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I feel superhuman in Israel, so next month I make aliyah

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November 24, 2016 23:22

I've been out of Israel since 1972 - so that is almost 43 years. When I left Israel, I always knew inside my heart that I would eventually go back to live there. I thought I was leaving temporarily just to do a few shows and then I'd be back after that. But my career exploded suddenly, and rumbled on for years and years and years. My life became so hectic that I never had the opportunity to fulfil my wish to return to Israel.

Now, I realise that every Sabra - every person born in Israel - has a natural instinct to go back if they leave. It's almost embedded in their psyche, in their DNA, in their chromosome system. And there is a yearning, almost a magnetic, spiritual push or urge or go back. And so, my wife Hanna and I have decided that we will do that next month.

My mother is buried here in Britain, and that does disturb me, leaving my mother's grave and close friends and family. But whenever I go to Israel, I always go up to the Wailing Wall to pray - and it's a spiritual feeling that led me to make this decision. There was just an awakening in my mind about a year ago: in Hebrew, it's called 'gaguim'. Homesickness.

There's something else, too. Whenever I go back to Israel - even just for a week or two - there is no doubt in my mind that the country, the people and the atmosphere energise me.

I mean both physically as well as spiritually. For example, when I exercise here in England from my home in Sonning-on-Thames, I run into the fields and along the River Thames, and I can do a fast run for an hour. When I run on the promenade in Israel, from the Hilton to Jaffa and back, I feel so much more powerful. I don't know if I drink in the energy of Israel or what, but definitely something physical happens to me. Durability-wise, mind-wise, power-wise, energy-wise, adrenaline-wise - it just electrifies me when I'm there.

So Hanna and I said: ''Maybe it's time to go back.'' After all, today's world is almost like a tiny communal village because of the internet. It doesn't really matter where you live - you can still be in communication with anyone around the world. But instead of a view of the River Thames, I will be looking at the Mediterranean.

We've already bought an apartment in Jaffa. It's not even as big as my living room here in England but for now, I don't feel the need of having anything big. I don't need my swimming pool or tennis court. Maybe we will buy the apartment next door to make it larger when our children come to stay - we will see.

The reason we've bought in Jaffa is because my parents made me in Jaffa. They escaped the Nazis and came to Palestine on different ships, and their first place of dwelling was a room-and-a-half just outside the walls of Old Jaffa.

Jaffa also played a great part in my life when I started performing - my first performances were in nightclubs in Jaffa in 1969. I didn't just bend spoons, I'd describe hidden drawings and make watches stop, all with the powers of my mind. I left Israel for the United States, where my powers were tested at the Stanford Research Institute - now Stanford University.

Nowadays, I'm known in practically every country. I'm 68 but I still do campaigns, projects, commercials and television shows all over the world. If I would be approached for this type of work once I'm living in Israel, what's the big deal to get on a plane and fly to wherever?

Some Israelis say to me: "You can't be serious. You're not going to go back." Because you know in Israel, it's all 'Zoos, move, do this'. There is a gentle brutality about being in Israel.

But, definitely, I will be based there from next year. We're doing the documentation for our aliyah right now and could move as early as the end of January.

It's going to be a very strange feeling, releasing the anchor of England. But my son lives in London, working as a barrister, so we will be coming and going back all the time. It's only a four-and-a-half-hour flight, after all.

As told to Donna Ferguson

November 24, 2016 23:22

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