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Rocking Horse by Leah Gebber
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rae




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 21 2021, 6:22 pm
Why would they shut it down now? So dissapointed.
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InnerMe




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 21 2021, 6:34 pm
oy, I'm gonna miss it!!
Didn't read the last installment yet. I hope she'll do an epilogue too.
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amother




Puce
 

Post Thu, Jan 21 2021, 6:41 pm
My favourite author. Her stories are masterpieces. Why did it end? I’m so so upset
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amother




Brunette
 

Post Sat, Jan 23 2021, 11:00 pm
I can't believe it's over!! It was so so so good...
why didn't felix and chasya get married?? I'm so mad that she left that hanging
I hope they start another serial soon, the other one they have going is a little too teen pages-y for me
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Miri1




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 12:13 am
It didn't wrap up neatly because there is no possible way to neatly wrap up a story like this.
There are many layers to the story:
It was a journey for Hannah, a difficult journey with moments of loss and moments of comfort.
We see the evolution of her marriage, and the growth of her children. Also the nachas she has from them, and the tremendous spiritual investments she has made.
We have the Jewish experience in the shtetl juxtaposed with that of the "cultured" Jews.
Then there is relationship between the Jews and their antisemitic surroundings - both in the shtetl and in the concert hall.
And of course the dark, terrible truth of the missing girls.
The story is full of disappointments and tragedies.
The ending is a galus ending, a little like the last verse of Maoz Tzur - even as we sing Hashem's praises for all the miracles, we still beg Him to end the misery and to bring the final redemption.

I actually like the way it didn't end with the marriage of Felix and Chasya, (wouldn't that have been a bit twee?), though it looks like they are headed in that direction.
I feel like the whole theme of the story is one of experience and growth, of grappling with contradictions and painful realities.

How can a story like that wrap up neatly?
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amother




Orchid
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 12:50 am
Me too. I loved all historical drama. I also assumed that it was more than hard labor that he want publicized but was resisted...Leah, thanks for taking us into a different era with amazing clarity. It was sad that Hannah had to sacrifice Yiddishkeit and Shabbos to escape the shtetel...as the story evolved to Turkey, and back...just amazing..will miss it.

Btw, Im looking forward to a new serial by Ruti Kepler
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kalsee




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 12:58 am
Miri1 wrote:
It didn't wrap up neatly because there is no possible way to neatly wrap up a story like this.
There are many layers to the story:
It was a journey for Hannah, a difficult journey with moments of loss and moments of comfort.
We see the evolution of her marriage, and the growth of her children. Also the nachas she has from them, and the tremendous spiritual investments she has made.
We have the Jewish experience in the shtetl juxtaposed with that of the "cultured" Jews.
Then there is relationship between the Jews and their antisemitic surroundings - both in the shtetl and in the concert hall.
And of course the dark, terrible truth of the missing girls.
The story is full of disappointments and tragedies.
The ending is a galus ending, a little like the last verse of Maoz Tzur - even as we sing Hashem's praises for all the miracles, we still beg Him to end the misery and to bring the final redemption.

I actually like the way it didn't end with the marriage of Felix and Chasya, (wouldn't that have been a bit twee?), though it looks like they are headed in that direction.
I feel like the whole theme of the story is one of experience and growth, of grappling with contradictions and painful realities.

How can a story like that wrap up neatly?


