Davita's Harp


Quotes

 

P. 71 Reference to the mezuzah and door harp--David Dinn and Davita

"That's a door harp. . . .It plays music when you open and close the door. It gives you a good feeling.". . .

"Is it like a mezuzah?"

"What's that?"

"It's something we put on the side of a doorpost. It reminds us of God."

"A door harp has nothing to do with God. It just plays nice music. We don't believe in God."

P. 100 Davita's mother to Davita

"Now is not a time for crying;" my mother said, sounding like my Aunt Sarah. "Now is a time for working." She gazed across the pier at the river and the ship. "Always they go off and we wait." A deep sadness was in her eyes and on her face. "it's for something worthwhile. But we wait." She turned to me and blinked her eyes rapidly. "We should go home. I feel cold."

P. 131 Davita and her father

"I don't want you to go back [to Spain]."

"It's a hell," he said, not looking at me. "But it's the only place to be. A decent person knows where he belongs now."

P. 223 First Edition error

On occasion he and my mother went out together of [on] an evening.

P. 300 Davita

One day when Ruthie and I were alone in the apartment, I wandered through the rooms and on top of a wooden file cabinet in her parents' bedroom found a pile of newspaper clippings with stories and pictures of the past few years of Akiva Award winners. The stories talked about the award as the ultimate recognition of achievement given by the school, as a mark of permanent memberships in the annals of the yeshiva community. All the winners were boys.

P. 302-3 Davita's mother to Davita

My mother wrote, "Darling Ilana. With every passing day I grow stronger and stronger. what a remarkable individual your Aunt Sarah is! If only all Christians were like her. She is so kind, and very devout. She tends to my needs, is strict with my diet and medication, and listens to me talk. And I talk a great deal. I do love this place--especially the quiet all about us, the utter silence. I can feel the silence. It is like an enormous and very gentle healing hand.

P. 349 Davita

Two rows to my right a boy raised his hand. This was Reuven Malter, the son of a Talmud teacher in a nearby Jewish parochial high school, a dark-haired, good-looking boy who was very popular and very smart. [The first of numerous references to Reuven Malter (The Chosen and The Promise) that continue to the end of the book.]

P. 358 Mr. Helfman to Davita "Most of the time--not always, you understand--most of the time the Akiva Award is given to the student with the highest average." He shifted slightly in the chair. "Well, no, that isn't quite correct. Actually, to be entirely honest with you, Ilana, it has really been given until now to the best student. You earned it and you deserve it. But the Hebrew faculty feel you should not get it because it would look bad for the school if we announced to the world that a--how shall I put this without hurting your feelings?--that a girl is the best student in our graduating class. It would not be good for the name of the school, for its reputation. What would all the other yeshivas think of us?"

P. 364 Reuven Malter to Davita

"I don't want anything I don't earn, Ilana," he said. "It wasn't mine, it was yours, What they did wasn't right. If that had happened to me. . ."

P. 365 Davita

It was like turning a corner in one of the neighborhoods where I had lived as a child never knowing if that gang leader with the pimpled face and glittering eyes would suddenly come upon me. How could I be a part of such a community? I felt suddenly alone. And for the first time I began to understand how a single event could change a person's life.

P. 370 Davita's mother to Davita

Are you very angry, Davita? Yes. If you continue to be angry at the world, you're in for a lot of trouble. I'm getting used to trouble, I said. She smiled. My brother and Jakob Daw didn't know it, she said softly, but they were possessed of sacred discontent. Oh, yes. Especially my brother. That's why I loved him.

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Additional Quotes

Quotable Quotes collected by K. Eno http://www.biostr.washington.edu/kraig/misc/quotes.txt

"I couldn't understand why Mr. Margolis seemed fearful of there being more than one way to understand the meaning of the Torah. Was he afraid he would lose control over our thinking? Why did he need to control the way we thought?" --Chaim Potok Davita's Harp, P. 391.

"I had wanted to be part of that warm and wondrous world--and they wouldn't let me. They had denied it to me because of a circumstance. An injustice had been performed by a world that taught justice. How could I live in that world now? How could I be part of its heart and soul, its core? Why should I continue to be part of something that behaved this way? How could I trust it?" --Chaim Potok Davita's Harp, P. 431.


DejaNews Document 826391212.11071:dnserver.db96q1:5696601

I want to tell you a story. It's a strange story. It doesn't have an ending, but you might find it interesting anyway. It's a story about two birds and some horses on a beach far away. Are you listening, little Rachel? And it's about a door harp .... -- Chaim Potok, Davita's Harp

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