Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

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

mishpacha image

"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)

Related Stories

House of Mirrors: Chapter 27

Rachael Lavon

Norman explains his history with Redlick. Laylee tells her father it would mean the world to Sarah i...

Welcome to the World

As told to Leah Gebber

“Don’t go to some hick-town hospital,” my mother said on the phone. “Ten miles further is a world-cl...

Lifetakes: A Girl Called Kaila

Esther Malka Goldschmidt

Strange to hear this woman recounting a piece of my past. How many times had I wandered up and down ...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you