n• es an
ne evening Ruth and Debbie were having Shabbat dinner with
their parents when something magical happened.
The two little sisters wished and wished they could have a
baby brother, and as they thought about this they began to sing.
'They sang between the chicken and the salad; they sang while
they were waiting for the pudding."
Suddenly, the Sabbath Queen appeared, followed by a tiny baby
with wings. At first he is known as Little New Angel, but in a mat-
ter of months he will be born and named Michael, and he will have two loving
sisters named Ruth and Debbie.
Sadie Rose Weilerstein's Little New Angel, published in 1947, is a testament
to the power of love, dreams and a sincere song. It is the story of two girls and
a mother who imagines "how sweet a little son would feel if she had one in her
For thousands of years Jewish mothers and fathers have held such dre
in their hearts — dreams for a little boy or a little girl of their own. And when —
the baby comes they will sing of what will be: good health, a devoted husband .
,ot • mine ind; min
or wife, Torah scholarship.
Love, according to the Song of Solomon, is the one force as strong as de
Few songs of love are more extraordinary than lullabies.
•lea - e
Most Jewish lullabies have their roots in the 19th and early 20th centuri
Most are in Yiddish. Most have poignant stories. To begin with, much of Jew
ish life in Eastern Europe at the time was characterized by poverty.
The tenement building (in Warsaw) where I grew up would be called a sNm - 4
in America, but in those days we did not think it was so bad. At night a kerbs
lamp lit our apartment. We were unfamiliar with such conveniences as hot run
ning water or a bathroom. The outhouse was located in the courtyard.
For entertainment, the young Isaac Bashevis Singer (who one day would be
a Nobel Prize-winning author) would sit on his balcony and imagine what kinds
of lives insects lead. What did they eat, and where did they sleep?