On the Horizon:
Memoir of a Rumanian Rope-Climber
There were three Ages of Man in Hârlâu, my home town in northern Rumania. The first began on the fourth birthday, when we entered cheder, or Hebrew school, and ended at eleven. For a while, the periods of study were short, and we Children spent most of the time playing in the yard. Our play did not take the form of athletic games. We just ran about and fought with each other. As we grew older, the periods of study grew longer and the intervals of play shorter, and then they disappeared altogether. At the secular school, which we began to attend when we were seven, the opportunities for outdoor activity were a little better. The school was situated on a hill at the edge of the crowded town and it had a larger yard than the cheder. Yet there were no organized athletics. During the luncheon period we improvised running contests or matches that mixed boxing and wrestling.
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