My Three Esthers:
The Maid Problem, as It Looks in Jerusalem
Since my husband and I returned to Jerusalem from the United States after an absence of two years, we have had three housemaids named Esther. We have also had one Abigail, two Saras, a Margalit, and a Zora, but the Esthers lasted longer individually and one of them is still on tap to tide our household over each time a Sara or a Zora deserts us. We are, as a matter of fact, in just such a period at this writing, with Esther “Witch,” an expression of martyrdom on her thin face, doggedly pushing furniture around; the most recent Sara left us last week following my discovery that she never moved furniture, only skirted it.
Esther Witch is not herself a witch, nor has she ever been one. She has, however, lived out almost half of her twenty-eight years under the evil influence of witches; as the number of Esthers mounted, we found it necessary to distinguish her from Esther “Mammy Yokum” and “Poor” Esther, and so we took to calling her Esther Witch in the privacy of our English conversation.
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