Shira Pasternak Be'eri
Living and loving in Jerusalem


Written with a great deal of love, an aching heart, and no small amount of trepidation for my own future.

She sits in a chair in perpetual twilight,
A blue baseball cap shields her eyes from the glare.
and waiting,
and drinking tea.

In a lavender shawl hanging down like wisteria,
amidst memories of a faraway place called Gezina,
with its cows, and its chickens,
and parents speaking Yiddish,
in a family that had little
but love.

She now lives for the times when her kids come to visit
each day, after work,
or call from abroad.
With her dark sense of humor, she is totally with you,
right there in the moment.
But a few minutes later,
it’s gone.

She can’t wait to see Grandpa
at the gate, where he’s waiting,
or wherever else he may be.
She’ll float like a bride, dressed in white, to her groom.
She’s mad that he left her
and planning to tell him.
She’ll give him a piece
of her mind.

Though it’s hard for her to get
from her room to the kitchen,
she can travel in time
to a world that has book clubs,
and servants, and madams,
and kichel and herring,
and dogs.
And you can go with.

Attended by Gigi,
she sips as she waits,
for an unknown she welcomes yet fears.
But oh how we cherish the moments we’re with her,
as she waits
and waits
to wait
no more.


About the Author
Shira Pasternak Be'eri is a Jerusalem-based editor and translator who works as the coordinator of the Mandel Foundation–Israel's websites. She is married to Leonard (aka Eliezer) and is the proud mom of three boys, one daughter-in-law, and one almost-daughter-in-law, and is the happy grandma of one. Born and raised in New York, she has been living in Israel since 1982. And yes, she is Velvel Pasternak's daughter.
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