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In the Spirit

Riva Pomerantz

This year, Shneur had given his solemn word. “I promise you with all my heart,” he told Nechy, whose face was chiseled from a block of disbelieving, unyielding stone. He bought flowers, washed dishes, intimated a vague promise to give her the kitchen renovation she was coveting. Finally, finally, she had relented.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

“This year, I’m a new man,” he told Mendy Kopp in shul the next morning with a wink.

Mendy eyed him suspiciously.

“Don’t tell me the new man isn’t going to be buying chassan Bereishis,” he said, raising a thick eyebrow. Shneur Weiss’s chassan Bereishis had built the aron kodesh, the stained-glass windows, and the social hall, and asgabbai, Kopp was invested in ensuring that the planned sanctuary expansion would proceed as hoped for.

“No, no.” Shnuer waved away the distasteful insinuation with a flick of a pudgy, Rolexed wrist. “Not that kind of new man. Y’know, the … aftermath. Not happening this year.”

“Aftermath.” It was a statement, not a question. Mendy had the decency to look away until he realized that Shneur was waiting for an appropriate response.

“Uh, good for you,” he said. “Good luck!” And he slapped him on the back.

With the determination he summoned when closing a mega-million-dollar deal, Shneur went to work. He, who could not type to save his life, pecked at the keyboard, drawing up lists, color-coded, because right now, his life depended on it.


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