Abraham's wife, died in the land of Canaan. Abraham weighed four
hundred shekels of silver, current money, to pay Ephron the Hittite
for possession of a field in the land of Canaan, in which to bury
Sarah, his wife." King James Bible.
Granny was born on the family farm in the town of Ifafa, in Zululand,
in British Empire South Africa. She was the second of five children
to William and Maria Goldstone.
paternal Grandfather, William Goldstone, an Englishman, had arrived
in South Africa and, having not a racist bone in his body, he married
a non-Semite Zulu woman named Noyanduku. They had seven children; all
sons; none circumcised.
and other British immigrants who had children by Negroid Zulu women,
in South Africa, were continuing a race of African Negroid Semites
that existed in the time of Moses when he married an Ethiopian woman.
Mother had five children. I am the youngest. At my Granny's request,
my Mother left me to live with my Granny and Grampa. There were only
the three of us in that home I lived in for the first twelve years of
my life. After those twelve years, I never saw Granny again.
she met and married my Grampa in 1908, Granny worked on a farm where
horses were raised. When she left that horse farm, one of the
memento's Granny was given, was a horsewhip.
used that horsewhip to keep her many Grandchildren on the
straight-and-narrow. That horsewhip was the principal reason all
Granny's other Grandchildren visited briefly on special occasions,
only. And only in day time.
have one scar from contact with that horsewhip. The other scars
healed over the years without leaving visible traces. Other traces
are still deep within me. I remember all the occasions; all their
read a little from the Bible every evening, in Zulu. Granny did not
believe Jesus is the prophesied Messiah, but she accepted that, if
there had been a person named Jesus, he was a uniquely enlightened
quoted Jesus at us, often; particularly when she was applying her
took particular joy in citing the Bible occasion of Jesus applying a
whip to blasphemous persons in the House of God.
puzzled Granny why Christians claim Jesus to be the Messiah promised
by the Bible prophesy that makes no mention of a Second coming of the
promised Messiah. By Granny's reading of the Bible, when the Messiah
arrives the first time, he is never going to leave.
Mother said the wonder was that Granny was so often visited by
Christian missionaries. Granny would not challenge them. She
listened, and had tea with them. Some of them visited more than once.
Granny enjoyed the discussions.
had about twelve Grandchildren. Although I was the only one living
with Granny and Grampa, I was not her favorite. Obed was.
cousin Obed was two years older than me, but he was mentally slow. He
was Auntie Ruth's eldest child of five, but his speech abilities were
overtaken by all the others. He was enrolled in school three years
after I had been.
was the favourite of all the adults in our family because by his
behaviour they believed he was possessed by good spirits.
times he would burst out speaking other languages, that he could not
have understood. Granny loved him because at times he would speak to
her in advanced Zulu. At times Obed spoke languages that nobody could
most spectacular of Obed's behaviours happened when he was an adult.
He served as an official in a Christian Church. At a Sunday service,
he suddenly rose up into the air and moved down the aisle from the
back of the Church to the altar. At the altar, he floated back to the
ground. From then on, everybody in the parish almost worshipped him.
of his mental slowness, Obed did not have enough ego in him to take
advantage of the respect his unusual behaviour earned him from family
Mother, Auntie Ruth, most of the time a stay-at-home Mother, claimed
that, for a small fee, she could tell a person's future by the
tea-leaf spread at the bottom of that person's cup of tea.
some inexplicable reason, Granny encouraged Auntie Ruth in her claim.
Ruth was extra possessive of Obed as a child. The other adults in the
family guessed that Auntie Ruth did not want to risk Obed revealing a
valuable secret to others. Obed died in the year 2000, of natural
cause. By then he was a Grampa.
had never revealed a secret of any material value to anyone.
did not quite like Obed, because when Obed visited occasionally, he
was not allotted chores by Granny, as every other Grandchild was the
moment they entered our home. For all his mental slowness, Obed knew
how to show me that Granny, clearly, loved him more than she loved
me. Granny always had glowing things to say about Obed.
this day, I do not remember any glowing thing Granny ever said of me,
although quite often in reward of how well I performed the countless
chores assigned to me every day, and sometimes at night, she would
give me an extra biscuit with my tea, and extra sugar.
never tired of observing that Obed's impulsive and inexplicable
speaking other languages, was a gift mentioned in the Bible, "They
heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God."
had nightmares about the things I thought up to do to Obed's tongue.
might have been the reason Obed and I, at one time, had a fight. The
only fight I remember between me and another Grandchild.
won. He ran, crying, to his Mother, Auntie Ruth of the tea leaves.
She complained to Granny.
took the whip to me. Weirdly, I had the impression, the pain was not
as intense as usual. I was an expert in the pain levels inflicted by
Granny's whip. Was Granny holding back? Why would she? Obed was her
was it simply that the infinitely spiteful vindictive glee I got out
of thrashing Obed, had earned me a measure of immunity from Granny's
righteous Jesus-whipping? Anyway, I recalled that it was Granny
herself who, more than once, told us about the whipping Jesus himself
had suffered before he was crucified. It really helped.
kept far away from Granny whenever I sensed she was upset. Only twice
I saw Granny wiping away her tears.
second time was when Grampa died of double pneumonia in bed in June
on a Sunday at about four o'clock in the afternoon, in 1949. He had
been ill for weeks before that Sunday.
first time was when I came home one afternoon from school in 1947.
was in the kitchen with her cousin, Uncle Billy Goldstone. They were
having tea. They were speaking in Zulu. I understood Zulu.
knew I understood Zulu because over the years, she had horse-whipped
Zulu into me; only me of all her Grandchildren.
I washed my hands at the sink and dried them with the kitchen towel
Granny handed to me. I took my usual place at the kitchen table.
I saw Granny repeatedly wiping away her tears, I was terrified I
might do something that would make her go for her whip. In me was the
frantic search to find out if Granny's tears were because of what I
Billy seemed to understand my situation, perfectly. Even while
continuing his conversation in Zulu with Granny, he kept smiling at
slyly slid some of his biscuits to me, across the surface of the
table. His smiling helped, but not sliding his biscuits. If Granny
suspected I had somehow asked Uncle Billy for his biscuits, she would
have punished me, there and then.
when Uncle Billy slid his biscuits to me, I promptly gobbled down the
two Granny had already given to me, and gulped down my tea in two
Granny chose to confiscate, I would, at least, have not lost my two
biscuits and my tea.
was upsetting Granny was the news that the country of Israel had come
into being. In retrospect, I think Uncle Billy did not care a fig
about Israel, but he mechanically agreed with what Granny was saying.
Granny was upset at the way Israel had come into being.
exact words were, more-or-less, after all these years, "We did
not have to do it with guns and cruelty. With the support of Great
Britain and the U.S.A., within two generations we could have bought
up all the real estate from the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia. And,
who knows, in a little while longer, from the Mediterranean to the
had always believed that "her people" had a right of legal
ownership in Palestine because her first ancestor in Palestine,
Abraham, had legally paid for a plot of land.
contemned persons who used the terms antisemitic/antisemite when they
mean anti-Jew. There are peoples who are Semites, but are not Jews.
was eighteen when she married my Grampa.
so doing, she cocked a snook at/gave the finger to/thumbed her nose
at her God Jehovah's "chosen race" racist stupidity.
Grampa was Hindu. He had been born in British Empire India. He had
been brought to South Africa as an indentured coolie labourer, by the
Granny and my Grampa had a happy life, each in their own religion,
and each ever on guard against getting too close to all the almighty
author's name in
of the message we
won't know where to send it.)