the corridor of the physics department at the Hebrew University to a similar corridor at Princeton Univesrsity. Would we notice any difference, he asked. The answer he gave was no, we wouldn’t, because physicists the world over all speak the same language, use the same terms and equipment, and share a common bond. Any two physicists in a given group of people will always find one another and be able to communicate with one another, wherever they may hail from originally. Their identity as scientists is the paramount aspect of their being (over and above their national or individual identity).

Giving a few examples of abstruse scientific theses that he (or someone) had had to translate, the lecturer made it clear that translating science is phenomenally difficult. I can subscribe to that sentiment, being married to a physicist and having been involved in translating the title and English summary of his doctorate (“Excitation Processes in Organic Systems Under Irradiation with Vacuum Ultraviolet Radiation,” in case you’re interested).

All well and good. I would very much have liked to hear more about the universality of scientific language, but beyond those initial statements the lecture deviated to focus on Mr. Azgad’s own experience as a journalist at various Israeli newspapers, where his chief aim was to popularize scientific subjects. He gave us a few examples of the dangers of deviating from the exact meaning of a scientific idea when trying to convey it in more simple terms. He claims that he thought up the idea of producing a comic strip (‘Nanocomics’) based on scientific topics, aimed at both adults and children. Posters with these comic strips have been put up in schools all over Israel. He was also, he claims, the originator of the idea of giving lectures on scientific subjects in bars in Rechovot and Tel Aviv, a project which enjoyed great popular success. Mr. Azgad now works in the publications department of the Weizmann Institute where, amongst his other activities, he continues to publicise and universalise science for the masses.

The Changing World of Books

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Jerusalem International Book Forum was held once more this year. The opening ceremony included a (virtual) presentation of the Jerusalem Prize to British author Julian Barnes by the mayor of Jerusalem (accepted by the representative of the British Council in Israel on his behalf), and a televised acceptance speech by Julian Barnes himself (who was prevented by il-health from making the journey).

It was good to be surrounded by people who, like myself, are in the business of reading, writing, editing, translating and even publishing books, in a variety of languages and from a wide range of countries.

However, the highlight of that first evening was the address by Stefan von Holtzbrinck, the head of the German Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. Speaking in perfect English, this distinguished guest started by stating the view that recent developments in the Russia-Ukraine war had brought us to a situation in which he personally felt safer in Jerusalem than in central Europe. He then went on to declare his love for the city, which he has been visiting almost yearly since 1988, to pronounce Israel a light to the world and to assert his and his company’s solidarity with the country. Of course, the audience applauded enthusiastically.

To hear these sentiments at a time when there have been almost constant disturbances, mainly in eastern Jerusalem, associated first with Ramadan, then with the death and funeral of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akla, was astounding. Like me, many of the Israelis in the audience could hardly believe their ears. And, like me, many people took advantage of von Holtzbrinck’s participation in subsequent events, to thank him for speaking so positively.

The next three days of the forum were full of interesting talks, open discussions and informal opportunities to strike up conversations with old and new acquaintances. A fascinating and entertaining talk entitled ‘Listen Up: Audiobooks, Podcasts, and New Opportunities’ given by David Rowan, Founding Editor of WIRED UK, began with a couple of video clips indicating where the world is headed. One showed a traffic cop in California stopping a driverless car for not having its lights on. Confounded when he realized the driving seat was empty, the cop returned to his police car to seek assistance, whereupon the driverless car sped away (it obviously had a mind of its own). As Mr. Rowan pointed out, the world – including the publishing world – is becoming increasingly digitized and democratized through AI (artificial intelligence), the all-pervasive Metaverse and the general interactivity of everything through smart phones.

Those few days of talks and discussions gave me plenty of new information as well as a great deal of food for thought as I continue to write and publish my work.

Connections

A few years ago an enterprising resident of the suburb where I live, just outside Jerusalem, initiated and organized an association providing social and cultural activities for the growing number of retired persons living here. Since then the association has reached over one thousand members and conducts a plethora of activities to suit every taste and inclination. There are outings to areas of interest or cultural events, lectures on all kinds of subjects, a choir, a reading group, a drama club, art classes, creative writing classes, exercise classes, and myriad other events. My own personal interest is in learning or improving my knowledge of foreign languages, and so each week I attend classes for the German and French languages.

