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Chaya Sara Ben Shachar

“It’s bad enough that I have to go to BRC,” I said bitterly. “Do I have to go like a pauper, too?”

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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"V ivi, I heard that Suri Cohen is going to be one of the head counselors in the end,” Shoshi Kleinman enthused as we walked together to BRC for our first day of day camp.

“I know,” I said dully. “I met her at Super Produce yesterday.”

“Super Produce?” Shoshi asked, wiggling her eyebrows. “What were you doing at Super Produce?”

“I was stocking up on nosh,” I said, and I could feel my cheeks coloring. Super Produce is a high-end grocery store. I mean, it carries your typical line of groceries just like any other grocery store, but Super Produce is designed in such a way that even a simple bread and milk purchase becomes “An Elegant Shopping Experience.” (Their line, not mine.)

The prices Super Produce charges border on the elegant as well. Which was probably why Shoshi was so surprised at my choice of shopping location.

“I bought a bag of caramel popcorn for today,” I said, stopping to pull the red-and-gold bag out of my knapsack. “It has the Super Produce ribbon right at the top,” I said, touching the embossed gold trimming.

“I see,” Shoshi said, and she wiggled her eyebrows again. “Totally worth spending the extra money so that you can have that ribbon.”

Her voice was sarcastic and I didn’t like that one bit.

“It’s bad enough that I have to go to BRC,” I said bitterly. “Do I have to go like a pauper, too?”

The expression on Shoshi’s face went from shocked to angry to embarrassed. I saw all of the changes because she stopped walking and planted herself right in front of me.


“Vivi Taub, if you’re going to have that attitude, then you might as well stay at home all summer. You’re not going to enjoy one minute of day camp if all summer long you’re going to be wishing that you were in Beis Feiga sleepaway camp.”

I pursed my lips. Shoshi Kleinman might have been my best friend back in nursery school, and that summer she was the only friend I had who was going to day camp like I was, but Shoshi and I hardly had the same value system anymore. Shoshi Kleinman had been going to BRC Day Camp ever since she’d learned how to read, and she aspired to nothing more. Her family couldn’t afford to send her anywhere else, and she was a simple type of girl who had an easy time accepting such disheartening facts.

I hadn’t thought that my comment about paupers was the type she’d even get insulted by. She hardly takes these things personally; she’s very easygoing like that. Exactly the way that Shoshi was telling me I ought to aspire to act. I wasn’t interested.

“I am going to feel bad that I’m not in Camp Beis Feiga,” I murmured as Shoshi finally got out of my way and let me continue walking. “I know that the only way that my parents will be able to afford to take us all to Israel for my brother’s bar mitzvah during Succos is if we all stay at home this summer. I know it, and I can’t stand it.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 673)

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