Thursday, March 12, 2015

A walk with Malka.

(With emotions tempered and grammar massaged by the Editor.)

7 September, 1902

I am cleaning up the apartment for Mrs. Weinstock while Rebbe Weinstock is in his usual place, occupied by his usual activity. That is to say he is reading in his study.

Malka, the Weinstock's pretty niece is over, helping Mrs. Weinstock around the apartment. They are preparing for a big holiday or festival of some sort and every pot is on a burner, every plate is being washed and every piece of silver is being polished.

Mrs. Weinstock gives me a two-dollar bill and asks me to buy at the store some various sundries down on Division Street, there's a little place. I put on my jacket to leave when Malka says, "May I go with the boy?"

"Ach," says Mrs. Weinstock, "Cavorting with the Goyim," but she accedes and off Malka and I go on our way.

"This is Rosh Ha-Shanah preparations," Malka says. "The start of the Holiest Days of the Jewish year."

I just nodded silently. I can hardly because she is so beautiful, even talk to Malka.

"This is," she continued, "Like your Easter and Christmas rolled into one."

We arrived in short order at the grocery and I selected that which was on Mrs. Weinstock's note of necessities. It was then I realized something horrible had happened. I had lost the two dollars Mrs. Weinstock had given me.

Malka ever the calm head said to the shop-keeper that I would return with the proper funds. But how could I if I had dropped the bill on Hester Street or Orchard. I was ruined. Mrs. Weinstock and the Rebbe would never again trust me.

I walked slowly to the Weinstock's with Malka, dreading the inevitable. Being turned out into the street, being thought a thief and guttersnipe. But when I arrived, the bill was on the small table where I had mistakenly forgotten it.

All was well.

More later.

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