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One Good Turn
                    by Sarah Shleimer

                    Feldheim Publishers


Letchkov first walked through the gates of Batsheva
High School for Girls was a warm and bright one in
mid-April. From the tops of trees bursting with fragrant
blossoms, birds sang their sweet melodies, heralding the
arrival of spring and a new beginning. Girls seemed to
swarm from all directions, walking together in groups as
they laughed and talked excitedly about events that had
taken place over the Pesach holidays. But Nadja walked
alone for she knew no one there.

It was just over two weeks now since she had arrived
in England from the Soviet Union with her parents, two
brothers and little sister. After eight years of waiting,
they were finally permitted to leave and were given their
exit visas. Their original intention had been to go and
live in Israel immediately. However, the post that had
been offered to Nadja's father, a top medical consultant,
was not yet available; the doctor who still held the
position had not yet retired, although he was due to do

so shortly. For this reason, Dr. Letchkov had decided to
accept a temporary post in England until the one in
Israel became available. In the meantime he would
learn to speak Ivrit fluently, so that when they eventually
arrived in Israel he \vould be able to practice medicine

For Nadja, just the freedom of being able to do as
she pleased, when slie pleased, was a gift in itself. And
being able to go to a Jewish school  this was like a
dream come true. In Russia, up until only recently, she
remembered, if Jews wanted to have a Seder, it usually
had to be done secretly lest the authorities discover
them and arrest them for sedition. Obtaining kosher
matzos had been virtually impossible.

This Pesach, her first spent in the West, had held
great meaning for her. As the Haggadah related the
ancient story of the Jews' liberation from bondage,
Nadja had felt that her own personal story was being
recounted. She thanked Hashem with all her heart for
allowing her and her family to be free, and for being
able to celebrate Pesach properly.

At first, life in England had seemed strange to her:
it was totally different from what she was used to. The
language barrier was also a great problem: she under-
stood and read English, but spoke a "broken" version,
very slowly, which embarrassed her and made her reluc-
tant to speak. Her father assured her, though, that she
would soon master it. Another problem was that
because she had never attended a Jewish school, she
was not as advanced in Hebrew and Jewish studies as
the other girls of her age would be.

These worries filled Nadja's thoughts as she walked
through the gates and down the narrow path leading to
the school building, and she suddenly felt extremely
nervous and shy. She did not know any of the girls, and
could not talk easily to anyone. Nevertheless, Nadja was
a fighter; she vowed to study as hard as she could until
her English was up to a good standard, and she was
determined to somehow make new friends. Nadja knew
that she had been given a wonderful opportunity and
she intended to use it to the best of her ability.


                                                                       .....end of sample


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