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The Great Escape: Chapter 3

Yehuda Bromberg

Courageous and eager to help his ailing family, Meir volunteered to undertake the business trip his father had been about to take right before he became sick

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

I

E

fraim, who is knocking at this hour?”

“I don’t know, Michal. Let me go check.”

Efraim had served the Richter household years before. Now he had married and established his own home in Vienna. He opened the door to his small house. Darkness reigned outside and a steady drizzle of cold rain had begun to fall. He heard the sound of whimpering and looked down in shock at the tiny bundle at his feet. He bent down and saw a tiny little face staring back at him.

“Michal! Someone left a baby at our door!”

Efraim brought the crying baby into the house and handed him to his wife. They noted the luxurious, thick blanket the baby was wrapped in.

“I can’t imagine how this baby came to be here,” his wife said, staring at the blanket. “Either way, we’ll do everything in our power to find out more information tomorrow.”

 

*******

Two weeks passed and they still did not find a shred of evidence as to who the mystery baby could be. No one had any information — not the local town gossipers, the police, or even the beggars who lived near the mountains.

Eventually Efraim and Michal adopted the baby as their own. They named him Meir and they raised him with true Torah values and hashkafos. Over the years the couple was blessed with two more children of their own, a girl named Hodaya and a boy named Elisha Chaim.

Meir turned out to be a wonderful older brother and he helped raise his younger siblings with patience and love. Efraim made sure to bring his children to the most qualified rebbeim and he spared no expense when it came to their spiritual growth.

When Meir turned 17, Efraim fell ill with a deadly virus. He hovered between life and death and was unable to work and provide for his family. Courageous and eager to help his ailing family, Meir volunteered to undertake the business trip his father had been about to take right before he became sick.

“This is your first time away from home, my dear son. The world outside our insulated community is filled with temptation and sin, so along your journey you must constantly review all of the Torah you have been taught. That will protect you.”

Efraim clasped Meir’s hand inside his own and smiled at his oldest son as he lay weakly in bed.

“You have nothing to be afraid of, Abba. I am bringing all of the notes I took this past year and I will have plenty to learn throughout the journey. Also, I have the list of your business contacts in Berlin and I will make sure not even one of them takes advantage of me because you aren’t there.”

Efraim chuckled at his strong-spirited son. Indeed, he had a feeling Meir would be completely all right on his own.

“Go and be matzliach, Meir.”

“Amen! And please take care of yourself, Abba.”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 742)

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