- Virginia Johnson
The Blessing Cup, by Patricia Polacco, is a wonderful story for anytime, but especially during the holidays when family gathers close for this is a family story. Patricia Polacco’s great-grandmother Anna and her family came to America from Russia after the Czar ordered all the Jews to leave the country. Just like that, they had to leave behind everything they couldn’t carry. Momma and Papa packed the sewing machine, their menorah, the shofar, his tallis, and holy books. But also precious to them was the tea set they were given when they were married.
It was beautiful and bright in their simple house. Aunt Rebecca had sent it with a note: “Rachel, this is for you to celebrate your marriage. The tea set is magic. Anyone who drinks from it has a blessing from God. They will never know a day of hunger. Their lives will always have flavor. They will know love and joy…and they will never be poor!”
The whole family would drink from it every night, and Momma would say this was so their lives would have flavor. There was never enough money, but Papa explained that they were rich because they had each other. Indeed, the whole village was rich for they all cared about one another.
When the Czar’s soldiers set fire to the synagogue and pushed everyone out, Papa and Momma had to pull everyone and all their things in a cart for many, many days. Most nights, Papa had to sleep on the cold, wet ground because there was no room in the cart. When he finally collapsed with sickness, Momma and their daughters were afraid for him. Will the blessings be enough to get them through this hard time?