Linking the Threads
by Hilary Rudick © 2005
Editor: Dr Saul Issroff
Copyright © 2005 Saul Issroff, Mike Getz, SAfrica SIG
and Jewishgen Inc.
Linking the Threads relates the story of three generations struggling to find a place to call home. In Lithuania, Gittel is about to marry the local rabbi and embroiders a curtain for the synagogue’s ark, which houses the Torah. Into this cloth she weaves jewels given to her father by the tsar. Years later, these jewels travel with her son, Doniyel, to South Africa and become the source of his new-found wealth. When he marries Tuvia, they stand under the chuppah, with jewels woven into the wedding canopy’s threads.
The decades pass and their granddaughter, Hilary, feels an emptiness for what she does not know of her family history. Suffering loss and tragedy, left to bring up her children alone, she survives, but with an emptiness that persists. Many years later, Hilary emigrates to London and begins a new life. As an artist she is invited to produce art work for a museum in Vilnius. Fate prescribes that she returns to Lithuania and her familial village where she can finally acknowledge who she is and from whence she came. Like the threads and jewels woven into this saga, so are the stories of survival that begin in the shtetl and end in the comforts of an English garden.