don’t believe this,” Yitzy moaned. “It just isn’t fair! I can’t take the math test on the same day as the Mishnayos competition!”

Yossi scratched his head. “I don’t get it, Yitzy,” he said, “I understand why you’re worried about the Mishnayos competition, but since when do you care about math tests? What’s the big deal if you fail this math test? You never seemed to mind failing them until now. Why is this test so different?”

The answer to Yossi’s question was simple. This math test was very different than any other one Yitzy had ever taken. It was going to be the most important math test of his entire life.

He thought back to the meeting in Mr. Blum’s office. The lawyer had been very clear. In order for Yitzy to become the owner of the building, he would have to win the Mishnayos competition and get a hundred on his next math test. How in the world could he possibly do both of those things on the same day?

Yitzy turned to Yossi and opened his mouth to answer. Then he quickly snapped his mouth shut. There was nothing he could say. Mr. Blum had been very clear about that too. If he were to tell anyone, Mr. Greenbaum’s deal would be canceled.

“What did you say?” asked Yossi.

“Er… um… I didn’t say anything,” Yitzy stammered. “I was just yawning.”

Yitzy paused to give the biggest, most exaggerated yawn ever.


Yossi stared wide-eyed at his friend.

“Um… Yitzy,” he began, “are you feeling okay?”

“Sure,” answered Yitzy, “Baruch Hashem I’m feeling fine. Why do you ask?”

“Um… let’s just forget that I asked that,” Yossi stammered.

“That’s fine with me,” answered Yitzy cheerfully. He was happy to drop the subject.

“You know, Yitzy,” Yossi began, “if the math test really bothers you, why don’t you just go over to Mr. Goldfarb and ask him to move it to a different day?”

Yitzy’s eyes lit up.  “That’s a great idea,” he said. “I’m going to go ask Mr. Goldfarb right now. See you later.”

With those words, Yitzy began sprinting down the hall.

Mr. Goldfarb was the kind of teacher who kept the exact same schedule every single day. Every day, at exactly two minutes to three, he would leave the teacher’s room and head toward his third grade math class which began at exactly three o’clock.

Yitzy glanced down at his watch. It was four minutes to three. If he hurried, he could catch Mr. Goldfarb as he left the teachers’ room.

Two minutes later, a panting Yitzy had to stop himself very quickly to avoid crashing into his math teacher.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 764)