When it came time to look for an object to post this website, I set out searching for
the dustiest, oldest, most decrepit looking antique in my house. Neither my parents nor grandparents, however, had ever discussed any sort of family heirloom passed down from one generation to the next. I eventually found this porcelain tea set at the bottom of a box in the back a cupboard. It certainly looks old! The lacquer finish is drooping down the sides. The bottom of each piece has the word 'Germany' printed in English in dull golden-brown ink.
Since my mother's family is Jewish and purportedly travelled through Germany on their way from Russia to the United States sometime around the turn of the twentieth century, I thought that perhaps my great-grandparents had picked up the piece on their way through Germany. However, this is likely not the case. After doing some research, it appears as if this particular set of china was made in the mid-twentieth century, and thus could not possibly have been brought over from the old country by my great-grandparents.
Still, the set is important to me. My family might not have any material links to its Jewish immigrant origins, but our spiritual bonds remain. This set, while not a genuine heirloom, represents a yearning, a desire, for a connection not manifested materially, but nevertheless felt. Every Friday we light Shabbat candles. The candles are not my great- grandparents', but the tradition of lighting them is theirs.
– Danny E.