Recap: Mrs. Bowers goes out, and Hope is left babysitting Bonnie. Diana is busy with her friends. Bonnie starts coughing, and Hope realizes Bonnie is very sick. She has croup. Hope knows what to do, because she remembers how Sarah helped her when she was little, and she had it. Later, Mr. Bowers is home and he shows Hope a photo of his late wife who was the real second cousin and Bonnie’s mother. There is also a photo of a girl that looks like the photo Hope had seen before. She learns the photo is of a girl named Alyson and that Alyson is her older sister. Mr. Bowers doesn’t know where Alyson is now. Mr. Bowers is visited by a man who, he finds out, is part of the KKK and he’s looking for Hope and her parents. Mr. Bowers tells Hope to quickly go to the beauty shop and get a haircut to disguise herself.


I stepped into the beauty shop. The smell of hair spray hit me. There were a few women seated under hairdryers. There was one woman with curlers in her hair, seated by a mirror and talking to the hairdresser. I kept thinking about the older sister I’d never met. Where was she now? How could I find her?

A lady cracking a big wad of gum sauntered over to me.

“Hi, honey, can I help you?”

“I need a haircut,” I mumbled.

“Well, yes, you do,” she said, examining my hair.

“Rita, come, you do this one.”

Another woman, wearing a pink smock and also cracking gum, led me to a chair. I’d never had my hair cut before. The unruly curls tumbled down my back like a waterfall, almost past my waist.

“This is gonna take some work,” the lady said. “I’m Linda, by the way. What’s your name?”

“Hope,” I whispered, realizing soon I would be using a different name to go with this different hair-cut.

I watched in the mirror as my long curls fell one after another in a soft pile like leaves falling from the trees.

“This length good?” Linda asked, cracking her gum.

My hair was now halfway between my shoulders and my ears. “Yes, please don’t cut any shorter.”

“No problem, honey.”

She finished and then stepped back to survey her work.

“You got nice thick hair. You want a ribbon or something to tie around it. This is a flattering look for you. It makes your green eyes stand out. You should put some eye shadow.”

I stared at the stranger in the mirror. I looked so much older. She’d styled it so the curls framed my face. It did emphasize my eyes. “Yes, thank you.”

She tied a black velvet ribbon around my head.

I paid her with the money from Mr. Bowers and then I headed outside.

I decided to stop off at the Jacobsons. I needed help on what my Hebrew name should be. Since I had to change my name, I wanted a Hebrew name.

Rabbi Jacobson answered the door. “Rivkah isn’t home right now.”

“Well, uh, actually I wanted to ask the rabbi a question,” I said softly.

“Come in.” He ushered me inside. “What can I do for you?” Rabbi Jacobson called his wife into the room. We sat down in Rivkah’s small living room. The rebbetzin offered me some lemonade. “I have to change my name,” I said.

They waited.

“I, well…” I debated about telling them my story of why I had been left here without my parents. My mother’s voice echoed in my mind. “Don’t tell anyone.” Would she make an exception in this case with this kind people trying to help me? I didn’t know. I had to be safe. I couldn’t go against her wishes.

”Rivkah told me that it’s good to have a Hebrew name. What should my Hebrew name be?”

Rabbi Jacobson stroked his beard. When he looked me in the eye, I wondered if he suspected that there was more to this story than just wanting a Hebrew name, but he didn’t probe.

“Are you certain your parents didn’t give you a Hebrew name?”

“Oh, no. They didn’t want to do anything Jewish.” I blushed at saying something negative about my parents.

He sighed. “That is a shame. Hopefully, when we meet them, we can change their outlook. They just haven’t had the opportunity to know about Judaism, our beautiful treasure.”

If you ever meet them, I mused.

“Do you want a name from the Chumash?”

“The Bible?” I asked.

The rebbetzin nodded.

“I don’t know.”

“Well, there are the Imahos: Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah.”

“I don’t know.”

Rebbetzin Jacobson put her arm around me. “Choosing a Hebrew name is an important decision. You need to think of what Hashem would want. Your English name Hope is such a powerful name.”

I hadn’t thought about that. “Is there a Hebrew name for Hope?” I asked.

Rabbi Jacobson smiled. “Yes. Tikvah. That would be a lovely name.”

“Tikvah.” I rolled the name on my tongue. “Yes. Tikvah. I like that name.”

“It does fit you,” she said.

“That’s the name I want,” I said. “Thank you for helping me.”

“We can make a little kiddush on Shabbos,” Rebbetzin Jacobson said.

I left the house with my new haircut and my new name.

 To be continued…

Susie Garber is the author of the newly released historical fiction novel, Flight of the Doves (Menucha Publishers, 2023), Please Be Polite (Menucha Publishers, 2022), A Bridge in Time (Menucha Publishers, 2021), Secrets in Disguise (Menucha Publishers, 2020), Denver Dreams, a novel (Jerusalem Publications, 2009), Memorable Characters…Magnificent Stories (Scholastic, 2002), Befriend (Menucha Publishers, 2013), The Road Less Traveled (Feldheim, 2015), fiction serials and features in Binah Magazine and Binyan Magazine, and “Moon Song” in Binyan (2021-2022).