Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From Barely A Twig

I used to handle much of the journalists and foreign visitors who came to Shiloh. It was a voluntary position, which I enjoyed immensely. An added bonus was discovering interesting things about my neighbors when they were interviewed. Of course, I was careful about who should be allowed near a journalist's pen or microphone, but a good journalist could always ask the questions to get the most out of the interviewee.

One of my favorite interviews was when I took them to neighbors who told a beautiful story. They started off in their garden and the wife pointed to little, though very lush, vineyard:

"Do you see these grape vines, the large green leaves and all the juicy grapes? I am like that little vineyard. Today it looks large, impressive and full of grapes. A few years ago, when our house was added to, the grape vines seemed to have had been destroyed, covered with rubble. It broke our hearts.

Then in the spring, we noticed what looked like a little twig, where the vines once were. To our amazement, the grape vines quickly returned as strong and fertile as ever, as if nothing had happened to them.

I am like these vines. I'm an only child. My father was killed during World War II before I was born. My mother managed to arrange our escape from Hungary by taking advantage of the fact that a government official would do anything to get our apartment and all it contained.

We survived and made it to Israel. And here I am in Shiloh, married and the mother of five wonderful children."
That was my neighbor, Yehudit, who passed away on the Eve of Succot.


frumhouse said...

Baruch Dayan HaEmes. She sounds like an amazing woman.

Batya said...

Yes, she was. By the time she died three children were married, and bli eyin haraa, there are many grandchildren.