Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 3 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.
“You’re asking why, Abba?” He ate while she spoke and folded his napkin over and over. “We’re asking the same thing… I know that there are people for whom it is accepted that the parents of the couple pay for the first bris, but we’d never even thought about that. Then, a month before Miri had the baby, I went to a bris that the mechutanim made. Yaakov’s younger sister had a baby and they invited us.” Elisheva’s eyes stared almost blankly at the fish on her father’s plate.
“The mechuteiniste made me feel very good. She’s a very warm woman; I’m happy for Miri that she is her mother-in-law. As we were talking, she casually mentioned that they had ordered the hall and chosen the menu and made all the arrangements with the head waiter. And then she said, ‘Of course, if my Sarah would have wanted to decide about these things, I would have left it to her. But she said that if we’re paying, then we get the right to choose.’” Elisheva smiled. “The mechuteiniste quickly added that the other side had paid half, but because they live far away, she was left to arrange it all. And I’ve been worrying about it ever since.”
She filled Abba’s cup with seltzer. “Almost all of Miri’s salary goes to paying their mortgage on that tiny apartment. I really don’t think they can pay for a bris right now. But we can’t either! Part of my salary goes to the mortgage also, and to pay up debts from her wedding, not to mention what I have to give for Tzippy now… And even though people say that you can make a bris on a much smaller scale, something at home, it will still cost something. Where am I getting that money from? Another loan? What’s this expense going to come in place of? Devoiry’s root canal that we’ve waited nearly half a year to take care of? And anyway, where exactly am I supposed to make a bris in my house?”