Published August 22, 2012 by rochellewisoff

This week I’m in California visiting my kids and their beautiful daughter (my granddaughter). While I’ve had some quality writing time I’ve decided to “cheat” this week with an abridged excerpt from my first novel Please Say Kaddish for Me. It seems to work well with Maggie Duncan’s photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers. 

*A side note: Kaddish is the Hebrew prayer recited in honor of the dead and to comfort the bereft. 

Rocks, frozen grass and cupules stabbed the soles of her bare feet.

Who would pray for their souls?

Havah forced her heavy mouth to shape the prayer although she detested its beauty. “‘Magnified and sanctified is your great Name…’”

Her hands, clapped over her ears, could not blot out the cries of those fast becoming memories. “‘…in the world which you have created…’”

Like prickly fingers, spiny thorns grabbed at her nightgown and she fought to ignore the fire in her lungs. “‘…according to Your will.’” 


Brambles ripped into her flesh.


Her legs smarted.

Don’t stop. Run.

64 comments on “ESCAPE

  • I like your story, Rochelle. I will enjoy reading your novels (1 & 2) when finished and ready for the public. I continue to work on my own, still and other projects. i have posted my story up too, but have noticed that the new story link is not yet up and ready so will have to wait on that, but mine is posted now on my site here for you and any others reading yours here.


    • It would seem that the new link isn’t up yet. Madison posted that she’d have it up tonight so you’re probably the first one to read this. I suppose you could call it my Readers Digest version. That’s Kosher, right?


  • Thanks for reading Jaspers Call-I should write one of these :continuing: challenges, where the people write just that small :allowed” amount each time, but in one long story. Maybe I will continue one some time.


  • Very powerful imagery. I like the interplay between the prayer and the external world.

    ps – purple is a great colour. Is your novel published..


  • Dear Rochelle,

    I’m glad you posted the excerpt from Please Say Kaddish for Me. It was a very powerful piece and perfect for the prompt. Let me join others in saying I can’t wait for your novel to be published.

    (I hope you are enjoying you time in California. Loved the video of your granddaughter. Was she eating M+M’s?)




  • Heavy. “Blot out the cries of those fast becoming memories.” This definitely makes me interested about the bigger stories. That run at the end also made me frantic. Nive


  • I love it when I learn something new from this pieces. I didn’t know Havah was the ancient name for Eve, and I had to google cupules (though once I knew what they were I realised I could have guessed it. Really good piece, with such a weight of grief in it.


    • Thanks Sandra,
      Havah is also the feminine form of Hai, Hebrew for life, ie Mother of Life. It was also my mother’s Hebrew name so it’s kind of a memorial in that sense.
      I, too, love to read fiction that teaches me something.


    • Thank you, Linda,
      Fear is definitely the way to put it. Havah has just witnessed the murder of her mother, father and two brothers but not before her mother saved her from the clutches of a Cossack. The village is on fire and she’s running through the woods in nothing but a nightgown. Yep definitely FEAR. Going to read yours now. 😀


    • Glad you like the site, Russell. WordPress is much more conducive to interaction. Looking forward to seeing you over on this side. Importing my stories was very easy.
      Thanks for the kind comment. I’m counting on book sales when it finally hits the stands.


    • Of course I don’t want to give too much away. However, since it’s toward the beginning of the novel and Havah’s the main character I can tell you she makes it out…this time. Thanks for commenting, Erin.


    • Thanks for your comments, Atiya. The brambles aren’t alive. Nothing paranormal about this book It’s historical fiction. Those who might’ve chased her were the Cossacks who murdered her family and razed her village because they were Jews. At present the book is merely in manuscript form and under contract with an agent. No review copies at this time. But thank your for asking.


  • Glad you shared a bit of background–makes Havah’s desperate flight that much more immediate and powerful. Also, does her recitation of the Kaddish temporarily satisfy her need to honor the dead and allow her to concentrate on her escape? Looking for more….


    • Exactly, VB. Actually reciting the Kaddish in their honor keeps her mind off her escape. The fact that it’s a frigid November night and she has no idea where her flight is taking her. I will tell you that frostbite takes its toll and leaves her with a physical disability.

      Part of her character, similar to Yentl, if you’re familiar, is that she’s a learned woman, almost unheard for her day and culture.


  • I’m glad you thought to use part of your novel — the sharpness of her pain so contrasts with the seeming peace of the photograph. Chilling.

    Thanks for stopping by and for others, I’m on the FF list.


    • Who knows if my title will survive publication. Publishers are notorious for changing the author’s title. Of course, not being familiar I had to look up Allen Ginsberg’s “Kaddish.”
      Kaddish such an important part of Judaism that it’s not unusual for more than one Jewish writer to reference it.
      Thanks for stopping by,


  • Powerful write. I could feel the fear and adrenaline fueling that fear to run. This is a perfect into to your book, which I have put on my must read list. BTW I’m a bit addicted to purple also. I believe it’s stems from the royalty in my past lives. 🙂


    • Not sure who you mean by “they”. If you mean Havah, she’s torn. Hard to be comforted when you’re on the run. At this stage of the story, she’s in survival mode. If she stops to think about it, she’ll lose her momentum and possibly die in the process. Hope this makes sense, Yaral.


  • I think the contrast between the beautiful prayer and awful reality works well here. I like how she moves her heavy mouth. It’s a very visceral way of describing how she sang without wanting to.


    • Again she’s running from the Cossacks who have just slaughtered her family. She will find a new village and family. This is only the first part of a novel. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words, Ilyan.


  • I simply want to tell you that I am just very new to blogging and site-building and seriously enjoyed you’re blog. Almost certainly I’m likely to bookmark your blog . You actually come with incredible posts. Thank you for sharing with us your blog site.


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