This kind of wineglass graced the table of dinner parties such as the one Miriam attended to meet Judah’s only living relative, his half-brother, Eran. Understandably, Miriam was nervous about meeting him, but the next time, she’d be terrified:

Having expected Eran to resemble Judah, I couldn’t have been more surprised when, in a waft of expensive fragrance, he emerged from the shadows. An emerald green synthesis, a loose gown Romans wear at their own dinner parties, this one studded with multicolored Alexandrine glass beads, almost masked the paunch on his otherwise solid frame, and he wore enough rings to smother the fingers of both hands. To confirm that he was indeed Eran, I looked to his forehead for that indelible stain, but the curls dangling from the crown of his wig blanketed his brow.

But it’s the dinner that I wanted to tell you about:

As soon as we took our places around a low, square, bronze-legged table topped with onyx, the look-alike houseboys set before us napkins and translucent cobalt blue glass goblets. They filled them from a freshly mixed crater of wine and honey-sweetened water. They then offered the first course, a platter of steaming vegetables in a pungent mustard sauce. While we sipped the wine, they paraded in with covered platters of grilled fish, roasted fowl, and stewed lamb as