She phoned her sister once more and probed for any explanation as to how a Christian girl raised in a Christian family in western Ukraine could suddenly be Jewish. Defying a vow issued decades ago, Khatsevich shared a memory that started Prokopiv along a narrative web knotting countries and entangling characters from the United States, Germany, Ukraine, Russia and Israel.
Prokopiv was born on Aug. Twelve years earlier, Ida and Mykhail Khatsevich welcomed their first child, a son, Sergey. Five years later, Lesya was born. The family of four lived in Kalush, a western Ukrainian city in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Kalush is known for its rather rocky recent history. After the invasion of Poland, Kalush was annexed by the Soviet Union. Between and , the city, which once boasted nearly 4, Jews, was occupied by Germany.
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In , 40 houses sunk into the ground. Dumped chemicals mixed and by , several hundred million cubic feet of salty mining wastewater had joined thousands of tons of carcinogenic toxic sludge to collectively infest the Dniester River, a water supply for approximately 10 million people in western Ukraine and Moldova, according to the Kyiv Post.
Like the city they inhabited, the Khatseviches experienced their own turbulence. In the summer of , Ida and Mykhail separated. Even for those enjoying marital bliss it was a challenging period, as the perils of rationing and want plagued inhabitants of the Soviet-controlled city. Simple items were in short supply, so when someone came to Kalush Polytechnic College with a stock of pantyhose, Nikolay Mikhailovich Toleroit, a mathematics and physics professor, purchased a pair.
Toleroit brought the pantyhose back home. His residence was not far from the college. It was also close to where the Khatseviches lived on Khimikiv Street. Ida Khatsevich was also there. She was working as a cashier in the dining room. The party concluded and its attendees dispersed, but in the weeks following Toleroit and Khatsevich infrequently passed each other on the street. One day, as Toleroit stood outside the college, he noticed her. The two talked and Toleroit mentioned the pantyhose. He offered them to Khatsevich. She asked him to deliver them to her apartment.
He countered and insisted she come to his. She later left, having received the hosiery and more. Months passed and life within Khatsevich continued. Lesya, who was 8 at the time, remembered very little from the period, apart from a single event. One day she was peering outside and saw a man approaching. He was holding flowers.
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As he reached the doorstep, Lesya saw her father nearing as well. There were shouts. Khatsevich then entered the home. He saw Lesya by the window and understood what she had seen. Lesya adhered for 48 years, until at the urging of her younger sister she unloaded the memory. Moments later, the sisters completed their phone call and Prokopiv resumed reading the genetics report. Unaware of the details but determined to solve her biographical puzzle, Prokopiv reached out. Anna Ostrovskaya replied. Similarly surprised by the newfound relation, Ostrovskaya asked her father, Mikhail, whether he had engaged in any extramarital relations.
The Moscow resident replied no, but remembered something his father had told him nearly three decades earlier. Shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union in , the communist regime opened its borders and permitted Jews to leave — 35, Soviet Jews departed for the United States that year. He packed his belongings and asked his year-old son to escort him to the airport. Mikhail agreed.
It was hours until the flight departed for Tel Aviv. Recognizing the precarious time, the father did not know whether he would see his son again. Ostrovskaya, having listened to her father relate the incident, decided to call her grandfather, an octogenarian residing in the northern Israeli city of Karmiel. He confirmed the episode. She then contacted her father, and reached out to Prokopiv. Her childhood family was heavy set, with dark hair and dark eyes, but Prokopiv was slender and athletically built.
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Her hair is light and her eyes are blue, and apart from appearance her interests differed. Such as scuba diving for the first time or meeting an old friend for the first time that year? Generally speaking the custom today is not to say the blessing in these sorts of situations. However, if you'd like to say the blessing you can always get a "new fruit" on which to say the blessing while also being mindful of the special experience or meeting. Sounds tasty But I have heard it is not appropriate at a wedding. Why not? The prevailing custom is that Shehechiyanu is not recited. Sephardim have a custom that the groom makes a Shehechiyanu for his new Tallit which will also be the canopy for the Chupah.
When reciting it he has in mind the joy of the wedding as well. The beautiful Shehecheyanu I like saying the Shehecheyanu in Hebrew. It just has a more beautiful sound and feels more ancient and powerful. Thank you for you guidance with my Hebrew learning. In Hebrew, abosolutely. That would be helpful for all who are learning the language. Hebrew I would have liked to have seen it printed in Hebrew also. To be able to listen I agree with previous reader. It would be wonderful to be able to listen the blessing.
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It is my birthday and I would be so glad to hear it. It is beautiful and powerful. Thank you. It would really be helpful if there was a little speaker button we could click so we could hear the words being said! Not everyone studying here speaks the language!
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