#FridayFictioneers ‘A Visit to the Synagogue’ #FlashFiction #100Words

It’s Friday, time for another Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction story featuring Alice Pendragon and her best friend Billy! Last week, they saved a young man from committing suicide. Today he’ll tell them what was troubling him so much in life to prefer death.

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge and to Roger Bultot for this week’s photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot


I recently read a beautiful novel called The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom (read my review here) by Beth Miller, about a Jewish girl living in London, in an orthodox family, who married a non-Jewish man, against her parent’s wishes, and the subsequent upheaval in both their lives. It’s an emotional and non-judgemental, yet moving account of what happens when families are in disagreement over their children’s marriages.

It’s a topic that is close to my heart, not because I’m Jewish, I’m not, but I could have been. We do not choose where we are born, or our parents’ religions, nationalities, skin colour, or mother tongue. It’s relevant to me because my parents have held hostile attitudes towards my husband for the last 39 years, since we started going out, which brought, and still brings, many senseless and unfair complications to our family.

This flash, was written bearing in mind the damage such inflexible and unreasonable attitudes can cause in a young man who is in love and yet would go to extreme lengths not to upset his family.  


A Visit to the Synagogue

The young man whose life they’d saved took them to a brown stone building.
“The woman I love isn’t Jewish,” he said staring at the synagogue.
Alice shrugged. “Neither are we.”
“Then you wouldn’t understand.”
“Try us,” said Billy.
“I must marry a Jewish girl.” Tears filled his eyes.
“Have they met her?” asked Alice.
“They would never allow it! And I’d rather die than live without Helen.”
“We understand.” Billy squeezed Alice’s hand. “If your parents realized how much they meant to you, so much that you’d rather die than upset them, I’m sure they’d want to meet her.”
Billy is right. If the young man’s parents realised how much their intolerance and demands were making their son suffer, due to his love for them, they would surely reconsider, but unfortunately, parents aren’t always willing to accept that their children grow up and should be allowed to make their own decisions, and even their own mistakes.

My ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be mostly read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here they are! 

Published by LucciaGray

Writer, blogger, teacher, reader and lover of words wherever they are. Author of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, the breathtaking sequel to Jane Eyre. Luccia lives in sunny Spain, but her heart's in Victorian London.

14 thoughts on “#FridayFictioneers ‘A Visit to the Synagogue’ #FlashFiction #100Words

  1. A heartbreaking dilemma, for sure. I tell my counselees quite often, “Our children are not just little clones of ourselves. They have to learn to make their own lives, decisions, choices. We can guide them, but in the end they must choose. And if we refuse to accept their choices, we are dooming them and ourselves to years of anger and bitterness. “

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At last I’ve learned from my parents mistakes… my children are adults, I have 4 grandchildren too, and we all get on fabulously, because we are tolerant and understanding, not because we’re perfect! Far from it:)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to tell. I would never put my son or daughter in such a position, and I’m sure many other parents wouldn’t either, but then my own experience and knowledge of the world tells me that there are also some who would expect their children to obey their demands above any other consideration.
      I might pursue the topic so we can find out what happens next, depending on next week’s prompt:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Lucy,

    I feel his pain. My mother was very upset when my gentile husband got engaged. She wasn’t all too jazzed when we got married either. We did marry in a reform synagogue. I guess things worked out okay. We’ve been married 47 years.
    Nicely written story.



    Liked by 1 person

  3. My son is dating a Lebanese- Muslim girl. Her parents don’t know because they will not accept anyone outside their faith. It is a sad situation to me. I’ll never understand such intolerance.

    Beautifully done, Luccia.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just watched a movie, “The Big Sick,” that is about this very topic. I won’t tell you what happens, but it deals with the situation in a realistic and sensitive manner. Love is #1. I just don’t see how anyone wins when parents become inflexible in who their children fall in love with.

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  5. I know some on who’s Mother tried to write a check for his wife to leave. She made him chose and his wife and daughter won. But the the marriage broke beyond repair. Because of the interference? We will never know, but it did not help.

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  6. I love you, I know what’s best for you and if you don’t do what I want you’re not my child any more. That isn’t an uncommon attitude sadly. I’ve experienced it, too, and several of my friends did. Billy is very wise, let’s hope the parents of that young man find reason and understand what their behaviour means in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hundreds of stories have been written (truth and fiction) about the same subject, yet it never gets old. Whenever I think now we have learned, I hear about another couple with broken hearts and I feel so much sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

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