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The Outsider by Howard Fast (Excerpt)

The Outsider by Howard Fast (Excerpt)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
David Hartman returned from the Second World War to the small New England town of Leighton Ridge. Rabbi to the fourteen Jewish families in his small community, Hartman, along with his town, spends the years after the war facing the major political and social upheaval of the time. From McCarthyism and nuclear spies, to civil rights and Vietnam, Hartman, along with his best friend, a Congregational minister, helps lead the town through the chaotic changes sweeping the nation.
David Hartman returned from the Second World War to the small New England town of Leighton Ridge. Rabbi to the fourteen Jewish families in his small community, Hartman, along with his town, spends the years after the war facing the major political and social upheaval of the time. From McCarthyism and nuclear spies, to civil rights and Vietnam, Hartman, along with his best friend, a Congregational minister, helps lead the town through the chaotic changes sweeping the nation.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on May 15, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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THE OUTSIDER
By Howard Fast
You’re only going for three days,” David said. “There’s enough therefor a permanent departure.”“What’s that? Some kind of Freudian slip?”“Come on, Lucy.” “All right, I’m sorry. I’m packing enough for thetwo kids and myself. Sarah is only two, but still she has the right to a changeof clothes. She’ll be the youngest flower girl there, and we may stay a day or two extra. They have a huge house and we’ll be very comfortable with myAunt Dorothy — as you would be too, if you would only come. You have atleast a dozen men in the synagogue who are just dying for you to take off sothat they can conduct the service and show how classy their Hebrew is.”“I suppose so.”“And I just can’t buy your excuse.”“It’s not an excuse,” he said with annoyance. “Do I have to runthrough it again? You come from an atheist family —”“You knew that when you married me.”“I know, and I’m not talking about you. But here’s your cousin John,Jewish from the word go, marrying a Jewish girl, and the ceremony is being performed by a justice of the peace.” “He’s not just a justice of the peace. He’s one of my uncle’s bestfriends.”“It’s not the kind of thing I participate in.”
 
 
“You’re not participating. You’re just watching. Is there any Jewishlaw against that?” “I’m not talking about any law or prohibition. I’m simplyasking you to recognize my position and exhibit some understanding. Therewill be a rabbi watching two Jewish kids being hitched by a justice of the peace.”“So?” “For heaven’s sake, it past nisht.”“Wonderful! You’ve learned two words of Yiddish, which everyGerman Jew calls not a language but a patois!”“My word, you are angry.”“Don’t I have every right to be?” Suddenly she softened and entreatedhim, “Davey, why do we get into these ridiculous fights? I love you so much — if you’d only try to be a nice, flexible human being. The kids in mySunday school class say, ‘Mrs. Hartman, first you say one thing and then it becomes something else.’ I tell them that’s all right, that’s perfectly human.And it is, David, it is.”The drive down to the Fairfield railroad station was lightened only bythe chattering of the children, who, David had to admit, looked very beautiful dressed for traveling. They were both strawberry blond, bothcovered with freckles after the long summer, both with David’s bright blueeyes.“They’re beautiful kids, aren’t they?” Lucy whispered into his ear.“They should be, with the mother they chose for themselves.”“Oh?”“I do love you, Lucy.”“Took you eighteen miles to say it.”

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