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Home Shabbat Shabbat Stories The Lost Sister

The Lost Sister


The Lost Sister

It was a cool morning in the early spring. From their window, Sandy and Ellen looked out upon the blue sea. The sun shone bright and golden upon the water. .Hurry,. called Ellen, .or we.ll be late for school.. Sandy and Ellen were two Jewish girls ,whom their mother invariably called, Sarah and Ella. They lived in a small town in Holland, not far from the sea.

A little later the two girls were off, hand in hand they made their way towards the little schoolhouse. Ellen, the elder of the two, was a kind and quiet child with deep blue eyes. But seven year old Sandy was quite the opposite. Her merry black eyes twinkled mischievously as though she were always contemplating some new prank, or laughing at some mischief she had already done. Although the two little girls were so different, they never quarreled. Rather, they were greatly attached to each other, and could not bear to be separated.

That winter, when Sandy had slipped on the ice and injured her foot, Ellen did not go to school for many days. She sat at her sister.s bedside all the time. When Sandy grew tired of one game, Ellen would play another, and when Sandy grew tired of playing, Ellen would tell her stories, or read to her. Although Ellen could see the boys and girls frolicking on the ice, and could hear their merry shouts, she never left Sandy.s bedside, until Sandy could walk again.

Finally, Sandy was well enough to return to school. On her first day back, she listened intently to the teacher.s lesson. Suddenly, the door was flung open. An excited and terrified-looking youth stood in the doorway. In a voice hoarse with terror, he cried, .Flee, flee for your lives. The dike has broken! The water is coming up. Run to the plain!.

A wild panic gripped the children. Everyone stampeded to the door. In the street were hundreds of people, pushing, running, fleeing for their lives! The mob surged forward at breakneck speed, racing with the water. When the plain was sighted, a cry of relief broke from the panting people. At last they were safe. Everybody was there but little Sandy. She was not able to keep up with the mob. Her old wound had reopened and she fell behind. Exhausted, she threw herself on the ground, and in a few minutes she was fast asleep. She was blissfully unaware that the surging water was coming closer and closer, and in another minute she would be devoured by the foaming sea. The next morning Sandy awoke and rubbed her eyes sleepily. .Oh,. she cried looking about her. .Where am I?. Sandy lay upon a bed in a little room. .How did I ever get here?. she thought to herself.

The door opened, and in walked an old woman with hard and cruel eyes. .Well, little girl,. she said in a harsh voice, .you have me to thank for this. If I hadn't found you and carried you up the hill to my cottage, you might have drowned..

Sandy looked about her in bewilderment. At last she was beginning to understand what had occurred. But it was difficult indeed to thank the ferocious-looking old hag for saving her life. .Five long miles I carried you. the woman muttered. .You.ll repay me for my kindness, though..

.But where are my mother and my father?. cried Sandy. .Where is my sister Ellen?. .Don't worry about them,. said the old woman. .You'll be happy enough here without them.. .But I want to go home,. cried Sandy again. .You have no home any more except this home here!. replied the woman. .You have no one left in the world but me. You might as well get used to the idea.. The old woman forbade Sandy to mention her parents or her sister, and besides, she made Sandy work so hard that she had no time to think of them at all.

As the days passed, Sandy began to forget her parents, and her home, and her dear sister Ellen. Saddest of all, Sandy began to forget that she was a Jewish girl. For the old woman never lit the Shabbos candles, or made a blessing, or kept Shabbos. So, Sandy, too, forgot how to do these things.

The old woman's appearance did not disguise her character. She was as mean and cruel as she looked. For the three years that she kept Sandy with her, Sandy never had a moment of rest from morning till night. With the first light of day, she rose to milk the cows. Then she would lead the cows to pasture and bring them home again. She had to fetch water from the well, and keep the house tidy and clean. And not one little speck of dust escaped the woman.s eyes.

Mercilessly, she worked the little girl till she grew wan and lean. Her cheeks lost their rosy look, and her eyes no longer twinkled. Her little hands were red and rough, and thin. At night her little bones ached with the long hours of drudgery and backbreaking toil. Never was a little girl as unhappy as Sandy was!

It was Thursday evening. Sandy was sitting in the kitchen mending some clothes. .Sandy,. called the old woman, .come in here.. Obediently, Sandy went into the next room and the old woman said to her, .Tomorrow, there will be a fair near the village of Yondam. You will take the butter and cheese that you have prepared this afternoon to the fair. Be sure that you get a high price, and don.t let anyone fool you. You will start at dawn, but you must be back before nightfall, if you don.t want a beating. Now get back to your sewing..

As she sewed, Sandy mused about the task that she had to perform the following day for the first time. .I hope there will be other people from the neighborhood going to the fair. I will surely be afraid to go home all by myself, and Yondam is so far away.. The next day, at dawn Sandy started for the fair. She had plodded a good many miles along the dirty road before she came to Yondam. But she soon forgot her fatigue. She had never seen such a colorful and exciting event. Venders calling off their wares, farmers and merchants bargaining and talking together.

After Sandy had sold the dairy and made some purchases for the old woman, it was nearly dusk, and she started reluctantly on her way back. Wearily she trudged through streets that were deserted, and dark. Suddenly, through the shutters of a little window she saw the gleam of candles. They struck a chord in her memory that had long lain forgotten. Somewhere, long ago, she had seen these same candles. But when? Where? Sandy could not tear herself away from the candles. They held her like a magic spell. She had stopped in front of the little house, and was watching the candles flicker and play on the shutters. They stirred a wonderful feeling in Sandy.s heart, and suddenly familiar scenes of her childhood came back to her. She remembered her mother lighting the candles on Friday night. She remembered the Shabbos table, laden with delicious food, everyone sitting about with shining eyes, and smiling faces; and she could not resist an impulse to enter the little house where the candles shone in the window. .At least, once again, I will see the Shabbos table as it was in my own home many years ago,. thought Sandy, and she knocked timidly at the door. The next moment, the door opened.

.Sandy!. cried Ellen. .Is it really you?. she cried again, embracing her long-lost sister.

.Oh, Ellen!. Sandy cried, and fainted. A little while later, Sandy was sitting by the table surrounded by her parents and sister. .At last, Sandy, you have come home again! We thought you had drowned on that fateful day when the dike broke. Where have you been? What brought you back to us?.

Sandy told them what had happened to her, and with tears of joy gleaming in her eyes, she concluded: .The candles, mother! The Shabbos Candles, burning in the window, brought me back home!.


לכבוד שבת קודש


בבקשה להתפלל לרפואת: הרב דוד בן מרגלית שליט"א, יגאל שלמה בן שושנה מהין ובני משפחתו, בבקשה להתפלל לזרע בר קיימא בקרוב לנופית הודיה בת רחל ודויד שלמה בן שושנה ולזרע בר קימא בקרוב למירב המזל בת גאולה ונועם בן לאה וחזרה בתשובה לעידן בן שולמית ושי שלומי בן שולמית ודינה תרצה בת ורדה רגינה ולבשורות טובות ישועות ונחמות לכל עם ישראל

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