‘Given up Christianity!’

The shock and relief in Rachel’s voice forced Ephraim’s eyes back to her, and he explained.

Heiliggeistkirche in Heidelberg  2003 Christian Bienia

Heiliggeistkirche in Heidelberg 2003 Christian Bienia

‘No. I have given up missionary work. I have arranged to pay off my obligation to the Society with Zayde’s inheritance.’

‘What? That is our money, my money! How much?’

‘It’s from my half.’

‘What will you do in America?’ Rachel’s voice softened into curiosity, moving on from outrage to consideration of married life without proselytizing.

And so… will his difficult wife go with Ephraim back to America? Or will he manage to get free of her? Ah, but in Chapter 18, The Get, dear Mama forces another option that results in a no and a yes. Ephraim consults his soul in this grand church which at the time (1862) was divided down the middle, half protestant, half Roman Catholic. Split, like him, between Judaism and Christianity. Which way to go?

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