Hannele And Her Sabbath Dress
By ITZHAK SCHWEIGER
Once upon a time, in Israel,
there was a little girl named
Hannah. Her mother and father
always called her "Hannele." Her
mother worked all week to make her
a beautiful white dress to wear on
Shabbat. It had ruffles around the
skirt. Hannele watched her mother
sew and could hardly wait until she
could wear the pretty dress.
Finally, one Friday, just before
sunset, she washed carefully and
put on the brand new dress. She
looked in the mirror, and it was very
pretty! Mother said she could go
outdoors until time for Shabbat
She walked slowly on the grass,
not wanting to get the dress dirty.
Pretty soon her little dog, Zuzie,
came trotting along. Ordinarily she
loved Zuzie to jump up so she
could pet him, but today she said,
"Down, Zuzie," very softly so he
couldn't get pawmarks on her dress.
"My Mommy sewed me a new
dress," she told her dog, "and I
don't want to get it dirty."
As she walked along, Hannele
saw an old man coming from the
woods. He carried a heavy load,
S le oe "
her dress. "You see my dress? It's
new. My Mommy made it for me for
"Yes, it's very pretty. Enjoy it,
and wear it in good health."
The old man got up and pulled
and then he sat down to rest by the the load up on his back. Hannele
saw how hard it was for him. "Shall
path. She saw that he was very
I help you?" she asked.
tired and old, that drops of sweat
"Oh, thank you, yes," he
were falling from his forehead.
answered. She walked behind him
"Come here , little girl," he
and pushed up on the heavy load
called to her.
with her hands. After they had gone
"Shalom," said Hannele, "are
quite a way he said, "Now you
you very tired?"
must go home. Thank you. You are
"Yes," he answered, "it's a
a good girl."
very heavy load."
Hannele was happy that she
"What's in it?" she asked him.
had helped the old man, but then
"Charcoal," he explained.
she looked down at the dress. It
"What's your name?"
was very dirty from the black
"Hannele." She didn't say
charcoal. And her hands too were
anything for a minute, standing
black. She began to cry. She was
She saw that he was looking at afraid her mother would be very
L-6 FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 1988
"Oh no," she said, "I know it
was a good thing to do. But what
shall I do about my lovely new
dress — it's all dirty!" and she
"Hannele was happy that began to cry again.
"Get up," said the moon. "Go
she had helped the old
now. I promise you your dress
man, but then she looked
will be more beautiful than ever!"
down at her dress. It was He sent rays of moonlight down on
very dirty from the black the spots, and each one turned into
charcoal . . . she began
a little shiny jewel sewed on the
dress. Hannele was very happy. She
to cry . ."
ran all the way home, and when she
As she sat on the stone crying, opened the door the whole house
was full of light from the shiny little
the sun went down and the moon
stars on her dress. Her mother
came up. The moon saw the little
exclaimed, "Hannele, what
girl crying, and the moon said,
happened to you?" And Hannele
"Why are you crying?"
told her the whole story.
Hannele looked up in
amazement. "I helped an old man
— Translated by Tamar Shachar
with his load of charcoal, but now
and Ruth Brin
my dress is all dirty," she explained.
"Are you sorry about helping
Reprinted by permission from "The Shabbat
Catalogue" by Ruth Brin.
the old man?" asked the moon.
angry and she didn't know what to
do. "How can I go home like this?"