Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



F Is for Friendship: Hard and Fast Freindship

Ruchama Schnaidman

“We have 15 for sures, ten maybes, and three who want to think about it and will let us know tonight”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

 Mishpacha image

 

I guess as fasters go, I’m a pretty good one. Not that I enjoy fasting — I don’t, does anyone? But I can manage pretty well without eating and drinking for a day, and that’s a lot more than most of my friends can say.

So when Penina called me two weeks before Tisha B’Av and said, “I have a great idea, let’s make a Tisha B’Av day camp together,” I agreed.

“Sounds good,” I said.

“Awesome,” Penina said. “My mother said we can use our basement and I already have like 20 kids from my neighborhood signed up.”

“Already signed up?” I asked. “And you’re only asking me about this now?”

Penina laughed. “Yeah, I know,” she said. “But mothers have been asking me to run a day camp for days already and I knew you were going to say yes.”

I shook my head, letting the idea settle in. Everything sounded good so far. “Okay,” I said. “I’ll double check with my mother, but count me in.”

“Great!” Penina said, and I thought I heard a sigh of relief over the phone line. I guess she really didn’t want to have to tell 20 mothers that she was backing out.

The next day, in camp, Penina bounced over to me as soon as I walked into the bunk room.

“Okay,” she said, plopping into the chair next to mine. “We have 15 for sures, ten maybes, and three who want to think about it and will let us know tonight.”

“Huh?” I asked, wiping sleep from my bleary eyes.

“For our camp,” Penina said. She jabbed my hand. “Come on, where’s your enthusiasm?” she asked. “Once I made it official, my phone has not stopped ringing.”

I blinked, letting her words settle in. “Fifteen for sures, ten maybes and three who will let us know?” I asked. “Wow, that sounds like a lot of kids.”

“Yeah,” Penina said and I watched her eyes shine like flashlights. “And we’ve only just gotten started.”

 

By the next morning there were more for sures and too many maybes to keep track of. A niggling feeling of… should I call it discomfort? began worming its way through me.

“Uh, Penina,” I said, as she rattled off more names and ages during line-up. “Don’t you think we’re biting off more than we can chew?”

“More than we can chew?” Penina asked.

I sighed. She had never been good with expressions. “I mean, aren’t we accepting too many kids?” I asked. “It is going to be Tisha B’Av after all, and your basement isn’t Madison Square Garden.”

Penina took a step back, then leaned forward and examined my face. “You’re serious,” she said as I stared back at her. “I thought you were joking, but you’re serious.”

I snorted. “Of course I’m serious,” I said.

She wrinkled her brows then threw her head back and laughed. “Let me teach you a little business trick,” she said. “There is never a thing called too many when it comes to accepting kids for your camp.”

Well, really! (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 670)

Related Stories

Bubbling Over

Rochel Burstyn

Bubbles make us think of dreams and hopes and rainbows and fun and summer. Join me as we find out mo...

Jr. Tales: Summer and Fall

Rivkah Small

If she hadn’t been looking at the flower banner but had gone directly to the manager, would Layli be...

Mickey Mouse, Here We Come!

Chavi Brody

“The bus will be leaving at six promptly. Please be on time.” Was it my imagination or was she stari...

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.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
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