T he elegant Bnei Brak apartment was full of joy and bustle. What a beautiful wedding it had been! The head of the household, shtreimel in hand, was dressed in an immaculate beketshe, looking every inch the dignified young zeide, and about to leave for the hall where he was hosting sheva brachos for his newlywed granddaughter.

His wife, fluttering with anticipation, had finally decided on the perfect headscarf to wear with her new outfit (1,200 shekels at Euro Lady’s end-of-season sale) and shoes (500 at Classy Step).

Just as they were about to walk out the door, the telephone rang. “Sara’le’s in the hospital,” said Aharon quietly as he replaced the receiver. “She’s hurt.”

“Oy, vey! A terror attack?”

“Not exactly. She was shot in the arm.”

“Shot? Why?” For a fraction of a second, a half-formed thought flitted through her mind. Perhaps Sara’le is dead. But only for a fraction of a second, because respectable mothers prefer to hope for the best for their daughters, even if their daughters give them nothing but misery.

“The Border Police shot her.”

“Was she at the scene of a terror attack?”

“I don’t think so.”

“So why was she shot?”

“I’ll explain on the way.”

“On the way where, to the sheva brachos?”

“No.” Aharon took the car keys off the hook. “To the hospital.”

“But Aharon, the sheva brachos that we’re making is starting in just a few minutes!”

“So you want us to leave our daughter alone in the hospital, shot in the arm, and about to undergo surgery to repair her bone, while we go out partying?”

“And you want us to ruin a simchah for two whole families, because our stupid child didn’t stop when a policeman told her to?”

“How do you know that’s what happened?”

“I know her. That ‘Rabbanit’ of theirs must have brainwashed them that they don’t have to obey policemen, that they have Divine protection.” Amazing how one sentence could hold so much pent-up bitterness, anger, shame, and humiliation.

“Yehudit, that makes no difference. Our little girl is lying in the hospital, and we are going there immediately, with a spare cell phone for her to use, and a credit card to pay for private medical care.”

“All right,” said Yehudit, giving in too easily. Leaving him wondering: what would they do about the sheva brachos? They were the hosts, after all. It would be very awkward for a party to proceed without any hosts.

How did Sara’le always manage to spoil everything? And in such original ways, and with such perfect timing. She couldn’t have waited until tomorrow to get shot, when there was only going to be a boring sheva brachos made by Savta Kleinhardt from the chassan’s side? Or the day after, when the chassan’s siblings were making a sheva brachos at home?

“Aharon.” Yehudit fumbled nervously with her gold necklace as she spoke. “You’re right, of course. But if I come to the hospital, I’m going to yell at her. I promise you, I’m going to yell and scream. And if her friends are there with her, I’ll scream at them, too. I’ll take a pair of scissors from the nurses, and I’ll cut those black shmattehs of hers to shreds.” Her hands shook with anger. “I’ll tell the surgeon to open up her head and tighten up the loose screws. I’ll…” (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 692)