My father was never a Zionist. His aim in life
was not to be an impoverished field worker jabbering Hebrew.
He used to proudly call himself a “Persian by right.”
The Jews, he said, didn’t put two thousand years of
brains and blood into Persian soil in order to have
to prove himself to anyone. He had many Zionist friends.
Some left Iran and lived well. One was a book
seller in Tel Aviv, specializing in foreign texts and periodicals.
I feel vividly what my father was, how fundamentally substantial.
He was not given to light-mindedness, such as Zionist dreams.
Paraphrases from the novella Rosa by Cynthia Ozick.