“It’s too good an opportunity to pass up. What Yid can say no on Motzaei Yom Kippur, right?” Rabbi Plaut stopped to bask in his own brilliance
The rosh yeshivah spoke about not being mediocre all the time, it was one of his go-to shmuessen, but Nussi wasn’t sure what it really meant. How could a person stop being mediocre, if they just were? Could you buy excellence at Amazing Savings?
He wasn’t inferior. Being okay in learning and okay in sports kept him average, and every so often he had a good line in the dorm that made him exceptional for an hour or two, but by and large, the mark was mediocre.
His father was also mediocre, but it was worse for Tatty, because he was surrounded by superiority. Uncle Ari had his name on buildings and Uncle Shmuel was saving lives and Tatty was your man when it came to good life insurance at a fair price and had nothing memorable about him other than the fact that his brothers were famous. A career third brother.
Once, they had been to see a gadol in Eretz Yisrael, and the gabbai had actually said it to the rav. “This man is Ephraim Loemer; his younger brothers are Ari Loemer, the groisse toimech Toirah, and Shmuel Loemer, the one from the medical transports — he helped Moishe, the rosh yeshivah remembers? So this is the dritte brudder — the third brother.”
Nussi knew that he wouldn’t see anything in Tatty’s face, it was all part of the mediocrity, swallowing and pretending and showing nothing, nothing at all, as if he had determined that the only way he could match their distinctiveness was by being as unremarkable as possible and he didn’t want to ruin it.
Rabbi Plaut was meeting the whole yeshivah, which was weird, because he almost never came out of his office on the second floor and Nussi had never heard him speak in the yeshivah. The meeting was in the dining room and the rosh yeshivah was there, but he looked uncomfortable, as if he had wandered into the wrong room by mistake.
Rabbi Plaut was a sharp dresser, and this gave him credibility with the one hundred and fourteen bochurim, the Ferragamo tie waving back and forth like a hypnotist’s pendulum.
He didn’t waste time with useless introductions. He spoke to them like they were adults, which Nussi appreciated. They all knew what a matching campaign was and they all knew how crowdfunding worked.
“You guys are the best ambassadors this yeshivah could ever hope to have, and each and every one of you,” Rabbi Plaut waved his hands around the room, “has a network that can do more than you realize, the neighbors and mechutanim and cousins.”
Here, Rabbi Plaut turned to beam at the rosh yeshivah, who was looking at the floor. “And you wear the Cheshkas HaTorah label with pride. Now is your chance to celebrate it.”
He went on to explain the terms and conditions. Motzaei Yom Kippur there would be a lavish meal, and then they’d go straight to a call center — right here; phones, screens and all the technology set up in this very dining room. The next morning they’d keep working from nine to three, calling every single person on earth until they reached and hopefully surpassed their goal.
“We know it’s a bein hazmanim day, and we’ll make it up to you, but it’s too good an opportunity to pass up. What Yid can say no on Motzaei Yom Kippur, right?” Rabbi Plaut stopped to bask in his own brilliance. “The yeshivah will shtell tzu, you won’t have to eat again until Succos, guaranteed, and at three sharp, we’ll have rides home for every talmid in this yeshivah. So prepare lists of people you can call — at least 50 people per talmid. Get their phone numbers and get ready…”
In the dorm, the campaign was hock. Like, even though there were other conversations, they all led back to this one. Who would raise the most? Beckerman had the best connections, his father had a shul in the Five Towns, and Baum was plain old rich, but Glauber was a natural salesman, the type who was doing sheimos, hoshanas, and carwashes since he was eleven. But there was also Cohen, and he was from Deal and everyone knew how tzedakah went down over there.
That Nussi Loemer’s uncle was one of the most famous philanthropists in the Torah world went unmentioned because it made no real difference — it wasn’t that kind of relationship. This had also been covered, at length, in the dorm.
Halbfinger had a rich uncle, and he had driven around in a Range Rover Autobiography bein hazmanim while his uncle was away. Brodkin had a rich uncle too, and the whole extended family spent every Yom Tov in a hotel with their grandparents as a result. Loemer had nothing. He knew that Uncle Ari had helped Tatty start the business, and maybe other stuff, the mortgage or whatever, but that wasn’t anything l’maaseh.
If Uncle Ari showed up at simchahs, it wasn’t for long and there were enough people around him that Nussi rarely got close.
Rabbi Plaut held meetings with some of the other boys, encouraging them to shoot high, and in the late night projections, Schwartzblatt joined Beckerman and Glauber as a potential winner, since his father had a school in Lakewood and everyone was always trying to be good with him.
