Published December 30, 2018 by rochellewisoff

After being MIA from Pegman for a while, the muse struck. 😉 Now that the dust is settling a bit from the holidays. In any event, the Google trail took to an irresistible place in Zimbabwe History.  The year is 1894 and Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia. The following year a small band of Jewish refugees would build a synagogue in Harare.

As always, thank yous to Karen and Josh for hosting. Follow the link below to read other stories or to add your own. Remember reciprocation is half the fun. 


Harare Synagogue

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150


“An adventure he says,” whispered Fayga to her three-month-old Yankel. “Your papa is a meshuggeneh vants.”

            She missed the synagogue in Lithuania, with its beautiful woodwork and intricate carvings on the Holy Ark.

            More than anything, she missed her family. But, if she were back at home she would still miss them. Murdered. What difference did it make from where she mourned?

            Yankel sneezed and squirmed on her lap. She waved a fly away from his nose. “Such a shayna punim.

            The tent juddered. A warm breeze wafted over her as the cantor sang, “Here oh Israel, Adonoi our God, Adoni is one.”   

            “Don’t you see? We’re no longer safe here, my beloved?” He packed his books into a trunk next to her Sabbath candlesticks. “The Messiah will find us no matter where we go.”

            Who knew their journey would take them from Eastern Europe to Bulawayo in faraway Africa?  

*meshuggeneh vantz – crazy bedbug

*shayna punim – pretty face (It was one of my mother’s nicknames for me 🙂 )



24 comments on “NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM?

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Trust you to find the Jewish connection any place in the world I find it fascinating how you do manage it! Well done, as I have come to expect of you 😉 And maybe, they will find happiness and freedom from persecution in the “dark continent”.

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 2 people

  • How cool. I love your mission!

    You have such a gift for bringing history to life and this story is no exception. Your mission puts this talent to good use! I especially enjoyed the deft weaving of backstory, scene, and emotion in this piece. I got such an ache from the line “What difference did it make from where she mourned?”

    Liked by 2 people

  • I can’t imagine decamping from Lithuania to Zimbabwe, especially if you don’t really want to! How home sick she must have been, with the loss of her family too. Just wondering what the future holds for them and their little family. Fascinating slice of history, Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Francine,

      I’m pleased that my little bit of fiction brought some history alive to you. It was such a tiny tidbit that I found online, but I could only imagine how it must’ve been for Jewish refugees in Africa. How lonely and strange it had to have been. Thank you.




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