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Mini-Me, But More So
It's obvious that my youngest child, age nine, is a mini-me. He is obsessed with animals in general, and Noah's Ark in particular; he is an enthusiastic artist and paints endless pictures of Noah's Ark. Last Shabbos I was looking at a book which included pictures of art related to the Bible, and I came across this picture:
I called over my son to look at it. He immediately said, "Whoah, Aba! It's your tie!"
And he was right!
Along with all my animal ties, I have several Noah's Ark themed ties. This was one that I had bought many years ago and no longer had a label. I had never assumed that the particular picture on it was anything special (apart from being artistically delightful), and lo and behold, now I knew that it was based on a painting by Hugo Sperger!
But who was Hugo Sperger? I discovered that he was born in Mirano, Italy in 1922, and his family immigrated to America through Ellis Island in 1929. After serving in the Pacific in World War II, Hugo found factory work in Indiana, then married and moved to Kentucky. But in 1970 he was diagnosed with cancer. Battling with illness, he was unable to work and fell into a depression. His wife bought him paints to keep him occupied, and Hugo had found his calling. He astonished his doctors by living for another twenty-four years, during which time he painted hundreds of paintings, many on Biblical themes.
I love it when a picture has a story to go with it - and especially when the picture is on my tie! And I would never have discovered this, had I not discovered that the picture in the book was on my tie. The funny thing is, I almost never wear that tie anymore - I hadn't worn it in years. And then I had worn it on the exact Shabbos that I was reading this book!
I was commenting on the serendipity/ hashgacha of that all day long. Finally, my little nine-year-old, in an exasperated tone, said, "Aba! There's billions of things in this house! It's not amazing that sometimes, two things would be the same!"
I always knew that he was a mini Zoo Rabbi - but apparently he's also a mini Rationalist!