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“Number Our Days. BARBARA MYER MYERHOFF | [Ep DUTTON: NEW York 1979 Copright © 1970by Barbara Myerbot All ight weserved. Pinte in the USA. [No pat of this publication may be reprodvced or transmitted i any form for by any meant elcont: or mechani, including photocopy, resording ‘or any information storge and eters! stem now known or t0 be $a ‘ented without pemision In writing ftom the publiher, exept by 2 teviewtr who wishes to quote bre! pasages in connection with & Levin ‘wit for inclusion in a'mapatine, newspaper or brodca For information contact EP. Daton, 2 Pak Avenue, New Yok, NY. 10016 Library of Conges Cataloging in Publictin Date Myethof, Bartars Nomber oor dye Inclodesbibiogaphicl references and inde. 2, Jous in Calit-Soc Iie and customs. 2, Socal work with the ygei_Calfomia.. 3. Aged California. 4. Vente, Calif--Socn) Iie and custome. 1. Tite. F860V36Mo 979 | orow'odoomne 78565 ISBN: 0-535-16055-5, Published simltanouly in Canada by Clik, Irwin & Company Limited, ‘Toronto tnd Vancovver wo98 76543 For Ruth Adams 1932-1975 ‘Awoman of valor Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates.” PRovenns 31 52 NUMBER OUR DAYS ‘world, the Lamed-vav, I think he had decided that he was such ‘a man and that it was time for him to reveal himself when he came to redeem the Center people.” “Yes, allthis is traditional,” Shmuel answered. “The Hasi- dim had the belief that the highest form of taddikim were the hidden ones. The ones who put themselves out for others were always alittle bit suspicious because they could be wanting slory. The hidden one, nstr, is for this reason the highest type ‘of wise man and the revealed one, mefursam, is not s0 high, jst because of this possiblity, so ths is why the highest type remains hidden, That means that anyone around you, no matter how humble or ugly, could be such 2 one. From this you could get the idea that once I told you about. You couldn't be sure you Know anybody. Always they can surprise you. So from this you are Teaming to treat your neighbors with respect and an ‘open mind. Who knows, he might be Elijah, or a Lamed-vavnik, “In your record you shouldr’t leave out maybe the most important mistake that Kominsky made. His kind of Judaism put people apart from each other. If he makes Kosher, how many could stay inside the Center? IF he puts being observant ‘over being a Jew, what happens to all those Jews who ate not? He puts a barter there they couldn't pass over. I wouldn't deny hhim that the members in the Center are not ecient. Kominsky was a macher. The others also vant to get things done, but in their own way, In between a luftmensh* anda macher is 2 mensh, And this he was not.” + Adcamer; one who is notin this word. CHAPTER FIVE. —«&Y “We fight to keep warm’ BOBBE-MYSEH at: One of the things T would like to talk about today tas to do with something Sonya brought up lst week, the prac- tices people used in the Old World that today we might call superstitions. These are often very interesting and I think it ‘would be worthwhile to record some of them here. Sonya, ast ‘week you told me about the evil eye. sonva: Yes, I could talk about this. When I was a Tittle itl, I was very prety, such a shayner maidee,* everywhere T ‘went, people would adimize me. But it began that I got head- aches, for no reason. One day before I went out, my mother ksses| me good:bye and touches quickly her finger in the ashes, then on my forchead, so fast I hardly noticed. I did't think ore on this until I caught my face in a shop window. I had a black spot where she touched me. ‘What is this Mamaleh?” T asked her. ‘So you shouldn't get no evil eye? she said. They be- lieved if a girl was too pretty people would be jealous and give them the evil eye, so you put this mark on them to spoil too much beauty. ‘osus: And do you think these things get any results? soxva: I couldn't say. I could tell you that I didn't get no ‘more headaches after this time, ‘Mosue: Maybe this isa reason I should be grateful for all the dark spots T get on my face from old age, At least I don't have headaches. ariay: All this tak makes me glad I converted to an atheist. In the old days you could never be sure you were safe + Prey gi 153