sat on a large cardboard box in Belgium waiting for her mother to return from an
errand. She saw children playing, moving their jaws up and down in a rhythmic
motion. She looked long and hard and couldn’t understand why they did not keep
their mouths still. They seemed to be in constant motion.
young girl put her finger in her mouth and pulled out a long rubbery thing which
stretched and stretched. A little boy blew pink bubbles out of his lips. They
looked like small balloons and made a popping sound each time a new bubble came
out. What a strange sight this was, something Droozy had not seen before. That
sticky stuff never seemed to disappear. It looked like endless food which was
the first time that she came in contact with chewing gum. One of the children
pulled out a package of five small sticks of the flat greyish material and
offered it. Droozy put it in her mouth and was about to swallow it when she
realized that it felt like modeling clay with sugar on it. It did have a
delightful flavor - like peppermint. Droozy soon learned to imitate the other children and
to chew joyfully on this chewing clay. She pulled it in and out of her mouth,
blew into it but no bubble would come. Finally she made a long string from her
mouth and pulled the sticky stuff onto her forehead. Suddenly she realized it
was stuck in her hair and she could not seem to retrieve it. She pulled and
scraped but to no avail. She finally pulled out a few of her curls in order to
be rid of that sticky stuff. It took a long time before Droozy realized that gum
is for chewing, to be kept in the mouth.
that day the family Abner were invited to a Sabbath dinner with a number of
other refugees, since it was Friday eve. The dinner was held in a huge upstairs
board room which was part of a Jewish organization. Many rows of large tables
were covered with gleaming white tablecloths; each had a pair of candlesticks on
it which threw a festive glow throughout. The aroma of chicken soup permeated
the building. Droozy couldn’t wait until the blessing of the candles was over,
to taste of the delicious meal. A man with a long beard made the “Kiddush”.
His deep baritone voice resonated in the room and reminded Droozy of Papa and of
home. A tear of joy ran down her cheeks as she thought back of happy days with
the whole family together. After the soup the crispy brown chicken was served.
What a delight! It had been such a long time since they had enjoyed a good meal.
The “Challahs” were fresh and nothing could beat the delicious apple cake
that melted in Droozy’s mouth. At the end of the meal “Zemiros” were sung,
familiar Hebrew songs in which those many people sitting in that wonderful room
joined in. It had been the best Sabbath that Droozy had spent in many months.
night Droozy dreamed of her beloved Papa. She saw him standing at the head of
the table, saying the “Kiddush”, making the blessing over the bread and wine
and nodding his approval as he looked at Mama and his three children.
had spent a delightful few days in Belgium enjoying the hospitality of her
fellow Jews, who were only too happy to help her family at this time of stress
and anguish. She would never forget the many kindnesses that were shown her, and
she would always remember that wonderful “Schabbes” meal with all of it’s
trimmings. It had been truly a Belgian holiday!