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My magnificent wife


Born to be a teacher
Uri Avnery Social activist
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היא שירתה בצבא. חיפשו בצבא מתנדבות שתהיינה מורות לחיילים וצה"ל עשה קורס לחיילות. המליצו על רחל שתלך לשם. אחרי זמן קצר מאוד המורים אמרו: "את לא בשבילנו, את צריכה לעבור בית ספר למורים רציניים”. והיא הלכה לשם, ושמה עוד כשהיא לבשה מדים, משלחת של מנהלי בתי-ספר ביקרו בקורס שלה. הם עשו שיעור לדוגמא ובמקום לקחו אותה מהצבא, עם המדים והכל, להיות מורה בבית-ספר תל נורדאו. והיא הייתה מורה שנה-שנתיים במדים, מדי צה"ל. מעולם לא עברה סמינר או משהו. והיא לימדה רק בכיתה אל״ף-בי״ת, אל״ף-בי״ת, אל״ף-בי״ת. אמרה שאחרי בי״ת אין מה לעשות, אי-אפשר לשנות בן-אדם אחרי כיתה בי״ת ולא מעניין אותה ללמד אנשים אם אי-אפשר להשפיע עליהם, על האופי שלהם. היא הייתה אגדה חיה. זאת אומרת רחל בתור מורה. הייתה בדיחה שנשים בתל אביב מתכננות את הלידות שלהם ככה שהבן או הבת שלהם תגיע לכיתה אל״ף כשרחל לוקחת כיתה אל״ף חדשה. היא הייתה משהו מאוד מיוחד בתור מורה. שמה הלך לפניה, אני חושב שאפילו מעבר לתל אביב. המון אנשים חשובים הצליחו לסדר שהילדים שלהם יהיו אצלה: אריק איינשטיין, אורי זוהר, שורה שלמה של מה שנקרא היום "סלבס", "סלבריטיז". אני בדרך כלל לא הלכתי לכיתה כדי לא להפריע לה. אבל פעם-פעמיים במסיבות של ערבי חגים היא הזמינה אותי וזה היו חוויות. חוויות בלתי רגילות. היא לימדה ככה 28 שנים ואז, יום אחד אמרה: "זהו זה. אני מרגישה שאני כבר לא מחדשת, שאני כבר לא רעננה, אני אפסיק.‏

[Rachel] served in the army where they were looking for volunteers who would teach soldiers, and the IDF conducted a course for female soldiers. They recommended that Rachel go there. After a very short time the teachers said: 'You shouldn't be here, you should go to a school for serious teachers'. And she went there, and while she was still wearing a uniform, a delegation of school principals visited the course she was on. They did a sample lesson and from there they took her, from the army, uniform and all, to be a teacher at the Tel Nordau School. She was a teacher for a year or two in uniform, army uniform. She never took a seminar or anything. She taught only first and second grade. She said that after second grade there is nothing to do, it is impossible to change a person after second grade and she was not interested in teaching people if it would be impossible to influence them, their character. She was a living legend. I mean Rachel as a teacher. There was a joke that women in Tel Aviv would plan their birth so that their daughter or son would go to first grade when Rachel was teaching a new first grade. She was really something very special as a teacher. She had a reputation, I think even outside of Tel Aviv. A lot of important people were able to arrange for their children to be in her class: Arik Einstein and Uri Zohar, a whole host of what are today called 'celebs', 'celebrities'. I usually did not go to the class so as not to disturb her. But once or twice at parties on the eve of holidays she invited me and it was an experience. Extraordinary experiences. She taught that way for 28 years and then one day she said: 'That's it. I feel that I'm not doing anything new, I'm not fresh. I'll stop'.

Uri Avnery (1923-2018) was an Israeli writer, journalist and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. As a teenager, he joined the Zionist paramilitary group, Irgun. Later, Avnery was elected to the Knesset from 1965 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1981. He was also the editor-in-chief of the weekly news magazine, 'HaOlam HaZeh' from 1950 until it closed in 1993. He famously crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yasser Arafat on 3 July 1982, the first time the Palestinian leader ever met with an Israeli. Avnery was the author of several books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including '1948: A Soldier's Tale, the Bloody Road to Jerusalem' (2008); 'Israel's Vicious Circle' (2008); and 'My Friend, the Enemy' (1986).

Listeners: Anat Saragusti

Anat Saragusti is a film-maker, book editor and a freelance journalist and writer. She was a senior staff member at the weekly news magazine Ha'olam Hazeh, where she was prominent in covering major events in Israel. Uri Avnery was the publisher and chief editor of the Magazine, and Saragusti worked closely with him for over a decade. With the closing of Ha'olam Hazeh in 1993, Anat Saragusti joined the group that established TV Channel 2 News Company and was appointed as its reporter in Gaza. She later became the chief editor of the evening news bulletin. Concurrently, she studied law and gained a Master's degree from Tel Aviv University.

Tags: Uri Zohar, Arieh Lieb "Arik" Einstein, Rachel Avnery

Duration: 3 minutes, 19 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2015

Date story went live: 11 May 2017