Woman

     At thirteen, she knows everything; she can do anything. She says, “I can do it” and then proceeds to show the entire house that she cannot and doesn’t know how to do it. She is invincible; nothing and no one will hurt her. Oh God, I wish it were true. At thirty, she is beginning to accept herself as she is and finally is beginning to understand her mother, especially if she has a child herself. At fifty, she is mellowing, is willing to maybe see the other side of an argument. She is more prone to listen but not necessarily to heed the...

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The Nocturnal Monsters

     It had snowed that day, and the sidewalks looked like they were sprinkled all over with jewels. One could hear the crunch of the feet as people walked on the snow. I cannot remember why Mama allowed me to stay up so late. My homework was finished; the rule in our home was that homework had to be finished the day the teacher assigned it to us. I cannot remember the reason why I was still awake and dressed, but it turned out to be a blessing. When time is of the essence, a few minutes are very important for a fast getaway, which is exactly...

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Thank You, Archie Bunker

     I had heard different people talking about the new show on TV. It was about a blue collar family; the head of this family was named Archie Bunker, and he was a bigot. Because I did not think that bigotry was ever funny, I decided that I would not watch this program at all. After all, I had experienced prejudice firsthand while living in Romania during the Holocaust. I did not have to be reminded of it. I know it exists; I know that it’s here. A few years later, I turned on the TV in my den, and who do I see but Archie and his very docile...

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My Belief

     I choose today over yesterday. I choose to enjoy every minute of every day. At some time in my past, I decided that what I owed the millions of people that did not survive was to live my life the best I could and be grateful that I was able to escape through the back of the house while the Nazi were looking for us at the front door.      I don’t have to be constantly reminded of the atrocities that were done. I was there when the Nazi gathered old men and women and took them to concentration camps. I remember my uncles working in labor...

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Lovely Night, Cold Day

     Every year on my birthday, November 4, Bucharest, Romania was smothered in snow. Never having visited Siberia, I was under the impression that the winters in my hometown were absolutely brutal. Still, there was beauty in addition to the freezing snow.      I can remember one night, in the winter of 1937, when my mother and I were standing under the streetlight, waiting for the streetcar, and, all of a sudden, we heard the sound of bells. When we turned to where the sound was coming from, we saw, coming down the street, a large sleigh...

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A Trip to New York

     I wanted Danielle, my eight-year-old granddaughter to see Rockefeller Plaza and Fifth Avenue lit up for Christmas. In December 2000, my daughter Robin, Danielle and I flew to New York. Armed with a camera, Danielle discovered New York in the winter: the taste of chestnuts, the music of a steel drum on the Staten Island ferry, the seagulls flying in the harbor, the New York subway. It was a lovely day, cold but crisp. We walked around Lower Manhattan; a visit to New York would not be complete without seeing the Twin Towers. We had lunch,...

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