can’t believe you’re even thinking of taking another trip across the world right now!” Leah slams down the presser foot on the flimsy fabric. The chiffon is tough to work with, it keeps slipping away.

“Around the world?!” Leibel raises an eyebrow. “Teplidzkai. It’s a hop and a skip away.”

“Yes, well. You’ve just come back! Yesterday you said you’d call Yosske Deitsch about our Baila. Today you want to tantz through Europe.”

 “Who’s tantzing, Leah? One day. Two days, max.” Leibel rubs a palm over the gleaming Singer. “Two days. A few more kapitlach can’t hurt, and when I get back, I promise I’ll do all I can to help you tantz at Baila’s chasuneh.”

Leah presses on the pedal and the machine shudders into action. She shepherds the hem carefully, letting it slither beneath the humming needle, but makes no answer.

 “The Tzaddik asked, Leah’le. How can I turn him down?”

Leah straightens her back and lets the fabric slacken. “Ah, the Rebbe.” Her tone softens. “Der Tzaddik hot gezogt. Do I know better than the Tzaddik?”

Leibel gives the top of the Singer a friendly tap and exhales. He springs out of the room. Four hours to departure. Now, where is that carry-on case?

Leah’s voice carries through the corridor.

“So, will you tell the Tzaddik?” she shouts after him.

“Tell him vos?”

“Nu, nu. You know.”

Leibel pulls at his earlobe. It must be in the boidem.

“Will you?!”

“Will I what?!” he shouts back as he sets up the ladder.

“Tell the Tzaddik about our Baila?”

“What is there to tell? Nothing’s happened yet!”

“And what will you do to make the nothing into something, huh?! Our Baila is 19! Ask the Tzaddik for a brachah — let there be something!”

Heaving aside two crates of Pesach dishes, Leibel dislodges the carry case from its confinement and tosses it to the floor. Dusting himself off, he wheels it into the dining room.

There, Leah picks up the thread of their conversation.

“You make sure you get a brachah from the Tzaddik, okay? When you come back I want to break a plate!”

“Yes, yes. I’ll ask,” he says and looks down at his feet. He straightens out his rumpled tzitzis and looks at Leah expectantly. “Nu… what do you say you help me pack?”

 (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 607)