Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Grandpa’s Menorah

As told to Judith Goldstein

Mom came from a completely secular background and thought Grandpa was charming. For her, life was a tea party; she was the gracious hostess and everyone else her guests. But with Dad, it was different. Though he’d hotly deny it, he was ashamed of Gramps.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

menorahMy dad was hard-working and ambitious — a social climber. He knew what he wanted, and expected his immediate family to cooperate with the plans he’d painstakingly laid for the next 50 years. It did not occur to him that just as he did not walk in the ways of his fathers, his children might not follow in his footsteps.

Grandpa was sensitive and spiritual, and I take after him. Aside from bequeathing me his tendency to be overweight (thanks, Gramps), our personalities are similar. We were unusually close. When I was 16, I got my driver’s license. When I returned home, triumphant, Dad handed me the keys to an old but working Chevrolet. And I began to visit Grandpa more often.

We talked of everything — including my relationship with Dad and our conflicts. We both knew that although I was strongly drawn to religion, Dad would oppose any steps toward observance. Grandpa cautioned me to tread carefully until I was financially independent. The truth was, we were both more than a little intimidated by Dad. I lived inChicagoand although there was an Orthodox Jewish community in the city, I did not have any contact with any of its members. And so, I decided to look for a college inNew York. 

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"