Children of the Ghetto eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 573 pages of information about Children of the Ghetto.

“What are you talking about, Esther?” said Benjamin suspiciously.

“I’m so sorry, nothing, only foolishness,” said Esther.  “We really must do something to make a holiday of the occasion.  Oh, I know; we’ll have tea before you go, instead of waiting till supper-time.  Perhaps Rachel’ll be back from the Park.  You haven’t seen her yet.”

“No, I can’t stay,” said Benjy.  “It’ll take me three-quarters of an hour getting to the station.  And you’ve got no fire to make tea with either.”

“Nonsense, Benjy.  You seem to have forgotten everything; we’ve got a loaf and a penn’uth of tea in the cupboard.  Solomon, fetch a farthing’s worth of boiling water from the Widow Finkelstein.”

At the words “widow Finkelstein,” the grandmother awoke and sat up.

“No, I’m too tired,” said Solomon.  “Isaac can go.”

“No,” said Isaac.  “Let Estie go.”

Esther took a jug and went to the door.

“Meshe,” said the grandmother.  “Go thou to the Widow Finkelstein.”

“But Esther can go,” said Moses.

“Yes, I’m going,” said Esther.

“Meshe!” repeated the Bube inexorably.  “Go thou to the Widow
Finkelstein.”

Moses went.

“Have you said the afternoon prayer, boys?” the old woman asked.

“Yes,” said Solomon.  “While you were asleep.”

“Oh-h-h!” said Esther under her breath.  And she looked reproachfully at
Solomon.

“Well, didn’t you say we must make a holiday to-day?” he whispered back.

CHAPTER XV.

THE HOLY LAND LEAGUE.

“Oh, these English Jews!” said Melchitsedek Pinchas, in German.

“What have they done to you now?” said Guedalyah, the greengrocer, in Yiddish.

The two languages are relatives and often speak as they pass by.

“I have presented my book to every one of them, but they have paid me scarce enough to purchase poison for them all,” said the little poet scowling.  The cheekbones stood out sharply beneath the tense bronzed skin.  The black hair was tangled and unkempt and the beard untrimmed, the eyes darted venom.  “One of them—­Gideon, M.P., the stockbroker, engaged me to teach his son for his Bar-mitzvah, But the boy is so stupid!  So stupid!  Just like his father.  I have no doubt he will grow up to be a Rabbi.  I teach him his Portion—­I sing the words to him with a most beautiful voice, but he has as much ear as soul.  Then I write him a speech—­a wonderful speech for him to make to his parents and the company at the breakfast, and in it, after he thanks them for their kindness, I make him say how, with the blessing of the Almighty, he will grow up to be a good Jew, and munificently support Hebrew literature and learned men like his revered teacher, Melchitsedek Pinchas.  And he shows it to his father, and his father says it is not written in good English, and that another scholar

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Children of the Ghetto from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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