A Gypsy Story from Podzelva
By Aviva Neeman
Podzelva is where my great grandmother came from. She was born to Moshe, the brother of the Vilna Gaon. Rabbi Kremer, married her father's Yeshivah friend, Rabbi Neumann, and that's how she became my great grandmother. I even have the middle name Miriam after her.
There were many gypsies in Podzelva, and one day her mother left her, my great grandmother, who was a child, at home and told her not to open the door for anyone, especially not for Gypsies. Well, the girl stayed at home, in that frosty morning and a gypsy old woman knocked on the door. The girl felt sorry for the old woman, opened the door, and the woman was half freezing, so the girl sat her in the kitchen and poured hot soup for her. The Gypsy was grateful, and told the girl that she had nothing to give her, but she'll tell her what's in store for her. She told her that her future is to live in a far away country, and she told her she will be married twice, to two old men, and she’ll have children but also lot of sorrow, and that at least two of her children will grow up. She told her she will be well known and much admired.
Indeed, my great grandfather came to live with his family in
Aviva M Neeman lives in Tel Aviv. Aviva wrote a
book, soon to be launched, called Hebron SheLanu ("Our Hebron") about
her mother's family from