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English Project Snow In August Project

The Rabbi and Michael Devlin have a very close relationship because Michael?s father died in World War II, as did Rabbi Hirsh?s family. When Frankie assaults Mister G, Michael is traumatized. Then Mister G falls into a coma and is lost to the ever-dwindling congregation in Rabbi Hirsh?s synagogue. Also they are both in need for someone to get close to. Rabbi Hirsh has few members in his congregation and no family in America. Michael feels alone at home because his mother works and comes home late another reason for Rabbi Hirsh and Michael to be close.

The War was traumatic for Michael. His father enlisted because he loved America, but he was killed in action in Europe. Rabbi Hirsh?s whole family was wiped out in the Holocaust. Therefore, they can find comfort in each other they are kind of like a father and son. Michael gives the Rabbi his old radio and the Rabbi offers Michael money for doing the simple, task of turning on a light. They also provide spiritual comfort for each other. Michael is a devout Catholic and the Rabbi is a devout Jew, at times they each have uncertainties about their relationships with G-d. The Rabbi wonders why his congregation can barely make a minyan any more? And Michael wonders how someone like Father Heany can just run through the service, mechanically, not thinking the nature of the prayer? Maybe they both don?t know what to do?

Like most people in town they hate Frankie McArthy, the town bully. Michael has three reasons. First Frankie?s gang rapes his mother. Second Frankie and his gang beat up Rabbi Hirsh. Thirdly, he witnessed the brutal beating of Mister G, who is paralyzed. The Rabbi and he can share their hardships. The Rabbi likes to tell Michael stories about the old country, the golem and what Jewish life was like. Michael is always very interested. Is it because it was from the old country where his father died? Or, is it because the stories were interesting?

Michael got to know the Rabbi when he was asked to do a favor. Michael was very uneasy on entering the synagogue. The next time he went in was for another favor and the third, to see if there was some hidden treasure that was in the synagogue. All his friends told him there was. At the end he loved the Rabbi for his stories, for his appreciation of the world, and also his moral lessons. He loved that the Rabbi always wanted to learn new things and never gave up until he had finished the job. The Rabbi just needed help with a light bulb but when he saw that Michael came back a second time he thought that he and Michael could have a real relationship. It was based on helping each other. Michael helped the Rabbi learn English. The Rabbi helped Michael learn yiddish. What first began as curiosity developed into a friendship. But even so, why did Michael continue to have such curious thoughts about the ?treasure?? He saw the way the Rabbi lived. He was always wearing dirty clothing, so why did he keep on thinking that there was a ?treasure??

If I could, I would ask Michael three questions. Why did he not tell on Frankie? Why did he continue to associate with his friends if he knew that their elders were anti-Semitic? Was he betraying the Rabbi by still being friends with these people? Why did he not tell on Frankie? Why did his mom tell him that being a snitch is so bad? Why did he not listen to the Rabbi, when, the Rabbi told him that not telling someone about a crime is just as bad as doing the crime itself.


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