Saturday, May 30, 2015

Frogs!, Surprise!, and Gematria Clues

Sarah spoke first, “Well, Heinrich was always bringing squirmy things into the house and seeing what I thought of them. He loved to catch frogs or snakes and put them in a box; then he’d trick me into looking inside and I’d open the lid and out would jump a frog or something! I’d recoil in terror and scream, as I’m sure he was hoping.” Heinrich had a bit of a smile as he answered in defense, “In the woods behind our house there’s a creek and some ponds and I enjoyed seeing all of the critters there. I got pretty good at catching them and of course I wanted to share what I found with my family.” There were smiles all around.

Heinrich added, “And then there was the time father arranged a special surprise birthday party for mother. We decorated an empty room at the church and arranged for someone to ask if she could cook a meal and bring it to the church. She, of course was glad to help, so when she got there, about 20 of us were waiting and jumped out to yell ‘Happy Birthday!’ She was so surprised she dropped the pot and had a look of fright on her face. When she realized what had happened she calmed down and smiled.” 

Rebekah laughed and said, “Family is the best.” Realizing it was her turn, she was somewhat taken aback because she didn’t have a wealth of stories to draw upon, but she began. “Once my father intended to stay up all night at our Synagogue studying Torah. It was Shavuot and our synagogue was just starting the practice based on the Midrash. Well, he didn’t quite make it; he woke up when other worshipers came in to start the day. From then on I learned how to make a new drink that was imported from Turkey: coffee, because it helps to keep you awake. From then on we drank coffee whenever we wanted to stay up late studying. 

Oh, and there was a boy in our synagogue who liked me, and left clues for me to find. Each was located in a different place in our community and was composed mostly of gematria riddles. It took me a few days to find the last one, which contained a box with a flower and a note. He said he was praying God would bring our parents together so we could be matched. Well, it didn’t turn out that way and now he’s married to someone else. For a few months afterwards, he looked at me with a sad look. But he eventually got over it I guess because they now have a little boy. Which is just as well, because his life would have been ruined if we were together when the news came out about my father.” She had that pensive, pained look again and her head drooped a bit.

“You got serious again, and your smile is gone,” said Heinrich.

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