Dayenu: A Kornmehl Reunion in Vienna

Dayenu: A Kornmehl Reunion in Vienna

Dayenu: It would have been enough. That phrase, repeated as a refrain in a Passover song that offers a litany of thanks for blessings piled upon blessings, has been going through my head sporadically since last October, when I gave a talk at the Freud Museum in Vienna. It’s been an amazing journey, albeit one that’s taken a rather meandering, bumpy path, from the inception of the Freud’s Butcher blog in 2012.

Now that Passover is here, it’s way past time to count those blessings in public. 

Dayenu: The Blog

It would have been enough to have a friend find a photograph of the butcher shop in Freud’s building that validated a family story my mother told and inspired me to find out more. 

  •  It would have been enough for me to create a genealogy (psychology and meat) blog that opened up an entirely new world–rabbit hole?–of inquiry.
  • It would have been enough for the blog to become a magnet for relatives I didn’t know existed, revealing just how many members of the Kornmehl family were still alive throughout the world.

    This book by my second cousin, detailing my family’s life in Vienna, was one of the first discoveries sparked by this blog.

  • It would have been enough, as a result of the family members sending me information and research leads, to bring my departed ancestors back to Vienna symbolically, by detailing their lives.

Dayenu the Talk and Reunion

  • It would have been enough to bring those departed ancestors back to Vienna by turning those symbolic stories into a talk given in the city from which they were expelled.
  • It would have been enough to have the talk about my departed ancestors take place at one of the sites from which they were expelled, Siegmund Kornmehl’s butcher shop on 19 Berggasse, now the Freud Museum.
  • It would have been enough to have the talk attended by the friends in Vienna that I made over the years of coming to the city and maybe a few others in the community.
  • It would have been enough to have the talk attended by members of the Kornmehl family who lived in Vienna.
  • It would have been enough to have family members from London, Amsterdam, Israel, and New York come to the talk.
  • It would have been enough for all my relatives to come to Vienna and hear the talk but not manage to get together to go out to dinner beforehand with my Viennese friends and relatives (which may have been one of the hardest parts of the process).

At the Hotel Stefanie, Vienna. Front to back, left: Michaela Loss (Vienna), Rob Kornmehl (Amsterdam), Irith Markuszower (Israel),  Edie Jarolim, Hans Desser (Vienna), Anatol Desser (Vienna), Lary Ecker (Israel), Phoebe Warshauer (New York). Back to front, right: Jodi Warshauer (New York), Ruth Ecker (Israel), Amanda Desser (Vienna), Delphine Desser (Vienna), Justin Doyle (London), Rita Saffer (London), Walter Juraschek (Vienna), Nino Loss (Vienna).

  • It would have been enough to have had a vague idea of how we were all related without having Lary Ecker create a mini-family tree to clarify it all.

  • It would have been enough to have one picture of the dinner, but there’s another, from the other end of the table.

  • It would have been enough if the talk had been seared into everyone’s memory but there was an excellent videographer present, and there’s a record of it, here.

Happy Passover to all.

2 Responses to Dayenu: A Kornmehl Reunion in Vienna

  1. Kate K says:

    An amazing journey from the humble blog beginning!

  2. Lary Ecker says:

    Thank you Edie.
    Happy Passover to all.

Leave a reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.