No one expected much from Nussi Loemer. Nussi’s list did not have close to fifty names. There were the neighbors in the attached townhouses of Legion Park, his sister-in-law Chaya’s parents, Mommy’s brothers in Baltimore, and Zaidy Hersh and his second wife. There was no bungalow colony, and Tatty had just one employee, a secretary he shared with another business. Mommy taught kindergarten and got ceramic mugs filled with jelly beans for Chanukah.
The rosh yeshivah, who had clearly not been thrilled with Rabbi Plaut’s timing, tried valiantly to get the boys to forget about the campaign as Yom Kippur approached. He was almost successful, but then in a shmuess on Erev Yom Kippur he himself slipped up and said, “In yenneh velt, there is no networking and asking other people for zechusim, it’s you and only you, and whatever you give, that’s what you have. Not what you bring in.”
After Maariv and Kiddush Levanah on Motzaei Yom Kippur, the boys headed to the dining room, which had been transformed. There was purple lighting and tables laid out with pasta, sushi, and croissants, glass pitchers of iced coffee lined up like soldiers in formation, as if by a party planner. The boys had fifteen minutes to eat, and then the lights went on, revealing tables lining the room, a phone, a sheaf of papers, and a small screen at each. The far wall held a huge screen to show every single dollar given.
Rabbi Plaut made a lechayim. He wished the oilam hatzlachah and symbolically took off his own jacket and hat, sat down at a random table, and started to dial.
The room erupted in a din of overlapping voices. “Yeshivah Cheshkas HaTorah… Yes, Rabbi Tilstein’s yeshivah… I love it here, baruch Hashem… I know it might be an inconvenient time for you, but what better time to grab a zechus…”
Most of the boys started with their parents, netting many 250s, 360s, several 1,000s, a 180 (Loemer), and one instant 18,000 (Baum), which made the tiny purple speck in the huge hourglass on the screen suddenly expand, like they were really getting this done. The goal — $250,000, which would then be matched — was far off, but they were moving.
Nussi was at a table with boys who didn’t have long lists, and Rabbi Plaut had given them a pile of random numbers to try — alumni, former parents, and others who had vague associations with the yeshivah. (Next to one name, a note in Rabbi Plaut’s handwriting indicated, once broke down on 17 and came here for Minchah until AAA showed up, you might have to REMIND HIM!!!)
A donation of $5,000 (Grigowsky’s shvogger who, eight months out of kollel, was slowly making his mark on the global nursing home industry) put them over 25,000, which was one of the lines on the hourglass. There was a quick break to celebrate, a large circle of dancers around the room, coffee refills, and they were back to work.
As Nussi was sitting down, Rabbi Plaut put a hand on his shoulder and said, “Can you come here a minute?”
Nussi was happy to take a break from the painful task of calling his neighbors and hearing their pleasant surprise when he introduced himself, then their halting sincerity as they tried to balance their checkbooks against his feelings, figuring out how much he expected and how they could make the sweet Loemer boy happy while still making Yom Tov later in the week.
Lots of 36s from Austin Street, so far.
“Listen.” Rabbi Plaut tried to smile warmly. “I know better than you that Ari Loemer isn’t that nogeia; he’s impossible to reach, and when you get him, unless you’re like Mir or Ponevezh or Lakewood or whatever, he seems distant. He doesn’t have much interest in little yeshivos operating out of old shuls in New Jersey. He goes big. To be honest, he’s almost a brachah levatalah.”
This was more words than Rabbi Plaut had ever shared with Nussi before, and Nussi tried to be worthy of being taken into his confidence, nodding repeatedly as if he was in the business and he understood. Part of him was insulted — l’maaseh it was his uncle and l’maaseh he helped the family — but part of him felt validated. See? Not even a hand-me-down Brioni suit, right?
“Bekitzur, I want you to try to call him. You have nothing to lose. You fuhrt have his last name and it’s fuhrt Motzaei Yom Kippur, so you never know. If you even get him on the phone, it would be a win.”
Nussi saw 113 pairs of eyes on him and he squared his shoulders, trying to look as confident as possible. Rabbi Plaut hadn’t called anyone else aside yet.
“Okay, I got this,” he said, “I just have to call my father for Ari’s cellphone number, he changes it like every three months.” (And my father might not have it either, for all I know he never got the update, Nussi thought.)
The boys were still looking at him, so he felt like he should say something else to Rabbi Plaut, make it like something big was going down here.
