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Jolly Solly: A Sorry Pair

R. Atkins

As far as asking forgiveness was concerned, Fishel and Faivish — conveniently forgetting all their shenanigans — couldn’t think of anyone in particular they had wronged

Thursday, October 06, 2016

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I it was a powerful speech, and it left Fishel and Faivish Friedman fired up with passion. The principal had spoken at the school’s annual pre–Yom Kippur assembly about the awesomeness of the day, and the importance of asking forgiveness of people they had wronged.

As far as asking forgiveness was concerned, Fishel and Faivish — having conveniently forgotten about all the shenanigans they had been up to over the year — couldn’t think of anyone in particular they had wronged. But they did experience some nagging guilt feelings about their next-door neighbor Mr. Krankowitz, who’d taken to shaking a fist at them any time they went past.

While the old man had frequently scolded them in the past for various misdemeanors, this was a new development.

“Do you think we need to ask forgiveness of Mr. Krankowitz?” Fishel asked his brother doubtfully. “Well, I must confess I was wondering the same thing,” responded Faivish, sounding uncommonly subdued.

“But — we could be in physical danger,” pointed out Fishel with a shudder. “Yeah. He might clobber us,” echoed Faivish darkly.

“The principal never said we’re meant to risk our lives,” declared Fishel reasonably. “Exactly,” agreed Faivish in relief.

And with that, the matter slipped to the back of their minds.

It would have stayed there, too, had they not run into the old man that very same day. He was clearly still annoyed with them, which made Fishel’s and Faivish’s consciences bother them.

“What do you think Jolly Solly would advise?” asked Fishel. “He’s away at the moment, so we can’t knock on his door.” Faivish grinned.

“He’d probably turn a string of somersaults, and start humming, ‘Mitzvah gedolah lihiyos b’simchah,’ ” he replied.

Fishel looked thoughtful. “Maybe that’s the answer.”

“What do you mean?”



“We knock on Mr. Krankowitz’s door, smiling happily; exchange pleasantries — and once he’s in a better mood, we ask forgiveness.”

“Nah, it won’t work,” said Faivish dismissively.



Fishel paused, and then, unexpectedly, conceded the point.

“Okay, it won’t,” he shrugged.

“Will!” shot back Faivish automatically.

Fishel hid a small smile of satisfaction.

“Hah! You said it will. And you know what? I agree with you. So let’s go over right away.”

Try as he might, Faivish couldn’t think of a way out.

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