Perfect summary, thank you.
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amother




White
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 8:14 am
iyar wrote:
PinkFridge, I know you didn't actually want to upset me, but I felt upset after I read that.
I was too quick to express my opinion, but it wasn't my intention to eviscerate anything, or anybody's writing.
To answer your question about anachronisms-
There's no actual object, like the clock striking in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. It's more an unrealistic mindset that pervades the narrative and the characters as if they took a time machine from the 21st century to the nineteenth.
Start with the marriage of Ernst and Hannah. There was a problem of girls who had no dowry. As much as we're shocked at the shidduch crisis today, it existed generations ago. Girls from poor families couldn't marry. Some never did. A common solution for others, since the mortality rate among young childbearing women was much higher than today (both due to childbirth complications and to the lack of antibiotics and other medications to treat tuberculosis, which was rampant, and other infectious diseases) was to marry a widower with a house full of small orphaned children. Presumably Hannah wouldn't have had much say in choosing her life's partner but there's no way parents would have married off a daughter to someone so different, culturally and religiously. And even in the event that hunger and desperation would have made them consider it, no way an educated German would have chosen a wife from such a family. Socially and culturally it's very common today to see "mixed marriages". This phenomenon mainly started in post war America. Even today in Europe and even more so in Israel it's very unusual to see marriages of this sort. There are entire threads on imamother critical of the fact people won't consider a shidduch with someone from a different branch of Judaism, I'm not talking about a marriage between observant and unobservant. German Jews looked down at the uneducated Poles.
Then send Becca off to Turkey. Think of Sarah Schenirer, who started her work in the twentieth century, and how much opposition there was to taking girls out of the home and sending them to school. School mind you, not a far away country. The idea of educating girls out of the home was novel and did not go unchallenged. The thought of sending a young frum girl from Poland to Turkey to start a school - beyond unbelievable. We're not even talking about the great divide between Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewry which would have made this even more impossible. Then put these words into Becca's mouth, "Education brings you a job. A job means income. Income means dignity." A young girl growing up in Poland in the 1800's wouldn't have said that, however strongly the sentiment resonates with a 21st century woman reading it.
Then there are ittle episodes like Felix being left to babysit. Cute, but that wouldn't have happened a century ago.
This post is too long. I wanted to answer your question, but I didn't want to eviscerate anything.
I would have to guess that while the author did some research, she didn't personally know and have a lot of conversations with people who grew up in pre- WWII Poland, Eastern Europe, or Germany. There was a lot to be learned from them for those privileged to know such people. Besides the obvious strength of character and Emunah that let them plant their Yiddishkeit on foreign soil, they could teach a lot about the cultural and societal mores that influenced them. Wherever we are in galus we absorb a lot from the foreign culture we find ourselves in, and having our eyes open to that is a good thing, even just to help us realize that some things we consider worthwhile values might be borrowed from foreign influences. Pretending a young girl growing up in Trump's America thinks and behaves like a young girl growing up in the world of Franz Josef, Kaiser of Austria isn't correct, but it's not a crime either.


I know this post is from a while back. But the criticism about Becca’s story is inaccurate. The Alliance schools were formed specifically to educate underprivileged girls foe the purpose of giving them a better future. The motto Becca quotes is in line with their ideology. As for Beccas education, girls were brought to France from Alliance schools to become the next wave of teachers. So, while Beccas coming from a shtetl may be a stretch, it is a geographical one, not an anachronistic one. And perhaps some girls did go there from the shtetl, it’s not impossible. The difficulty Sara Schnirer faced when recruiting was with girls from Chasidish homes, many of them middle or upper class. Many litvish girls had school systems prior to the Bais Yaakov movement, such as in Telz, a fact well-documented in most literature related to the Bais Yaakov movement. Perhaps a poor but educated girl from Czecheslovakia could have managed to get to Paris, as Becca did.
An important issue that I think was omitted in the reference to Alliance schools was the danger they posed to the traditional lifestyle of the Sephardic communities, and their contribution to spreading of enlightenment ideals which shook many frum communities to the core.
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allthingsblue




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 8:32 am
amother [ Brunette ] wrote:
I can't believe it's over!! It was so so so good...
why didn't felix and chasya get married?? I'm so mad that she left that hanging
I hope they start another serial soon, the other one they have going is a little too teen pages-y for me


It would have been way to cheesy and chick flicky for them to have gotten married. It made much more sense to end this way, it's much more realistic.

