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True love

Moses Mendelssohn, the grandfather of the well-known German

composer, was far from being handsome. Along with a rather short

stature, he had a grotesque hunchback.

One day he visited a merchant in Hamburg who had a lovely daughter

named Frumtje. Moses fell hopelessly in love with her. But Frumtje was

repulsed by his misshapen appearance.

When it came time for him to leave, Moses gathered his courage and

climbed the stairs to her room to take one last opportunity to speak with

her. She was a vision of heavenly beauty, but caused him deep sadness

by her refusal to look at him. After several attempts at conversation,

Moses shyly asked, "Do you believe marriages are made in heaven?"

"Yes," she answered, still looking at the floor. "And do you?"

"Yes I do," he replied. "You see, in heaven at the birth of each boy, the

Lord announces which girl he will marry. When I was born, my future

bride was pointed out to me. Then the Lord added, 'But your wife will

be humpbacked.'

"Right then and there I called out, 'Oh Lord, a humpbacked woman

would be a tragedy. Please, Lord, give me the hump and let her be

beautiful.'"

Then Frumtje looked up into his eyes and was stirred by some deep

memory. She reached out and gave Mendelssohn her hand and later

became his devoted wife.

Barry and Joyce Vissell

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