Jewish Ancestry and Family History: An Ashtray

It’s been a while since my last blog post, and there is a reason for that, an important reason as a matter of fact: I’ve been writing. My current work in progress is the sequel to The Religion of the Heart, and in order to concentrate, I’ve had to shut out as much of the white noise as possible. While I’m not to the point of running off to a cabin in the woods with  a typewriter, stack of paper and a bottle of wine by my side, I am focusing more on my manuscript than blog posts or social media. With that said, I didn’t want to abandon it altogether, so I thought I’d share a little something my mother just gave to me: an ashtray.

Not just any ashtray, mind you. Back in the day when everyone smoked, it was common to find decorative ashtrays around in stores or markets. This one looks to be handcrafted. It had belonged to my grandparents, who died before I was born. Now anything of theirs I come across is meaningful to me since I never knew them, and their belongings are a tangible way for me to be connected to them. Of course family ties go far deeper than material items, and there is an inexplicable spiritual connection I have to that side of my family. Still, I can’t help but cherish holding something in my hand that had once belonged to them.

So here it is, a small ashtray with the Star of David in the center:

grandparents ashtray


grandparents ashtray back

Made in Spain. Did they get it in Spain? Had it been a gift? Had it made its way to a store in the States? I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but it’s fun to guess if this little ashtray had any meaning to them or if it was just some impulse buy.

Other Posts on My Jewish Ancestry:

#Ancestry DNA Test Results: As It Turns out, I Am…

Jewish Ancestry: Assimilation and Name Change Confusion

#Ancestry: We’re All Related Somehow!

D.M. Miller is the author of The Religion of the Heart, an interfaith love story available on Amazon.


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