The Kippah Drawer, released in March by native Detroiter Rob Granader, is the story of 89-year-old widower Yosi and his beloved drawer of kippot.
I recently read a heartwarming short story that hit close to home. Actually, it hit closer to the cabinet my family stores our collection of yarmulkes in that catalog our attendance to simchahs over the years.
The Kippah Drawer, released in March by native Detroiter Rob Granader, who now lives in Maryland, is the story of 89-year-old widower Yosi and his beloved drawer of kippot.
Yosi, nearing the end of his life, decides he wants to find a new home for each of his kippot by leaving one behind each week at a different simchah. He designs a touching strategy to give every last yarmulke away to help preserve the legacy and history inscribed in each one.
His ultimate goal, as Yosi explains, is that “someone might take these kippot with them and perhaps read the name and at least ask the question: Who were these people on these dates so long ago?”
Granader, who attended Hillel Day School and Southfield-Lathrup High, said he was inspired to write the story by something he saw as a child at B’nai David. “As a family sat in front of us with three men: one in his 30s and two in their 70s. They all wore the same emerald green velvet yarmulke, every time they were in the sanctuary, without fail,” he said. “I once asked and was told they were the kippot from the younger man’s bar mitzvah. The two older men on either side of him were his father and his uncle.
“Every holiday those three kippot stared back at me. And even then, I knew there was a story on each head, under each kippah.”
Granader began writing short stories as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan where he earned a BA in English in 1989.
After earning a law degree from George Washington University in 1992, he spent the next several years as a reporter covering Capitol Hill and the White House. From 1994-1998 he published more than 350 articles and essays in more than 50 publications. He owns marketresearch.com, a retailer of market research information.
Relocating to London for a year in 2011 further fueled his passion for writing. His blog, In A Foreign Land (expatlondon.blogspot.com), chronicles his family’s time there.
Granader’s collection of thought-provoking essays and short stories, like The Kippah Drawer, are available for free at robgranader.com/shortrg.