Work completed and work in progress
I was delighted to see how pleased she was with the finished piece. Like with all my clients, I showed Jane how to tie her tzitzit. Most people find it a bit of a struggle at first. After all, it is a new skill. Sometimes I have to be a bit more hands on as the tzitzit were being tiedif people are struggling. Jane's hands were just so deft. All I had to do was watch her tie the knots.
When Jane was about half way through tying her tzitzit she commented how the work she was putting in made her realize how much time and work I had put into the tallit. I had put in lots of time. Each step raised questions about the best way of solving the problems presented. Some of the problems had me puzzling out the solutions for a couple of weeks before I could continue. However, I could not be happier with how it all came together in the end.
I love how this piece honors Jane's grandmother and great grandmother who had first owned the special linens. This tallit also honors the women who made the lace and spun and wove the linen.
The work in progress is the work I have been doing on family history and genealogy. For several years I have been working on this project of uncovering the past with my cousin Oren in Israel who I know since he was a baby. Oren is now the father of children and an actual adult.
Delving into family history has put me in contact with Jeff. Jeff's grandmother and my grandfather are cousins who came from the same town, Frampol, in the Ukraine. Jeff and I have not exactly sorted out how we are related but a less than usual last name from a tiny town and too many names in each of our family tree repeating has convinced both of us that we are mishpoche/family.
It was at Jeff's urging that I went to the court house in Brooklyn and found my grandfather's Declaration of Intention, which was I guess the first step in applying for citizenship.
I had known that my grandfather was born in Frampol. I didn't know that his last place of residence before he came to New York was the place he lists as Zorno Ostrow. Today it is known as Cherny Ostrov. It's about thirty miles from Frampol.
Jeff was kind enough to send me photos of Cherny Ostrov taken by another geneologist Bobby Furst. I share them with you here.
My mother once asked her father what life was like in his town in Europe. My grandfather replied, " It was blotte. Nothing but blotte.". Blotte, is Yiddish for mud. As I looked through Bobby Furst's photos and saw the marshy landscape I realized that it must have been
a particularly muddy place.
When I showed these photos to my cousin Bonnie she recalled that my grandfather went away from home to attend Yeshivah. Perhaps it was here in Cherni Ostrov.
My mother would have loved seeing these pictures. She would have been tickled to see that her father's description of his home town was right on the money.
Lastly, tomorrow morning, My husband and I are leaving for a few weeks in California. We are looking forward to spending time with his sister and her husband. I will try to post about our adventures, on the road