The people attending the classes are all, like me, of pensionable age, and in those two classes most of us have similar backgrounds or interests (and we all live in the same area). In both groups we are fortunate in having interesting and enthusiastic teachers who invest time and energy in preparing their lessons and keeping us pupils interested and involved.

Our German teacher is an interesting character. She is a young non-Jewish woman from a remote part of southern Germany who is married (I haven’t investigated the story of how this came about) to an Israeli and has made her life here in Israel. Her classes focus on Germany, its language and its culture, and very occasionally the subject of the Holocaust comes up. The other pupils are, like me, from families which came originally from central Europe, with the ability to speak and understand German to a greater or lesser extent, but all eager to improve their command of the language.

In a recent class we talked about the Kindertransport, the acceptance by England of ten thousand unaccompanied children under the age of eighteen just before the Second World War broke out. One of the pupils, Zeev, who also grew up in England (the others all grew up in Israel) expressed particular interest in the subject, though he himself did not get to England under that scheme. To the next lesson I brought and lent him the book of essays about the experiences of Kindertransport children in England, ‘No Longer a Stranger,’ edited by Inge Sadan. Among the thirty-eight articles is one by my late father, Manfred Vanson, who, together with my mother, Frances, served as house-parents at the Sunshine Hostel in London from 1940 to 1945. At the end of the book are some photos, including one of the children (by then almost all teenagers) of the Sunshine Hostel. One of the girls is holding a baby on her lap, and as I proudly told Zeev, ‘that baby is me,’ aged about one year old.

Lo and behold, a few days later I received a message from Zeev telling me that he had found the name of his cousin on the list of those in Israel, but what had really touched him was to see his older brother Alfred in the photo of the Sunshine Hostel, the one with me as a child. Sadly, Alfred (second row from top, far left) has died since then, so we can’t ask him about his time at the Sunshine Hostel.

Who knows? Maybe Alfred even played with me back then, as many of the ‘hostel children’ did. But it is nice to have an additional connection with one of the pupils in the class I attend.

Watch Your Step!

I was recently made doubly aware of the importance of being careful to avoid falling by the incident in which a friend who is a little bit younger than myself fell in her home and broke her hip. This involved a trip to the emergency room of a local hospital followed by surgery and a lengthy recovery period during which she was unable to leave her house. Even today, several months later, she still walks with a stick to ensure stability. It served as a salutary lesson to me, and partly as a result of that I now wear closed sports shoes whenever I leave the house (except when I go to concerts).

But in my home I wear a kind of orthopaedic sandal, which is not closed, and that was my downfall the other day. It was Independence Day in Israel and we had been sitting in the garden with some friends, despite the weather – which was not as warm and sunny as we would have liked. In fact, it reminded some of us of our former homeland – England. Still, we managed to sit outside and enjoy our barbecued meat and the salads the guests had brought with them.

But for the next stage – coffee and cake – we decided to move indoors, and I began setting up the arrangements accordingly. Everything was going well until I decided to bring in some extra chairs from the garden. These were two rather ancient folding chairs, which have served us well for many years, and have not until now caused any untoward trouble.

But boy, how I wish I had taken my own advice as set out in the heading above before I tried to bring in those two danged folding chairs! Whether it was my shoe or the tip of the chair-leg, but something got caught on the step leading from the garden to our house. As a result I lost my balance and came crashing down onto the stone floor, banging my head in the process. As the afternoon progressed I found myself bring cossetted by concerned friends and family, switching from having been the capable (I hope) hostess to becoming an object of concern for others. The general advice was that I should rest and put ice on the spot, which I promptly did, and sat docilely while others brought me coffee and dealt with the arrangements of refreshments I had previously prepared. Conversation continued around me, even involving me from time to time, but it was obvious that I had sustained an injury which, while not life-threatening or even consisting of any broken bones, was evidently going to turn into something unpleasant.

