As I prepare to read Parashat Shemot (Exodus, Chapters 1-5) in shul this week, the following passage brings back a memory.
ויהי בימים ההם ויגדל משה ויצא אל-אֶחָיו וירא בסבלתם, וירא איש מצרי מכה איש-עברי מאֶחָיו
I was four years old and attended nursery school in the old Hebrew Institute building, currently the site of Maxon Towers. The teacher was Mrs. Gertrude Nachman who worked at the Institute for decades, mostly as an arts & crafts teacher. She told us the story of Moshe in Egypt. According to her version, young Moshe received a horse for his birthday and went out riding, which led to the above verse.And it was in those days, that Moshe grew up and went out to his brethren and saw their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew man from among his brethren.
|Your humble blogger,
this time in the saddle,
not under it.
Well, we play-acted the story.
I was the horse.
Play-acting as an educational tool works. Especially for the child who gets to be the horse.
During the subsequent fifty-odd years, I have looked for traditional sources that mention Moshe's having a horse and have found nothing. I think Mrs. Nachman made it up.
|The Hebrew Institute's Weekday Faculty (1954)
Mrs. Nachman is on the left in the front row.
Thanks to the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives and Eric Lidji for this photograph.
The caption that the Rauh Archives attached to the photograph shows the other women in the front row as "Ida Shrut, Henrietta Chotiner, Sarah Goldberg, Ditza Vilentchuk" and the staff in the back row as "Dov Heres (sp?), Rev. Simon Kantarof, Joseph Bayer, Leah Szblinski (sp?), Jeanna Kreiger, Pauline Milch, Miss Tanner, unknown, David Zelev (sp?) and Dr. Solomon Abrams."
Bonnie Morris says that is Cena Glatstein, not Miss Tanner and Hy Kimmel, not Joseph Bayer.
I think the "unknown" in the back row is Rabbi Shaul Rowner. Chuck Fax agrees.
Some of those, I recognized. Some I should have recognized. Some I have never heard of.
Mrs. Kreiger was my first Hebrew School teacher (when I began going four days a week), Mrs. Milch my second and Mrs. Goldberg my third.
Mr Kantarof spoke at my father's unveiling and I spoke at Mr Kantarof's funeral.
The portrait on the wall is Israel Aaron.
On 8 January, I shall be giving two presentations for the genealogy course run by Yad Vashem and the Central Zionist Archives, "From Roots to Trees." Both in Hebrew.
5:30-6:15 – The Importance to Genealogy of Understanding Jewish Culture and Customs
6:16-7:00 – Using Genetics for Genealogy Research