About the Author
Isaac Bashevis Singer was born in Poland. His
father and grandfather were rabbis and he was
educated at the Warsaw Rabbinical Seminary. In
1935 he emigrated to the US and since then has
worked as a regular journalist and columnist for
the New York paper, The Jewish Daily Forward.
Apart from some early work published in Warsaw,
nearly all his fiction has been written in Yiddish
for this journal. It is relatively recently that Singer’s
work has been translated on any scale and that
his merit, and the endurance of his writing, have
been recognised by a general audience. He was
awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1978. His
publications include—A Friend of Kafka, The
Seance and Other Stories.
End of About the Author
The wedding had been a burden to Dr Solomon Margolin
from the very beginning. True, it was to take place on a
Sunday, but Gretl had been right when she said that was
the only evening in the week they could spend together. It
always turned out that way. His responsibilities to the
community made him give away the evenings that belonged
to her. The Zionists had appointed him to a committee; he
was a board member of a Jewish scholastic society; he
had become co-editor of an academic Jewish quarterly.
And though he often referred to himself as an agnostic
and even an atheist, nevertheless for years he had been
dragging Gretl to Seders at Abraham Mekheles’, a Landsman
from Sencimin. Dr Margolin treated rabbis, refugees, and
Jewish writers without charge, supplying them with
medicines and, if necessary, a hospital bed. There had
been a time when he had gone regularly to the meetings of
the Senciminer Society, had accepted positions in their
ranks, and had attended all the parties. Now Abraham
Mekheles was marrying off his youngest daughter, Sylvia.
The minute the invitation arrived, Gretl had announced
her decision: she was not going to let herself be carted off
to a wedding somewhere out in the wilds of Brownsville. If
he, Solomon, wanted to go and gorge himself on all kinds
of greasy food, coming home at three o’clock in the morning,
that was his prerogative.
Dr Margolin admitted to himself that his wife was right.
When would he get a chance to sleep? He had to be at the
hospital early Monday morning. Moreover he was on a strict
fat-free diet. A wedding like this one would be a feast of
poisons. Everything about such celebrations irritated him
now: the Anglicised Yiddish, the Yiddishised English, the
ear-splitting music and unruly dances. Jewish laws and
customs were completely distorted; men who had no regard
for Jewishness wore skullcaps; and the reverend rabbis
and cantors aped the Christian ministers. Whenever he
took Gretl to a wedding or Bar Mitzvah, he was ashamed.
Even she, born a Christian, could see that American
Judaism was a mess. At least this time he would be spared
the trouble of making apologies to her.
Usually after breakfast on Sunday, he and his wife
took a walk in Central Park, or, when the weather was
mild, went to the Palisades. But today Solomon Margolin
lingered in bed. During the years, he had stopped attending
functions of the Senciminer Society; meanwhile the town
of Sencimin had been destroyed. His family there had been
tortured, burned, gassed. Many Senciminers had survived,
and, later, come to America from the camps, but most of
them were younger people whom he, Solomon, had not
known in the old country. Tonight everyone would be there;
the Senciminers belonging to the bride’s family and the
Tereshpolers belonging to the groom’s. He knew how they
would pester him, reproach him for growing aloof, drop
hints that he was a snob. They would address him
familiarly, slap him on the back, drag him off to dance.
Well, even so, he had to go to Sylvia’s wedding. He had
already sent out the present.
The day had dawned, grey and dreary as dusk.
Overnight, a heavy snow had fallen. Solomon Margolin had
hoped to make up for the sleep he was going to lose, but
unfortunately he had woken even earlier than usual. Finally
he got up. He shaved himself meticulously at the bathroom
mirror and also trimmed the grey hair at his temples. Today
of all days he looked his age: there were bags under his
eyes, and his face was lined. Exhaustion showed in his
features. His nose appeared longer and sharper than usual;
there were deep folds at the sides of his mouth. After
breakfast he stretched out on the living-room sofa. From
there he could see Gretl, who was standing in the kitchen,
ironing—blonde, faded, middle-aged. She had on a skimpy
petticoat, and her calves were as muscular as a dancer’s.
Gretl had been a nurse in the Berlin hospital where he
had been a member of the staff. Of her family, one brother,
a Nazi, had died of typhus in a Russian prison camp. A
second, who was a Communist, had been shot by the Nazis.
