L703My son was scared to go get the chocolate, but the fear wasn’t enough to keep him away from one of his favorite treats.

After being punched by a tougher, older boy as he walked from cheder to the bus stop one afternoon,  “Noach” wasn’t seeking a sympathetic hug or a kind word from his parents – he wanted justice.

Harnessing spunk that defied his tender age and slender frame, he did his homework well.  He found out where the bully attends school – and then called the boy’s principal at home to speak about the issue. (He made the call from a friend’s house, otherwise I probably would have been the one on the phone.) Two days later he was invited by the principal to come over to the school to identify the juvenile offender.

Accompanied by a friend who was eyewitness to the attack, Noach nervously made his way to the school and was given the opportunity to view one of the older grade’s classes in session.  “Did anyone here hit this boy?” the principal asked the students. Sure enough, the boy cowering in the corner was the culprit. He was suspended for a few days and ordered to bring in some nice chocolates for Noach – along with a note of apology.

Noach forgave the boy and has since moved on to other more consuming topics such as the latest illustrated novel and when Shimmy can come to us for Shabbos.

If only every  fight and falling-out could be resolved so easily…

Eliyahu Matlon is hiding –  from himself.  An orphan from birth, he betrayed the only family he ever had, and crossing the ocean to begin a new life in America, did nothing to ease his guilt and heartache. Those closest to him do not even know what he did – not his wife, not his daughters, and certainly not his neighbors who view him as a generous, upright supporter of their local Torah community. The only remaining victim is his brother Yosef, back in Yerushalayim.  And Yosef will neither  forgive nor forget.

Welcome to the complex world of the Matlon brothers. Travel back and forth in time between the present  day  and Yerushalayim of Old, as Eliyahu struggles to overcome 40 years of estrangement and gain his brother’s forgiveness.  Yosef knows that Eliyahu’s unspeakable misdeed can never be righted. It is unforgiveable and yet Eliyahu pleads: Forgive Me.

Guest Blogger: Sara Miriam Gross

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