Foiglman (Hardcover)

Author: Megged, Aharon

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When I was notified about his death, I told myself I'm not going to his funeral. No way, I can't. Yet half an hour before the appointed time, I left home and went there. About thirty of forty people had gathered on the square in front of the funeral home. His son, his daughter, his brother and his family, a large group of Yiddish writers, several men and women apparently from his hometown. Many of them came to shake my hand, as if I were related to him or was his closest friend. As if it were my personal bereavement. While all this time, I felt a kind of heartburn, an inner burning, and could not utter a word. Nora's suicide is crying out inside of me, and time cannor silence that cry. I turned aside and leaned against the wall of the yard fearing that I might collapse. A kind of hushed commotion stirred up the little crowd of Yiddish writers, as if they were engaged in some clandestine affair, as if there were some last minute arrangements to be made before a trip in some pre-war railway station in Poland. Then a certain poet, whose name escapes me, mounted the podium before the coffin. He had sunken checks, a pointed thin-skinned nose, and protruding blue veins on his temples. He delivered a eulogy in Yiddish about the departing member of this united yet quarrelsome family whose ranks are gradually shrinking. He spoke heatedly, with an enthusiasm that sounded like anger; a loud cry suddenly burst out of his heart, half in "Yiddish, half in Hebrew. "Geshtorben? Neyn! Geharget! Yea, for Thy sake are we killed all the day long!"--a sort of protest, an accusation, which he hurled to the four winds of the town, of the whole country; it hovered above like a wounded bird in the hot afternoonair. And it seemed to me that this man, who only a few minutes earlier, silently, with bowed head, had shaken my hand as a brother-mourner, was now aiming his outcry at me! At me! Then the son, Irving, who had come from England for the funeral, said "Kaddish. He read from the "Siddur slowly, stumbling over the words, bringing the pocket-sized book closer to his glasses, then away from them in an effort to better decipher the small print: he pronounced the verses in an estranged tone while his sister, who had come from France, stood at his side with a handkerchief clutched to her nose. They stood next to each other--he, tall, skinny, in impeccable suit and tie, and she, chubby, broadfaced, with unkempt yellowish hair that made her look frightened. In her stature and blue eyes, she resembled her father. When the mourners got on the bus to go to the cemetery, I could have slipped away unnoticed and lost myself in the street. Many did just that. But my legs would not obey my impulse. When I stood on the step, most seats on the bus had already been taken, and again I felt the urge to turn back and leave. It was like finding myself in some East European Jewish quarter whose breaths, smells and whispers were repulsive to me. Yes, I know, it's a despicable feeling. And the embarrassment: standing like that on the doorsetp with your eyes roaming around trying to decide where to sit, next to whom, who will be your neighbor for the next half hour; while all your want--if indeed you are destined to cooped up in this fold--is to be by yourself, away from the others, not to be bothered. I shouldn't have gone to that funeral. It was like a desecration of Nora's memory.


Publisher Toby Press
Mfg Part# 9781592640324
SKU 33849666
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 159264032X
Release Date 8/13/2012
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