NEW RELEASE: Chipmunk Trouble

May 30, 2019

Does the idea of a 3-day Yom Tov intimidate you? I’m not even referring to all the cooking (and eating!) involved. I’m talking about no structure for the kids for 3 whole days!

We all love Yom Tov, but sometimes the idea of having to find ways to entertain the kids for 3 long afternoons in a row, is kind of…well, intimidating!

If these are your feelings as we approach the 3-day Yom Tov of Shavuos this year, then let me give you a tip, parent to parent: Buy Chipmunk Trouble for your kids, and present it to them on the first day of Yom Tov. You’ll see their boredom vanish (well, at least for the couple hours it’ll take them to read the book!)—and hey, you might even get to sneak in a nap or some reading time for yourself!
Chipmunk Trouble is popular author Rachel Stein’s newest “younger reader” book. The 9 stories included in this volume are all geared to your early-elementary-school-age child, with adorable illustrations scattered throughout to enhance your young reader’s pleasure.

As with all of Rachel Stein’s books, there are wonderful lessons to be learned from each and every story, so you can rest assured that with this book, your child is getting wholesome reading material at its best.

Here’s to hoping you and your children make the most of the 3-day Yom Tov ahead of us! Have a great Yom Tov!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Now I Know

May 29, 2019

Just in time for Shavuos!

What better occasion than when we received the Torah to work on strengthening our emunah in Hashem?

And with Rabbi Avrohom Katz’s groundbreaking book on emunahNow I Know, you’ll be treated to a first-class learning experience that will educate, clarify, and even entertain you!

It’s not for nothing that this prolific author is the esteemed menahel of Beis Chaya Rochel Seminary in Gateshead, England. See why his students love his classes and the way he simplifies and explains lofty concepts and principles. In Now I Know you, too, can enter his classroom, pull up a seat, and join the animated discussion as you learn how emunah in Hashem is not really “belief” at all, but actually hard-core, genuine knowledge that we can know just as we know that the sky is blue!

Below is an excerpt from this exceptional book.

 

 The New Car

Acquiring a new car is always a pleasure. The look is clean, the lines are smooth, the tires are pristine and firm, and the car’s emblem gives a confident feeling. Although strange at first, the controls become familiar with the passage of time. People’s admiring comments add to the appreciation. “Nice car you’ve got there”; “Tis’chadesh on your new car!”; “Fabulous car, that one…” As new features are discovered – climate control, assisted parking, keyless locking, lane-keeping aid, cruise control – so does the recognition of the level of design and planning that has produced this vehicle.

The seats are comfortable – soft leather, and are adjustable by the press of a button. The gentle turn of another knob switches on the engine, while the softest pressure on the accelerator pedal releases the handbrake. The car even has a voice! Press the button with the human profile and a mechanical monotone voice asks, “What do you want to do?” Tell the voice that you would like to access the navigation system, and it will obligingly instruct you how to proceed. Fancy talking to your car!

After the euphoria and novelty has faded somewhat, rational thoughts begin to develop. A car is a machine, designed with a singular purpose – to convey its passenger from one location to another in safety and comfort. It has an engine in which fuel is combusted, providing the energy to move pistons which in turn move rods connected to four circular rubber-covered wheels. A steering wheel permits the human driver to exercise his freedom of will to guide the vehicle in the direction of his choice, while the accelerator and break increase and inhibit the velocity. An ambient atmosphere is provided by air heaters and coolers, while an array of lights, powered by a battery, signal to the driver behind you of your desire to brake or change directions, while the twin-beams of light in front illuminate the darkness. Fuel is limited to specifics; not orange juice or dry wine or even carbonated water will provide the necessary combustion – only petroleum will suffice.

On one hand, the car is greatly appreciated. It is a marvelous machine; it enables people to undertake journeys in a fraction of the time that their great-grandfather’s horse-drawn carriage could trundle along. Great-Grandpa would have marveled at the speed and comfort afforded by your car; indeed, it joins the telephone and electricity as discoveries that have transformed our lives.