Her aged father vegetated at the home of his other daughter
in Hamburg, and Gretl sent him money regularly. She
herself had become almost Jewish in New York. She had
made friends with Jewish women, joined Hadassah, learned
to cook Jewish dishes. Even her sigh was Jewish. And she
lamented continually over the Nazi catastrophe. She had
her plot waiting for her beside his in that part of the
cemetery that the Senciminers had reserved for themselves.
Dr Margolin yawned, reached for the cigarette that
lay in an ashtray on the coffee table beside him, and began
to think about himself. His career had gone well. Ostensibly
he was a success. He had an office on West End Avenue
and wealthy patients. His colleagues respected him, and
he was an important figure in Jewish circles in New York.
What more could a boy from Sencimin expect? A self-taught
man, the son of a poor teacher of Talmud? In person he
was tall and quite handsome, and he had always had a
way with women. He still pursued them—more than was
good for him at his age and with his high blood pressure.
But secretly Solomon Margolin had always felt that he
was a failure. As a child he had been acclaimed a prodigy,
reciting long passages of the Bible and studying the Talmud
and Commentaries on his own. When he was a boy of
eleven, he had sent for a Responsum to the rabbi of Tarnow
who had referred to him in his reply as ‘great and
illustrious’. In his teens he had become a master in the
Guide for the Perplexed and the Kuzari. He had taught
himself algebra and geometry. At seventeen he had
attempted a translation of Spinoza’s Ethics from Latin into
Hebrew, unaware that it had been done before. Everyone
predicted he would turn out to be a genius. But he had
squandered his talents, continually changing his field of
study; and he had wasted years in learning languages, in
wandering from country to country. Nor had he had any
luck with his one great love, Raizel, the daughter of Melekh
the watchmaker. Raizel had married someone else and later
had been shot by the Nazis. All his life Solomon Margolin
had been plagued by the eternal questions. He still lay
awake at night trying to solve the mysteries of the universe.
He suffered from hypochondria and the fear of death
haunted even his dreams. Hitler’s carnage and the
extinction of his family had rooted out his last hope for
better days, had destroyed all his faith in humanity. He
had begun to despise the matrons who came to him with
their petty ills while millions were devising horrible deaths
for one another.
Gretl came in from the kitchen.
‘What shirt are you going to put on?’
Solomon Margolin regarded her quietly. She had had
her own share of troubles. She had suffered in silence for
her two brothers, even for Hans, the Nazi. She had gone
through a prolonged change of life. Now her face was
flushed and covered with beads of sweat. He earned more
than enough to pay for a maid, yet Gretl insisted on doing
all the housework herself, even the laundry. It had become
a mania with her. Every day she scoured the oven. She
was forever polishing the windows of their apartment on
the sixteenth floor and without using a safety belt. All the
other housewives in the building ordered their groceries
delivered, but Gretl lugged the heavy bags from the
Now husband and wife sized each other up wryly,
feeling the strangeness that comes of great familiarity. He
was always amazed at how she had lost her looks. No one
feature had altered, but something in her aspect had given
way: her pride, her hopefulness, her curiosity. He blurted
out: ‘What shirt? It doesn’t matter. A white shirt.’
‘You’re not going to wear the tuxedo? Wait, I’ll bring you a vitamin.’
‘I don’t want a vitamin.’
‘But you yourself say they’re good for you.’
‘Leave me alone.’
‘Well, it’s your health, not mine.’
And slowly she walked out of the room, hesitating as if
she expected him to remember something and call her back.
Dr Solomon Margolin took a last look in the mirror
and left the house. He felt refreshed by the half-hour nap
he had had after dinner. Despite his age, he still wanted
to impress people with his appearance—even the
Senciminers. He had his illusions. In Germany he had
taken pride in the fact that he looked like a Junker, and in
New York he was often aware that he could pass for an
Anglo-Saxon. He was tall, slim, blond, blue-eyed. His hair
was thinning, had turned somewhat grey, but he managed
to disguise these signs of age. He stooped a little, but in
company was quick to straighten up. Years ago in Germany
he had worn a monocle and though in New York that would
have been too pretentious, his glance still retained a
European severity. He had his principles. He had never
broken the Hippocratic Oath. With his patients he was
honourable to an extreme, avoiding every kind of cant;
and he had refused a number of dubious associations that
smacked of careerism. Gretl claimed his sense of honour
amounted to a mania. Dr Margolin’s car was in the garage—
not a Cadillac like that of most of his colleagues—but he
decided to go by taxi. He was unfamiliar with Brooklyn
and the heavy snow made driving hazardous. He waved
his hand and at once a taxi pulled over to the curb. He
was afraid the driver might refuse to go as far as
Brownsville, but he flicked the meter on without a word.
