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New Gadget

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

I have to admit that, despite all my efforts, the drone ended up in Reb Abramovitz’s yard a few more times in the next few days. It wasn’t that I did it on purpose, chas v’shalom, it was just that the thing seemed to have a mind of its own

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

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"B

ye, Yosef Chaim! Make sure you don’t get into any mischief with that drone,” Uncle Rafi joked. “I know you!”

“Me? Mischief?” I grinned back at him. “I don’t know what you mean!”

Uncle Rafi, my fun uncle who lives inAmerica, had come for a visit and brought me the latest gadget — a remote-control drone. I couldn’t wait to try it.

I wanted to try it out in our yard but Ima warned me about disturbing the neighbors.

“I’m sure no one wants an unidentified flying object in their yard,” she said. “And be especially careful to keep it away from Reb Abramovitz!”

That I figured out already. Reb Abramovitz lived behind us. We didn’t see him often, as he doesn’t go out much. He was old and stern-looking and, with his big fur hat with flaps that covered his ears, altogether a mysterious character. The kids in the neighborhood were all a bit scared of him.

“You should feel sorry for him,” Abba explained. “He lived in Russia and suffered terribly under the Communists. Now he finds it hard to trust anyone and keeps to himself.”

Reb Abramovitz didn’t even go to the beit knesset, though Abba said he was a G-d-fearing Jew. Ima tried to send him food sometimes and Abba invited him for Shabbat a few times, but he always refused, preferring to stay secluded in his house. It was very strange.

So the last thing I wanted to do was disturb Reb Abramovitz. But what do they say? Man plans and Hashem laughs. I was playing in the backyard with the drone, trying to figure out how to control it and get it to go in the direction I wanted. But it just wouldn’t do as I told it to.

“Quick, pull the lever to the right!” Yaakov Yisrael shouted, as the drone veered sharply to the left and almost into the Sofer family’s backyard. I pulled the lever to the right, and it shot off to the other side, heading towards the Cohens’ yard.

 

“Make it go straight!” Yaakov Yisrael shouted. I pushed down hard on the lever, and the drone suddenly shot forward at an enormous speed — right into Reb Abramovitz’s yard!

“Oh, no!” I groaned, and frantically tried to turn the drone around and get it back before Reb Abramovitz spotted it.

But it was too late. I saw Reb Abramovitz’s face appear at his window. He must have heard the humming of the drone and come to see what it was. I thought he would be angry when he saw it, but I wasn’t prepared for his reaction. His eyes opened wide in shock and he went pale. He drew the blinds quickly and vanished inside.

“That was weird,” I said to Yaakov Yisrael, after we finally managed to get the drone back into our yard. “He looked scared. Why would he be scared of a harmless drone?”

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