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Cousin Gadi/Gary Meets His Duality

(the truth be told: for the first time in his life)

Dear Bossin cousins wherever you may be: this is for you,

On Friday, the 26th of July, Allan (Gold) and I spent a great morning and early afternoon together, touring the Old City of Jerusalem. Then we drove to Modi’in, picked up Roni (my son) at the train station and continued on to the site of the Canada-Israel gold medal volleyball game.

We went to that game to cheer on our cousins, Daniel and Joshua Shermer, Anne and George Shermer’s sons, Milt and Jean Goldstein’s grandsons and my Auntie Gertie’s great-grandsons. Along with Gil Goldstein and Gwen Bossin Appleby, I was named for Auntie Gertie. That describes our degrees of closeness, despite the distances and the many years I’ve lived here and not in Canada. Daniel and Josh were key players on Team Canada. We were rooting for them. In fact, Allan gave Team Canada t-shirts and Canadian flags to Roni and me. I even waved the flag whenever Team Canada scored a point. We sat in the Canadian rooting section and moaned each time those big, tough, overpowering Israelis spiked the ball for another point.

Oy, it was hard to watch our cousins battling against insurmountable odds. But there I was struggling with a duality I’ve never felt before. I’m speaking for myself now and not for Roni, who grew up here and is heir to no such complexes. How could I be rooting against Israel and for Canada (my home and native land: no, scratch out home; home is here in Israel)? Well, I wasn’t rooting against Israel, despite the Team Canada apparatus, despite sitting in the Canadian rooting section.

I was rooting for Daniel and Josh, for Josh and Daniel Shermer, for the Bossin clan, not for Canada.  All my cousins should know that at least for those of us here, Israel is our team, even when we compete against Canada. I mean, isn’t this obvious?

But not to worry, a few days later I went to see two gold medal softball games, both between Canada and the USA. I wore my Team Canada t-shirt, but didn’t wave the flag. I gave the red maple leaf to my buddy Bill, also from Toronto, also here for decades. He did wave the flag. “We” lost the men’s open final. But in the master’s game, Team Canada came from three runs down in the bottom of the final inning to win on a walk-off, bases-clearing, bases-loaded blast. Now that was exciting! I was shouting, “Ca-na-da, Ca-na-da, Ca-na-da!” and jumping up and down with real joy and pride.

And for me, there was no hint of duality, no split loyalties. Hmm, now I have to explain this to my American-born wife and children and granddaughter (all of them dual citizens with American passports).

Happy New Year to all! Chag Sameach! And when you’re here, any of you, look us up. Shayndel will supply you with our phone numbers.

Gadi Bossin and family, Kiryat Bialik, Israel

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