Dr Margolin peered through the frosted window into the
wintry Sunday night but there was nothing to be seen.
The New York streets sprawled out, wet, dirty, impenetrably
dark. After a while, Dr Margolin leaned back, shut his
eyes, and retreated into his own warmth. His destination
was a wedding. Wasn’t the world, like this taxi, plunging
away somewhere into the unknown toward a cosmic
destination? May be a cosmic Brownsville, a cosmic
wedding? Yes. But why did God—or whatever anyone
wanted to call Him—create a Hitler, a Stalin? Why did He
need world wars? Why heart attacks, cancers? Dr Margolin
took out a cigarette and lit it hesitantly. What had they
been thinking of, those pious uncles of his, when they
were digging their own graves? Was immortality possible?
Was there such a thing as the soul? All the arguments for
and against weren’t worth a pinch of dust.
The taxi turned onto the bridge across the East River
and for the first time Dr Margolin was able to see the sky.
It sagged low, heavy, red as glowing metal. Higher up, a
violet glare suffused the vault of the heavens. Snow was
sifting down gently, bringing a winter peace to the world,
just as it had in the past—forty years ago, a thousand
years ago, and perhaps a million years ago. Fiery pillars
appeared to glow beneath the East River; on its surface,
through black waves jagged as rocks, a tugboat was hauling
a string of barges loaded with cars. A front window in the
cab was open and icy gusts of wind blew in, smelling of
gasoline and the sea. Suppose the weather never changed
again? Who then would ever be able to imagine a summer
day, a moonlit night, spring? But how much imagination—
for what it’s worth—does a man actually have? On Eastern
Parkway the taxi was jolted and screeched suddenly to a
stop. Some traffic accident, apparently. The siren on police
car shrieked. A wailing ambulance drew nearer. Dr
Margolin grimaced. Another victim. Someone makes a false
turn of the wheel and all a man’s plans in this world are
reduced to nothing. A wounded man was carried to the
ambulance on a stretcher. Above a dark suit and blood-
spattered shirt and bow tie the face had a chalky pallor;
one eye was closed, the other partly open and glazed.
Perhaps he, too, had been going to a wedding, Dr Margolin
thought. He might even have been going to the same
wedding as I...
Some time later the taxi started moving again. Solomon
Margolin was now driving through streets he had never
seen before. It was New York, but it might just as well have
been Chicago or Cleveland. They passed through an
industrial district with factory buildings, warehouses of coal,
lumber, scrap iron. Negroes, strangely black, stood about
on the sidewalks, staring ahead, their great dark eyes full
of gloomy hopelessness. Occasionally the car would pass a
tavern. The people at the bar seemed to have something
unearthly about them, as if they were being punished here
for sins committed in another incarnation. Just when
Solomon Margolin was beginning to suspect that the driver,
who had remained stubbornly silent the whole time, had
gotten lost or else was deliberately taking him out of his
way, the taxi entered a thickly populated neighbourhood.
They passed a synagogue, a funeral parlour, and there,
ahead, was the wedding hall, all lit up, with its neon Jewish
sign and Star of David. Dr Margolin gave the driver a dollar
tip and the man took it without uttering a word.
Dr Margolin entered the outer lobby and immediately
the comfortable intimacy of the Senciminers engulfed him.
AII the faces he saw were familiar, though he didn’t
recognise individuals. Leaving his hat and coat at the
checkroom, he put on a skullcap and entered the hall. It
was filled with people and music, with tables heaped with
food, a bar stacked with bottles. The musicians were
playing an Israeli march that was a hodge-podge of
American jazz with Oriental flourishes. Men were dancing
with men, women with women, men with women. He saw
black skullcaps, white skullcaps, bare heads. Guests kept
arriving, pushing their way through the crowd, some still
in their hats and coats, munching hors d’oeuvres, drinking
schnapps. The hall resounded with stamping, screaming,
laughing, clapping. Flash bulbs went off blindingly as the
photographers made their rounds. Seeming to come from
nowhere, the bride appeared, briskly sweeping up her train,
followed by a retinue of bridesmaids. Dr Margolin knew
everybody, and yet knew nobody. People spoke to him,
laughed, winked, and waved, and he answered each one
with a smile, a nod, a bow. Gradually he threw off all his
worries, all his depression. He became half-drunk on the
amalgam of odours: flowers, sauerkraut, garlic, perfume,
mustard, and that nameless odour that only Senciminers
emit. ‘Hello, Doctor!’ ‘Hello Schloime-Dovid, you don’t
recognise me, eh? Look, he forgot!’ There were the
encounters, the regrets, the reminiscences of long ago.
