By Rodshevsky Ilana (Author)

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Max listened to the opening notes of "Literally", and a few minutes later he said, did you hear? There is no word that does not exist in Hebrew. I hate snobs who say they don't have enough words in Hebrew. Taske, Elka said. Max thought for a while and said hesitantly, I think that with Eben Shoshan it is whispering or longing, and Elka said, yes, longing and longing are also possible, but these words do not contain the feeling of frustration and distress and sadness and helplessness. You can also use sadness, longing and longing, Max said, and Elka cut a piece of the sausage, put it on a slice of black bread, took a bite and said out loud, I can, but these words are not Teske. Comrade Brezhnev momentarily opened a small crack in the iron screen, and Sophie, Max, Elka and her baby sister slipped through it on a journey that would begin by train to Vienna and continue to Eretz Yisrael by plane. What could have made Sophie and Max prefer people they didn't know over friends they grew up with, played and sang and ate and starved with? Convince them to prefer a housing apartment in another country over the compression of a heated space, full of friends and family, mushroom fumes with butter, cream and dill? And what if not hopeless optimism could tear them away from the world they met and fell in love with, away from a language in which they knew how to recite poetry and read stories before bed, from the familiar touch of sidewalks and buildings, the ringing of a streetcar bell coming out of a wet curve, the first puff of a cigarette in the cold, the colors of the seasons As they take turns in the trees on the way home, the taste of the first spring ice cream, of pickled apple chunks and sausage in potato salad, singing around the piano at a birthday party, presents at Nobby Good, a sled crashing down the hill and the airy taste of snow, the sounds of the words, of all the words, of a mother tongue. Ilana Rodashevski previously published short stories that won prizes (in the Haaretz newspaper's short story competition and in Mekor Rishon). Taske, her debut novel, unfolds the story of the Russian immigration in the seventies, the short-lived settlement in Sinai and the events of one family of not quite normal people who tried to be pioneers half a century too late.

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