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House of Mirrors: Chapter 28

Rachael Lavon

The jubilant Beloffs have a meaningful conversation with Redlick on their way out of court. Baila discusses seminary options with Sarah

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

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"One cold brew with a tiny splash of milk no sugar please.”

“Will that be all?”

Laylee glanced at Sarah who was already sitting at a corner table. “And one cup of hot water.”

“Plain water, ma’am?”

Laylee shrugged. “That’s what she likes.”

She carried the drinks over to the table and passed Sarah her mug. “I hope the barista did a good job, hot water is difficult to get right.”

Sarah blinked hard, then gave Laylee a blank smile.

“Okay,” Laylee said sharply. “What’s going on? You’ve been totally out of it since Daddy left yesterday. You haven’t criticized me once in 24 hours. Frankly, it’s concerning.”

Sarah sighed, traced a groove in the wooden table with her index finger. “I was talking to Baila the other day and she was telling me all about the seminary she went to in Eretz Yisrael, and she made it sound so…”

“Didn’t she go to Ahuvim? It’s for baalei teshuvah, Sarah, it would be a totally bizarre choice for y—”

“Oh, cos the mainstream system is so perfect?” Sarah cut her off. “It’s producing such deeply spiritual, deeply connected, non-superficial girls, just overflowing with depth! How dare I consider leaving the perfect utopian system I grew up with to try something so horrifically out of the box!”

Laylee’s eyes flashed. “Okay, you went to the wrong high school. Mommy and Daddy should have sent you away to some random place like Cleveland where you could make friends with other girls who drink plain hot water when out to coffee. But that doesn’t mean your experience represents all of the frum world. There are plenty of thought-out, deep, non-superficial girls your age….”

“Yeah. In Ahuvim.” Sarah was quiet for a minute, thinking. “I don’t want to go to a regular seminary, Laylee. I don’t want to spend a year listening to girls complain about how their seminary weight gain will affect their shidduchim. I can’t do it.”

Laylee wrapped her hands around her cup. “I think you might be over-generalizing.”

“Am I?”

“Like, for sure. Or at the very least, probably.” Laylee shifted in her chair.

“Well, probably isn’t good enough for me. Not with what it’s going to take to get me into a regular seminary. But I still really want to go to Eretz Yisrael,” Sarah finished quietly. Laylee looked down at her drink, unsure of what to say. I always associate normal with right. Maybe that’s not always the case. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 540)

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