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A SOUR PICKLE THE ANGEL OF DEATH

My father passed away like a Jew: unprepared. He knew where he came from he knew where he’s headed always saw it before him and yet: unprepared. It happened in the month of Shevat at eleven o’clock in the morning. … Read More

By / March 1, 2006

My father passed away like a Jew: unprepared. He knew where he came from he knew where he’s headed always saw it before him and yet: unprepared. It happened in the month of Shevat at eleven o’clock in the morning. The parchment of his Torah on the desk the ink in the inkwell in his right hand a quill – a craftsman working at his craft – he suddenly felt an urge: hankered for a sour pickle. And no woman in the house. (His mother, in my childhood, was buried down the slopes of the Carmel a few steps from his infant son a grandson who would never walk into her arms; his father in the mountains of Jerusalem a bit south and above my mother and now he still dwelling on the plain surrounded by housing projects and a wall.) It happened at eleven o’clock in the morning in the month of Shevat – the voice sounded forty days before his birth – a sour pickle. Sixty years he suffered from heartburn. His voice in prayer always loud and clear as crystal. He who has eyes to see would feel it in his ears: clear crystal beneath the fire of heartburn. As if late meeting someone he put on the rabbinical hat and crossed the street. It happened at eleven o’clock in the morning before noon on a day in Shevat. He already had one foot on the sidewalk: a sour pickle – the angel of death a bike hit him. Ran him over.

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