Bonus: The Most Beautiful Book Ever Written, Revisited
New year. Our most recent episode round trip featured a story by higher gilboa. It was all about returning to israel mid pandemic and mid pregnancy and in the days since it aired. We've heard from many of you listeners. All the way from australia to argentina asking where they might find other stories by high. Luckily we've got you covered. See back in two thousand fourteen in what seems like a lifetime ago our third ever episode included yet another wonderful gem by haya and we thought it would be particularly fitting to riera today on the first day of the year when so many of us are making new year's resolutions and embarking on new hopeful journeys. Because as you'll hear the story is just that a quixotic improbable inherently optimistic journey. Okay with that. Here's the most beautiful book ever written from our twenty fourteen episode people of the book about half an hour southeast of bish shiva basically in the middle of nowhere. There's a small town the mona around the world. It's best known for what israel is is. There are national nuclear plant. A hope. I don't get into trouble for saying that. And honestly that's more or less for most israelis to a quick pitstop on the way to elect you get out of the car. You go to the bathroom. Crackly joke about radiation and keep on driving into the desert. Dimona was originally built in the fifties as what was then known as in at tua a dumping ground for waves of immigrants from north africa. It's a very well known saga but the leaders of by the ruling labour party essentially trick these new immigrants into believing that they were being housed in a central location with lush surroundings. That it was a ten minute bus ride from hyphen. The beach but reality was bleak poverty. Unemployment in crazy heat and nothing but sand and sand and sand. Almost all the people still around from that generation are super bitter. Whoever could left but for high gilboa a thirty one year old with the huge main of flaming red curls. The mona is something completely different. It's where she first encountered the most beautiful book ever written it all beginning dimona which is basically the last place. I thought anything could ever start. I was in the middle of my second year. Mood major at ben gurion university bill shiva and i'd fallen head over heels for this guy percussionist from dimona. I was so desperate for his attention that began roaming around kind of aimlessly in his sleep town hoping to bump into him but just in case that happened i needed a good excuse in the end i found the perfect one. A local teacher agreed to give me some lessons on an instrument that i had never before touched and frankly had no real desire to master so there i was in demo- not twice a week tuesdays and thursdays making sure i arrived early enough to wander the streets hoping to meet my guy on one particularly sweltering july thursday. I ducked into the municipal library for some shade The elderly librarian looked up and gave me a suspicious glares. She slowly dragged the cart full of books behind her. A few kids said on puffy pillows in the corner and listened quietly volunteer. Read to them from dimona. The amid heart picked up a random book that was laying around one of the tables said. There's several similar to the book of the yellow pairs. Recall the author's name in high school. If i remember correctly we were forced to read another one of his books. Life is a parable for final matriculation exam after flipping through its pages for a few minutes. I made sure the librarian wasn't looking split the book into my bag and walked out of the library when i think back on it today. I actually have no idea why stole that book. Instead of disbarring it. I guess was so nervous about the guy that i didn't want to leave any traces of ever. Having been there a week later i finally mustered enough courage and called my guy. We sorta dated for a few weeks to hit decided. I wasn't his type. And that was that the library the unbearable heat and my teacher allstate in dimona while i returned to my tell mood books and student life in bill chevra a year passed. And you'll keep who came around. I was home in jerusalem but didn't want to spend the holiday inn ultra-orthodox neighborhood where i had grown up in where my family still lived for once wanted an uplifting spiritual alternative one that wasn't comprised of long hours staring at the pages of the prayer book in the crowded ladies section of the local synagogue so asked a friend if he would spend a quiet day with me at a small natural spring in the hills of jerusalem when he honked from downstairs. I quickly through clothes into a bag. Surveyed the bookshelf and without much thought grabbed smallish book with cheap plastic cover old libraries us and ran for the door. Okay this might be a good time for a confession. I like to exaggerate and romanticize a lot actually but this. I promise you is not one of those times. Here's the plain truth pm. Sedate book of the yellow pairs was hands down the most beautiful and wild text. I'd ever read. Have you read many times since but the impression it made on me that very first time while i was dangling feet in the cold. Water of the spring in evans appeal on yom kippur before the last year of my university will never fade. His sad short stories worm their way into my heart in tinkered with my breath. It's such a cliche. But i couldn't put it downstairs. Second when they reached fast page. I suddenly had this rare moment of total clarity. An epiphany my future love my life partner. The one i was always looking for who somehow be connected to the i turned to the inside back. Cover in pulled out the borrowing card that little index card in which stern looking librarians used to ride down the name address and telephone number of the borrowers you know in the era before book started being checked out like items in the supermarket. There were five names three men and two women now. I know this sounds crazy. But at that moment is the sun was setting. And yom kippur was ending.