“It’s six in the morning!” Rivka Neiman squinted at the clock while she hastily pulled on her robe and adjusted her tichel. “Who on earth could be banging on the front door so early on a Friday morning?” Through the peephole she saw two men with rather sour expressions waiting in the hall. 

“Who are you? What do you want?” she called through the door, without opening it. 

“Police,” the shorter one replied in a baritone voice, holding up his identification so she could examine it through the peephole. 

The man’s name was listed as Shimon Amsalem and his official ID showed his picture. The other man held up his wallet and she could read the name Shmuel Toledano, though she couldn’t clearly see his photograph. 

“My husband is not home now,” she said. “Can you please come back later?” 

“We’ll wait for him inside,” the taller man said. “Open the door, Mrs. Neiman.” 

Rivka hesitated. What should she do? All the children were asleep and their father wouldn’t be home for at least another half an hour. 

The knocking resumed. “Open up, lady. We don’t have time to stand here all day.” 

Afraid they’d wake the children, she reluctantly unlocked the door, leaving the chain latched. “Please come back later,” she spoke in a loud whisper. “My husband will be back from tefillah in another hour.” 

The policeman slid his ID through the crack. “Look, geveret, we’re legitimate law enforcement officers. Just open the door and let us in.” 

Rivka undid the chain with a sigh and the two men pushed their way past her into the dark living room. Shimon Amsalem moved toward the windows to open the blinds and let in some light, but he tripped on the open high riser and crashed into the dining room table, knocking over a vase that rolled onto the floor and shattered. Rivka Neiman quickly turned on the overhead light and six boys bar mitzvah age and down popped up simultaneously in their beds, staring with astonishment at the two policemen. 

Amsalem pulled himself up from the floor. He looked over at Toledano, who had his hand on his holster. “Don’t touch that gun,” Amsalem snapped. “It’s just a bunch of sleeping kids.” 

“What is this, an unregistered dormitory? You have to have a permit for that!” Toledano declared, taking out his pad of citation forms. 

Rivka quickly took control. “Time to get up, boys,” she told her sons. “It’s a new day to serve Hashem!” 

Seeing their mother shaking with suppressed laughter as she picked up the pieces of the broken vase, the boys quickly washed negel vasser, made their beds, and filed out of the living room. Shimon Amsalem sat down gingerly on a high riser while Shmuel Toledano took a chair from the dining table. Their faces were expressionless as they waited for Mr. Neiman to come home.