On the other hand, we are aware of its limitations. When I talk to my car, and it dutifully passes the pre-programmed question, “What would you like to do?” and I say, “Learn the whole of Shas and be an ehrliche Yid,” the poor pre-programmed mechanical voice is flummoxed and exclaims, “Please type in the first line of your address!” The car cannot climb stairs, will never smile, cannot prevent the driver hitting a brick wall, will not self-repair if scratched, or self-inflate its tires if they deflate. The windshield washer needs to be filled with soapy water, preferably with an anti-freezing additive; doors need to be manually closed; the windshield cannot see; the engine needs to be regularly serviced; and don’t forget to change the oil.

Despite its limitations (it is only a machine, after all), the knowledge that it was designed and crafted by a superior intelligence is axiomatic – self-evidently true. The first question asked by any car’s admirer will be, “What make is it?” The question pre-supposes that no machine pops into existence by itself. The admirer, on closer scrutiny, will observe that wheels run more smoothly on rubber than on iron and that round-shaped wheels are more efficient than square ones; a toughened glass windshield gives clearer visibility than tissue paper; brakes that slows the wheel’s rotation are more effective than throwing an anchor out of the window, and electrically powered blinkers are more efficient than the driver shouting out, “I’m turning right!” (given that the driver in the car behind would most likely not hear the shouts). Seeing the myriad of details, he understands instinctively that human intelligence designed it all, and his question will only be, “Which company – is it Ford, Volvo, BMW, Nissan…?” And when you respond, “Volvo V90,” he will purse his lips appreciatively and say, “V90…not bad!”

If it is axiomatic that the car – with all its limitations – is the product of Mr. Skoda’s brilliant team of designers, then it should be even more axiomatic that Mr. Volvo or Mr. Skoda, Henry Ford or Lord Rolls-Royce, and all the other gifted manufacturers of cars are, likewise, designed by a supreme intelligence. If no machine exists that either created itself, or popped into existence by random forces, then the super-super complex machine that we call a human being must obey the same criteria. A simple kal v’chomer.

The car’s owner’s manual lists in its index approximately five hundred different functions and components – hood release, seat adjustment, etc. – each of which is comprehendible and relatively simple. By contrast, a basic volume of Principles of Anatomy and Physiology contains some ten thousand entries in its index, from abdomen and veins to zymogenic cells, and each of the entries is complex beyond belief.

Take the mechanism of blood coagulation. When a pressurized blood-circulation system is punctured, a clot must form quickly to prevent the leakage of all the blood, as would happen if a plastic bottle of orange juice would spring a leak. If blood congeals in the wrong time or place, though, the clot may block circulation, with serious consequences. Furthermore, a clot has to stop bleeding all along the length of the cut, sealing it completely. Yet blood-clotting must be confined to the cut, or the entire blood system of the body might solidify, which is not conducive to a long life. Consequently, the clotting of blood must be tightly controlled so that the clot forms only when and where it is required…

The multi-staged cascade of chemical reactions requires every component of the process to be present – this one an activator, that one an accelerator, another one an inhibitor – for the whole thing to work. The absence of a single link in the chain-reaction will spell tragedy. When a mohel declares that a baby is yellow, he is telling us that one of the coagulatory factors has not yet been released, hence the danger in performing an operation. When said mohel clears the baby for a bris, he is informing us that a process of mind-numbing complexity is fully functioning. In the relief that follows his pronouncement, we are paying homage to the Designer of a life-saving mechanism on which our very existence depends – and therein lies the essence of a great truth…

Any system that needs all its components to work for it to perform the task is called minimal function. It must have the ability to accomplish its tasks in physically realistic circumstances. In order to lock your front door, you need a locking mechanism in the door, preferably at the edge; a groove in the doorpost; and a key to turn the lock. And don’t forget the door. Every one of those components is vital and irreplaceable (irreducibly complex) and every one of the components has to function correctly for it to work at all (minimal function). If there was a door but it was too wide for the aperture in the wall, if the lock was rusted and did not turn, if the groove in the doorpost was higher than the lock’s bolt, if the key did not fit the key-hole – then the whole operation could not function and you might want to think of barricading the door with your freezer to discourage unwanted visitors.

In any machine – as simple as a door lock – the absence of a single component that would render the system unusable might not be disastrous; there are alternatives and contingency plans that could be activated to guarantee security (think of an armed guard). But if life depended on the full functioning of that system, and the absence of a single component would disable the system on which life depends, then we understand well how that system must have been perfect from the very beginning.

