By Sidney S. Fink
He stood there with his fellow travelers from the USA staring at the great wall
and wishing that she was still alive and there with him, but the past cannot return into the
tomorrows. He was still a handsome man given his years , but he stood somewhat apart
from his fellow tourist and thus she, the local tour guide could not avoid noticing him.
She also noted that for whatever reason at times he seemed to be gazing at her.
She, Elena, was not young and a recent widow who need her job and she
reasoned that he was perhaps her age, or just a bit older. She was a comely woman and an
educated one having attended Tel Aviv University and earned her degree in literature.
She carried it no further and continued what she was supposed to do for her
livelihood not wishing to be dependent on her family.
That evening at the hotel dinning room she noticed him sitting by himself at a
table fit for more than one and she somewhat hesitatingly went over to him not really
understanding why she did so.
“Hello, I am…..”
“Elena, our guide. You speak English very well with barely any accent.”
“I lived in New York for awhile when I was younger, went to NYU, but Israel is
my true home….you seem to be staring at me at times so…..””
“I did not mean to…but for some reason you remind me of my late wife
Thelma…..NYU…I taught literature there…I see you wear a ring, but would you care to
join me…for a cup of coffee….?”
“Why…yes, but I am a widow… I have children, but prefer to be on my
own….you have family?”
“Had…lost two sons….in our recent wars so it became just the two of us…my
name is Burt Levy….”
They spent the night chatting and it did not take them long too realize that
something they could not explain was happening to the two of them.
“Tomorrow is an off day for your tour….would you care to spend the day with me ….on a private tour?”
“Not sure why…but I believe I would love to Meet me here?...Say 9 AM?”
“9 AM then.”
“9 AM for sure then.”
And then, not understanding why, they kissed.
They met and spent the day visiting all that one visits, both Jewish and non
Jewish and agreed to meet her children at a local well known eating place that evening.
Then she brought him back to the hotel. When she got to her place her children came
over. Her oldest, Shmuel grabbed and hugged her.
“Mom…do not lose him… we think he is just what you…and he need for
each other. Grab him while you can.”
Back in his room Burt lie in bed thinking to himself that something special
and without explanation, or understanding had overwhelmed him. “Grab her if you can”
he told himself.
Although they tried not to show it every\one in the tour group realized
something had happened between them, but they just knowingly smiled and kept it an
They arranged to wed and he returned in just a short time to his new found,
teaching post, his love, family and home.
from the August 2010 Edition of the Jewish Magazine