“I dy,” Mrs. Sommers said, “some more cake? It’s Moe’s specialty.”

Idy looked down at the little girl on her lap. “What do you say, Lulu? Should we share another piece?”

Lulu’s blond curls shook up and down.

Toby stroked baby Devorala’s silky cheek, and adjusted the soft lavender blanket more snuggly around her tiny newborn shoulders. “I’ve loved this cake ever since I was a little girl.”

Moe reached out and touched the infant’s nose gently with his fingertip. “She’s a copy of you, Toby.” “Really? I thought she looked more like Lazer.”

“At two weeks old,” Lazer said, “she looks more like Uncle Moshe.”

Moe tapped his balding head. “That she does!”

Everyone around the table laughed.

“Mr. Matthews,” Toby said, “your home is so warm and appealing. Thank you for this lovely invitation to dinner.”

“The house is all my wife’s doing. She enjoyed that sort of thing.” He caught Zachary’s gaze and held it warmly with his own. “I haven’t mentioned her much in the past two years, but this whole episode showed me how important it is to celebrate the memories of the loved ones we’ve lost. It somehow makes them live on.”

Zachary smiled at his father. Toby looked at Idy, and their eyes met in understanding. Baby Devorala’s very existence was a celebration of a woman they both loved.

Jacob stood and brought his empty plate to the sink. “Is it all right if I choose a book to take home with me?” he asked Mrs. Sommers.

“Certainly. You’ve made great strides in reading, Jacob. I’m so pleased you decided to join Zachary for his lessons.”

“And I’m pleased,” Lazer said, “that you’re already reading from the siddur. You’ll see, soon enough we’ll start Chumash, then Mishnayos, and we’ll tackle Gemara!”

“Mr. Glenner,” Zachary said, “maybe I can join Jacob in his Jewish lessons too sometimes?”

Lazer looked at Mr. Matthews. “What do you say?”

“A few lessons here and there wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it would make his grandpa proud.”

“Thanks, Pa.” Zachary pushed back his chair. “Come Jacob, I know which book you should borrow. I just read it. You’ll like it just fine. It’s all about the Wright brothers and the airplanes they invented. It’s in my room. I’ll show you.”

“They sure have become good friends these past few weeks,” Mr. Matthews said after the boys left. “I haven’t seen Zachary this happy in quite a while.”

“Jacob too,” Idy said. “To watch him be a regular boy, and run and play with Zachary is wonderful.”

Mrs. Sommers dabbed her eyes with her napkin. “There I go again. Every time I think about what you’ve been through, my eyes well up.”

Moe cut a slice of cake. “Well, there’s no need for crying.” He placed the chocolaty treat on his plate. “More than half the ransom money was retrieved from the kidnappers’ automobile, the Renards are both paying for their crimes, and the kidnapper has been caught too.” “Only one,” Toby said in a hushed tone. “Who knows where the other one is?”

“He’ll be found soon enough,” Lazer said. “His accomplice gave a detailed description of him, and his picture is in every newspaper in these parts. And with the reward money I’m offering, someone will recognize him and turn him in. You’ll see.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 689)