When our youngest son outgrew his wonderful children’s books, we were in a quandary about what to do with them. It seemed a shame to give Dr. Seuss and Star Wars for Children to a kindergarten or hospital ward to be cut up for pictures, but who would want them. That was when we heard of you, and that you were a good conduit to the English library for children in Safed.

You came to our house, contented after a nice lunch at the Pagoda in Tiberias, and we handed over several cartons. “What do you do for reading material?” you asked, as you headed out the door. Our answer was that we shlepped  to Haifa every month or so, bought some used books and returned others for half price. “You should come to Safed. I have a lending library there and you can borrow whatever you want.”

We were happy for the offer, and figured that Edyth Geiger was a wealthy woman with an apartment large enough to house a lending library. How like you that that wasn’t the picture! Your apartment was smaller than our little kibbutz  house, and we experienced with pleasure what others of that period had to do: climbing over your stamp-covered bed to reach the 3-deep shelves of mysteries, or squeezing behind your desk to reach the layers of non-fiction hidden there. Your sofa and the chair by your miniscule kitchen were the magazine section! Did you sit among the pages of Newsweek, and sleep among the stamps each night? We departed happily with a month’s worth of books, and a nascent love of you and the English library that you had created.

You have since become our friend and mentor and during the past 25 years we’ve had some wonderful times together. Your library has grown and come of age, but for us, that first meeting stays freshest in our memories.

by Judith and Shai Schwartz

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