‘What are you trying to prove?’

‘What are you trying to prove, Ephraim?’ Jacob took another bite of his fishcake.

heidelberg-ohio‘That Truth is the Way.’

‘That will carry you through,’ the old uncle airily dismissed the subject. ‘How is little Frieda? And the pretty Mrs Epstein.’

Ephraim told him about the baby due in autumn, and then plunged into his turmoil. ‘I can’t be a physician. But I cannot stay on as a silenced teacher.’

‘The Jews don’t like you because of your Jesus. And the Christians don’t like you because of your truth.’ Jacob laughed gently. ‘Do you ever think of keeping quiet?’

But we know by now that Ephraim cannot keep from acting on his truths. In Chapter 29, Professor Epstein, medical practice is impossible for the still-grieving physician. He has lasted one successful year as a teacher of Hebrew and scripture at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. Because of his outspokenness he now must invent himself once again… but as what, where?

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