Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

The Family with Two Front Doors

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

The Family with Two Front Doors

Article excerpt

Title: The family with two front doors

Author: Anna Ciddor

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2016

This delightful portrait of the Rabinovitch family who lived in Poland in the 1920s is based on the recollections of Anna Ciddor's grandmother. She, her parents and eight siblings occupied the second floor of 30 Lubatowska Street, Lublin. The two front doors of the title (one blue and one brown) are explained by the fact that there were too many in the family for one apartment, so they rented two.

The author paints an intricate picture of Jewish family life in the 1920s. The day-to-day life of this rather charming family of distinct individuals is mapped out in detail, giving readers an insight into Jewish family life of that era. Customs, protocols, role expectations of family members, marriage customs and dietary laws are all included in the telling of the tale.

Anna Ciddor's word sketches quickly paint clear pictures of the characters. For example:

   Papa Rabinovitch was the rabbi for the Prayer House--the
   shtibel--on the ground floor. Every day before breakfast he went
   downstairs to pray. And every day after breakfast he worked in his
   study, reading his books and waiting for people to come to him for
   advice.

      A frantic young father might rush in to ask him what blessing to
   say for a new baby. … 
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