“In Eretz Yisrael, the year my sister was in seminary, he gave a random meshulach 10k, just like that. So sometimes he surprises, when he actually listens, you know?”
Rabbi Plaut nodded. (You know? Why had he said “you know”? What a weird thing to tell a man three times your age who you’re talking to for the second time in your life.)
“Okay,” Rabbi Plaut said, ending the conversation as a new round of cheering broke out, pulling his attention away.
MS Jewelry and Co, 3600.00 via the great Ruvy Glauber.
Glauber was up on a chair bowing all around, and Rabbi Plaut went to pat him on the shoulder.
Nussi headed back to his post and called his father. “Hi Ta, sorry to bother you again, but do you happen to have Uncle Ari’s number?”
“Uncle Ari’s number,” his father repeated, his voice neither encouraging nor discouraging, giving away nothing at all. “Yah, here it is,” he said, and he read it off like he was giving the number to a dry cleaners or snow removal service.
“Thanks Ta, see you tomorrow,” Nussi said.
“Hatzlachah with the campaign, Nus,” Tatty said so earnestly that Nussi felt dumb about the whole thing. Here was a man who couldn’t write out a check for more than $180 but who wished he could help and do more, while people who spent more than that on a cured fish board for Shabbos were cold to what was going on in this room.
He wanted to call Uncle Ari quickly, before anyone realized what he was doing. It would be cool if some crazy huge number suddenly popped up on the screen and everyone would turn to look at him.
He dialed without thinking or preparing.
Straight to voice mail.
He shrugged and continued with his list.
“I was in a bad mood after Maariv,” Ari Loemer told his wife. “The davening was nice, the singing was okay, but the attitude that the one and only zechus we have is tzedakah, like we’re not people, just big ATMs, that got me.”
This was a new experience for them. They always did Succos in Yerushalayim, of course, but they had come before Yom Kippur this year. He had been under tremendous pressure from the people around a mekubal with whom he’d grown close; they told him that the Rebbe said he had to be there for Neilah. The beis medrash was in Mekor Baruch, the crowd made up of Yerushalmi locals and high net-worth individuals from America and England. The mekubal had spoken before Neilah, telling his guests about the zechusim they had and how tzedakah opened doors and changed decrees, and Ari Loemer, there for the first time, had received the honor of doing pesichah for Neilah.
Miriam Loemer gently moved the quiche to the side and nudged the sliced vegetables toward her husband. If he didn’t eat carefully now, his chest would hurt him in the middle of the night.
“So what did you do? Did you speak to the Rebbe?”
“I sure did.” He said this proudly. “I was starving, but he was cool, didn’t seem to be in a rush. The gabbaim weren’t happy with me, but I had no choice. Not sure how he had koach, he was on his feet since Kol Nidrei and davened all the tefillos, but whatever.”
“What did you tell him?”
“That it used to be personal. I used to feel something when I helped a guy, when I gave money, when I took the time to listen and try to make a difference. Now, it’s all faceless and smooth, Shea handles all tzedakahs for me and I feel like I lost something. Like maybe the dollars still create zechusim, but there’s no person there, nothing involved.”
“Wow,” Miriam said. She tried not to show how happy this conversation made her. She had seen the darkness creeping up for some time now, and to her, the fact that he had expressed it all was the mekubal’s biggest miracle yet.
“He said that what Hashem wants from me now is not just the money, but to take an extra minute when signing a check to think, to process what people are saying and try to put myself in their situation, to really understand their need. He said it will give me back the joy I used to have in giving.”
“I’m so happy you spoke to him,” she said. “Iced coffee will give you heartburn, take some water.”
He got up and went to sit on the recliner. “I’m gonna take a break from eating now.”
Ari didn’t pick up his own messages, but Gloria texted him a list every hour.
He scanned the list when he woke up in the morning, thinking which ones could wait and which were important.
One stood out. Nussi Loemer, no reason given for the call, just a number.
Was that Ephraim’s son? Did he want a meal on Succos? Was he learning in Eretz Yisrael already? Ari had no idea.
“Mir, who’s Nussi Loemer, which one is that?”
“Oh you know, he’s so sweet,” she said, which is what she said about every person in the world. “Slim boy, quiet, round face, why?”
“He left a message but he didn’t say what he wanted. Maybe a meal?”
“No, he’s not learning here yet,” she said, “but please call him back.”
She was super sensitive to his family.
“Okay, I will. When it’s morning in America, I’ll do it.”
