By Shelly Reuben
Shelly Reuben
Shelly Reuben

Next in the series from Come Home. Love, Dad, published by Bernard Street Books, a memoir about my father, Samuel Reuben – a truly extraordinary man.  

What follows is the first letter I received from my father after my brother, Michael, died.

April 3, 1974

Dear Shelly ~

When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.  Follow the great man and you shall see what the world has at heart in these ages.  Pompidou, the president of France is dead.  He was no great friend of Israel. There seems to be trouble in effecting a disengagement of military forces between Israel and Syria.  The war has been going on for many weeks.  

Be sure to quit smoking cigarettes.  They are the cause of most evils in the world as far as health is concerned.  

The one condition coupled with the gift of truth is its use.  That man shall be learned who reduces his learning to practice.

We cannot describe the natural history of the soul, but we know that it is divine.  I cannot tell if these wonderful qualities which house today in this mortal frame shall ever reassemble in equal activity in a similar frame or whether they have before had a natural history like that of this body you see before you, but this one thing I know, that these qualities did not now begin to exist, cannot be sick with any sickness nor buried in any grave, but they circulate through the Universe, before the world was they were.  Nothing can bar them out, shut them in, but they penetrate the ocean and land, space and time, from an essence and hold the key to universal nature.  I draw from this faith, courage and hope.  All things are known to the soul.  It is not surprised by any communication.  Nothing can be greater than it.  Let those fear and those fawn who will.  The soul is in her native realm and it is wider than space, older than time, wide as hope, rich as love.

Love, Dad, Mom, and Chuck

Because Sam was so terribly sad after my brother died, my mother booked a trip to Israel.  The sights, the sounds…the movement…may have saved my father’s life.

April 23, 1974

Dear Shelly ~

At last I am here in Jerusalem with Mother.  There is plenty of construction going on, plus remodeling and restoration.  It is a very exciting city and besides it is clean and complicated.  Complicated because the streets are curvy and cut into different angular directions. 

We visited ROSH HANIKRA caves going down to the lower level by cable car.  We also went to GESHER HAZVIV where we stayed overnight in a beautiful room.  We saw the fortifications and amphitheater at Cesarea and the Kibbutz at Zdot Yam where you stayed.  You learned Hebrew when you went to Israel.  It’s too bad you didn’t see fit to stay there.  Maybe you will get more inspiration if you write from Jerusalem.  Then you will have no difficulty in getting published…


Dad  & Mom

Copyright © 2011, Shelly Reuben.  Reprinted from Come Home. Love, Dad, originally published by Bernard Street Books. ISBN: 0-9662868-1-2Available from;, or your local bookstore.  Shelly Reuben has been nominated for Edgar, Prometheus, and Falcon awards.  For more about her books, visit  HYPERLINK "" \o "" www.shellyreuben.comLink to David M. Kinchen's reviews of her novels "The Skirt Man" and "Tabula Rasa":  HYPERLINK "" \o ""