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“Going Up, Going Down ~ the Aliyah of an Innocent”

There are hitches and humour when Arnon and Maggie Goren and their two young sons set off from England for Israel in Spring 1973 in a 1933 Rolls Royce twoing an old caravan.

They follow the Kenneth Clark 'Civilization' route through France and Italy for three weeks, enjoying the splendours of countryside, historic buildings and art in those countries before embarking for Haifa. Maggie learns the hard way about Israeli bureaucracy and wonders whether bad luck comes in threes or multiples of three. They settle in the independent village of Ramat Yishai, Northern Israel, with its idiosyncratic 'rainbow' population. The October 1973 Yom Kippur War breaks out and Reserves officer Arnon leaves abruptly to find his artillery unit and is away for six months. After four years and the birth of twins in 1975 Arnon makes the decision to return to England. The books is threaded through with Maggie's thoughts and feelings about the scenically beautiful and historically stunning country to which she elected to become a 'temporary' immigrant with reflections on the inexorable nature of politics, love and war.

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Please find below chapter synopses and read Chapter 1 : How to Become an Immigrant


Chaper 1. How to Become an Immigrant.

Humorous look at the meeting and marriage of the English author with an Israeli engineer living in London after the 1967 Six Days War. Decision made for the family to emigrate to Israel – on aliyah.

Chapter 2. Chocks Away – more or less

Farewells to family and beginning of journey to Israel by land and sea in May 1973 with two young sons in a vintage 1933 Rolls Royce towing a caravan.

Chapter 3. Borders and Beyond

Reaching the French Alps at Grenoble and climbing towards Briançon and the Italian border post at Claviere, Mongenèvre Pass.

Chapter 4. And on through La Bella Italia.

Last stage of the journey to Naples through Italy, visiting Pisa, Florence, Urbino, Assissi and Rome before embarking on a small boat for Haifa.

Chapter 5. Pass the Port - If you can

Arrival at port of Haifa greeted by parents-in-law and short trip to Ramat Yishai and new home. Subsequent attempt to get ‘door-to-door’ container with home on board beyond the port to Ramat Yishai. First encounter with Israeli bureaucracy.

Chapter 6. Ramat Yishai

Description of village to be our home for next 4 years.

Chapter 7. Rosie’s Induction

Second encounter with Israeli bureaucracy with need to get Rosie, our Rolls Royce, registered as foreign importation in Customs Shed in Haifa.

Chapter 8. Place and Realpolitik

A cheerful look at village politics and the workings of its council.

Chapter 9. The Mayors of Toytown

Stories of the two lady Mayors of the village.

Chapter 10. Laffi and the Place of Birds

Meeting with Bedouin boy working in the village and subsequent visit to his family settled in a valley near Tsipori, place of the birds.

Chapter 11. Snake in the Net

Introduction to Adrienne, an animal loving woman who escaped from Vienna to the UK in 1938 and emigrated to Israel after the Six Day War. Her and our problem with a black whip snake.

Chapter 12. A Personal Exodus - Inlaws Outlined

The background history of Israel and Klara Goren and their arrivals in Israel in the 1930s.

Chapter 13. Kibbutz

Author’s personal view of kibbutz generally and Maabarot particularly, home of the in-laws.

Chapter 14. Getting Accustomed

Attempt of author to join Ulpan, school to improve Hebrew, shortly before outbreak of war.

Chapter 15. Grapefruit and Guns

Outbreak of Yom Kippur War, October 1973. Husband disappears with car to find old unit. Postcards from the front line.

Chapter 16. Unshifting Sands

Thoughts on war.

Chapter 17. Bin Hur … and the Politics of Rubbish

Sad tale of Pinye, village rubbish collector with his horse and cart, and modernisation.

Chapter 18. For the Beauty of the Earth

Beauty of Israel’s northern landscape from the Hula Valley to the Galilee.

Chapter 19. Kushi Galore!

Contact with and personal view of the Remon family and the renowned exploits of ‘Kushi’, Shimon Remon, in particular.

Chapter 20. The Case of the Crippled Fire Engine

Ramat Yishai’s first attempt to put out fires with new ‘second-hand’ fire engine purchased by the Council Secretary, Mr. Cohen.

Chapter 21. Night of the Long Rope

Neighbour Muscal finds rope on the road after Yom Kippur 1974.

Chapter 22. Simply Synagogues

Ramat Yishai’s varied and colourful synagogues.

Chapter 23. Eli and the Midnight Tomatoes

Good neighbour Eli comes upon unexpected visitation to his garden after midnight.

Chapter 24. The Mad Militia

Exploits of Ramat Yishai’s newly formed militia with Eli’s help.

Chapter 25. Landscape of Many Colours

Day out December 1974 to Jodfat with tale of Josephus Flavius and the wild beauty of the local landscape.

Chapter 26. The Yemenite ‘Coffee House’

Engineer Goren helps Yemeni family in village to grow coffee.

Chapter 27. Two for the Price of One

Thoughts on Georgians and the birth of author’s twins.

Chapter 28. Brother Itzhak and the Wayward Saab

Author damages mains water pipe in neighbour’s house with runaway car and has some embarrassing help getting it mended.

Chapter 29. Avigdor, Alexander and the Yemeni Funeral

The old guards, Avigdor and Alexander with husband, attend Yemeni funeral. Story of Avigdor.

Chapter 30. Builders United!

Ramat Yishai builders, Mordecai and the Kirschenbaums – same the world over!

Chapter 31. Christmas with the Cablan

Author’s parents come for Christmas from England and we are invited to Nazareth home of our Arab house contractor, Said Besharat, for Christmas Eve. Neighbour Alexander comes along and has strange, unexpected meeting.

Chapter 32. Sausage and Smash

Mr. Goren is over-tired, gets help from pretty draughtswoman and finishes with minor burns and cold poultice.

Chapter 33. The Desert Bedouin

Husband’s reserve service takes him to Negev desert with history of Nabatians and view of present day Bedouins.

Chapter 34. The Tale of the Transatlantic Sofa

Payment in kind; a sofa for set of false teeth and architectural drawings. The women win, well some

Chapter 35. Exploding Apricots

Friend Raza helps us to can our garden apricots and reaps a strange reward.

Chapter 36. Dr. Peugeot and the Chinese Carpet

Dr. Peugeot, newly arrived to the village, does a deal with his patients.

Chapter 37. The Judas Tree

Thoughts on ‘being Jewish’ followed by friendship with Adella and her devastating story of our neighbour for whom she cares.

Chapter 38. El Al and the Pregnant Mormon

Adrienne’s pregnant daughter comes from UK to visit with four children but can’t get away. Our departure is also circumnavigated.

Chapter 39. The Last Party

May 1977 and we give a farewell party to wonderful friends and neighbours in Ramat Yishai.

Chapter 40. A Tale of Two Villages ~ and a plea

A plea for the return of villagers to two villages on the Lebanese border, Ikrit and Baaram.

Afterthought

 

 

 

 

 

 

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