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Danger in Constantinople: Chapter 1

Y. Bromberg

The king could plainly sense the jealousy and dislike his son felt toward his Jewish adviser. “I truly never understood what you have against him”

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Constantinople, Istanbul

It was Erev Pesach when the king of Constantinople welcomed his son upon his return from studying abroad. Thousands gathered to watch as the royal prince alighted from his carriage and fell into his father’s open arms. Cheers filled the air and glasses clinked together as the joyous reunion continued in the palace.

“Welcome home, dear boy.” The king strolled through the palace garden arm in arm with his son. “I am so glad you are finally with me once again. It has been a long time since I have had someone around whom I could trust enough to share my deepest dilemmas.”

“You make it seem as if you have had no other advisers.” The prince’s eyes fell upon a short, black-bearded man wearing a long, distinguished robe and a yarmulke upon his head. This man was Nosson, the chief adviser to the king. “But surely Nosson has supplied you with everything you need, hasn’t he?”

“I see you still do not like Nosson.” The king could plainly sense the jealousy and dislike his son felt toward his Jewish adviser. “I truly never understood what you have against him.”

“With all due respect father, I am completely certain that Nosson and his people are not loyal to you. Cunning as serpents, those Jews pretend to be loyal to you in public, but are actually your enemies. Trust me, they are all rotten at the core.”

“My son, even with the education you received overseas, you are still ignorant when it comes to distinguishing between facts and personal feelings. You’ve always been jealous of my fondness for Nosson and you’ve convinced yourself that he is a bad person. It would do you good to get to know him better and see for yourself that the Jews are actually some of the best people around.”

“One day I will show you the true nature of those Jews,” the prince pledged, breaking free of his father’s arm.

*****

“I can’t believe my father still trusts that Jew!” the prince fumed to Mubarak, one of the king’s personal consultants. “After all of these years spent away from the castle, it’s an unpleasant surprise to return and find that rat still in the king’s council!”

“Don’t get too worked up about it, my prince. I also can’t bear the sight of Nosson receiving the king’s attention and I’ve thought of a beautiful plan to finally change the king’s love toward the Jews into hate.” 

“You have my attention.”

Mubarak whispered his plan to the prince and they both burst into evil laughter that echoed throughout the palace. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 730)

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