In the same way that a cursory glance at a car will prompt the question, “That’s a good car – what make is it?” similarly, even superficial knowledge of how our own bodies work will clearly convince the thinking person that we, too, have a Designer and a Master Manufacturer – Bereishis bara Elokim.

 

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Song of the Sea

May 28, 2019

…It was a captivating story, but that is not why I’m writing to you. The reason that I am writing is because of the “Naomi” in my class. I am in the twelfth grade, and “Naomi” joined my class last year, putting her at a great disadvantage friend-wise. I never understood why this girl acted so strangely, spending recess in the library instead of in the lunchroom, wearing a hairstyle that is not the popular style, etc. Naomi from Song of the Sea gave me a glimpse into this girl’s mindset and showed me how although people may look different on the outside, we are really all very similar on the inside.

I’m not saying that I’m friends with my “Naomi” today, but I’m definitely much more understanding of her and much more friendly to her because of Song of the Sea. I know that many of my classmates also read the story, and although no one said it outright, I saw how the general attitude towards our “Naomi” has changed. So thank you so much for an entertaining read, but more importantly, thank you for giving a lonely girl a place in her class.

This was the letter penned by a reader of Song of the Sea. For all those who doubt the potency of fiction writing, there you have it, black on white: the far-reaching effects of a novel read by thinking readers.

Mind you, not every novel has such power, of course. It takes the right author and writing style, the right plot, and the right message to strike those sensitive chords within a reader. And Song of the Sea definitely has all of that, plus a lot more too.

 

Song of the Sea is the poignant story of an introverted teen and the challenges and misjudgments that she faces. It is a beautifully written and thought-provoking novel (though it’s got its funny moments, too!) that will move you to find the song in the great sea of different people out there. And to find the song within yourself…

See for yourself what others are fascinated about in this novel! It makes for great Shavuos/summertime reading, and its take-away messages will continue resonating with you long after you’ve finished the book!

 

Click here to order online.

 


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 7

May 27, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 7 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

The phone rang. And rang. Finally, someone picked up.

“Rosenblit and Etzioni, Attorneys at Law, good afternoon.”

Lawyers? Elisheva kept a steady gaze on the cat that had sneaked up behind the large dumpster. For its part, the cat was maintaining eye contact with the strange woman who had invaded its territory.

“Hello?”

“Yes…” Elisheva tried to focus on the conversation. “I received a call from Mr. Rosenblit, and he asked me to call him back.”

“Who is this, please?” The woman was probably a secretary.

“Mrs. Potolsky.”

“Potolsky? …Oh, yes. Attorney Mayer Rosenblit would like to set up a meeting with you and your husband.”

“A meeting with us?”

“Are you Tziporah Genendel’s parents?”

“That’s right.” She felt constricted. And it wasn’t because of the cat, which was approaching her step by step. Goodness; that cat was getting daring!

“So, Mr. Rosenblit wants to meet you.”

Keep Reading…


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 6

May 20, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 6 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

Bratislava – 5704/1944

 

The representatives of the occupying government who arrived at the orphanage turned out not to be soldiers. There were two members of the city council, one Russian policeman, and another person in uniform who introduced himself as “Anatoly Stachov, a member of the Communist Party,” but didn’t provide much detail about his exact position or rank. In any case, it didn’t interest the director much; he just kept scurrying around his guests like a starving mouse, trying to curry their favor, to the point where the older children exchanged small smiles at the sight. They had never seen the director grovel like this to anyone.

Gustav did not smile. He wasn’t old enough to understand the comical scene, and besides, the only thing he could think about was which of the guests he could ask questions to without being embarrassed.

He finally decided that the fat man from the city council, the guy who hardly spoke, would have time for him. The man was standing near the wall with a lit cigarette, and Gustav sidled up to him.

The man took the cigarette out of his mouth. “Go play, kid,” he said in a gruff voice.

“Did you see my mother?”

“Who?”

“My mother. Theodore said that maybe you saw her on your way here.”

The man narrowed his eyes, his eyebrows almost covering them completely. “Me?”

“Yes.”

