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Recently Susan Schwartz wrote an article for the Olam Magazine about pocketbooks that really resonated with me because as far back as I can remember I always had a passion for pocketbooks.

There wasn’t any particular kind of pocketbook, it could be large or small, a little purse or an evening bag. When I would go to a mall, while everyone else was in a clothing store, there was I, in the handbag store.


I especially loved the Coach store when they were having a big sale. Of course, when it was my birthday and I had gotten some money for a gift, you guessed it, I went out and bought myself a new pocket book.

And then came Vera Bradley. That was a new company for me, and I was able to shop for those bags online. That was also new for me, online shopping.

When my daughters grew up they would go shopping for pocketbooks in my closet. And I would smile every time I saw one of them wearing one of my stock.

And so the years went. Anytime I shopped with one of my daughters they would scout out the mall in advance and make sure to steer me away from one of the pocketbook stores.

I even got beautiful bags as gifts from family members and, of course, when I was alone I always stopped in the pocketbook store.

And so the years passed and my supply of bags increased. And then in older age, I started to have a lot of arthritis pain in my shoulders, and sadly I realized that most of my pocketbooks were too uncomfortable for me to wear.

I rummaged in my closet and found the perfect small Coach pocketbook. I had bought it many years ago on sale and it was all the way in the back of the closet. In fact, it was nearly new. And it was just right. I couldn’t overload it because it was too small. I never thought such a small bag would make me happy, but it really is perfect.

So, I thought that my pocket book soirees were over. And then I was in a mall in Jerusalem waiting for some friends, when I passed a pocketbook store from a famous manufacturer. I looked in the window and I saw it – a really small leather pocketbook, that was dressy enough to take to a wedding, and big enough to hold the essentials. Well I couldn’t resist and after all it would be supporting the Israeli economy and, so, yes, I bought another pocketbook, but that will really be the last one. I’m sure. I think.

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