Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thursday Sept 25

Maccab. m.


Matt's Notes

Papa hasn't written anything in his diary for the past four days, and today he manages only to squeeze out two abbreviated words: "Maccab. m." conveys, in as few letters as possible, his attendance at a meeting of his chapter of the fraternal order B'nai Zion, which goes by the nickname "The Maccabean."

I think his recent silence, including today's spare effort, reflects a reluctance to dwell on his private thoughts more than he has to, an exhaustion, perhaps, with his ongoing sadness and chronic longing for change. These feelings have likely become attenuated due to the approaching High Holy Days, a long stretch of contemplative milestones during which observant Jews meditate on repentance, stock-taking, and mourning. Papa really doesn't need much help in any of these departments, and as a spiritually devoted Jew he must have found this stretch of 1924 almost too much to bear, or at least too much to write about.


I performed my duties and played my part at the meeting as ever. We discussed the collection of dues and Jack gave a report on our progress with the credit union. After that it was as if I had used up all my words. I lingered and watched as the boys put on their coats and hats and hurried off, eager to reach their homes, alight with burning candles and the bright faces of their wives and their children. To write letters home so everyone overseas can know of their good fortune.

To what do I hurry? To whom should I write?

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