From the American Scene: Schaine of the Mountains
Summers blazed hot and endless when I was a boy on the East Side of New York during the early 20′s. Day and night the clamor of the steaming streets reached in through the wide open windows until there was no place to go, no place to hide. My widowed mother, who vowed every year that she would never go to the country again, would break down the last week in July. She would thumb through her Hebrew calendar and sigh, “Blessed be the Name, the month of Tammuz we’ve dragged ourselves through alive, but for the weeks left yet until Rosh Hashonah I have no strength.”
She would start packing, groaning all the while, “Who knows how it’s better to die—by going to the country or choking in the city?” A dozen times, as the bulging sacks and cartons piled up, she changed her mind. My two sisters and I, to whom going to the kochalein meant a new life, hardly dared to breathe. Not until we were on board the Hudson Day Line boat bound for Kingston Point could we be sure that God had once more been good to us.
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