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Yosef Chaim’s Adventures

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

Kefitzfotzim are the latest craze in Tzfat — and I think all of Israel. Every kid in town seems to have one: boys and girls

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

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Y osef Chaim! Don’t forget the kefitzfotz!” Yaakov Yisrael reminded me as we set off for Talmud Torah.

Have you heard of kefitzfotzim? I don’t know if they have them abroad or what they’re called there but that’s what we call them. They’re funny things — two bouncy balls on top of each other, with a plastic circle in the middle for your feet. They’re the best fun! Once you get the hang of gripping the ball with your feet, you can jump around everywhere, even down steps!

Kefitzfotzim are the latest craze in Tzfat — and I think all of Israel. Every kid in town seems to have one: boys and girls. In the morning, the alleyways are full of jumping kids, each kefitzfotz a different color. And at recess in Talmud Torah — wow! Everyone used to play soccer; now the playground is just a mass of bouncing boys!

“Okay, boys, recess is over!” Rav Rachamim announced. We all bounced off the playground and headed inside. Rav Cohen, the principal, was waiting at the entrance.

“All classes, please go to the dining hall,” he ordered. “I have an important announcement to make.”

We looked at each other in surprise and worry.

“What do you think, Yosef Chaim?” Yochai asked me. “Maybe the rabbanim decided they’re going to stop us playing with kefitzfotzim?

“Oy, I hope not,” I groaned.

So it was with worried faces that 200 boys filed into the dining room and sat down.

Once everyone had quieted down, Rav Cohen stood up and began to speak.

“Honored rabbanim, dear students, I have some bad news for you,” he announced. “I’m sorry to say that we are no longer getting funding from the government. We need a lot of money to pay the bills and the melamdim’s wages, and we just don’t have it. Hashem will help, but we need to make our own efforts too. I want you all — rabbanim, students, and parents — to think of ways we can come up with the money. All ideas are welcome. We will do everything we can to keep the Talmud Torah open, but if we don’t find the money, sadly, we will be forced to close it.”

No one said a word. Everyone was in shock. They couldn’t close the Talmud Torah! It had been open for years, so long, that some of our parents had actually learned there!

We filed back to class, very downcast. I have to admit that we didn’t concentrate very well on the mishnah we were learning; we were all thinking about the money the Talmud Torah needed, and what we could do about it, and even Rav Rachamim wasn’t his normal enthusiastic self.

Recess time came, and we bounced off to the playground with our kefitzfotzim. But even that had lost its excitement.

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