‘But after all, weren’t we neighbours? You used to come to
our house to borrow the Yiddish newspaper!’ Someone had
already kissed him: a badly shaven snout, a mouth reeking
of whiskey and rotten teeth. One woman was so convulsed
with laughter that she lost an earring. Margolin tried to
pick it up, but it had already been trampled underfoot.
‘You don’t recognise me, eh? Take a good look! It’s Zissel,
the son of Chaye Beyle!’ ‘Why don’t you eat something?’
‘Why don’t you have something to drink? Come over here.
Take a glass. What do you want? Whiskey? Brandy?
Cognac? Scotch? With soda? With Coca Cola? Take some,
it’s good. Don’t let it stand. So long as you’re here, you
might as well enjoy yourself.’ ‘My father? He was killed.
They were all killed. I’m the only one left of the entire
family.’ ‘Berish the son of Feivish? Starved to death in
Russia—they sent him to Kazakhstan. His wife? In Israel.
She married a Lithuanian.’ ‘Sorele? Shot. Together with
her children.’ ‘Yentl? Here at the wedding. She was standing
here just a moment ago. There she is, dancing with that
tall fellow.’ ‘Abraham Zilberstein? They burned him in the
synagogue with twenty others. A mound of charcoal was
all that was left, coal and ash.’ ‘Yosele Budnik? He passed
away years ago. You must mean Yekele Budnik. He has a
delicatessen store right here in Brownsville—married a
widow whose husband made a fortune in real estate.’
‘Lechayim, Doctor! Lechayim, Schloime-Dovid! It doesn’t
offend you that I call you Schloime-Dovid? To me you’re
still the same Schloime-Dovid, the little boy with the blond
side-curls who recited a whole tractate of the Talmud by
heart. You remember, don’t you? It seems like only yesterday.
Your father, may he rest in peace, was beaming with pride...’
‘Your brother Chayim? Your Uncle Oyzer? They killed
everyone, everyone. They took a whole people and wiped
them out with German efficiency: gleichgeschaltet!’ ‘Have
you seen the bride yet? Pretty as a picture, but too much
make-up. Imagine, a grandchild of Reb Todros of Radzin!
And her grandfather used to wear two skullcaps, one in
front and one in back. ‘Do you see that young woman
dancing in the yellow dress? It’s Riva’s sister—their father
was Moishe the candlemaker. Riva herself? Where all the
others ended up: Auschwitz. How close we came ourselves!
All of us are really dead, if you want to call it that. We
were exterminated, wiped out. Even the survivors carry
death in the hearts. But it’s a wedding, we should be
cheerful.’ ‘Lechayim, Schloime-Dovid! I would like to
congratulate you. Have you a son or daughter to marry
off? No? Well, it’s better that way. What’s the sense of having
children if people are such murderers?’
It was already time for the ceremony, but someone
still had not come. Whether it was the rabbi, the cantor,
or one of the in-laws who was missing, nobody seemed
able to find out. Abraham Mekheles, the bride’s father,
rushed around, scowled, waved his hand, whispered in
people’s ears. He looked strange in his rented tuxedo. The
Tereshpol mother -in-law was wrangling with one of the
photographers. The musicians never stopped playing for
an instant. The drum banged, the bass fiddle growled, the
saxophone blared. The dances became faster, more
abandoned, and more and more people were drawn in. The
young men stamped with such force that it seemed the
dance floor would break under them. Small boys romped
around like goats, and little girls whirled about wildly
together. Many of the men were already drunk. They
shouted boasts, howled with laughter, kissed strange
women. There was so much commotion that Solomon
Margolin could no longer grasp what was being said to
him and simply nodded yes to everything. Some of the
guests had attached themselves to him, wouldn’t move,
and kept pulling him in all directions, introducing him to
more and more people from Sencimin and Tereshpol. A
matron with a nose covered with warts pointed a finger at
him, wiped her eyes, called him Schloimele. Solomon
Margolin inquired who she was and somebody told him.
