“We must find the missing dreidel,” I declared solemnly the next day to Yoel and Yom Tov. Tulli couldn’t make it to the meeting, so it was just the three of us, like old times.

“How?” asked Yom Tov, gazing at me trustfully.

I couldn’t let him down. “Um... Uh... Maybe go to the crime scene and see if we can find any clues?” I suggested. “The museum opens to the public soon, so let’s hurry.”

We went down to the museum and looked around. What a silly idea. What had I been thinking? What was there to see? There was the exhibition minus the purple dreidel, and that was all. There were no clues that could lead us to solve the mystery, and no—

“Here!” exclaimed Yom Tov, pointing to the empty base that stood forsaken on the shelf.

“What do you mean, here?” Yoel was impatient. “We already know the dreidel was there, what new discovery did you suddenly make?”

“The base!” cried Yom Tov. “Don’t you get it? Maybe the thief will come back to get it. The dreidel isn’t worth so much without the base. If it’s lying on its side you can’t appreciate its beauty, and besides, it’s not the whole work of art without the base.”

“So why did whoever it was take only the dreidel?” wondered Yoel.

“Maybe he didn’t have time to take the base too,” Yom Tov said. “Maybe he suddenly noticed that Bentzi was looking in his direction.”

“Do you really think he’ll come back here and try to take it?” asked Yoel. “Bentzi, what do you think?”

“I don’t know,” I admitted, “but it’s worth a try. Let’s open the museum as usual. Yom Tov, you’re in charge today, aren’t you? Yoel and I will stay here too. We’ll mingle with the visitors as if we aren’t on duty and keep an eye on the base to see if someone takes it while someone else distracts Yom Tov.”

“Do you think that’s how they took the dreidel yesterday?” Yom Tov’s eyes flashed. “Did someone distract you?”

Maybe that boy, what was his name? Yair? “Yes, there was a kid who asked me lots of questions. He really kept my attention on him the whole time.”

“So keep an eye out for him today. And try to identify his accomplice as well.”

I shrugged. Maybe it’s Asher, I wanted to say. Why did he come here yesterday when he so obviously wanted nothing to do with us, after he had made fun of our “museum?” Could he have come to make trouble for us? But I held my tongue. It wouldn’t be right to accuse him without proof. I would wait and see if Asher came again today, and if he tried to take the base.

Something flickered at the edge of my memory. Something, someone, besides Yair and Asher, whom I should remember, should pay attention to… but what? Who? I couldn’t remember.

“Let’s go tell Reb Nissan our plan,” I suggested.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 750)