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    A Visit from Mom and Remembering Paul Newman

    I’m exactly 48 1/2 today as my 48th birthday was April 12th this year. Having said that, the person responsible for bringing me into this world, my Mom, Marge Spira, just left after a visit from Cleveland for Rosh Hashanah.

    The word “Rosh” means “head” and “Hashanah” means “year.” The Hebrew calendar year is 5769. Are you confused yet?

    I get totally confused trying to figure out the year holidays on the Jewish calendar.

    According to Judaism 101 on the Web: The year number on the Jewish calendar represents the number of years since creation, calculated by adding up the ages of people in the Bible back to the time of creation. However, this does not necessarily mean that the universe has existed for only 5700 years as we understand years.

    Anyway, while she was here, my Mom made matzo ball chicken soup, chopped liver, farfel (small pellet-shaped noodles, made of flour mixed with egg, similar to egg barley.)

    Some years back, Mom gave me a package of farfel and Herman found it in a kitchen cabinet so Mom could make it.

    Mom was here for five days, although she only wanted to come for three. The time flew by with going to temple, shopping, going out for dinner at Lanzi’s and lunch at House of Pizza and visiting with our friends and neighbors. It was a good time had by all.

    With the death of Paul Newman this past week, it makes me remember how important family and long-term relationships are.

    Newman was married to Joanne Woodward for 50+ years, a remarkable Hollywood achievement. Also, his life was about much more than acting. He was involved in many charities, mostly with childhood cancer, and he always considered himself a working actor rather than a star.

    I also feel a kinship because of Newman’s Jewish roots and as a fellow actor.

    Thanks, Mom, for coming and making it a terrific Jewish New Year.

    And to Paul Newman – we will miss you.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com