“Why? Do you not know where she is?”

keep reading…


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 5

May 13, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 5 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

Tzippy walked up the stairs as Sari Goodman from the third floor came down in the opposite direction, jangling the keys to her salon.

“Oh, Tzippy!” She smiled broadly. “How are you?”

Baruch Hashem, great.”

“Mazel tov on your new nephew and on the bris. How’s the shul’s new hall? Is it nice?”

“Yes, it’s really very pretty.”

“And what’s the baby’s name?”

“Shmuel, after my father’s father.”

“Very nice. Are they still by you?”

“No. My sister’s mother-in-law gave her a gift of three days at the kimpeturin home in Telzstone, so she’s there now.”

“Nice! So, you’re going from one simchah to the next, aren’t you… When’s the wedding? Do you have a date already?”

“In Shevat, b’ezras Hashem.”

“Wonderful!” Mrs. Goodman leaned her head forward as if she wanted to share a secret with a five-year-old, and said, “Tell your mother that it’s not smart to wait with the sheitels until the middle of the winter. After Chanukah, prices are going up. I’m having a small sale now on all my precut wigs, and if you come now you’ll get really great prices.”

Tzippy nodded solemnly. “I’ll tell my mother,” she said.

“And I have a few styles that are just right for you—very modest and refined. Do you want to come over this evening?”

“I’ll speak to my mother and we’ll see what our plans are for this week. Thanks.”

“Our plans for this week include starting to get you outfitted and ready for the wedding, b’ezras Hashem,” a voice said from the first floor. Tzippy’s mother came up the stairs, carrying her small pocketbook. “Oh, Sari, how are you? Do you think you have anything good for Tzippy in your salon?”

“Yes, I was just telling her that I’m clearing my shelves and if you come in this evening, I think Tzippy will find some styles that she likes.”

Keep Reading…


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 4

April 29, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 4 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

“One second. Quiet,” Elisheva said.

The family was sitting around the kitchen table in the midst of quite a rowdy supper that included the new parents, Miri and Yaakov; Binyamin, who had popped in from yeshivah to get his quilt; the older girls; and fourteen-year-old Shuki.

Everyone slowly quieted down and then…cuckoo! Cuckoo!

“It’s the clock again!” Elisheva dashed into the hallway and then into the dining room. “Can someone tell me what is going on here? But quietly, please, so the little kids don’t wake up.”

“The clock!” Binyamin exclaimed. “Did you decide to invest the money to fix it, Ima?”

She laughed. “Not at all! The clockmaker who checked it out told us that it would cost a few hundred shekels to repair, so we decided to skip it.”

“And you haven’t been here the past few weeks,” Shuki told his older brother. “This is the third time that clock has come to life, out of the blue.”

“Fourth,” Miri, the kimpeturin, corrected him. “Yesterday morning, when just the baby and I were alone in the house, the cuckoo bird popped out and began to chirp.”

“You mean, to call,” Riki corrected her. By this time, the cuckoo bird had stopped chirping or calling, so the grammatical nuances were pretty superfluous. The bird receded back into its place, and the little door slammed shut.

“Strange,” Elisheva murmured, as she walked back to the kitchen. “The food is getting cold, everyone. And it’s already 11:30. Shuki, you need to go to sleep.”

Her fourteen-year-old wrinkled his nose. “I need to bentch with a mezuman, Ima,” he said, trying to stifle a yawn.

“I’ll bentch,” Yaakov announced, and stood up to get his hat and jacket. “Because I think I’m also going to sleep, Shuki. So don’t think you’re going to be missing much here. I have to make up a few hours from last night. I didn’t know that babies are so exhausting.”

“You can tell you’re one of the youngests in your family,” Binyamin teased. ‘When my oldest child is born, b’ezras Hashem, I’ll have plenty of experience.”

In time, the meal wound down as each member of the family drifted off to do his or her own thing. Only Binyamin, Tzippy, and Elisheva remained in the kitchen.

“I’ll take down your blanket in just a minute,” Elisheva said. “Too bad you didn’t tell me in the morning that you were coming. I would have taken it out earlier and let it air out from the mothball smell. I know you don’t like that smell.”

“Eh, I’m not as spoiled as I used to be,” her son replied. “I was so cold last night that I had a hard time sleeping.”

