Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

9 Tammuz 5766 - July 5, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

by Gita Gordon

Serializing a new novel.

Chapter 25: Eli and Fay Tell their Story — Part 1

Daniel has been acting very strangely, since he has seen the New York mobsters who threatened him on the streets of Jerusalem. Eli and Fay, Daniel's parents, have also come to Jerusalem. They went to the Kosel for forty days to daven to find their son, and now Eli and Daniel have met.


Eli hovered over his father. He found a chair pushed behind him and he sat down. For some time they were wordless. Simply gazing at one another. Finally Eli said, "Come, we must go to your mother."

They crossed the street and walked a short distance up the road and entered an apartment building. Eli went in first, motioning Daniel to remain by the open door. "Come Fay, I have a wonderful surprise for you. Our prayers have been answered."

Daniel heard his mother say, "You have news of Daniel! But how? So early in the morning? Where?"

"No, better than news. He is here."

With that he beckoned to Daniel to enter the apartment. Fay looked from her son to her husband and then back to her son. "At last," was all she could manage, as Daniel walked towards her.

Now Daniel thought about the events of the previous evening. He recalled the fear when he had seen the men and the way he had behaved to his wife. There was still a sense of danger when he thought of these men. However, now that he was reunited with his parents he felt the fear dissipate. Now that his parents had been miraculously restored to him he was sure there was a logical explanation for everything. Together with his parents he felt he could deal with any problems.

Daniel said, "I am married. You must meet my wife. I will call her."

He went to the phone to call his wife at her parent's house, but the line was busy. After a few tries he called Rav Dov, to tell him the news.

"My parents. They are alive. They are here with me now," he said.

The reply was not what he expected.

"Your wife is with us. She slept here last night. Why are you behaving towards her in such a cruel fashion, sending her back to her parents?"

"I was so afraid for her. I saw those men here in Jerusalem, the ones I told you about, the ones chasing me with their guns. My parents have a story to tell about their absence and how they were rescued. Perhaps they will be able to explain why these men are pursuing me and what can be done about it. I will walk over now to collect Esther and bring her home to meet my parents."

All this sounded to Rav Dov stranger even than the tale that Esther had told him the previous evening — the tale about frightening strangers. Now it was parents who suddenly appeared in Jerusalem! Something was wrong with the young man.

"No, I will accompany Esther to your home," Rav Dov said.

Daniel responded with delight. "That's even better. Yes, that's good. Come. We can all of us together hear what happened to them during these last years."

Daniel walked with his parents to his apartment. They walked through the store, where Daniel introduced his mother to the now-beaming store owner. They went up the stairs to the apartment and quite soon Esther arrived together with Rav Dov.

Esther felt herself moving in an unreal dream as she was introduced to the delightful couple who Daniel said were his parents. It was a bit difficult to take it all in after the strange secret way he had refused to talk about his family.

Esther insisted on making hot drinks. She passed around cake and cookies. The domestic activity helped to calm her and she sat and began to listen as the story unfolded.

As Esther listened, first to his parents and then to Daniel, she understood everything. She understood why Daniel had not wanted to talk of his parents when they had first met. She understood why he had not wanted to speak to the man who had recognized him. She realized why he had not wanted to spend Shabbos in a hotel packed with American tourists. She understood his reaction the previous night.

Everything became clear. It was as if she had been observing a scene through opaque glass and now suddenly a clear pane had been put in its place.

Rav Dov listened intently to all that was said. When the tale was told he spoke.

"Daniel, when you came to my office that very first day, as you showed me the money I noticed a folded slip of paper with them. Perhaps that was the note that your father spoke of."

Daniel pulled open a drawer and from it took a file, containing everything he had taken that day from his parent's safe. He took a brown envelope and in it there was a pile of dollar notes. Between them, just as the Rav had said, there was a slip of paper. Taking it Daniel opened it and then handed it to his father.

"Yes, this is the note I made Fred Smith write that day. Here it is, confirmation that he told me that he drew three thousand, not three million, dollars. This note will clear my name."

Esther's sketchbook was lying on the desk. Daniel's mother had opened it and was glancing at the pages. Daniel watched as he mother looked at one page after another and made complimentary remarks. Then he heard a gasp and saw her pass the book to his father. His father looked and then said, "Did you look at these latest pictures Daniel? No? Come look here. Who do you think this is?"

Daniel saw a sketch of a young man sitting at a table, handing a small packet to a young girl opposite him. "It's your assistant, the one who went to Brazil with you. It's Fred Smith!"


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