3 May 2019

Published May 1, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

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Eastern European immigrant Max Siegel held his eight-day-old son on his lap on a pillow.

The mohel smiled. “Don’t worry. I’ve clipped dozens of schmeckles.”

Once the deed was done, the rabbi blessed the baby. “We welcome you into the covenant of Avraham on this day, in New York City on the 11th of Adar in the year 5666—March 8, 1906”

The rabbi dropped wine into the squalling child’s mouth. “May you teach the brotherhood of mankind and may the name of Benjamin Siegel be a blessing in the House of Yisroel.”

Max kissed the baby and murmured. “Omayn.”  

Glossary Words:

Mohel – A Jew trained in the practice of brit milah, the “covenant of circumcision.”

Schmeckles – Guess. 😉

Now if you’re still scratching your head and asking yourself why the name Benjamin Siegel should ring a bell:


Click to know more about BUGSY SIEGEL

115 comments on “3 May 2019

    • Dear Neel,

      Glad you enjoyed my story. Sorry you were faster than the link. 😉 I thought I had it timed to come out with the story. At any rate, thank you for your kind words.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    This is the genre you do best. How you weave history into a 100-word story is always so enjoyable to read. So, what can you do? Not all Jewish boys grow up to be good boys!

    Shalom and lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • Great flash, Rochelle.
    It really made me think about the combined influence of nature/nurture in people’s characters. All children are born innocent, but who knows? Are some predestined to develop certain characteristics/tendencies from birth, regardless of their upbringing and family?
    Thanks for the prompt and hosting:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lucy,

      I think there are so many variables that shape a person’s personality. And what about different children of the same parents. I’m an artist, my brother is not. While we share the same warped sense of humor, we’re very different. And the same with my three sons. I used to say I had “one of each.” Such diverse individuals. 😉 Thank you for such a thought provoking comment/compliment.



      Liked by 1 person

  • What a touching history revisiting and how interesting that the association with entering Jewish life wasn’t just yours …
    BTW, the froggy isn’t working today (it is spinning around itself trying to save added links but itsn’t finding itself) – I can try again later, or perhaps you’d manage for me? In any event, here’s my contribution, fed by a somewhat more recent reality:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      We all started as innocent children, didn’t we? Even such a notorious gangsters as Bugsy Siegel. Thank you for such affirming comments.

      BTW I’ve been in contact with Maria at inLinkz. The issue with the pictures is an ISN issue with them and they are working on it. I notice that some of the pictures have made a comeback on my end. At any rate, your link is there.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Glad the link made it in safely. The photo is less important, so at least “the link has landed” …
        Yes, we all started as babies, and essentially innocent. Rarely (very rarely, but alas I’ve known this to be true) there are those who are born without empathy and who without extra help and direction and minute attention to showing them a way to grow humanely, can become the monsters of this world. I’m not saying gangsters are all that way, only that a disorder of empathy can sometimes be traced to very early childhood, and in those children, even a relatively mild upbringing can result in empathy not developing at all. In others, the adversities of childhood turn an otherwise empathetic child into someone who cannot tolerate it in themselves or others.
        All that said, I am always delighted to read your history snippets. The light you shed and the angles you choose are ever educational!

        Liked by 1 person

  • Bugsy brings up all the memories of things I’ve read and watched on TV about that very bloody era, especially in Chicago. Al Capone and Elliot Ness, Abolition and bathtub gin. Fascinating post, Rochelle.


  • Ha. I wrote Benny Siegel into one of my novels, but only as a corpse. He was a nutcase. Meyer Lansky was much more measured, as was Arnold Rothstein. It’s funny to think of him as somebody’s baby.

    I guess nobody is gonna mention that today is Holocaust Remembrance Day? I’m seeing a lot of church stories here 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Josh,

      Mr. Siegel was indeed a nutcase. That’s how he got the nickname “Bugsy” which no one dared to call him to his face. We all start out as babies, don’t we?
      Actually tomorrow’s Holocaust remembrance, but it never hurts to remember it a day early. 😉 Thank you for the noodge and for commenting on my story.




  • When I read the name Siegel I wondered… and then the link made it clear. Another great piece of historical fiction. I wonder how parents feel when they notice that their child is very much on the wrong path–or do they notice at all?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gabi,

      That’s a tough question to answer, isn’t it? Parents certainly don’t relish seeing evil in their kids. I think of mothers of serial killers and mass shooters of late.
      Thank you re my story. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

  • It hurts my heart to read this. With all that is going on, I wish to minimize these miniscule parts of our history and to condemn it for the sake of our children and the outside world.

    The irony in your story is not lost on me, especially the brotherhood reference.

    But ultimately, he got what he deserved – though how much evil had to happen before he did.

    This schmekle should of gotten clipped permanently right from the beginning.

    Then we would have cried how Ha Shem can be so unjust for taking a life at such a tender age. Leave it to us Jews…



    • Dear Randy,

      In all honesty, I posted and scheduled this story weeks ago…before the most recent shooting. As for the shmekle, who knew? yes, leave it to us Jews to put a value on human life. It’s hard to look into the eyes of an eight day old child and see a future murderer. Just think. Hitler was once an infant.
      Thank you for your comment, my friend.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I can’t help but think of Warren Beatty in the movie Bugsy. (1991) Don’t remember if it was a good movie, but in my twenties I would’ve sat through anything with Warren Beatty in it! I seem to remember he gets a lot of credit, for starting Las Vegas as a tourist/gambling destination. Not that I approve of his methods…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wow! A really good one this week, Rochelle. That shocking reality that the innocent babe can become a heinous person… would you kill the baby Hitler? The image of this baby at his bris, is muddied by the reality that he becomes such a horrible human. Well done! Off to Israel on Monday; shalom!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Another great historical piece. Karma eventually won over an evil man. You always manage to educate us with your storage your links. This shows your dedication to the research and accuracy of your writing. We must never forget the past so that we learn from it. I know many think the past is unimportant and, would like to rewrite history. To them, phltphlt….

    Liked by 1 person

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