A true story [names have been changed]
that appeared in Ami Magazine
In Mom and Debbie's eyes I was nuts and therefore disqualified from the role of caretaker for Dad. The proof: I didn’t behave as normal people do on Friday night. I refused to watch television. I threw out a perfectly good college education in favor of marriage and babies. I moved out of my Manhattan apartment, leaving behind a wealth of secular culture: museums, theaters, and concerts, and moved to a neighborhood of extremists. When I thought they weren’t watching, I slipped a kippa on Dad’s head and draped him in a white fringed garment. When Dad’s sister passed away I snuck him down to the basement to read with him Kaddish. I was mixing Dad up; he had always been a fairly normal civil engineer, designing and fixing bridges, and now I made him nuts with endless talk about Shabbos prohibitions. Years passed, and I’d eventually thrown away the family’s super-sophisticated path for a plainer one: the path of a housewife and mother in a quiet, dusty town where English wasn’t spoken. I had followed G-d in my madness to a place that could only be described as nowhere: a third floor tenement in a remote corner of the Negev Desert...
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Photo credit: Joe Beitz
To see more of Joe's work, contact Alizah.