Sunday, September 2, 2012

Amazing Shiloh Connection, Small World

Some names are very common.  There are few names, very few that are so rare that the combination of first and last names are unique.  I think that mine is.  If you google Batya Medad, you'll only find me.  The closest you can find is/was Batya Eldad, mother of MK Dr. Arie Eldad, a politician I trust and vote for. 

Someone I know googled her name and found a different person who looked just like her.  It was spooky.  She mentioned it to her brother who reminded her that they had a cousin on their father's side with the same name. 

This past Shabbat it was announced that the shiur nashim, Women's Torah Class I attend would be given by the mother of a neighbor.  That mother had the same name as my eldest's First Grade teacher.  Now this teacher was really great.  We had just returned from two years in London, doing youth work, leading Betar.  My daughter had forgotten her Hebrew, but she had learned how to read and write in English and was doing advanced (for a six year old) arithmetic.  Her return to her birthplace and integration into a very Israeli Hebrew-speaking elementary school wouldn't be simple.

In my own rotten Hebrew I did my best to explain to the teacher what the situation was.  A friend in the neighborhood, who had been teaching English there, had handled registration for us and may have had been the one who got the school to give my daughter some remedial hours in Hebrew.  In 1977, Israeli elementary school teachers didn't need a university degree or any knowledge of English for their licensing.

Miraculously, the teacher understood her needs, gave her a 3rd grade math workbook and taught her Hebrew again, including reading and writing.  A couple of years later we moved to Shiloh and never heard about the teacher again.  That is until yesterday when it ended I discovered that the neighbor's mother was that wonderful teacher!

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