WHO NU?

Published September 16, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman is on the continent of Africa, in Bamboi, Ghana. There is not a lot of streetview available in this area, but you are free to roam within the borders of Ghana for your inspiration.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the prompt. Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the link up below.

Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun! Thanks as always to Karen and Josh for facilitating.

This week, while I stayed in Ghana, I went to a different village. I had to go where the muse took me. A familiar theme for me, but there’s always something new to learn. New people to meet. 

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

WHO NU?

When I was a child in an Orthodox home, Shabbos as it was called by my Polish immigrant grandparents, was a non-negotiable. All work ceased on Friday night. This included tearing toilet paper and flipping light switches. We spent every boring Saturday in shul, synagogue. Havdalah, the separation between Shabbos and the rest of the week, between the holy and the mundane, marked the end of my torture.

            As soon as I was old enough, I joined the Peace Corps. I loved the feeling of helping people less fortunate than myself. I was making a difference. As much as I hated to admit it I was homesick. I even missed Shabbos.

            In a village called Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana I met a group of Jews who invited me to spend Shabbat with them. After a Kosher dinner, I joined my new mishpokhah for Havdalah. Fragrant spices and candlelight replaced my loneliness.

*Mishpocha – family

*Nu? -Yiddish for ‘so?’ 

CLICK here to watch Havdalah, Sefwi style. 

30 comments on “WHO NU?

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I agree with Francine You have a lovely way of writing with total compassion and passion for what is important to you. I love that you are able to find, in the most remote of places, a community to which you are familiar. And then you show us that lovingly.

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Dale,

      As I’ve said before, I can always count on you. ❤ I just can't help but sussing out Jewish communities in our locations. Many times I've been pleasantly surprised. Love me some Google. 😉 And I love the what if's we can explore in writing. Thank you for your lovely (and reassuring) comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Ah, Havdalah! The moment when the separation from “Kodesh” and “Chol” is marked, and the buzzing around of clearing Shabbat things, cleaning up, checking phones (well, nowadays … in the past it might’ve been turning on the radio to see “What happened in the world” over the last 24 hours …).

    Yes, I grew up in an Orthodox upbringing, too … Though I have to say that I rarely found Shabbat as boring as you seem to have — it was one of the only times during the week when there was uninterrupted time for reading, and we ALWAYS had some good books around, either from our own library, which counted in the thousands, or the public library, from which we carted (literally, in a shopping carts) loads of books weekly for the whole family to read. I’ve always been, and remain, a certified (certifiable?… ;)) bookworm. …

    Well done!
    Na’ama

    Like

  • Another lovely warm story, Rochelle. To find and be welcomed by a community of like-minded believers is very affirming and supportive. And I’m glad you ‘fessed up that it was completely fiction, because I’d been wondering how much was direct experience too!
    Shalom
    Penny

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Penny,

      My smile stretches from ear to proverbial ear reading your comment. I would’ve preferred a more observant Jewish home as a child but that didn’t happen. When I found these West African Jews online I was totally enthralled by them. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • It thought it was real too–so convincing was your tale. I love the truth you get across so elegantly–that what we might seek to escape when we’re young may turn out to be the thing we escape to seek. And that picture–what a find!

    Like

  • beautiful and universal too – well not the deatils exactly – but for some young adults (or older) they later see the beauty of what they had and then miss the connection. I could really feel the character’s development.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Like the others, I felt like I was reading a letter from a friend about her real experience.

    Its true when you stay away from your home a long time you miss the little things, the familiar things. In my case, in Germany, i missed tacos, and brownies. And i nearly cried, watching fourth of july fireworks at the base.

    You are fluent in the language of human feeling, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Abhijit,

      I was pleased to learn of this beautiful group in Ghana, if only via the internet. However my narrator is a work of fiction. The fact that you thought it real is a high compliment indeed. 😀 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      Believe it or not, in some ultra orthodox homes toilet paper is torn ahead of time and light switches are taped. I wasn’t raised that way myself.
      When I found out about the Sefwi and how some American Jews have actually made a connection, I just had to go there. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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