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Free on 1st Apr 15
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And so, from Mom-Hudes (a name I started getting used to only after

reading someone else’s diary about her life), who was officially called

Hadassah, I moved to the hands of Mom-Dina, and between both I

spent a year at Geula orphanage in Haifa, enough time to thank fate

for improving my life…

First, Dad, who left me last, picks up the phone. But I ask to speak

with Mom-Dina.

She says that one only dies once, that I shouldn’t be afraid, nor love

myself too much. “And by the way,” she says, “don’t hurry to get

here – it’s really not interesting here. You’ll be bored…”

I tell her that I’d forgotten what her voice sounded like, and she tells

me that she’d also forgotten mine, and that that’s as it should be, and

adds, “Actually, it’s quite strange you called, I expected you not to

look for me.”

She passes me on to Dad, and he asks if I’d like to speak to Mom-

Hudes now. I say I would, and he passes her the phone.

Mom doesn’t speak at all. I hear her breathing. “Do what you have to,

and bite your lips, that way it’ll hurt less.” She breathes voicelessly,

because her vocal cords were burnt.

In the end, I didn’t talk to Dad. He had to go to the Pensioners’ Club.

Eti Ben Ziv, a management consultant, was born in Rome and

grew up in Kiryat Chaim. She now lives in Netanya. She advises

consultants and senior directors in Israel and abroad, taught at

Haifa University and the College of Management in Rishon LeZion,

and currently lectures in Gestalt Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Rice Cakes, her first published book, includes a variety of powerful

and revealing stories that create a sense of empathy and longing

Free on 1st Apr 15
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