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  • I do not know if this story is true, but it's been told enough times that it has become part of my truth.

    I do not know where this story took place. It was either Rumania or Poland.

    I do not know when this story took place--it was sometime in the late 1800's.

    Nor do I know the names of any of the people whose story this is. Though in many ways it is my story, and my daughter's story, and my parents' story, and their parents' story.

    What I do know is that the protagonist here is my great grandmother.

    Here is the story:
    Upon hearing the alarm that the cossacks were coming during a pogrom, my great grandmother invited a friend over for tea. This friend happened to be a priest, who of course wore the traditional collar and other appurtenances of his profession. She and he sat on the porch and enjoyed their respite.
    And the cossacks rode right by, not considering that a priest would be visiting a Jewish house.

    Someday, perhaps, I will discover the name of this clever woman.
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