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Still Smiling

Shlomi Gil

Who was this bearded man in the big hat and bright stripes that looked so much like the murdered clown?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

You couldn’t miss the costume, even from afar. It was a clown costume in vertical stripes of bright green, orange, blue, and yellow, with a matching hat and shoes. To the children of Har Nof, the costume looked familiar. For the last few years, they’d become accustomed to a tall clown dressed in those colors greeting them on their way to school with candies. But two murderous terrorists, they knew, had snuffed out the life of the big friendly clown last winter. So who was this bearded man in the bright costume? “Come!” the clown beckoned as the children approached the intersection of Katzenelenbogen and Agassi streets. “Take some candies! Purim is coming! A bit of simchah won’t hurt us, right?” Next to the clown, sitting in a chair, was a woman with similarly bright getup and a smile. “Take some candies, children,” she offered. “And make sure to read the note.” The children helped themselves to the usual taffies in their bright wrappers. Then they focused on the little notes that had been carefully stapled on to each wrapper, and it all became clear. The notes read: “Happy Chodesh Adar! Make a brachah in memory of Chaya Chana bas Reb Aryeh ztz”l, and in memory of the kadosh Reb Aryeh ztz”l benShlomoKupinsky.” “Kupinksy?” one of the little boys aked. “Isn’t he the one who used to stand here giving out candies?” “Exactly,” the elderly clown said, sadness and satisfaction mingling in his eyes. “Our son Aryeh used to give out the candies for many years, but he can’t do that anymore. So we’re giving out the candies instead. That’s the least that we can do, to try to keep the kids ofHarNof happy.”

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