Monday, October 8, 2007

Wednesday Oct 8

Right after the prayers this
evening, I called the Dr. to
examine Yosale, and according
to him he is seriously ill,


Matt's Notes

As my mother noted a while back, Papa's whole family depended on him for support even though he was the second-youngest of seven children. This entry gives us a small but matter-of-fact demonstration of his caretaker's role: though he has been fasting and attending services all day for Yom Kippur, it still falls to him to call a doctor for Yosale, his sister Nettie's infant son. It's certainly understandable because Nettie's husband, Philip, spoke little English and had recently suffered a debilitating injury to his hands, Nettie probably didn't want to leave her son's side for a moment, and Papa likely had the best line in to a decent doctor. (I would guess the doctor he called was associated with one of the landsmanshaftn, or mutual support societies, that immigrant Jews like Papa depended on for various essential services.)

I wonder, too, if Nettie asked Papa to call the doctor of if he acted on his own in this instance. Yosele was, after all, named for Papa's father Joseph, who had died just a few months before. Since much of Yom Kippur involves intensive mourning for the dead (fasting and non-stop prayer ratchets up the emotion) Papa may well have emerged from services feeling especially compelled to protect his father's namesake.

No comments:

Post a Comment