The Blessing Cup

Author and Illustrator: Patricia Polacco

61QR-HKhsQLHow are blessings handed down in families?

Is it through time-honored traditions?  Through the sharing of generations of memories?  Perhaps the giving of some treasured heirloom that has been in the family for as long as anyone can remember.

  As a young girl in Russia in the early 1900’s, Anna grows to appreciate the magnificent china tea set that came to be in their family.  She especially loves hearing of the note that was tucked inside the teapot, a wedding gift from Anna’s Aunt Rebecca for her parents.

 “This tea set is magic.  Anyone who drinks from it has  blessing from God.  They will never know a day of hunger.  Their lives  will always have flavor.  They will know love and joy… and they will never be poor.”

Then one night Papa tells the family that the czar has ordered all Jewish people to leave Russia.  Anna’s family takes only a few meager belongings as they prepare to leave: Papa’s sewing machine, a few holy books, their menorah, and the precious tea set.  “It will bring God’s blessings with us on our journey,” her mother whispered.

 The next few months brought great hardship as well as great blessing.  You must read for yourself of the man who came to be loved and known as “Uncle Genya.”  Through his sacrifice the “blessing” of the tea set stayed with Anna’s family, who ultimately made it to America.  Could it be possible that any pieces of that magnificent tea set remain today? What a treasured heirloom it would be to have even one “Blessing Cup.”

Mary Byrne Kline

Critical thinking questions based on Bloom’s:

1.  Why did Anna’s family have to flee Russia?
2.  Name three ways in which Anna’s family experienced blessings, even during hard times.
3.  Think about all of your blessings this Thanksgiving. Is there something in your family that reminds you of God’s blessings?  Do you have a “Blessing Cup”?

Patricia Polacco talks about The Blessing Cup

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