Only Yesterday

By S. Y. Agnon; Barbara Harshav | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
Miracles

1

Ever since the day Isaac went down to Jaffa, Shifra hadn't heard a thing from him. Shifra could have known everything about him, but she had already forbade him to write her because of slander. But the slander didn't stop anyway. When folks get their teeth into a Jewish girl, they don't let go of her.

Mystifying and mysterious are the ways of the neighbor women. Some turn angry faces to her, and some twist their faces at her, and some pretend to be friendly and tell her stories to make her tell them stories. Oh, God, what is there to tell here? Once upon a time, a fellow sailed in the same ship with her grandfather to the Land of Israel. Later he came to visit him. Her grandmother welcomed him warmly. The fellow started coming and going as a member of the family. Once on a dark night she met him outside and he took her hand in his and told her things, and whenever she thinks about them, she feels good, but she is sad. And that's impossible to fit together, if she feels good why is she sad, and if she is sad, why does she feel good?


2

Rebecca recognized that something had happened here. Sometimes Shifra is sad and sometimes she is hasty. Rebecca knows it is all because of that painter, for ever since the day he started coming and going in her house, Shifra's nature changed. But now that he went away, why should she be sad? Perhaps she did set her sights on that fellow as the neighbor women say? In truth, he is a decent fellow and a lot of favors he did for them, and if not for him whom the Holy-

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