On Shoes
Christmas Eve
Mother's Letter-1
Mother's Letter-2

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Christmas Eve

My Mother behaved toward her Judaism as she had toward our Christmas presents. They were kept hidden and out of sight, out of reach even, for I had to pull up a chair and then had to greatly strain my child's body to reach them. Better not to look, she would say. You need not know what's in there. For my own good she kept the contents in a sealed box. But I in my never ending curiosity could not leave it alone. Who was she, what had she gone through, where was my grandmother, what was their early life like? Piece by piece I tried to unravel the mystery. She was mostly resistant, on occasion reverential in her reminiscences, but mostly hostile to my inquiries. "What do you need to know that for? -- this does not concern you." She considered my curiosity morbid. I just wanted to know where I came from, who I was. She resisted me all the way, till the Christmas presents would magically appear under the tree, Christ having brought them, Mother having beautifully wrapped them, as my Father and I would return from our Christmas Eve walk - having been instructed by her to wait till the first star appeared in the pale evening sky.

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