Summer is when those on-the-move move. Seattle, Phoenix, Israel--it's the same all over. Or nearly so. Who could have imagined that within weeks of each other, from a single small, North Negev outback, three families would be moving to the same suburban, largely American- Jewish enclave? As might be conjectured, it wasn't all that coincidental. First the couple I'll call the Arenbergs flew off on an academic sabbatical. Then there are those I'll call the Hechts, close neighbors for these five years. As long as Yair Hecht was going abroad for graduate training anyway, why not choose the area where his old friends, the Arenbergs, would be touching down?
Finally, there were the Barzulais who were selected as official government overseas emissaries--shlichim. What could be more natural than that they should select from the list of all possible destinations, instead of, say, Buenos Aires or Vancouver, the same locale as that of their old neighbors? Still, I confess that it did seem queer: whereas many native Israelis nonchalantly toss off Hebrish inelegancies like "slowly, slowly," in the six years that we have known them, never once had we heard either Moshe or Simi Barzulai utter even a stray syllable of English.
The Arenbergs declared they would be away for at least one year or, as is often the case with Israeli academics, even possibly two. Moshe and Simi, as is normal for shlichim, intended to be gone for three years. But it was only when we invited Yair and Marge Hecht for a sendoff dinner that it broke with painful