Lake and Foam

lake foam copy

Many drops make a bucket, many buckets make a pond, many ponds make a lake, and many lakes make an ocean.
-Percy Ross

4 Comments

Filed under Lorri's Blog, Photography

Review: The Train to Warsaw

The Train to Warsaw: A Novel, by Gwen Edelman, is an interesting work of historical fiction, based on two characters’ impressions of the city on a postwar return trip.

Jascha and Lilka have returned to Warsaw after having escaped the Warsaw Ghetto and the atrocities and horrors of World War II. They left individually but managed to reunite years later, after the war.

Jascha is a writer and has been invited to give a reading in Warsaw, forty years after escaping. He is reluctant to go, because deep in his heart he knows that the city is not the same, and that nothing could ever replace what once was.

Lilka, on the other hand, wants to return, wants to put to rest the memories of what occurred, and the positive memories she has of a city that once was. She feels that it will be a cathartic experience and encourages Jascha to attend. He finally gives in, and so their journey begins. In the dead of a cold and snowy winter they travel back to the country they left, and back to memories, both stifled and constant.

The dialogue in the book is written without quotation marks, which made it difficult to realize who was speaking, at times. I found myself having to go back and reread some of the dialogue to ascertain who was the one talking. This made it a more difficult read than necessary.

Their journey through Warsaw, through streets once walked, paths, sights and buildings once so familiar, AND through the area that was the Warsaw Ghetto, became very arduous for them due to the changes that have occurred. The changes of time have purposely been erased. Lilka has difficulty dealing with that, whereas Jascha knew, beforehand, what to more or less expect. He was cognizant of the reality.

Within that concept, the book depicts the individuals that Jascha and Lilka encounter with an indifference in regards to the past. Those individuals either do not want to remember the past, or still harbor antisemitism, or are too young too remember it, or were born a decade or two after the war and do not know the true history behind it. The city’s inhabitants are trying to move forward without bringing their history with them. They want to leave the emotional suitcases and other baggage behind.

The novel takes place on a train, in a hotel room and in the city, itself. With each passing moment, the discussions revolve around the past. Enfolded in those discussions are secrets from the past, that slowly come to be revealed, by both of them.

I felt the book was a bit drab and it dragged on. Of course, Jascha didn’t want to be there to begin with, and Lilka’s concepts keep referring to “what once was”, and she couldn’t let go of those perceptions. She was in shock seeing things for what they currently were, and her depressed state grew even deeper, explaining a lot of the attitude projected in The Train to Warsaw: A Novel.

I am sure that Edelman’s intent was to enhance how events of a former time affect individuals displaced from their homeland, leaving them feeling melancholy and miserable. The individuals can have a constant yearning for home, leaving a void within them. If that was her intention, she succeeded in that respect.

With all of that being said, in my opinion, the novel was okay.

4 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Lorri's Blog

Remember…

yarz

This act is so incomprehensible.

Remember the three teenaged boys…

Naftali Fraenkel
Gil-ad Shaar
Eyal Yifrach

Remember their families.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Support for Kidnapped Teens and Their Families

I have added a lovely Illustration of a tree with three yellow ribbons inside my header. It was created by my friend, Leora. I saw it posted on her website, and asked for her for permission to use it.

I have put it as part of my header so it can be seen immediately upon viewing my website. I was initially going to put it in my sidebar, but changed my mind.

It is my way of showing support for the three teenaged boys kidnapped in Israel, and show support for their families and for all those individuals who are trying to locate them. I have a 19-year old grandson, and two teen-aged granddaughters (19 and 15). I also have younger grandchildren.

As a mother and a grandmother, I can not imagine the anxiety, worry and the unknown details that the families of the three teens are surrounded by. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of them, and to all those involved in trying to bring them back.

Thank you, Leora, for allowing me to use your lovely illustration.
~~~

Mothers of teens appeal for help.

6 Comments

Filed under Judaism, Lorri's Blog, news

Jews and Kayaking

red kayak1

While walking at the lake, yesterday, I saw a man in a red kayak, gliding across the water. For some reason, I began to wonder if there were any Jews who were well-known in the kayaking world.

I know my father would often go kayaking at Prospect Lake in Brooklyn or Central Park in New York City. But, he wasn’t a famous individual. Famous to me, YES, to the world of kayaking, NO.

kayak2

I came home and did a search for “Jews and kayaking”. The Jewish Virtual Library lists four men who have earned world recognition for their efforts in the sport. Their biographies regarding kayaking include the Olympics and other world kayaking events, that put them at the top of the field.

This article caught my eye: Immanuel Braverman, a Holocaust survivor, also kayaked white-waters.

Did you know that about 8,000 Jews were smuggled out of Denmark, and many were on kayaks.

Please excuse the graininess of the photos. I had to zoom my lens in quite a bit in order to get the captures.

Leave a comment

Filed under Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Photography

Sunday Scenes: June 21, 2014: Buddies

buddies2

The scene above was captured about two years ago at a pond located within an orange grove. My grandie, Logan, was with me, along with my grandie Emily. Logan was three at the time. Today is his fifth birthday!

Happy Birthday, Logan! Yom Huledet Sameakh!

I remember how the grandies stared in awe at the Great White Egret. I did, too, for that matter. But, then I saw the turtle looking up at the Egret. It reminded me of two old buddies talking about life.

It was a moment in time that is memorable to the three of us. Each time we wander through there, we talk about that scene, and we look to see if there is a Great White Egret conversing with a turtle.

Leora, you asked if there was something in nature we were grateful for. This particular adventure, with the grandies, is one of those awe-of-nature moments.

3 Comments

Filed under Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Photography