“You’ve always suffered from the cold,” Tzippy remarked as she scraped the plates. “I don’t even use a thick quilt. I think the only time I used one was when we were kids and we went to Zeidy and Bubby Potolsky in Yerushalayim. It’s really cold there, but I love it like that.”

“So it sounds like you’d prefer living in Yerushalayim than in Bnei Brak,” Binyamin said with a chuckle.

Tzippy grinned. “When it comes to the weather, yes. In other ways, I’m not sure.”

Elisheva went to get the blanket from the top shelf in the bedroom closet. Binyamin knew there was no point in trying to offer to climb the ladder and get it down himself. The perfectly organized closets were exclusively their mother’s domain. “In such a small place, I need to keep track of what’s going on all the time,” she would say. And the kids never stopped marveling about how much their mother was able to store in just one closet.

“Now seriously, where are you going to live?” Binyamin asked his sister quietly.

Tzippy turned on the water. “I don’t know,” she said, after a minute. “Not in Bnei Brak or Yerushalayim. I can start with renting in Pardes Katz, like Miri did, but I can also try from the start to settle someplace where I have a better chance of staying long-term. Maybe Yerucham or Rechasim…I dunno…one of the cheap places. Not that I know much about these things.”

“Cheap places,” her brother murmured. “Nowhere is cheap. What’s cheap? An apartment that costs only NIS 400,000 and not NIS 800,000 or a million?”

Tzippy was quiet.

“And where will Abba and Ima get four hundred thousand from?”

“You’re right,” Tzippy said. “I heard them talking last night. Ima said she has no idea if Miri and Yaakov are expecting them to help pay for the bris, because if they are, she has no idea where the money will come from. And Abba told Ima that he is anyway going to the gemach today, so he’ll ask for that also. And Ima said that—”

“What Ima said and what Abba said is none of your business.” Elisheva stood in the doorway holding the quilt and looking from one to the other. “Really, Binyamin, I’m surprised at you. Why do you need to talk to Tzippy about this? Just to make her feel pressured? What do you want from her? That she should come and tell us that we shouldn’t give what we have to give and are happy to give?”

Chastened, Binyamin rubbed his chin. “But really, where is the money going to come from?” he asked.

“It’s not for kids to worry about,” Elisheva replied firmly. “And don’t look at me with those big eyes, my mature, eighteen-year-old-to-the-chuppah boy, because right now, you are still a kid. And when your turn does come, b’ezras Hashem, we’ll happily give what we can to you, too. Relax, okay?”

She dropped the blanket onto the table and went over to Tzippy. “And you also,” she said. “It’s nice that you and Binyamin are thinking about me and Abba, and it’s good to be realistic, but b’ezras Hashem, everything will be fine.” She lowered her voice. “And everything will work out with the bris, too. A thousand shekel more or less…we’ll manage.”

Tzippy and Binyamin exchanged glances but remained silent.

Elisheva spoke up again. “And I’m asking the two of you, please, not a word about any of this to Yaakov or Miri.”

“Of course,” Binyamin replied automatically. “Isn’t that understood?”

His mother threw him a gaze that said, I should hope so! and then quickly changed the subject.

***

 

Bratislava – 5704/1944

More than two years passed, and Slovakia—essentially a satellite of Nazi Germany—seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. After a period of deportations of Jews in 1942, Rav Michoel Ber Weissmandl was able to reach temporary agreements with the Nazis to suspend them.
But the calm did not last. On Erev Sukkos 5704, the Hlinka Brigades went from one Jewish house to the next. The Jews were taken with no advance warning, as they prepared for the holiday. The meat was still in their pots; here and there, half-started sukkahs could be seen abandoned in yards.

It was only the opening salvo of the renewed deportations.

On Motza’ei Yom Tov of the first days of Sukkos, little Yosef Ludmir’s mother came with her two-year-old son to the orphanage. Theodore finally accepted him, much to the displeasure of Farash, the director. But Theodore gave him half of the contents of the fabric sachet that the Jewish mother had given him, and the director promised to be quiet.

This time, he did not interfere in the selection of the name, and Theodore chose to call the child Edo. The director did not ask who he was named for. He just gritted his teeth and waited impatiently for the war to end.
And end it did.

And more than two years passed.

No come came to look for the children, not for Edo and not for Gustav.

