From time to time I come across some hidden treasures in the shul library. Typically, they are things long forgotten. But they offer a glimpse into the past, not just of the individuals involved, but of shul life and Carnegie life.
I am sharing two items that you will appreciate. First is a Hebrew bible issued to Bernie Roth during WWII. Long timers at the shul remember Bernie as a good man who was dedicated to his family and the shul. The house at 416 Anthony still stands, and can be easily seen when standing in front of the shul.
The second item is a copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. You may know one or more of the names on the library loan card. And as a bonus, there was an Easter egg (can I say that on a Jewish blog?) inside the book. Buried in the middle pages was a little gift left by a budding artist for us to find decades later; a small scrap of paper that looks like it was torn from the bottom of a newspaper. It’s a little over 2 inches long and features a mockingbird being pierced by daggers. It would be easy to dismiss this but I as I looked closer I was immediately impressed by the artwork. No simple stick figure, the bird is shaded to provide contour. And I was especially struck by the stylizing of the word “kill”. It plays with the shape of the letters and at the same time invokes the chaos of daggers coming from all directions. Some of the letters in “mockingbird” are triangular in shape and out of alignment to continue the theme. My goodness, quite impressive for a doodle on a piece of scrap paper! I hope this young person, who appears to be “DB” or “LB”, went on to develop their natural gift for art.
(all photos can be enlarged by clicking)