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Short Story: A Gem of an Idea

Chava Regen

The handshake she received from Aunt Chaya was warm with the energy released by a night of dancing, but the accompanying “Mazel Tov” was cool. Well, the truth was that everything expressed by Uncle Ephraim’s family came across that way. Neither with frost nor fury, just a cool distance.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Family history held that the Elter Bubbe Leah, Chaya Rochel’s great-grandmother, had received the brooch as a gift from her rich chassan, Zeide Alte Moishe. Around the same time, the good news was announced that her friend, Kreindel the Orphan, was engaged. Elter Bubbe Leah had rushed over to Kreindel’s home to congratulate her and share in her happiness, but, to her consternation, she had found Kreindel crying.

“Kreindel,” she cried, “Kreindel, Kreindel, is the shidduch off?” Kreindel shook her head. “Kreindel, tell me what’s the matter,” Elter Bubbe Leah begged.

“Leah,” Kreindel said, “do you understand he’s an orphan like me? Am I doomed forever to the lot of the poor?” she said miserably.

Leah was brokenhearted at Kreindel’s unhappiness. And she decided to do something to help. Bubbe Leah never revealed who the courier was, but she sent her new brooch to Kreindel’s chassan with the clear message that it now belonged to him to give as a gift to his kallah.

Leah meant well, but she only complicated matters for Kreindel.


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