Saturday, October 6, 2007

Monday October 6

Am so worried, Philip is
unable to work, and Josale
is sick. Oh God speed their


I know I must help Nettie and Philip but where will I find the means? So many want so much from me. My father olam haba faced these burdens each day. Oh God give me his strength so I may help others, it should never upset me so.

Let those who come after me never know such thoughts.


I can only speculate on what Papa decided not to write down at this time. We know he helped his sister Nettie and her husband Philip negotiate life in America, and this included financial support. We know he felt bursts of resentment when his family in the old country unceremoniously demanded money of him, but he went into debt to accommodate them. We know he admired his father and hoped to live by his example, but he also feared he inherited his father's life of unyielding poverty and endless worry over how to provide for his family.

Did Papa ever wish for everything to stop, for all his troubles and all the people around him and all their demands to disappear? He never said it, yet in this, his most difficult year of change and self-reflection, he surely felt his generous character tested. And so I ask again: how did he cast such thoughts aside and finally become the effortlessly selfless person we all knew? What would I be if I knew the answer?

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