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Jolly Solly: Peace Talks

R. Atkins

Fishel and Faivish were determined to stop fighting for the sake of Am Yisrael. Would they succeed?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Photo: Nechama Leibler

Fishel and Faivish Friedman were in an unusually thoughtful mood as they walked home from cheder. There’d been an assembly for the whole school, and the principal had given a fiery speech about the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash because of baseless hatred, and how important it was for the boys to pursue acts of peace and goodwill. 

Fishel and Faivish had been riveted. Now they were fired up with determination to pursue peace and goodwill at all costs. The question under discussion was how. 

After walking for a few minutes, Fishel stopped suddenly. 

“Got it!” he announced. “I know just what to do. I’ll invent a machine that puts a stop to any fights. First we’ll try it ourselves, and then we’ll roll it out to the rest of the world. It’s gonna be a major hit, for sure.” 

“What sort of machine?” asked Faivish curiously. 

“Well, I’ll build it myself. It’s gonna have a long poky arm, and a button to press, and a buzzer. Any time I feel the urge to fight, I’ll just press the button, the buzzer will go off, and the arm will give me a sharp rap on the hand to remind me to stop.”

Photo: Nechama Leibler

“Pooh, I’ve got a better idea,” retorted Faivish, not to be outdone. “I’ll borrow Tuki from Eli the animal trainer, and carry him around in his cage. I’ll train him to shriek ‘Stop!’ at the top of his lungs every time I feel like fighting.” 

“That’s dumb,” responded Fishel rudely. 

“Oh, yeah? Well, your idea is dumber.” 

“How dare you!” 

“Hah! How dare you!” 

Biff! Bam! 

Uh-oh. The troublesome pair were at it again. 

By the time they arrived home, they were not on speaking terms. At suppertime, they sat with their heads turned away from each other. 

At bedtime, things got even worse. They decided they didn’t want to sleep in the same room any more. Fishel started dragging his bed out into the corridor. Mrs. Friedman came running to see what all the banging and clattering was about. 

“Excuse me! What’s going on here?” she asked in surprise. 

“I don’t want to sleep in the room with him,” growled Fishel, pointing to Faivish. 

“I don’t want to sleep in the room with him,” countered Faivish, pointing to Fishel. 

Mrs. Friedman stood there flustered, and uncertain as to how to deal with this latest shenanigan. It took a sharp reprimand from Mr. Friedman to get Fishel to move his bed back. 

That night, Fishel’s and Faivish’s bedroom was uncommonly quiet, since neither brother was talking to the other. 

But it was a tense, uneasy quiet, each lying with his back to the other. 

Suddenly, there was a rustling sound outside in the garden.

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