The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Marj and her cousin sit around a spinning dreidel. Settling an argument over who owned a certain doll since they had almost all the same toys and would often get confused. Their commotion rousing the attention of young Marj’s father to come over and use his doll identifying wisdom to settle the dispute. Finally herding them through the small kitchen and into the dining room. The two girls’ grandfather lighting the candles on the Menorah as they entered the room. A grand kosher feast presented in front of them. Marj and her younger cousin both sitting at the table all tired and cranky, already awake two hours past their usual bedtime. They watched impatiently and dazed as Marj’s mother and two of Marj’s aunts finished setting up the table. Finally all coming together to pray before they ate. The family all chanted together, “Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu...”, Marj and her cousin following along. Even though Marj was tired and cranky, she enjoyed singing the catchy little song with her family. Plus, she knew she had plenty of things to look forward to by the end of dinner!

    After a feast with many laughs and full bellies. Marj’s family always ended it with her favorite meal, Matzo Ball soup. As they poured everyone’s bowl full of matzo, they sang, “I wanna be a matzo ball and swim in the middle of the chicken soup...”. Marj and her cousin, as happy as they could be with presents starting to line up across the dining room table and a belly full of matzo, began excitedly looking through all the presents. Wondering which one may be theirs, they start off declaring ownership over presents. The family watches in amusement as Marj and her cousin’s declarations turn into a full blown argument. Verbally fighting each other over the presents as the family laughs in the background, knowing the little twist in store for those two. Marj’s father finally intervenes and hands them each neatly wrapped boxes. As they both turn towards each other to show off their toys, they both stop dumbfounded. The family look on with concern as the two young girls realize they both got the same toys, making their argument unsatisfyingly pointless. But, to everyone’s surprise, both Marj and her cousin smile back at each other, excitedly playing and showing off each other's toys. The family happily laughed, joining the two little girls in the sacred ritual of opening and showing off presents.

    Marj’s early days spent bonding with her family and learning about their culture gave her a strong sense of family connection and history. She works arduously to recover the lost history of her family tree and is always there for a family member in need. It is these traits that many family members cherish, including myself, and are impressed by her commitment and hard work everytime we speak with her.

Presents!

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