Friday, August 19, 2005
The other night I went thrift shopping. This store was playing the greatest music, all these 80's tunes. I couldn't help but grin as I heard other thrifters singing along with George Thorogood, hangers sliding across racks as we all bopped along. What was the gem of the night? Finding a book about Sephardic immigrant culture for only 99 cents. I have already devoured it. "Asentar en siete," - "to sit in seven" - the Ladino term for sitting shiva. Is that so beautiful? Concise and poetic. My paternal grandfather is from Turkey, and he married an Ashkenazi woman. She ruled the roost! All his Turkish food went out the window in exchange for her heavy, Eastern European fare. Apparently these "mixed marriages" were common. He was a dashing man, dark and hadsome, albeit short. For their wedding portrait they discreetly stood him on a box so he seemed taller then my grandma. I was told that when she brought him home to her parents, they weren't sure if he was really a Jew. He spoke many languages, Ladino and Turkish, English and Yiddish too. So he assuaged her parents by speaking to them in Yiddish. L'chaim to Pincus the Turk!