Dear Josh,

I can remember when your Grandmother Rose was born. Our father was already in America. He left Ostropol, a small town on the Slutch River about 100 miles from the Bug River where they met and flowed down to the Black Sea another 200 or more miles. The Heart of the Jewish settlement of the Ukraine. Your great-grandfather David, very well read in ancient Hebrew lore, and his father was a Hasidic disciple of the Rabbi of Skvir. I know that because the synagogue, all members of which belonged to that Hasidic family, had a visit from that Rabbi and the big party that was given for him there still lingers vividly in my mind. That was the last time I saw your great great-grandfather Moses dance on a table. They were putting on a show for the Rabbi. I don't remember the year it took place, but I know your great-grandfather David was not at the party. He was trying to keep his family in luxury, which meant at least two square meals a day and a big house and help in the house, and books galore. David was a book-lover and he had a set of the five books of the Torah that was out of this world. The Hebrew text in the middle in large letters - the commentaries and translations on four sides one in German - one in Aramaic. Commentaries by Rashi - another by Maimonides- My grandfather Moses didn't like the set because of the Maimonides comments- My father David was very proud of the set. We also had three yearly volumes of a newspaper in Hebrew which was published in Warsaw, because David contributed regular articles to the paper when he was a young man. They were written in Hebrew, and I was the moving poser that brought to Brooklyn NY those treasures where I believe they were lost or stolen. When your Grandmother Rose arrived in Brooklyn she was a big girl, one a half years old, and as she grew in wisdom, she too worked on a newspaper and even tho she started reporting, I was as proud of her by-line as tho it were foreign commentary- tho it was only police blotter reports.

Your GGGrandpapa David was forced to leave Russia because he tried to get rich and built a flour-mill on a spot where water was not available. So he imported a power mill from Germany together with a German machinist- who was drunk from morning till late and got himself tangled in a mill-belt that finished him off in no time ... all milled up. The widow got the local govt after my father for neglecting to keep him sober - the miller - and so David left one night never to return to Ostropol.

David my father was my main source of information of the past. His father Moses and all his forefathers were Sephardic Rite Jews. He even told me that he thought his forefathers came up the Black Sea Route so that they were never in Spain. He imparted to me the great secret of Gematria, a system of commentary where the spelling of words had meaning and logical meaning so that he could tell me that the word for God in Genesis- the first phrase- in the Beginning God that used the Hebrew word Eloim eben tho the usage at the time was Jehoval- because Eloim in Hebrew spelling equalled the word Teva meaning nature. I have no Hebrew Bible so for fear of misspelling I give it to you in the English alphabet.

Your Grandmother Rose's mother was the daughter of Chaim der Dayan, no relation to the Beast of Jerusalem who became famous because of his eye-patch. Chaim was a Dayan because he was a judge in Israel. The Russian Jews would not use the Tsar's Courts because their judgement was suspect. He it was that gave me a Gematria of Deuter 4-44.

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