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Letters from Dotnuva (cont.)

 

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Translated by Yocheved Klausner

Tel Aviv 12 February 1936
 
Dear Sister,

I am sorry I did not write to you for so long and did not reply to the letter that you wrote when you arrived to the “golden country.” I should have remembered that you had just left our family and you were probably still very homesick.

At this time we are waiting impatiently for at least a few written words from a close and loved person, especially a sister. Therefore I am really sorry I did not write and I hope you will forgive me.

Your letter was very brief. I had hoped you would tell me in great detail about everything. Perhaps it was still difficult for you to gather your thoughts? I hope you will correct that in your future letters.

I would like to know how you are feeling about your aunt and uncle, but please be frank – this is my condition! How do they treat you, and what are your plans for the future? Can you make friends? Do you know many people? Of course it is not easy at first, until one gets used to the hard life there, but don't be discouraged, all will be well.

I want you to know, Shulamit, that I am very happy that you went to America, to tell you the truth. I doubt whether you would have found work had you come to Eretz Yisrael. The situation here is not good these days. Unemployment is high. I have a good and secure job, but for a newcomer it is not easy to get settled.

You probably want to know about me, but there is not much I can write. Nothing has changed. I am with the same job as before, and I have a good time. I am often invited to parties and sometimes we arrange a small party in our home. We (Zahava and I) bake a cake and prepare some tea, we bring a record player and invite some friends and dance a little. Tonight, for example, we will have some friends for tea. This is how the days go by.

Our landlord received from America a present – a radio. It reminded me of what mother used to say: If our aunt were smart, she would have sent us a radio. Our aunt must really be smart – she did not send!

How are our aunt and uncle? How is their business going? It seems to me that they are wealthy. Please give them best regards. Please write often, I think you have more free time than I.

I have just received a letter from home and they say that you started working. Please write what is your work and what is your salary?

Winitzki sends you regards. He is working with his brother-in-law. He told me that he will write you soon. Regards also from Zahava, she has heard that Rachel Lipske returned from America to Eretz Yisrael. I will visit her, it will be nice to meet someone I know from childhood.

If you think that I should send a picture for our aunt please let me know and I'll send. Meanwhile make some excuse for me.

I am enclosing my photo. I sent one home as well. Pesik wrote that she has shown my picture to everybody in town and they said that I am pretty. Mother and father are glad, too.

Your devoted sister, Shoshana.

 

[Next passage is written in Yiddish for the aunt and uncle with whom Freida is staying]

 

Dear Aunt and Uncle!

It has been a long time since we have stopped corresponding, I hope I shall improve my manners in the future.

How are you, my dears?

Now a new member has joined your family, I hope that by now you have gotten used to Freida'le and you love her.

How does the new life affect her? Everything must still look strange to her, does she have friends? Does she make progress?

How do you feel, dear aunt? Freida'le wrote that she was very warmly welcomed, and she feels very good in your home. I believe Freida'le will not become a burden and will continue to enjoy your hospitality.

Here there is no news, I am working and the situation is not bad, except for my worry for our loved parents, who are so far from me.

Be well and happy,

Yours, Shoshana.

Tel Aviv 12 February 1936

Bugrashov St. 43

 

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