“No one even knows about Gustav,” Theodore said confidently. “And Edo’s parents were for sure sent to the concentration camps; they won’t ever come back. The children are ours now, Farash.”

“I’m thrilled,” the director grumbled. “At least it doesn’t endanger me and my status in the party that was but is no longer. Too bad; we did some good things, but the Soviets couldn’t care less.”

A child’s head popped into the room. “Sir,” he said.

“Yes, Janko?”

“Gustav is not here. The teacher said to come and tell you.”

The director and Theodore both stood up at once.

“What does that mean, he’s not here?” Theodore asked.

“He’s not in class, and he’s not in his bedroom or in any other room, nor in the dining room or in the yard.”

The director muttered something under his breath while Theodore ran to the door of the office. He looked right, then left, and then strode down the corridor. Janko ran after him.

They came to the gate; it was ajar.

“Who is the last one who saw him before the lesson?” Theodore asked the boy.

“No one.”

“No one! And who saw him at breakfast?”

“No one.”

“And who saw him when you got up this morning?”

“All the children.”

“Aha,” Theodore said, and shaded his eyes with his hand to look out toward the fields, those same fields that, until a short time ago, Gustav would stand and stare at, night after night. After Edo arrived, for some reason, his nocturnal outings had dwindled, until they stopped completely. “So he slipped out after he got dressed this morning. Tell me, Janko, over the last few weeks, when you played in the yard, did you notice Gustav talking with any stranger?”

The child frowned, clearly puzzled. “No.”

“No one passed by the gate? You didn’t see Gustav hanging around near the wall a lot? Or near the main entrance?”

“No.”

Theodore turned toward the main entrance, around the other side of the building. Again, Janko ran after him, but they were not the only ones to get there. The teacher and seven other students were also standing there.

“What’s going on?” Theodore asked.

“That’s the issue; nothing’s going on.” The teacher looked at him. “The boy didn’t turn up for class. When I sent someone to look for him, and began to delve a bit deeper into the matter—”

“You discovered that he’s been missing since the morning.”

“Since this morning?” the teacher gasped.

“Yes. But before we give up, let’s just do one last search of the whole property. Not that I believe he’s here, but…”

Theodore Heinke was right. Gustav wasn’t anywhere on the grounds of the orphanage.

“He went back to his people, the Jews,” the director said when he heard the results of the search. “Very good. You wouldn’t have been able to raise him here as a faithful Catholic anyway, not when our Slovakia is becoming just another little crumb in the Soviet Union.”

“I am capable of a whole lot, just so you know,” Theodore said churlishly. “And this whole thing is getting me annoyed. Very, very annoyed.”

He looked out the window. The sun was beginning to dip on the horizon of the fields, when he saw a small figure running up the winding path that cut through the fields.

 

“So you’re back, Gustav.” Theodore opened his arms in greeting, but the boy slipped out of his grasp and walked away, his head lowered.

“Did you meet anyone interesting?”

“No one,” the boy murmured. Then he suddenly shouted at Theodore. “She didn’t come back, Edo’s mother! And neither did my mother! He and I are both left with no one in the world!”

“That’s not true,” Theodore said. “You have me.”

The boy didn’t respond; he didn’t even look at him. “There were lots of people in the street, and I walked for a long time, but not a single woman approached to tell me she was my mother or Edo’s mother. Finally, one man asked me why I was walking around a whole day and where I lived, and when I told him that I was looking for my mother who disappeared during the war, he started asking me lots of questions, until I got fed up and ran back here.” He collapsed onto the grass, his heels digging into the loose earth, and began to kick his feet.

A shadow suddenly fell over him. The director was standing behind him.

“Listen, boy,” he hissed, ignoring Theodore’s looks. “And listen well. You are a little ingrate, that’s what you are. You wail day and night, and disappear without permission—and that is something I will not tolerate in our orphanage, do you hear? The next time you try it, you’ll find yourself outside, with all your Jewish brothers—for good. And even before that, you’ll be getting some well-deserved wallops from me.”

“Never.” Theodore’s lips formed the word soundlessly. Farash sounded so decisive now that he could not overtly contradict him.

It was a good thing that Farash was the one who was good at talking, while he was the action-oriented one.