Rachel stood waiting in the bread line. There were many people in front of her, waiting for nearly a whole day, just like she was. How she wished she was at home, with Mama. If you could even call the small attic of the shul a home. But wasn’t it better than the freezing winds out here in the market? She sighed. If only it was Sarale or Shula’s turn. Oh well. There was no point in complaining. As the line inched forward, her mind turned to the events of the past few months.
“Papa, Papa, please, don’t go! Why do you have to leave us?”
“Papa, why do you have to go?”
“Me wan Papa!”
Yisroel sighed. Why were times like this so hard? “Children, I have to go. Don’t you see that I’m in grave danger?!”
“But Papa, we’ll miss you so!”
“Who will learn gemara with me?”
“Who will read to his kleine meidele?”
“Who will comfort his kalla meidel?”
“Who will tuck in my tzitzes?”
“I wanna Papa!”
Suddenly there was a commotion at the door. Two people opened the door, and motioned to Reb Yisrael to come. Silently, he waved goodbye to his children, and left.
Since then they had been kicked out of their house. Fortunately they were able to find shelter, but life was not the same. With her father gone, and Sarale, Shula, and her out of the house most of the day, her mother was stuck with the boys, Shmuel, Ephraim, and baby Ezra, unable to look for work.
A voice broke into her reverie. “Miss? Will you come to the front of the line with me?”
Rachel looked around in surprise. Who was calling her?
To be continued…