Names were swallowed up in the tumult. He heard the
same words over and over again: died, shot, burned. A
man from Tereshpol tried to draw him aside and was
shouted down by several Senciminers calling him an
intruder who had no business there. A latecomer arrived,
a horse and buggy driver from Sencimin who had become
a millionaire in New York. His wife and children had
perished, but, already, he had a new wife. The woman,
weighted with diamonds, paraded about in a low-cut gown
that bared a back, covered with blotches, to the waist. Her
voice was husky. ‘Where did she come from? Who was she?’
‘Certainly no saint. Her first husband was a swindler who
amassed a fortune and then dropped dead. Of what?
Cancer. Where? In the stomach. First you don’t have
anything to eat, then you don’t have anything to eat with.
A man is always working for the second husband.’ ‘What is
life anyway? A dance on the grave.’ ‘Yes, but as long as
you’re playing the game, you have to abide by the rules.’
‘Dr Margolin, why aren’t you dancing? You’re not among
strangers. We’re all from the same dust. Over there you
weren’t a doctor. You were only Schloime-Dovid, the son of
the Talmud teacher. Before you know it, we’ll all be lying
side by side.’
Margolin didn’t recall drinking anything but he felt
intoxicated all the same. The foggy hall was spinning like
a carousel; the floor was rocking. Standing in a corner, he
contemplated the dance. What different expressions the
dancers wore. How many combinations and permutations
of being the Creator had brought together here. Every face
told its own story. They were dancing together, these people,
but each one had his own philosophy, his own approach. A
man grabbed Margolin and for a while he danced in the
frantic whirl. Then, tearing himself loose, he stood apart.
Who was that woman? He found his eye caught by her
familiar form. He knew her! She beckoned to him. He stood
baffled. She looked neither young nor old. Where had he
known her—that narrow face, those dark eyes, that girlish
smile? Her hair was arranged in the old manner, with long
braids wound like a wreath around her head. The grace of
Sencimin adorned her—something he, Margolin, had long
since forgotten. And those eyes, he was in love with those
eyes and had been all his life. He half smiled at her and
the woman smiled back. There were dimples in her cheeks.
She too appeared surprised. Margolin, though he realised
he had begun to blush like a boy, went up to her.
‘I know you—but you’re not from Sencimin?’
‘Yes, from Sencimin.’
He had heard that voice long ago. He had been in love
with that voice.
‘From Sencimin—who are you, then?’
Her lips trembled.
‘You’ve forgotten me already?’
‘It’s a long time since I left Sencimin.’
‘You used to visit my father.’
‘Who was your father?’
‘Melekh the watchmaker.’
Dr Margolin shivered.
‘If I’m not out of my mind then I’m seeing things.’
‘Why do you say that?’
‘Because Raizel is dead.’
‘You’re Raizel? Here? Oh my God, if that’s true—then
anything is possible! When did you come to New York?’
‘Some time ago.’
‘From over there.’
‘But everyone told me that you were all dead.’
‘My father, my mother, my brother Hershl...’
‘But you were married!’
‘If that’s true, then anything is possible!’ repeated Dr
Margolin, still shaken by the incredible happening.
Someone must have purposely deceived him. But why? He
was aware there was a mistake somewhere but could not
‘Why didn’t you let me know? After all...’
He fell silent. She too was silent for a moment.
‘I lost everything. But I still had some pride left.’
‘Come with me somewhere quieter—anywhere. This is
the happiest day of my life!’
‘But it’s night...’
‘Then the happiest night! Almost—as if the Messiah
had come, as if the dead had come to life!’
‘Where do you want to go? All right, let’s go.’
Margolin took her arm and felt at once the thrill, long
forgotten, of youthful desire. He steered her away from the
other guests, afraid that he might lose her in the crowd, or
that someone would break in and spoil his happiness.
Everything had returned on the instant: the
embarrassment, the agitation, the joy. He wanted to take
her away, to hide somewhere alone with her. Leaving the
reception hall, they went upstairs to the chapel where the
wedding ceremony was to take place. The door was standing
open. Inside, on a raised platform stood the permanent
wedding canopy. A bottle of wine and a silver goblet were
placed in readiness for the ceremony. The chapel with its
empty pews and only one glimmering light was full of
shadows. The music, so blaring below, sounded soft and
distant up here. Both of them hesitated at the threshold.