Btw where was Raizel in the fire? I must have missed the part where she moves out of Hannah's home. Where did she go?
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 8:42 am
Miri1 wrote:
It didn't wrap up neatly because there is no possible way to neatly wrap up a story like this.
There are many layers to the story:
It was a journey for Hannah, a difficult journey with moments of loss and moments of comfort.
We see the evolution of her marriage, and the growth of her children. Also the nachas she has from them, and the tremendous spiritual investments she has made.
We have the Jewish experience in the shtetl juxtaposed with that of the "cultured" Jews.
Then there is relationship between the Jews and their antisemitic surroundings - both in the shtetl and in the concert hall.
And of course the dark, terrible truth of the missing girls.
The story is full of disappointments and tragedies.
The ending is a galus ending, a little like the last verse of Maoz Tzur - even as we sing Hashem's praises for all the miracles, we still beg Him to end the misery and to bring the final redemption.

I actually like the way it didn't end with the marriage of Felix and Chasya, (wouldn't that have been a bit twee?), though it looks like they are headed in that direction.
I feel like the whole theme of the story is one of experience and growth, of grappling with contradictions and painful realities.

How can a story like that wrap up neatly?


I agree. It was an appropriate, just about satisfying ending.
But we know that Felix and Chasya will get married.
Meanwhile, the rest of the nuclear family (not sure where Becca, Raizel, etc. will end up) get out of Dodge and move to the US. I wanted Ernst to hook up somehow with Ossip Gabrilowitsch but I can't make the details work. They recommit to Shabbos, yet somehow Ernst is able to make a respectable living as a music teacher and bH all their descendants, to this day, are shomer Shabbos.
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Miri1




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 11:16 am
amother [ White ] wrote:
I know this post is from a while back. But the criticism about Becca’s story is inaccurate. The Alliance schools were formed specifically to educate underprivileged girls foe the purpose of giving them a better future. The motto Becca quotes is in line with their ideology. As for Beccas education, girls were brought to France from Alliance schools to become the next wave of teachers. So, while Beccas coming from a shtetl may be a stretch, it is a geographical one, not an anachronistic one. And perhaps some girls did go there from the shtetl, it’s not impossible. The difficulty Sara Schnirer faced when recruiting was with girls from Chasidish homes, many of them middle or upper class. Many litvish girls had school systems prior to the Bais Yaakov movement, such as in Telz, a fact well-documented in most literature related to the Bais Yaakov movement. Perhaps a poor but educated girl from Czecheslovakia could have managed to get to Paris, as Becca did.
An important issue that I think was omitted in the reference to Alliance schools was the danger they posed to the traditional lifestyle of the Sephardic communities, and their contribution to spreading of enlightenment ideals which shook many frum communities to the core.


I agree.
And I want to add that Becca has a great deal of emotional stamina and strength. If any young girl from the shtetl could make it to Turkey through the Alliance it would be her.
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amother




Olive
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 11:58 am
Anyone else still confused why she was in the mental hospital at the beginning? just me?
Help
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 1:54 pm
amother [ Olive ] wrote:
Anyone else still confused why she was in the mental hospital at the beginning? just me?
Help


To help her process the tremendous disconnect between the life she left and the life she was living at that point. Talking therapy was apparently what she needed.
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amother




Blonde
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 2:44 pm
PinkFridge wrote:
To help her process the tremendous disconnect between the life she left and the life she was living at that point. Talking therapy was apparently what she needed.


It seemed to me that it was prompted by Emmy dating Joaquim, and the life she might be marrying into.

It really emphasized how artfully she negotiated her life afterwards as we read about it through the story.
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juggling




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 3:00 pm
amother [ Blonde ] wrote:
It seemed to me that it was prompted by Emmy dating Joaquim, and the life she might be marrying into.

It really emphasized how artfully she negotiated her life afterwards as we read about it through the story.

She did not know about Joachim at that point, she only found out later.
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