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The Secret Child: Chapter 2

Yehuda Bromberg

“Nobody talks to our beloved rabbi like that! Who do you think you are? Reb Pinchas is our hero! He single-handedly supports all of us!”

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

 

 

“T

1233, Spain
here was no reason to do that.” Reb Pinchas glanced down at the food lying in the mud at his feet. He tried to quell the angry outburst that was threatening to burst out of him. “If you didn’t like the food I was offering you, then you could have just said so.”
“I’m hungry but I won’t eat that garbage!” the man in black growled, stepping closer so that he was nose to nose with Reb Pinchas. “Get me something better... now!”
“Oh no, you don’t!” A huge man with a giant beard stood up and planted himself in front of the aggressive stranger. “Nobody talks to our beloved rabbi like that! Who do you think you are? Reb Pinchas is our hero! He single-handedly supports all of us!”
“Yonah, it’s okay. Go back to your meal, my friend. I can handle this.”
“Yes, sit down and keep eating!” the stranger sneered, his black eyes gleaming. “It looks like eating is definitely something that you are highly skilled at.”
Yonah’s chest swelled with indignation at the insult and he looked like he was about to explode in a fit of anger.
“Yonah.” Reb Pinchas grabbed Yonah’s arm and steered him gently back to his seat. “Today is not a day where there’s going to be any anger in this city. Today is a joyous one and nobody is going to change that.”
“I’m even hungrier now.” The man stomped a piece of chicken into the ground. “I don’t have all day, o’ pious rabbi. Bring me something to eat!”
“Certainly!” Reb Pinchas took a giant breath of air to calm himself and then sat the man down at a small table in the corner. Everyone else at the table rose quickly and fled to a different part of the tent. 
“We have meat. Would you like that?”
“Bring it and we’ll see.”
Reb Pinchas went into the house and returned a moment later with a plate of meat and potatoes.
“I like my meat raw.” The man grabbed the meat with his bare, dirty hands and squeezed it. “This is too well done. Ugh!”
“I’ll have the cook prepare a special piece of meat for you,” Reb Pinchas said.
“You do that.” The man bared his teeth and for a split-second Reb Pinchas could see the image of a wolf on his face.
“What is your name?”
“Kelev.” The man said, running a sharp fingernail across the tabletop. “I am one big, hungry dog! You better get me food before I get even nastier.”
Reb Pinchas felt a shiver run up his back.
“Wait right here, uh, sir, and I will see what I can get for you.”
***********
Reb Pinchas spent a full two-and-a-half hours wining and dining his fearsome guest. Food was spit in his face, dishes were shattered against the table, and silverware was stolen, but Reb Pinchas didn’t lose his cool even once.
“What is wrong with you?” The man stood up suddenly at the end of the meal and grabbed Reb Pinchas by his collar. “Tell me!”
Reb Pinchas felt a supernatural power emanating from the man as the man’s fists tightened on his shirt.
“I don’t understand your question.”
The man growled deep in his throat and then released Reb Pinchas. He turned and fled through the open tent flap and disappeared.
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 747)

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