Photo Credit: Jewish Press

I love flowers. I always have. I know I got that love from my mother, Irene Klass. Her favorite was a gardenia. And the first time she got one, I was a young girl.

She was going to a family wedding and had ordered a wrist corsage of gardenias. I put my nose into it and told my mother that I never smelled anything as heavenly as that. But one of my all-time favorites is the bird of paradise. Until I moved to Israel I had never seen, nor heard of it.


It’s a most beautiful and elegant flower with no scent. My daughter Michal brings me those flowers every erev Shabbat when available. Many years ago when I first moved to Israel and discovered this beautiful flower, I had no idea that after the first bird-like flower falls off, another comes out. So, one day when I was changing the water in the vase, I accidentally knocked off the flower. I was devastated, but I had no intention of throwing it out. So, there it stood on the dining room table. A few days later, when I came into the dining room, lo and behold, the magnificent Tzipor Gan Eden was back in all its glory. And that’s how I learned the secret of this flower.

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Naomi Klass Mauer is the co-publisher of The Jewish Press.