I like to use the mantra "Who am I?" The question is a tough one and I wonder whether I'll ever have the answer. But, in the mean time, during my meditation today, I settled upon the word "greenhorn" and that word lead me to my grandmother. To my grandmother, a greenhorn herself, the word "greenhorn" was used with special disdain for select people. I can't remember the people to whom she referred when she talked about greenhorns, although I do think they were eastern European Jews who never were able to assimilate as well as she did. My grandmother arrived in America before World War II and made her way to Cleveland in search of her father. Her father had come stateside before she left Budapest with promises to bring his family over as soon as he was settled. Instead, he never answered his daughter's letters and as far as she could tell, he set up a new life for himself in Los Angeles, California. I often wonder whether I have unknown relatives, descendants of my great grandfather who started a new life for himself away from his greenhorn family. In the meantime, my grandmother had business to attend to. She was entrepreneurial in that eastern European way. She became a caterer and a seamstress and plugged away at making a living for her family.
The meditative question is: why did my grandmother come to me today? What is happening around me that has caused her to visit? I'll be pondering these questions and if I'm lucky, I'll figure it out.
By the way, the Shalom Aleichem story referred to above is a wonderful bit about a smarmy business man who easily takes advantage of a couple of greenhorns. Love the way he writes the Yiddish dialect. See if you can understand.
"You saying how America was a lend of business? Never mine! Det's how it's suppose to be. But a fella getting merry wid a goil for business? Det, you'll poddon me, is mean end doity. Now, I ain't preaching no morality here, but I am telling you it's a fect; when nine-end-ninety procent of grinnhorns in dis country is getting merry for business, it is making me med! End if I am meeting op wid such a kind of grinnhorn, belive me he don't get off dry. You live it to me!"