© 2016 by Chaim B. Segal
This book is the first of five planned volumes. Here, the author traces his life from preschool to 7th grade. The narrative is dominated by the Jewish religion and religious study, music both performed and listened to, schooling and hard life lessons, and often very difficult family dynamics.
Perhaps most remarkable of all is the clarity of the author's memory. In spite of his almost total blindness, he proves himself an astute and very feeling observer: of the family's progression from more moderate Judaism to Orthodoxy; of how his father's frustration was probably linked to the sometimes severe corporal punishment he meted out; of how one moment's carelessness can end with a beloved pet's death; and a great deal more.
Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, the author had painful and sometimes confusing introductions to religious prejudice, poor race relations, and drug problems. The Holocaust haunted his dreams. Yet he managed to find joy, as well, in choral singing, piano lessons with a kind instructor, listening to recorded music, playing with the family's pets, and enjoying good meals and good times with family members and friends.
What is missing from the story, in spite of its sometimes hard-to-read details, is any shred of self-pity. The author's obvious resilience, as well as his capacity for forgiveness, are models for us all.
Edited by David and Leonore H. Dvorkin
Cover by David Dvorkin
I have finished reading my copy of Chaim's book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait for the others. I found it very well written, and it included just the right amount of humor. I hope it will be a huge success.
— T. Sanders
Chaim, I got your book on Friday. With work, my only time to read is before bedtime, but I'm already over halfway through the book. I'm enjoying reading it. It is very good.
© 2021 by Chaim B. Segal
Seventh grade and the summer that followed brought a combination of new life experiences and a few sad farewells. A careless four words led me to suffer my first broken bone. On the heels of my recuperation, I got to witness Smoky, our family cat, giving birth. It was the first birth of any species that I was ever present for.
There was the excitement of the arrival of the first early model Kurzweil Reading Machine at Sinclair Community College, and my attendance at Camp Stone for the last time would open my ears to popular music in an entirely new way. But in other respects, that session at Camp Stone was deeply disappointing.
An important part of my life would soon come to a sudden halt. The demise of choir was equivalent to the death of a very deep section of my heart.
Experiences gained both inside and outside of school since my start at Stivers would set the stage for my 8th grade year to be one of great transition. This will be the subject of Book Three.
So let's continue where we left off. In Book One, I introduced you to my family, starting from its inception, then focused on my growth and development. In this book, we will first set the stage for the story ahead, then journey through the last half of my 7th grade year as a new student at Stivers and the subsequent summer.
© 2022 by Chaim B. Segal
Eighth grade at a predominantly Black public school in Dayton, Ohio, 1983-84. The blind author finds a very special teacher, who is Black, and a younger female friend, who is White. The practices dictated by the author's Orthodox Jewish faith still rule large parts of his daily life, and he frequently obsesses about the Holocaust. His growing love of popular music provides needed diversion and takes up more and more of his time at home. Then a traumatic five-hour skating party at a downtown roller rink changes his life and leads him to the inescapable conclusion that he needs mental counseling.
Throughout the book, the true and very moving story is recounted in astonishing detail.
In the author's own words:
"I now find it shocking that I wasn't sent for help much sooner. Eventually, as an adult, I came to the sad and ironic conclusion that there was a silver lining to my time at Skateland. Even during the event itself, I realized that as desperate as I felt at the time, my situation could not compare with that of most of my schoolmates. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom in order to ascend higher."
The e-book edition of The Sayzeh Song, Book Two is available at the following online stores:
The print edition of The Sayzeh Song, Book Two is available at the following online stores:
This is an in-depth, well-written article in The Dayton Jewish Observer about Chaim Segal and his older brother, Moshe. It discusses their religious observances; their guide dogs; some facets of their childhood and their marriages; Chaim's memoir, and more. To read the article, click here.
Chaim B. Segal has lived most of his life in the greater metropolitan area of Dayton, Ohio. He currently resides in Kettering, Ohio, with his wife, Brooke ("Hava"); their cat, Sunshine; and Chaim's fifth Seeing Eye® dog, Nolan, his first Golden Retriever. Chaim's older brother Moshe and his wife, Hadar, live quite near Chaim and Brooke. The two couples enjoy getting together frequently.
Chaim's late father, Leon Segal, taught at Central State University for 18 years and also worked as a consultant psychologist for Project Cure, a substance abuse recovery center in Dayton. He died in August 2003. Chaim's mother, Jane Segal, passed away in January 2022 from the effects of Covid, having spent her final years at Singing Woods, a senior community in north Dayton.
Chaim has enjoyed writing as a hobby since adolescence, but The Sayzeh Song: Book One (2016) was his first book. Other interests include cooking and baking, recording and mixing music, and traveling to new places when time and finances permit. He enjoys listening to highly diverse styles of music.
He has nearly 22 years of experience in customer service and has been employed in this capacity at four jobs, including nearly 12 years working for CSD–USA Relay as a communications assistant for the deaf. He is currently employed as a collections agent with Synchrony Bank.
Through his multivolume memoir, The Sayzeh Song, as well as other planned works of fiction and nonfiction, he hopes to promote global understanding concerning cultural diversity. He feels that xenophobia is one of our country's worst problems and wishes to promote better understanding among people. His goals include possibly pursuing higher education and working in the area of rehabilitation services.
Cell phone: 937-231-6119