Taibele and Hurmizah A Story
IN THE town of Lashnik, not far from Lublin, there lived a man and his wife. His name was Chaim Nossen, hers-Taibele. They had no children. Not that the marriage was barren; Taibele had borne her husband a son and two daughters, but all three had died in infancy-one of whooping cough, one of scarlet fever, and one of diphtheria. After that Taibele’s womb closed up, and nothing availed: neither prayers, nor spells, nor potions. Grief drove Chaim Nossen to withdraw from the world. He kept apart from his wife, stopped eating meat, and no longer slept at home, but on a bench in the prayer house. Taibele owned a dry-goods store, inherited from her parents, and she sat there all day, with a yardstick on her right, a pair of shears on her left, and the Women’s Prayer Book in Yiddish in front of her. Chaim Nossen, tall, lean, with black eyes and a wedge of a beard, had always been a morose, silent man even at the best of times. Taibele was small and fair, with blue eyes and a round face. Although punished by the Almighty, she still smiled easily, the dimples playing on her cheeks. She had no one else to cook for now, but she lit the stove or the tripod every day and cooked some porridge or soup for herself. She also went on with her knitting-now a pair of stockings, now a vest; or else she would embroider something on canvas. It wasn’t in her nature to rail at fate or cling to sorrow.
About the Author