JHOM - Personalities - Glückel of Hameln - Memoirs-Travel


Dangerous travels to the Leipzig fair


The Memoirs (analysis and selections):

The story of the father bird and the baby birds

The death of a child; the birth of another

Glückel mourns the death of Chaim of Hameln

Glückel rescues her ne'er do well son Loeb from debt

Appearance of self-proclaimed messiah Sabbetai Zevi

Dangerous travels to the Leipzig fair

A match and a wedding

In truth, [my husband's] travelling mispleased me; I often suffered mortal agony lest he fall sick in Leipzig. Once he came back from the full tide of the fair without my knowing a word of it; I was looking out my door and suddenly up drives my husband — you can picture the fright it gave me! Another time he and certain Jews were returning from the Winter Fair in Leipzig, and they failed to reach here the day I had reckoned for their arrival. Instead, a woman who brought me the mail — letters, I remember, from Frankfort — told me she had heard, God help us, bad news at the post-office; a skiff containing two coach-loads of Jewish and Christian travelers trying to cross the Elbe above Hamburg had been crushed by an ice floe, and all on board were drowned.

I was, God help me, like to die; I began to scream and wail, as you may well believe. Then Green Moses, whom I've already mentioned, comes into the room, and seeing my condition, asks what has befallen. I tell him everything and beg him, "Take horse, in God's name, at once and gallop to the ford and see what's happened!"

Although he and others tried to talk me out of my panic, I could not control myself. So Green Moses rode off, and I flew to a man who rents out horses, and had him immediately dispatch his servant to the ford, by another route. And when I hurried home in my anxiety and entered the house, there sat my good husband by the fire, warming himself and drying his clothes, for it was villainous weather. Everything the woman learned at the post was sheer lies.

excerpted Barnes & Noble linkGlückel. The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln. Marvin Lowenthal, trans. Copyright © 1977 by Schocken Books (New York), p. 67. Reprinted by permission of Schocken Books.




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