NEW Story: Drip
Tzipora lived among Jews in the industrial neighbourhood of Seispri in Lola. They had come over after the troubles in Tel Aviv and their persecution in the Dallas States. She had seen that; that was where she learned of her own history. It was not through faith or practice or family that she had discovered her Jewishness, but persecution — the unfolding story of all Ashkenazim.
A lot of them had come to Vekllei looking for the opportunity to establish some sort of satellite community for the diaspora too embittered or radical to return to Israel. In the early days Vekllei resembled collapsing British mandates of years past, ripe for nation-building and dramatic new ways of living.
That heritage was a lot to bear, especially for a girl who didn’t consider herself Jewish. She was still a Catholic, lapsed only in her affection for God. She didn’t know anything about Jews; she barely knew anything about Vekllei. All her life had been one way of living, one way of knowing herself, and now she lived with a Jewish man in a foreign neighbourhood that didn’t use money.
Only Greeks, Irish and Italians celebrate Christmas in Vekllei. The people of Seispri celebrate Hanukkah near the same time. Tzipora, in her crisis of identity and faith, championed both — because why shouldn’t she? With the Catholic sabbath on Sunday and Shabbas on Saturday she got both ends of the deal. God knew she needed the rest.
Happy Hanukkah, everyone.