From the story "Hat of Glass"

My children are grown, and the dead one who dropped out of my womb is long buried, covered over by the beauty and brightness of the ones who came later.
I once took out a picture of my dead husband to show my oldest son, but he didn't believe me. The truth, after all, is a great mosaic, with motley pieces forever falling into place. When one piece is missing, I sometimes look for it, and often I stop.
Whenever I pass by road signs in my country, I think about her. Maybe Clarissa is living here, maybe there. Perhaps her face is sealed, revealing nothing, except for the wet and oozing sap of berries.
Whenever I dare to lift the stone, I turn it over and over, and things are not the way they were before, but rather, the way one sees them in a crooked mirror or through a window on a foggy day. I'm not going to breathe warm mist onto the pane, because I don't really want to see. Clarissa in a golden embrace, and Janine with the wine growers of Gaul, and myself in Tel-Aviv. Only rarely does my soul wander and turn over, and it no longer reaches back to the beginning.

They say time adds layers of its own and you cannot reach back to the day of Creation without first climbing down a great canyon. After passing all seven layers of the earth, one moves back a million years, to the Day of Chaos, when Creation and Disintegration were one, nesting in a single womb, like Rebecca's irreconcilable twins.
A great darkness had emerged. They say it will heal. They say: I shall be healed. I am grateful for the sun and for the new light, but the anguish and torment will rest on the heads of the children like a hat of glass.

Translated from Hebrew by Prof. Miriam Shlesinger
Prof. Miriam Shlesinger was born in the United States, and has been living in Israel since 1964. She completed her B.A. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in musicology and linguistics in 1968, her postgraduate diploma in translation and interpreting at Bar-Ilan University in 1978, her M.A. in the Department of Literary Studies at Tel Aviv University in 1989, and her Ph.D. at Bar-Ilan University in 2000. She is currently chair of the Department of Translation and Interpreting Studies at Bar-Ilan University. Prof. Shlesinger is also a practicing translator of plays, novels and short stories from Hebrew into English, as well as a conference interpreter.

From the story "Suitcases"

You didn't hide your rage, George Welsh. You came looking for an
avenger, and what did you find? A frightened warrior. This country is, indeed, well fortified, but its fighters are battle weary. How dare you make demands on me? Don't you know that a survivor's child is not allowed to grow up under the aegis of power and glory, like the orphans of those who died on the battlefield or those who laid down their lives for their country.
I grew up under a dome of humiliation. Like a hidden blade of grass. I underwent great suffering because of the disgrace that had been heaped on my despised father and mother. Don't you realize that I was born to a man and a woman who, at a certain stage of their life, ceased to be human beings? We are the offspring of creatures trapped in their shame. I am crying out to you - yes, yes, we are still trapped.
At school, I used to tell lies. I said that my parents came to Israel earlier than they actually did, so I wouldn't have to admit that I am the child of those miserable displaced persons. Perhaps I'll find consolation in a child of my own; but a child is a new wound.
I have already passed the age in which they had lost their youth. They are getting old now; our scale goes up, their scale goes down. With tufts of white hair on their heads, when the horrors of hunger and frost no longer beset them, their shell cracks and the old anxieties are once more gathered inside them. The world, in the meantime, holds its breath and waits for them to make their exit. You don't seem to understand, George Welsh. As long as they are among the living, the shaky door of the world's conscience keeps beating against the threshold.

Translated from Hebrew by Marganit Weinberger-Rotman

Marganit Weinberger-Rotman has a B.A. in philosophy and English literature. MA in English literature from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. She had taught Hebrew literature at the University of Illinois for 20 years.
Worked as translator and editor for Israeli television for 30 years.
Translated Hebrew fiction by Savyon Liebrecht, Aharon Megged, Ruth Almog, Nava Semel, S.Y. Agnon, Shulamit Hareven, Ronny Someck, Etgar Keret.
Won the Koret Jewish Book Award for the translation of Aharon Megged's "Foiglman" in 2004.

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