Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Stronger than DNA

Faigy Peritzman

Suddenly, I zeroed in on a cluster of photos of a sweet African American boy with a kippa perched proudly on his head, his warm smile gazing from various photos chronicling different stages of his life. “And who’s this?” I wondered out loud. “Oh, that’s Sruli. He’s our best friend’s son.” Best friend? Had I met this best friend? I mentally ran through the list of guests at my wedding, but couldn’t place anyone who could fit the description of Sruli’s parents.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Yitzchak and Shulamis Ravick* were living in a small community in New York, where Yitzchak was the president of the local Conservative synagogue. Eventually, the Ravicks became more interested in authentic Judaism and decided to become shomer Shabbos. Their “coreligionists” were appalled. Eventually, life became so unpleasant that they were forced to leave town.

They decided to move to a nearby community that already boasted an Orthodox shul, and sent their two children, Chana and Michael, to the nearby day school. The close-knit, growth-orientated group of families who surrounded them convinced them of the wisdom of their move.

Some time later, Shulamis received a phone call from a neighbor, Rena, whose childless sister was looking to adopt a baby. Rena had recently heard of a baby up for adoption, but while the baby’s biological mother was Jewish, the father was African-American.

Rena’s sister wouldn’t hear of it. She had dreamed of a blond-haired, blue-eyed child and couldn’t let go of this image. Rena suddenly remembered Yitzchak and Shulamis. Although they had not been looking to adopt, they had applied to become foster parents the year before, after seeing an ad for a little Jewish boy in need of a foster home. But their application was somehow lost in the bureaucratic maze, the boy had gone to another home, and the Ravicks returned to their own busy lives. Remembering this incident, Rena was spurred to pick up the phone and call Shulamis to tell her about this other child, awaiting adoption. Shulamis listened politely, repeated the conversation to her husband, then ran out to an evening class she was taking at the local community college. She promptly forgot the conversation.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you