As indeed it did. With each passing hour, the colour of the skin above and around my left eye changed dramatically, despite the ice pack I diligently pressed to the area for several hours. While I am not in any serious pain, anyone catching sight of me assumes an expression of horror and dismay. If I have to leave the house I’ll be wearing sunglasses, no matter if it’s sunny or not. I just don’t want to have to explain to people that the car-crash that is my face at present is not the result of a fight with my husband just a stupid fall.

And no, I’m not going to post a full-colour selfie of my face with its technicolour ‘shiner,’ just a picture of the offending chairs.

I hope this will cause others – as well as myself – to take note and be more careful when moving around in the home, as well as outside and everywhere. I thought I was one of those people who was aware of all the pitfalls that await us wherever we go, but it seems that even the most cautious among us are vulnerable.

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider reading one of my 8 novels, all available on Amazon, and from my website: www.shefer-vanson.com

The Road Not Taken

We all take decisions in our lives. Someone like me (i.e., a very old person) has had to take decisions at many points in my life – what to study, whom to marry, where to work, where to live, whether to have another child, what to cook for dinner, etc., etc. I’m sure that many other people have had to make similar decisions, and they have all helped to weave the fabric of life.

But today is Holocaust Memorial Day here in Israel, and my thoughts automatically turn to wondering how I would have fared at that fateful time, and also how the relatives I lost dealt with their situation. I know for a fact that after Hitler’s rise to power in Germany Jews there were faced with almost insurmountable difficulties if they sought to leave the country. For many, including both my maternal and paternal grandparents, this involved leaving behind the homeland and country they loved and for which – in the case of both my grandfathers – they had fought in the First World War.

In the memoir my late father wrote about his life he states that as a young married couple his parents “had been very enthusiastic about Zionism and Palestine. They had been among the few Jewish residents of Hamburg to attend the 9th Zionist Congress held there in 1909. They told us children later that as a result of this they were ostracized by their family, friends and fellow-congregants, and that it took many years before their lapse was forgiven.”

Oh, if only the Jewish community of Hamburg had not been so anti-Zionist! Who knows? Maybe my grandparents could have been among those brave Jews who came to live in what was then Ottoman-controlled Palestine, making a very different life for themselves and their descendants. But Hamburg was a thriving metropolis, with a rich cultural, social and commercial life, and would have always been a more attractive place to live in than a barren desert in the Middle East.

I take my hat off to all those Jews who did come to live here in those early years, starting with the intrepid few who left Romania in 1882 and settled in Zikhron Yaakov under the aegis of Baron de Rothschild (among whom is the family of my dear son-in-law). Knowing what we know now, we can only shake our heads in sorrow as we look back at so many missed opportunities, at the hundreds, thousands and millions of Jews who did not leave their homes and set out to build a new life for themselves in all those years when it was possible to go to live in Palestine.

Although antisemitism has always been with us, the Holocaust was an event that had no precedent in history as regards its extent, brutality and the industrial efficiency with which it was executed. It was not something that anyone could have foreseen and been prepared to forestall. Despite the terrible toll it took on our nation, some Jews managed to survive, whether by an act of providence, taking wise action or having managed to escape.

What it all boils down to, when all is said and done, is that we cannot always predict the results of our actions and the decisions we take, though we always hope that what we do is for the best. We cannot go through life saying ‘if only I had done things differently,’ though for the six million victims of the Holocaust they may well have thought that as they perished.

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider reading one of my 8 novels, all available on Amazon, and from my website: www.shefer-vanson.com

From Broken Glass;

A Story of Finding Hope in Hitler’s Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation

This book by Steve Ross is truly an inspiring story. Interspersed with the author’s vivid recollections of being incarcerated from the age of eight in a succession of concentration camps are accounts of his interaction as a social worker with deprived and even delinquent youngsters in Boston’s worst neighbourhoods.

Torn away from his home and family by the invading Nazi troops, young Steve (then known as Szmulek) managed to survive the endless starvation, brutality and slave labour in ten different camps. His account of the brutality to which he was subjected and which he witnessed is enough to turn the reader’s stomach, and would be depressing if it were not for the way he describes how he used the lessons learned in that terrible time to encourage, inspire and motivate youngsters from deprived backgrounds to remain in the education system, and even go to college, in order to attain a better future than that which would otherwise have been their fate.

