Stories of Our Fathers: The Big Thinkers Club

All this week, we’re featuring stories of great fathers collected by the Jewish Women’s Archive in honor of Father’s Day. Today’s is from Deborah Fineblum Raub.

“What do you think is the nature of reality?”

I gazed down at my untied shoelace, my skinned knee, the grass poking out of the sidewalk. “I dunno,” I shrugged. “What is it?”

“There is no right answer,” my father said, his corrective shoes keeping time with my own. “But it’s our job to keep asking the question anyway.” My Daddy knows a lot, but that did not make sense. Questions should have right answers like in arithmetic.

What l did know was it was summertime. I was 7. I had 27 freckles and two little sisters and Mommy was wearing the blue shirt again that meant another sister was coming. And after supper Daddy asked just me to take a walk. In the soft Ohio dusk I was initiated into the Big Thinkers Club. That fundamentally unanswerable “nature of reality” question, one that would eventually be posed to each of his five small daughters, gifted us with the chutzpah to shake our small fists at the limits of human knowing in a deeply Jewish way. It was, more than anything else, our father’s sweetest gift.

To read more, head on over to JWA’s blog, Jewesses with Attitude.

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