TWP: Welcome, David. You're Annie Ashley's husband, right?
DL: Yes and no.
TWP: That's an interesting answer.
DL: Yes, we're legally married. No, we don't live as husband and wife. It's impossible when I'm in Israel, and she's in New York. It's almost like we're having a long-distance affair!
TWP: How did that happen?
DL: During the war, I was in a German concentration camp. Long story, but the time I spent there gave me time to reflect on my Jewish roots which I hadn't taken too seriously before that. After the war, I searched for any remaining family members left in Europe and didn't find many. Eventually, I became interested in the quest for Israeli statehood. Annie's father was Jewish, but she didn't share my enthusiasm.
TWP: Alan Ashley was Jewish?
DL: No, her biological father, Albert Rycroft--born Rycovski to Russian immigrant parents. Annie was raised in the Episcopal Church, but I think her biggest objection to embracing her Jewish roots is her resentment toward her father. Apparently he promised to reunite with her, but he never did.
TWP: Annie suggested you knew more about that than you're willing to tell.
DL: Willing but unable.
TWP: What about this child she says you want her to raise?
DL: Chava. She's five and completely shattered by the death of her mother Rebekah. She doesn't remember her father who died fighting for Israel's survival. And, she lost the only 'grandfather' she ever knew--he made the decision to send her to Annie.
TWP: And he was...
DL: Albert Rycroft, but I can't say anymore about that.
TWP: All right. So why doesn't Annie want Chava? She says the two of you lost a child...
DL: During the war while I was overseas, Annie miscarried our son. But it all goes back to her father, and her resentment of him. She refuses to consider that he made the best decision for her when he let the Ashleys adopt her.
TWP: What will happen to Chava?
DL: I'll take her back to Israel with me. My brother Daniel and his wife Shelli will give her a home. They'll be good to her, but Annie's her blood...Rebekah was Annie's cousin. Annie needs Chava as much as Chava needs her, but what she needs even more is to find herself...to find her Papa's shining star. That's what he called her: my best little girl, my shining star.
TWP: Do you think it will happen?
DL: I don't know. I adore Annie, and we could make a good home for Chava and maybe even give her some brothers and sisters. But I can't predict what Annie will do. I never could.
TWP: Well, we'll hope for the best for all of you.
Read the first chapter of Finding Papa's Shining Star at my website.