Steam rose from the dish pan. Sweat beaded Leah’s forehead and soaked her kerchief. Gavrel’s chest ached with yearning and remorse. She deserved better. He circled his arms around her waist.
“A perfect fit.”
Turning in his embrace, she planted a wet kiss on his cheek. “Spoken like a shoemaker.”
“How else should I speak? It’s what I am. We may not be wealthy, but our children will never go barefoot in winter.”
“Remember how angry Havah was at our betrothal. She even accused Mama of selling me into slavery.”
“As I recall, you weren’t too happy about it either. After all, I am old enough to be your father.”
He surveyed their cramped apartment. With a front room that doubled as a kitchen and three cramped bedrooms, it was much too small for a family of six. Despite Leah’s efforts to keep it tidy, it was always cluttered.
“Maybe Havah was right and your mother did sell you into slavery.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” After another kiss, Leah turned back to the dishes. “I’m happy with my life.”
~~Taken from From Silt and Ashes by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Published (December 2015) by Argus Publishing
Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency
In Please Say Kaddish for Me Arel’s sister Tova betrothed her sixteen-year-old daughter Leah to Gavrel Wolinsky the shoemaker who was twice Leah’s age. An angry Havah accused poverty-stricken Tova of selling her daughter for a pair of shoes.
Gavrel’s first wife died of a fever during their first year of marriage leaving him a childless widower. Since Tova’s untimely passing, Gavrel has assumed the role of father for Leah’s younger siblings as well as their own daughter. Nothing makes him happier than being Papa.
In From Silt and Ashes Gavrel and Leah have moved their family to Odessa, Ukraine where another vicious pogrom looms on the horizon. As Jewish university students amass weapons to defend themselves Gavrel’s only desire is peace in his home. As this becomes increasingly difficult he saves to take his wife and children to live with their family in Kansas City.
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