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The Secret Child: Chapter 1

Y. Bromberg

“The voice tells me that if we should ever have a child then something terrible will happen to it”

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

I

 

I

 

t was a dark, stormy night and torrents of rainfall flooded the Jewish city below. Turbulent clouds gathered in the sky and earsplitting thunderclaps shook the heavens.

Inside of one of the largest homes in the city, a man named Reb Pinchas tossed and turned in bed, groaning in agony.

“No... No...” he moaned to himself as he thrashed around in the throes of a terrible dream. “Why does it have to be this way? Why?”

 Reb Pinchas was the greatest talmid chacham in the city and he was also the wealthiest man for many miles around. Brilliant and pious, his elegant home was always open to those in need of money or a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

“Pinchas! Wake up! You’re screaming!”

Reb Pinchas’s eyes shot open and he stared up at the concerned face of his wife.

“I’m sorry, Bracha.” Reb Pinchas groaned wearily, rubbing his temples. “I must have been sleeping in a bad position. Go back to sleep, I won’t wake you up again.”

“You had the dream again, didn’t you?” Bracha’s eyes grew wide. “Tell me the truth!”

Pinchas sat up in bed and stared at the shadows dancing along the walls as rain trickled across the windows.

“Yes.” His voice was hoarse. “I’m not sure who is talking to me in the dream, but a voice tells me that...”

Nu?”

“You already know what the voice said. I’ve had this dream many times already!”

“Please, just share with me what the voice said.”

“The voice tells me that if we should ever have a child then something terrible will happen to it.”

Bracha tried to keep herself from crying.

“And what else did the voice say?”

“Nothing, Bracha. I’m sorry I woke you. Let’s go back to sleep, we have a big day of learning and chesed ahead of us tomorrow.”

Reb Pinchas lay his head down on his pillow and was soon fast asleep. Bracha left the room and wandered through the many empty rooms inside their home. There were no baby bassinets, no toys left scattered across the floor, no smudge marks on the walls and doorways.

“Hashem, why can’t we be zocheh to a child?” Bracha cried as she stared through the dining room window into the dark, rainy night. “Why does something bad have to happen?”

A bolt of lightning split across the sky and a blast of thunder shook the walls of the house. Terrified, Bracha raced back into bed and fell into a deep, troubled sleep.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 746)

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