Margolin pointed to the wedding canopy.
‘Tell me about yourself. Where are you now? What are
‘It is not easy to tell.’
‘Are you alone? Are you attached?’
‘Would you never have let me hear from you?’ he asked.
She didn’t answer.
Gazing at her, he knew his love had returned with full
force. Already, he was trembling at the thought that they
might soon have to part. The excitement and expectancy of
youth filled him. He wanted to take her in his arms and
kiss her, but at any moment someone might come in. He
stood beside her, ashamed that he had married someone
else, that he had not personally confirmed the reports of
her death. ‘How could I have suppressed all this love? How
could I have accepted the world without her? And what will
happen now with Gretl?—I’ll give her everything, my last
cent.’ He looked round toward the stairway to see if any of
the guests had started to come up. The thought came to
him that by Jewish law he was not married, for he and
Gretl had had only a civil ceremony. He looked at Raizel.
‘According to Jewish law, I’m a single man.’
‘Is that so?’
‘According to Jewish law, I could lead you up there
and marry you.’
She seemed to be considering the import of his words.
‘Yes, I realise...’
‘According to Jewish law, I don’t even need a ring. One
can get married with a penny.’
‘Do you have a penny?’
He put his hand to his breast pocket, but his wallet
was gone. He started searching in his other pockets. Have
I been robbed? he wondered. But how? I was sitting in the
taxi the whole time. Could someone have robbed me here
at the wedding? He was not so much disturbed as surprised.
He said falteringly:
‘Strange, but I don’t have any money.’
‘We’ll get along without it.’
‘But how am I going to get home?’
‘Why go home?’ she said, countering with a question.
She smiled with that homely smile of hers that was so full of
mystery. He took her by the wrist and gazed at her. Suddenly
it occurred to him that this could not be his Raizel. She was
too young. Probably it was her daughter who was playing
along with him, mocking him. For God’s sake, I’m completely
confused! he thought. He stood bewildered, trying to untangle
the years. He couldn’t tell her age from her features. Her
eyes were deep, dark, and melancholy. She also appeared
confused, as if she, too, sensed some discrepancy. The whole
thing is a mistake, Margolin told himself. But where exactly
was the mistake? And what had happened to the wallet?
Could he have left it in the taxi after paying the driver? He
tried to remember how much cash he had had in it, but was
unable to. ‘I must have had too much to drink. These people
have made me drunk—dead drunk!’ For a long time he stood
silent, lost in some dreamless state, more profound than a
narcotic trance. Suddenly he remembered the traffic collision
he had witnessed on Eastern Parkway. An eerie suspicion
came over him: perhaps he had been more than a witness?
Perhaps he himself had been the victim of that accident!
That man on the stretcher looked strangely familiar. Dr
Margolin began to examine himself as though he were one of
his own patients. He could find no trace of pulse or breathing.
And he felt oddly deflated as if some physical dimension were
missing. The sensation of weight, the muscular tension of
his limbs, the hidden aches in his bones, all seemed to be
gone. It can’t be, it can’t be, he murmured. Can one die without
knowing it? And what will Gretl do?
He blurted out:
‘You’re not the same Raizel.’
‘No? Then who am I?’
‘They shot Raizel.’
‘Shot her? Who told you that?’
She seemed both frightened and perplexed. Silently
she lowered her head like someone receiving the shock
of bad news. Dr Margolin continued to ponder.
Apparently Raizel didn’t realise her own condition. He
had heard of such a state—what was it called? Hovering
in the World of Twilight. The Astral Body wandering in
semi-consciousness, detached from the flesh, without
being able to reach its destination, clinging to the
illusions and vanities of the past. But could there be
any truth to all this superstition? No, as far as he was
concerned, it was nothing but wishful thinking. Besides,
this kind of survival would be less than oblivion. ‘I am
most probably in a drunken stupor,’ Dr Margolin decided.
‘All this may be one long hallucination, perhaps a result
of food poisoning...’
He looked up, and she was still there. He leaned over
and whispered in her ear:
‘What’s the difference? As long as we’re together.’
‘I’ve been waiting for that all these years.’
‘Where have you been?’
She didn’t answer, and he didn’t ask again. He looked
around. The empty hall was full, all the seats taken. A
ceremonious hush fell over the audience. The music
played softly. The cantor intoned the benedictions. With
measured steps, Abraham Mekheles led his daughter
down the aisle.