Tag: Jewish

Tree of Life

My daughter Abigail wrote this today.

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I root myself to the ground. I will not give in to fear.

Tree of Life Synagogue [UPI Photo]

Last night my thirteen-year-old attended his first confirmation class, during which they discussed the murders in Pittsburgh.

“There are people who really, really hate Jews, Mom. It pretty much sucks.” I asked him if he wanted to talk about it more, but he said he needed a break from it.

When I started to discuss it yesterday with my nine-year-olds (unplanned, unfortunately), my daughter about lost her mind. “Why do people hate Jews so much?” she sobbed. “Why do they want to kill us? Are they going to come to OUR temple and try to kill US?” I had to pull her down from her perch of hysteria. Her twin brother sat silent, and sad.

I root myself to the ground for my children. I cannot allow them to live in fear.

Today, with my daughter in a calmer state, I continued the conversation. Continue reading “Tree of Life”

Me and Miss Jones–Gee Whiz!

I am the lad next to Miss Jones

It was 1953. I was eight. I had known California for over five years and knew bits of New York and Pennsylvania through my parents’ stories.

Miss Jones was from someplace between the coasts. I’ve forgotten her first name, and I’ve forgotten the state. Iowa, maybe Nebraska. She was my fourth grade teacher, and as I recreate her image, she was light-haired, pale-skinned, bird-like, under 25, and orderly. She did not laugh aloud. She was a first-year teacher. She was a Christian.

We studied California history in fourth grade. I remember the map on the bulletin board that charted Junipero Serra‘s missions, each so logically a day’s ride from the next on El Camino Real. Continue reading “Me and Miss Jones–Gee Whiz!”