In 1947 my father produced a feature film titled My Father’s House. Since there is no such house in the movie, one can wonder about the choice of that title. It is the story of a boy, a survivor of the concentration camps, who comes to Palestine to look for his family. The boy doesn’t find his family but the movie ends with his uncovering an ancient cornerstone inscribed with his family name, Halevi. The title is thus espousing the Zionist view of the land of Israel as the land of our forefathers.In giving his movie that title, I don’t think my father was making any particular reference to his own father’s house in Chicago. From what I know, they lived in rental flats during his childhood, and though his father, a tailor, eventually saved enough to buy a small apartment building, he lost it in the Depression.But for me, “my father’s house” has a very definite connotation. It is the house my father designed and built in Israel in the early 1960s, the showcase of his Zionist dream.I have a handful of slides taken of the house when it was brand new. Most of the photographs are by the Israeli photojournalist David Rubinger.To me, the way this picture shows the clean lines of the house set against the cloudless sky and protruding into the clear horizon, represents everything of those years on Galey Tchelet (Street of the Purple Waves), in Herzliya-on-the-Sea, the town named, of course, after Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism.That simple clarity was not to last. As time passed my father grew disillusioned with the way things had turned out in Israel. The wars, the continuing occupation, the material and moral corruption, were not the way he’d imagined things.After he died we sold the house. I visited once a few years later. The new owners had planted old, gnarled olive trees in the garden to anchor the property in an air of timelessness. The olive trees had no doubt been uprooted from Palestinian groves.Recently the house was resold and the new owners tore it down, building in its place something more suitable to their needs. Like my father’s vision of Zionism, the house gave way to a new reality.***You can help support Tablet’s unique brand of Jewish journalism. Click here to donate today.