One of the greatest women to have ever come into my life as I was growing up was my great grandmother, Bertha Nehampkin. She would have an influence on my life that would be far reaching. I recently turned seventy years old and my memories of her are still vivid.
Bubbe Brocha, along with my grandmother and mother, taught me to speak Yiddish, with a smattering of Russian thrown in.
Bubbe Brocha was always called Brocha as long as I knew her because Brocha means prayer. She was an answer to prayer for many women in her little village inSimferopel,Russia. She was a mid wife, confidant and a friend to anyone who ever needed her, men and women alike. She was a sort of Jewish Mother Theresa. She cared for the ills of everyone.
When I knew her she was in her eighties, and she lived to be almost one hundred. She lived upstairs with her son and daughter-in-law, and my parents and I lived downstairs in a large two family house. When I’d go upstairs to visit with Bubbe Brocha, she’d always remind me to bring my skull cap. That was very important,
because she’d pray with me in Yiddish. To this day I’m grateful to have learned Yiddish.
Bubbe Brocha was the matriarch of our family and I’m thrilled that I had the opportunity to know this dynamic lady.