|Multi-talented playwright and actor, Pnina Isseroff, manages to convey the texture and feel of these intifada
years for a “typical” Israeli. How do we cope on a daily basis with the
fear of a possible terrorist attack on the way to school or to work?
How do we send our bright shining faced children off to school, out to
play, to a party, to a disco, and manage to stay sane? How do we say
goodbye to our soldier children when they leave on Sunday morning after
a shabbat at home? Sometimes we wish they would stay at the base, which
may be safer than traveling the buses. For those of us who moved to
Israel with small children, how do we deal with the guilt of sending
these now grown children to serve in the army?
Isseroff tackles these issues in a one-woman play
during a riveting hour-long monologue. With spare props, the most
important of which is the ever-present mobile phone, she invites the
audience to enter her life.
The chores of running a household in Israel are similar to those of
other cultures. But, as Isseroff so aptly shows, the rhythm of life
here is often out of our control. We listen to the top of the news. If
broadcast begins with a social or financial item, we
feel free to turn the radio off. Boring is a good word here — nothing
sensational has happened. We make sure our children have cell phones
and we are prepared to pay the often hefty bills just so we can be in
touch any time.
We all have our coping
mechanisms but the concern people show for their friends and neighbors
here is a powerful tool in helping each of us get through one day at a
Pnina Isseroff moved to Israel from New York in 1965.
The past six years have been long ones as Isseroff has mothered her two
grown sons through their compulsory army duty. As each son explained to
their anxious, but proud mother, this is our country and we will defend
The play was created after 9/11: “Ever since 9/11, my relatives back home have been asking me, `How
do you do it? How do you live with all the craziness?’
So I thought I’d step into my life, and show them…”
Text and photos by Judith Isaacson.