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Worst-Case Scenario

Rachel Stein

“Eretz Yisrael,” he said. “For a whole glorious month.” The boys lifted their eyebrows. That was pretty impressive, they all agreed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Photo: Shutterstock.

“Whoopee! I can’t believe it!” Nochum sprang out of his seat and started dancing around the kitchen. “Eretz Yisrael, here we come!” 

His parents watched with amusement as their son cavorted across the room, prancing around with unbridled excitement. 

“When do we leave?” Nochum wanted to know. “And for how long?” 

“In a month, b’ezras Hashem,” Mommy said. “And we’re staying for a month.” 

“A month?” Nochum repeated. “That’s awesome! I’d better make sure my camera is working.” 

Sprinting toward his room, Nochum moved like he had wings. 

Let’s see, Nochum thought, looking around his room. I’ll need to bring travel games for the plane and tons of nosh. He started making a pile of must-haves for the big trip, his excitement mounting. 

“So,” Shmuli asked the next day at Camp Pirchei, “any travel plans once camp is over? We’re going to Florida to visit my grandparents.” 

“We’re off to Toronto,” Chezky said. “For my cousin’s bar mitzvah.” 

“England,” Avi piped in. “My aunt is getting married.” 

Nochum thought he would burst waiting until the others had finished. 

“Eretz Yisrael,” he said. “For a whole glorious month.” 

The boys lifted their eyebrows. That was pretty impressive, they all agreed. .

Photo: Shutterstock

Every day Nochum drew a line through the date on the calendar hanging on his wall, his heart lifting as their departure date drew closer. Imagine, he, Nochum Willner, would be standing at the Kosel in just a few weeks. It was mind boggling, and he wished time would pick up its pace so he could be on the plane already. N

ochum had just come home one afternoon, when he heard his mother’s alarmed tone. “Oh, no!” she said. “I’ll be right over.” 

“It’s Bubby,” his mother explained, turning toward him, her forehead creased with concern. “She fell and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. I need to go now.” 

“Wish her a refuah sheleimah from me,” Nochum said. I’ll say some Tehillim for her, he decided. And then I’d better get my suitcase and start some serious packing. We’re leaving in a week!

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