My Yerusha

A couple of weeks after my my mother in law died, I had a long phone conversation with my father- in -law.  He talked to me about how much he wanted me to have his mother –in –law’s sewing things.
My mother-in-law’s mother, Tillie Green was a deeply religious woman. She used to study a Yiddish version of the weekly Torah portion each Shabbat afternoon.

Tillie, was a fierce woman who was orphaned young.  Like many orphaned  Jewish girls in Eastern Europe she was married off young, while still in her teens.
Tillie was unhappy in her marriage and ran off to New York. Her husband followed her.  Clever Tillie, learned enough New York  matrimonial law to have her husband caught in a room ( with her best friend), so she could be quickly divorced.

She then married a widower with two boys. She raised them and her own two daughters with a kind of fierce, tough love. Tillie worked in the garment industry. 

My mother- in- law used to tell me how her mother made clothing without a pattern.  I have been trying to teach myself how to do that very thing for the past twenty years.
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My mother-in-law often used to muse about how much her mother would have liked me.
My father in law brought me these sewing shears. They were completely dull. I kept them on the shelf all this time.  I brought them into Steinlauf and Stoller just before Shavuot to be sharpened.
I handed the shears to the kippah wearing clerk. He looked the the shears and commented about how old they were.  He also said that he wasn’t sure if the bottom pair could even be sharpened. I told him that I understood, and then added, “ They are my Yerusha.”Yerusha is the Hebrew for inheritance.  He looked at the shears and said that he had a similar yerusha, from his own family.
I picked up the shears today. They did a beautiful job cleaning them up and getting them sharp.  I  got a little weepy thinking about my yerusha.
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  1. A lovely story. Using them will be more than cutting fabric.

  2. That's wonderful! What a lovely yerusha.

  3. What a lovely memory and such a special yerusha.

  4. I did test them all. They are HEAVY, but I will use them. My husband was unsure that they were repairable, he was happy that I got this done.

  5. I have the embossed tin candy box that my paternal grandmother always used as her sewing box. I also have my stepgrandfather's upholstery shears, and many of my mother's sewing notions and scissors. I always smile when I use them, and I'll never be without them, I hope. What a lovely story.


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