A Sunny Slice Of Life: Looking Up, When Life Tries to Pull You Down (This is an AS-IS book!)

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Product Description
Get ready to laugh and to cry with this wonderful collection of essays and stories by a beloved "bubby". From growing up in Williamsburg in the 1940's, to confronting the computer in the 21st century, Malka Adler faces life with zest, optimism and unfailing humor. 292 pp

Book Excerpt from A Sunny Slice of Life

When I was a young girl growing up in Williamsburg, my father and I had a weekly ritual. Every Thursday night he would arrive home from a long day at work, proudly bearing a small paper bag. For me the contents were a source of great joy. Never would he hide it, teasingly, behind his back or pretend he had forgotten it altogether. Even that momentary disappointment he avoided. Mother always picked that time to be cleaning in another room.

While I was breathless with excitement, he would present it ceremoniously, while we both sat at the enamel-topped kitchen table. Carefully, I would open the paper bag and gently remove the waxed paper enclosed �treasure.� Slowly, I would unwrap it and the sheer delight we would share at the first glance was indescribable.

Nestled in the white paper was a generous slice of chocolate seven-layer cake. The specialty of the Shlomo Weiss Bakery, it cost thirty-five cents. To appreciate this sizable financial investment, in those days of the 1950s, a candy bar cost five cents and a ladies� blouse was priced at three to four dollars. This was a luxury purchase, but well worth the expenditure � for both of us. My father�s bright brown eyes would shine and his face beam, as he watched me in obvious delight. I continued the strictly adhered-to procedure. Starting from the bottom, I would remove the first layer. (For the uninitiated, this was a delicate sponge cake, divided into seven layers and filled with chocolate cream. The sides and top were frosted with a luscious chocolate icing.) Traditionally, I saved the topping for last.

After saying a heartfelt berachah, to which my parent answered a warm �Amen,� I was transported to �chocolate heaven� from the first bite. I closed my eyes from time to time for greater concentration. That I underwent this experience is understandable, but that this man fully shared the ecstasy without ever taking a bite was a wonder. Actually, he was a stepfather, who had married my widowed mother and undertaken to raise her two small daughters. A Holocaust survivor, he had lost a wife, four children, and most of his family. Yet here he was, completely enraptured merely at the sight of my enjoyment.

Three weeks ago, my husband and I were in Brooklyn for Pesach with the Wolman family: our daughter, son-in-law, and wonderful grandchildren. As painful as it was leaving Eretz Yisrael, after three years of not visiting them and reaping Yiddishe nachas, I felt compelled to go. One evening, after Yom Tov was over, I was walking on Thirteenth Avenue while my husband was davening ma�ariv. Suddenly, unexpectedly, I found myself in front of an attractively lit store with a sign that read: �Weiss�s Bakery.� I hesitated only a moment before entering. We were expected for a dinner at relatives� home and I was trying to work up an appetite for the many-coursed meal.

An older woman, bespectacled and besheiteled, was behind the counter. She smiled kindly while I surveyed the delicacies. �Yes, it was our bakery in Williamsburg,� she replied to my inquiry. Tempted to tell her the story, I started to speak, felt shy and emotional, and simply commented that their cakes were always delicious. �Do you have any seven-layer cake?� She removed a tray where a third of a cake was displayed on a lace paper doily. �May I have just one slice, please?� Possibly she could have explained they didn�t sell such a small amount, but seeing my anxious expression, she expertly cut a piece, weighed and wrapped it, and handed me a small white bag. (Needless to say, it wasn�t thirty-five cents, but money was the furthest thing from my mind.)

Struggling with emotions I couldn�t quite define, and fully aware of the fact that it was exactly three weeks since my step-father�s funeral in Jerusalem, I located our borrowed car. Once seated, I carefully unwrapped the paper and automatically started separating the bottom layer. I could feel the luminous brown eyes beaming at me and felt enveloped by my father�s steadfast love. The world and I had changed countless times in over four decades, but that singular experience had remained the same.
Get ready to laugh and to cry with this wonderful collection of stories.

Author:Malka Adler, Targum Press, 2001
Publication Status:Hard to find!
Type:Hardcover
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