Mendelssohn, the grandfather of the well known German composer,
was far from being handsome. Along with a rather short stature,
he had a grotesque hunchback. One day he visited a merchant in Hamburg
who had a lovely daughter named Frumtje. Moses fell hopelessly
in love with her. But Frumtje was repulsed by his mishapen appearance.
it came time for him to leave, Moses gathered his courage and climbed
the stairs to her room to take one last opportunity to speak with
her. She was a vision of heavenly beauty, but caused him deep sadness
by her refusal to look at him. After several attempts at conversation,
Moses shyly asked, "Do you believe marriages are made in heaven?"
"Yes" she responded, still looking at the floor. "And do you?"
I do," he replied. "you see, in heaven at the birth of each boy,
the Lord announces which girl he will marry. When I was born, my
future bride was pointed out to me. Then the Lord added, "But your
wife will be humpbacked." "Right then and there I called out, 'Oh
Lord, a humpbacked woman would be a tragedy. Please Lord, give
me the hump and let her be beautiful.'"
Frumtje looked up into his eyes and was stirred by some deep memory.
She reached out and gave Mendelssohn her hand and later became his