Arel Gitterman

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18 August 2017

Published August 16, 2017 by rochellewisoff

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A little teaser this week from my second novel FROM SILT AND ASHES

Genre: Historical Fiction circa 1904

Word Count: 100

LACK OF VISION

           “I’ve been reading.” Arel peered over his newspaper at seven-month old Rachel in her highchair. “There are places for people like her.”

            “She’s a person.” Havah seized the paper and ripped it in half.

            “In one of those schools she can be with other persons who are…” he lowered his voice, “…blind.”

            Choking on her anger, Havah hobbled to their bedroom where she hauled a suitcase from the closet. After stuffing it with his clothes, she shoved it down the stairs.

            “Havah, listen to reason.”  

           “I will when I hear it. Come back when you decide to be a father!”

 

Character Study – Svechka, Moldavia

Published August 18, 2016 by rochellewisoff

“More pogroms. And so close.” Rabbi Yussel Gitterman’s sightless eyes filled with tears.

Eighteen-year-old Arel Gitterman pulled his coat around his ears and shivered, partly from cold and partly with rage. What had they done to make the Christians hate them so much? “We should retaliate. We should gather all of the young men—”

“Shah! Such nonsense!”

“Ouch! Papa, is it unreasonable for men to protect their homes?”

“Remember, my son. A soft answer turns away wrath.”

“How can you say that, Papa? Last night innocent people were murdered in their beds all over the countryside. Did they have time to make an answer—of any kind?”

Hershel Levine’s green eyes flashed. “The lad makes sense, Yussel. There is much cruelty in the world. Sometimes one has to wonder what the Almighty is thinking.”

“So, Hershel, my old friend, do you think the three of us, an old cantor, a blind rabbi and a boy who’s barely able to squeeze out a whisker are going to seek revenge on those animals with their guns and Czar Nicolas, may his name be blotted out?”

Arel gritted his teeth. “Reb Pinkas said he heard the Christians burned down a synagogue. A rabbi died trying to protect the sacred scrolls. Papa, it could just as easily have been you.”     

“Reb Pinkas is up early bearing his tales. Yes, it could have been any Jew in this land, my Son.” Yussel patted his shoulder. “It’s dangerous to be a Jew in this Pale of Settlement. But now let’s tend to matters at hand. It’s Shabbes, the Sabbath, and we have a synagogue to prepare for morning services.”

“Yes, Papa.” Arel knew from experience arguing with his father would not accomplish anything. Still his anger boiled because they were Jews who lived in poverty under the tyranny of the Russians. Prisoners in their own country, unable own land and denied education beyond their Hebrew schools.

For the next few moments Yussel’s cane tapping along the frozen ground was the only sound. Each man lost in his own thoughts, they approached the synagogue, the largest building in the Jewish quarter of Svechka.

To call a backward village “The Candle” was a contradiction. Arel supposed at some point in time the Russians considered it a place of enlightenment.

~~Taken from Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

YUSSEL GITTERMAN -Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

YUSSEL GITTERMAN -Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Published by Argus Publishing

Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency

***

To the best of my knowledge, the shtetl or village known in Please Say Kaddish for Me as Svechka only exists in the author’s imagination. Like Anatevka in Fiddler on the Roof it represents the many villages scattered throughout Eastern Europe during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

HERSHEL LEVINE - Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

HERSHEL LEVINE – Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Shtetl is Yiddish for “little town.” These villages ranged in size from several hundred residents to several thousand. The Jews usually lived within the town while the Gentiles tended to live on the outskirts. Central to the Jewish community was the Synagogue and Kahal, the community council. Most of the shtetl Jews were artisans and shop owners while the scholars were the revered minority. Both Arel and Havah, the children of rabbis, have grown up in their respective shtetls, Natalya and Svechka, as members of the elite part of their societies.

Framed Arel in Svechka

AREL GITTERMAN -Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

 

Framed Havah at 16

HAVAH COHEN – Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Enjoy a little taste of what their world was like. 

 Note: If you’ve read and enjoyed either or both of my books, please leave a review on Amazon.com and any of the other sites. I ask for Amazon primarily because of the scope of influence. Thank you.

Shalom,

Rochelle

PSK Cover

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COMING SOON!

COMING SOON!

Check out my author page on the Loiacono Website.  For all of the character studies thus far, click on the link Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Art and Blogs or my website RochelleWordArt

Character Study – Arel Gitterman in Kansas City

Published December 4, 2015 by rochellewisoff

            The neighbor’s mouth puckered between her weathered cheeks. She glared at Arel and thrust a spear like finger in his direction. “I’m telling you, Officer, I hear this commotion almost every night. That beast is beating up on this poor helpless gal. It’s a crying shame, her being in a family way and crippled besides. Why he oughta be horsewhipped! Just look at them scars, any dang fool can tell he’s a brawler.”

            Arel’s gray eyes turned black. He tugged his nightcap trying to hide the scars that trailed from his forehead to his chin. His thin lips tightened over his clamped teeth.

            Havah’s chest buzzed like an angry hornet. How dare this wicked woman make such accusations! Clenching her good hand into a fist, Havah tripped toward her, but Arel’s fingers tightened around her shoulder.

~~Taken from From Silt and Ashes by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Published (December 2015) by Argus Publishing

Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency

Original Artwork - © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Original Artwork – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

            Raised to walk in his father’s footsteps as a rabbi in the Old Country, Arel Gitterman turned from his vocation when his first wife, Gittel died in childbirth. He felt unworthy to teach Torah since he had been unfaithful in his heart and mind for, in the midst of his arranged marriage to the sweet young woman, he still longed for Havah.

            Like Havah, Arel sustained both physical and emotional injuries in the Kishinev pogrom. Scars from a nearly fatal beating obscure half of his face.

            Adapting to his new life as an American, he works as a tailor in his brother-in-law’s shop, a job that fits him like a well-made suit.

            The birth of a less than perfect child puts a strain on Arel and Havah’s marriage. After all they have been through together, he’s not sure he’s up to the challenge.

            As the family faces another tragedy, Arel learns that God’s light shines brightest in times of darkness.

FSAA Front Cover

Watch for it soon in the same great sites as:

.

PSK Cover

ANGUS & ROBERTSON      AMAZON    B&N    BAM    BOOKWORLD    FISHPOND     SHELFARI     BOOK DEPOSITORY   WATERSTONES    GOODREADS   IDREAMBOOKS

and

Check out my author page on the Loiacono Website.  For all of the character studies thus far, click on the link Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Art and Blogs or my website RochelleWordArt.

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