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Mameve Medwed - Part III n d

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Mameve Medwed memoir Part III "Yes, I went to Hebrew school. Why, I couldn’t understand. Perhaps it was a cheap means of babysitting while my mother attended board meetings and bridge games; and later, when my father got sick and hardly made it out of bed to his law office, a way to keep me out of the house. I had Hanukah at Hebrew school. I twirled a dreidel and ate...potato pancakes. That should have been more than enough, implied my mother. Especially, if you take into account Aunt Edie, Uncle Abe and Uncle Arthur, my father’s maiden sister and bachelor brothers who filled in all the many festival-wise holes for my sister and me and my first cousins. My uncles and aunt shared a house on Palm Street that was a refuge for us nieces and nephews when life become unsatisfactory under our own roofs...With the exception of Passover...Abe, Arthur, and Edith’s kitchen was control central for all Jewish high and low holiday celebrations (We, of course, by unanimous vote, hosted ecumenical, New England Thanksgiving). On Palm Street we could light the menorah. We could collect eight days of gold-wrapped chocolate Hanukah gelt. And the real thing, too--crisp dollar bills, that might, depending on report cards and Hebrew School attendance and dreidel skill, increase exponentially so that on the eighth day there’d be quite the tidy sum to buy the tap shoes or the American Flyer we were coveting. Uncle Arthur had 78’s of Jewish music, which only years later did I come to identify as Klezmer. Every bowl and platter offered up potato pancakes and chicken soup and chopped liver and these sticky honey balls, the peasanty, ethnic food my mother would recoil from, food...the ladies of the Athena Club and the likes of Pollyanne Mead would have trouble even pretending to taste no matter the requirements of etiquette. Nothing felt so delicious and forbidden. But then I lived a bifurcated life. Who was I? Was I my mother? Was I my father? Did I celebrate Hanukah or Christmas? Did I prefer Santa and Jesus and Mary or the bible stories of Moses and Rachel and Sarah that we were reading in Hebrew school?” #jewishmaine #mamevemedwed #jewishwomen #memoir #mainewriters

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