The accounts of the author’s encounters with the youngsters in Boston and the way he told them about his experiences in the camps and the lengths to which he felt forced to go in order to evade first being captured and then being killed provides an interesting insight into the workings of his mind and his later development. Maintaining that without the occasional small acts of kindness of other concentration camp inmates or glimpses of humanity from fellow human beings he would not have been able to survive.

The author describes the phenomenon of ‘musulmen,’ concentration camp inmates who seem to have become detached from reality, not caring whether they live or die,and explains it as the indication that the individuals concerned have lost hope, and that it was only the faintest glimmer of hope – that he would be freed, that he would be reunited with his family, that he would regain his home – that kept him going. He was, of course, eventually freed, but only one other member of his family survived, and after release from the camp he was sent to America and placed in an orphanage

In the orphanage he was told that the only way to advance in America was to study, and this he did. He worked to support himself and pay tuition fees, sleeping in his car and enduring all kinds of hardships. But he was not brutalised and he persisted in his studies, realising that only by the strength of his spirit would he be able to reach his goal of helping other youngsters achieve a better life. He seems to have been unusually successful in his endeavours, as the mayor of Boston sought a way to honour him, and Steve asked for this to be done by erecting a Holocaust memorial in Boston.

The New England Holocaust Memorial was built as a result, and now stands in an important site in Boston, near other memorials to important figures in American history. Although the building was vandalised in 2017, the local population came out in force to demonstrate against the prejudice and hatred it revealed, and Steve found solace in that. The Holocaust memorial, his two children and his grandchildren are a testament to his endurance, strength of mind, and nobility of spirit.

Tradition

As Passover approaches the word ‘tradition’ assumes increasing prominence in the lives of Jews – and Israelis. Each ethnic group, and each family, has its own traditions regarding the way the festival is celebrated (cue musical interlude ‘Tradition’ from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’).

This was brought home to me with added intensity when the Israeli millionaire in space (he is not an astronaut), Eitan Steva, was interviewed on TV. When asked how he was going to celebrate the Seder in space he replied that gefillte fish is being provided for him. Gefillte fish? Where in the Bible is gefillte fish mentioned? Not at all, of course. In fact, in the orthodox German-Jewish (‘Yekke’) family of my birth no such dish was ever served at the Seder table. When I married into a family originating from eastern Europe it transpired that that particular dish was considered an essential, if not vital, part of the Seder meal. The centrality of that item was presumably connected with the nature of the food available to the residents of that region, but how and why it came to constitute a universal and basic necessity of the meal is beyond me.

Other traditions have become embedded in the life of Jews from different parts of the world, and this is particularly evident when it comes to rituals associated with religious observance and ritual. And so the (orthodox) Jewish world is divided into two groups: those (of Sephardic origin) who eat pulses on Passover and those (of Ashkenazi origin) who abjure all pulses on Passover. This rift goes back to rabbinic rulings in ancient times, and one might have thought it would be possible to find a solution for overcoming it. But so far no rabbi has dared to venture into this legalistic minefield. Thus, observant relatives of offspring who have married someone whose Passover meal tradition allows pulses will eschew those homes during the festival. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I hear about these traditions, but it strikes me as unnecessarily divisive in these modern times.

Another tradition – and thankfully one not associated with religious practice – struck me last week when I took my adult son and his six-year-old daughter to a performance of the Israeli musical ‘Utzli-Gutzli.’ The text of the play, which is based on the Grimm Brothers’ fable, ‘Rumpelstiltskin,’ was written some sixty years ago by Avraham Shlonsky, one of Israel’s leading literary figures, with music by Dubi Zeltser. Shlonsky’s grandiloquent rhyming couplets in not-always-accessible Hebrew might be considered too difficult for Israeli children, but the colourful set and costumes together with spirited acting and singing by the cast of the Cameri Theatre enabled the audience to grasp what was happening and to enjoy the pranks and jokes, as well as to participate in the singing when encouraged to do so by the actors,

