Malky walked Kivi to the door and smiled encouragingly. “It’s going to be great; I can’t wait to hear all about it.” 

Aryeh was waiting outside, and Kivi tried to look casual as he walked toward Aryeh’s car, a blue Odyssey. Kivi hadn’t gotten the handle on the rich-people car thing. It didn’t make sense.

The younger guys Kivi knew all talked about their cars. Last night after Maariv, Garfinkel and Sitman had a passionate argument whether a Range Rover was better than an Audi A3. Karlinsky had turned to him and said, “Nu, when are you getting a car?”

Kivi had been standing on the periphery of the conversation, and as the others turned to look at him, he felt like a child called on suddenly during class. He wasn’t sure what to answer. In the Halb family, he’d noticed, no one talked about cars. His father-in-law drove a black Lexus, and none of the children drove anything more flamboyant than that, so he and Malky had pushed off the decision as well, making do with one of the Halb work cars in the meanwhile.

What Kivi didn’t really understand was why. Why not drive a fancy car if money was no object?

Now he opened the door and climbed into the minivan next to Aryeh. “Hey,” he smiled, determined to be pleasant and congenial. (Like a good student, he’d muttered to Malky.)

Aryeh nodded. “Hi Kivi, thanks for coming.”

Aryeh was nervous, Kivi realized. His older brother-in-law wasn’t into this plan any more than he was. This insight relaxed him and he allowed himself to sit back.

Aryeh pulled out of Baron’s Gate and drove up the main road, Summit Drive. “It’s amazing to think that two years ago this was empty. We had to fight to get the land, and that was the least of it. There was a zoning issue, and then some of the neighbors put up a fight, they worried about what we would do with it.” Aryeh sighed.

Kivi got it. He was being confided in. Welcomed to the real world. Spoken to like an adult.

“Wow, what made you decide to push forward?” he asked, trying to play his part.

“Why not? It was a chance to make a real profit.” Aryeh turned onto the 70.

Ah, Aryeh was doing the we work so hard for every penny, no deal is too small for us thing.

Kivi considered saying, “Well, you know, a family that made four million dollars flipping a building in Philadelphia last week doesn’t need to be busy with small-time Lakewood developments,” but he’d learned not to say things like this, even to Malky’s siblings. There was no gloating about good deals and no one posted links to articles in the Real Deal or Crain’s on the family chat. It was beneath them.

“Anyhow, so Tatty felt we should discuss your future, and I’m thrilled to help you.”

Kivi nodded. “Thanks, I appreciate it.”

“So basically, we have two options. One is for you to take a few weeks now and drive around, look at properties, follow up, call brokers, do your research online, and come up with a deal. Tatty will back you completely. That can work, but I have another option and I think you’ll like it.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 712)