Monday 18 June 2018

Ben-Gurion On The Hill

by Neta Shlain


David looked up at the grey sandy hill with its poorly scattered vegetation, saltbushes mostly, and wiped his bald head. What was left of his once marvellous mane now tickled the inside of his ears with wetness. Sun was getting high; he placed the cap back on and began ascending followed closely by ministers of defence and agriculture.
     David might’ve not been a man of grand height yet his physical abilities could be compared to the more agile and much younger members of the Knesset, not that there were many of them. Quickly moving his short legs, he felt a sense of freedom rising in his chest, that same freedom that most of his dear ones left in Poland were denied. Tears welled up, he inhaled deeper and fastened his step still followed closely by the overly tired ministers.
     Finally, they reached the top. ‘Here it is!’ David extended his hand exposing an armpit soaked with sweat. ‘Here it is,’ minister of defence collapsed on the dusty ground, ripping a bunch of leaves from the saltbush and placing them in his mouth to create saliva, another hand grabbing the chest. ‘What is this?’ Red like a crab, minister of agriculture pulled down his hat to hide his eyes from the sun.
     ‘Ha Negev, my friends. Nothing defines a human more than the ability to make wilderness arable.’

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