There wasn’t an empty seat in the auditorium, which consisted of children of all ages, accompanied by parents and grandparents who doubtless themselves had seen the play in the past – when they, too, were children. I remember taking my daughter to it over forty years ago, when she was at the age my granddaughter is now. And although I was familiar with the general idea of the play, I wasn’t bored for a minute on seeing it again. The originality of the text, the virtuosity of the acting and the general joie-de-vivre of the production made the whole experience an enjoyable one (though my granddaughter was afraid when things didn’t seem to be going well for the poor baker’s daughter, who was required to spin straw into gold).

Another tradition, and one which, I hope, will not serve to create division among Jews in Israel.

The Irony of it All

Whether you call the city Lvov, Lviv or Lemberg, the place that was once a centre of culture and commerce in Ukraine is currently the scene of destruction and devastation. Now that the whole of Ukraine is being subjected to attack by Russia, I am reminded of the book East West Street; on the Origins of ‘Genocide’ and ‘Crimes Against Humanitywhich I read and reviewed here recently. The author, Philippe Sands, a renowned expert in international law, investigated the origins of those two seminal legal terms. However, the book is no dry-as-dust academic study as the author has managed to introduce the human element in the form of the two Jewish legal experts who originated from Lvov, just as his own family did.

Those two legal terms were employed in the 1946 Nuremberg trials of a number of Nazi leaders who were held accountable for the atrocities inflicted on the populations of the countries their regime invaded, occupied and plundered, and whose Jewish populations they systematically murdered.

The two Jewish lawyers whose efforts culminated in the introduction of the terms ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ were originally from the Ukraine and both studied law at Lvov University, although not at the same time. Hersch Lauterpacht, who coined the term ‘crimes against humanity,’ managed to leave Ukraine, ending up in the UK, where he was given a prestigious academic position at Cambridge University. Rafael Lemkin, the other Jewish legal expert, made his way to the USA in 1939 and forged a distinguished academic career for himself there.

The two men never met in person, though doubtless knew of one another’s work. But the inevitable conclusion that the reader cannot help drawing after reading this book is that fate happened to bring two men of intelligence, insight and understanding who were also Jews to reach conclusions that have had a lasting impact on international law.

There is talk now of bringing those involved in the current war in Ukraine to justice at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. That court was founded as a direct result of the work of Lauterpacht and Lemberg. Whether anyone will ever actually be put on trial is doubtful, but there is no escaping the irony of the situation that draws together the fate of Ukraine with the work of its former citizens. And, of course, through the convoluted course of history, combines the effect of Nazi crimes with Jewish intellect on world events.

Living with Cognitive Dissonance

It goes without saying that a certain amount of cognitive dissonance is inevitable in the psychology of anyone living in western society in this day and age. Our mental balance depends on finding a way of coping with the situations in which we find ourselves.

Recent events in Israel and elsewhere have led me to wonder if there is a way of quantifying the extent, or amount, or intensity of the phenomenon. Would it be fair to say that life in Israel gives rise to more or less cognitive dissonance? When I immigrated to Israel in 1965 the country was smaller, life was simpler and yet there were constant threats from the surrounding Arab countries, leading eventually to the outbreak of war in 1967. That marked a turning point in Israel’s existence, with the necessity of maintaining some semblance of order in the areas that had been conquered in the course of that war, known variously as conquered or liberated, Judea and Samaria or the West Bank (of the kingdom of Jordan, which had controlled it till then). Although I try to avoid making political statements, I can’t avoid pointing out that no one had raised the idea of a Palestinian state till then.

Suddenly a few weeks ago the attention of all Israelis was diverted away from the events in Ukraine to a series of terrorist attacks inside Israel. Towns that had been considered free of tension between the Arabs and Israelis living in and around them became targets of killing sprees by Arab citizens who had till then been considered part of Israeli society. The Arabs who live in Israel have the same rights as the Jews; they serve in the IDF and the police force as well as sending their representatives to the Knesset and even forming part of the coalition government.

Ironically, the day of the third and most serious attack was the first day of sunshine and warmth after an unusually long, cold and rainy winter. Knowing that we had to be in Tel Aviv in the evening to attend an opera, my husband and I decided to spend the day there. We had lunch in a restaurant overlooking the sea and took our dessert sitting on a comfortable couch beside the promenade, watching young parents with babies, youngsters on bikes and older people with zimmer frames strolling in the sunshine.

Tel Aviv has a lot to offer, if one can manage to navigate the traffic. We contrived to spend time in the Tel Aviv Museum visiting some of the excellent exhibits there, and ended the day with a performance of Mozart’s the Marriage of Figaro. The acting and singing were excellent, and acclaimed opera director David Pountney managed to introduce all manner of sly and entertaining elements into the show, including placing a (fake) anti-tank missile in the hands of Cherubino in an allusion to events in Ukraine.

It would have been a perfect day had it not been for the news of the attack in Bnei Braq and the five victims – both Arabs and Jews – that we heard on the car radio as we drive back to Jerusalem. And that just about sums up life in Israel. Beauty, tranquillity, culture and happiness at one moment, and murder, brutality and hatred the next.

There have always been attacks and murders in this part of the world, the birth of the state of Israel was not an easy one, and yet the country has survived and even thrived. Coping with cognitive dissonance is only part of the price we have to pay for having a country of our own.

In This Day and Age

I

We thought the age of war in Europe was over. We thought that people of intelligence and culture had learned to cooperate and at least to prevent the senseless destruction of property and lives. We thought that the lessons of the past had been learned, and that the urge to overrun and rule others had been tamed. At least in the so-called civilized world.

But we were wrong.

We knew that wars and senseless killing still continued in distant lands, in Africa and other distant parts. But not on our doorstep. Not in places that had learned the lessons of the past.

I suppose we should be grateful for the seventy-odd years that have passed without war breaking out in Europe. After all, there have been tensions and disagreements between countries. But most of those were settled through discussion and negotiation. No country took up arms against another, despite the long history of constant war, enmity and the desire for supremacy that has formed the Europe of today. The conclusion of the Second World War in 1945 marked a turning-point in the way international relations were conducted in Europe. Eventually, thanks to far-sighted and brave leaders, the European Union was formed, bringing once-warring nations into alignment and cooperation with one another.

It would be foolish to put all the blame for the current conflagration in Ukraine on one side. Undoubtedly, Russia is the aggressor, but its claims are not entirely baseless. My first thought upon hearing about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961. At the time it seemed that America’s demand that Russia remove its long-range missiles from Cuban soil were justified. I lived through that terrifying time, when it seemed that the world was on the brink of another world war. But fortunately, the two leaders involved, Kennedy and Khruschev, managed to reach a solution that avoided conflict.

Sadly, that has not been the case this time.

And so every night our TV screens are filled with scenes of human misery, displacement and loss. To this is added the wholesale destruction of towns and villages, the unending stream of refugees and the enormous cost in material and human devastation.

Is Russia right to wreak havoc on Ukraine in order to make its point? Of course not. Nothing justifies the terrible sights to which we are witness. The question remains: could not some other, better way of resolving the dispute have been found? The efforts currently being invested by various parties, including our own prime minister, Naftali Bennet, to mediate between the warring parties, have not borne fruit so far. But perhaps one day soon they will. All that is required is for each side to take a step back.

Khruschev decided not to plunge the world into war in 1961, and his name will go down in history for having had the moral courage to do so. Kennedy was prepared to stand his ground, but also to make concessions in order to encourage Khruschev to go towards him.

It seems so simple now, looking back, but it was a very tense few days at the time. I remember saying goodbye to my fellow-students on the Friday and wondering if London and our university would still be in existence on the following Monday.

All we can do now is extend what humanitarian aid we can and watch from the sidelines as death and destruction are rained down on people whose only desire was to make a life for themselves and their children. But in this day and age that isn’t enough. One has to be able to make compromises and concessions in order to achieve that life.

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider reading one of my 8 novels, all available on Amazon, and from my website: www.shefer-vanson.com