The boys would never have gone to sleep if the rosh yeshivah himself hadn’t made an appearance and shut down the call center.
He thanked them for their hard work — they were near $200,000 — and reminded them that tomorrow was another day.
They were exhausted from Yom Kippur and exhilarated from the beginner’s joy in fundraising and Nussi’s room was unusually quiet at midnight, just Nussi Loemer alone with his thoughts and the sounds of soft snoring.
It had felt good to call Uncle Ari, even though he knew he was getting voice mail. No other ending made sense. He could try again in the morning, like Rabbi Plaut had suggested, but he imagined Ari and Miriam were off to Israel, like every Succos, so there was no way Nussi would reach him then.
He wracked his brain to come up with a single name that would give something noteworthy, a donation that would earn him a “nice,” or “good going, Loemer.”
There was Benjie, his friend from camp, who had left yeshivah and went to work. He claimed to be making big money buying and selling high-end watches, but Nussi wasn’t sure what that meant. It would be too weird to call him for money, especially when yeshivah hadn’t worked for him.
He fell asleep thinking about money, wishing his father could say what Jacob’s father had said: “Levi, figure out what you think is right and add another 500 and put me down for it. And Mommy says don’t forget to eat.”
There was a short seder after Shacharis, and then a breakfast that surpassed the meal of the night before — an omelet station, smoothie bar, and baskets overflowing with different sorts of rolls. At 9:30 sharp, the screen came back to life. It started slow, people less available than they had been the night before.
Then Blinder called a rich uncle in England who gave $3,600 (he better be rich, Blinder muttered, he married an English girl and moved there just for that reason), and then one of the random names at Nussi’s table paid off, a former chavrusa of the rosh yeshivah who wrote in honor of “Reb Shuey Tilstein,” and everyone found this hilarious, because no one called the rosh yeshivah anything but Reb Yehoshua. Also, he gave $10,000, so Bauer speculated that the rosh yeshivah probably didn’t mind the Shuey.
They crossed the $200k mark by eleven o’clock, but at that point, most people were out of names, with no one left to call. Lunch came at 12 instead of one, but even though an authentic Israeli guy with an accent and attitude was making falafel on the spot, who had any appetite anymore?
They davened Minchah and watched the numbers climb ever so slowly, a few $18 donations from people who genuinely had no idea why they were calling.
They were at $223,336 at 1:40, a bit over an hour to go and still short.
Bauer found it unthinkable that they wouldn’t meet the goal. “You don’t chap, the whole point is the matzav when you cross that line, the dancing and all that, I promise that a sharp guy like Plaut has a plan, some secret guy who will push us over. Don’t worry.”
The people around him weren’t so confident. At 2:15, Nussi went to get some ice cream from the buffet. He was schmoozing with Landau when his cellphone rang at his table.
There were strict instructions from Rabbi Plaut that every call had to be answered, no waiting, and Bauer, seated closest to Nussi’s phone, grabbed it.
Nussi figured it was his mother, eager to know when he would be home, and he smiled at Bauer’s exaggerated, “This is Nussi Loemer’s secretary, can I ask who’s calling?”
He watched Bauer’s face change, and he froze in fear.
“I’ll tell him, yes,” Bauer said. From across the room he called out, “You have a phone call. It’s Ari Loemer. Your uncle,” and then the room got very quiet.
Ari Loemer was on his porch, drinking cold limonana in the shade of an olive tree; finally a quiet moment to return messages.
He dialed Nussi Loemer’s number slowly, wondering what the boy wanted. Ephraim’s kids would never straight up ask for money.
The boy who answered the phone wasn’t Nussi, but he said he would get him. There seemed to be a commotion in the room, but then it got quiet and his nephew picked up the phone.
“Hello? Uncle Ari? Hi, it’s Nussi, how are you, thanks so much for calling back.”
There was something in the boy’s voice that moved him, something hesitant and uncertain. He was speaking too quickly.
“You and Tante Miriam must be on your way to Eretz Yisrael now,” Nussi said.
Poor kid. He was trying so hard.
“Anyway, my yeshivah, Cheshkas HaTorah in Franklin Lakes, is having a matching campaign, and we’re all calling our family. It’s a very special yeshivah…”
Ari Loemer massaged his temples. Just another kid, from another yeshivah, parroting the same pre-written lines.
Unbidden, the image of the Rebbe rose in his mind, still in his kittel after Maariv, his face radiant from the day that was.
“Reb Aryeh Leib, you have to feel the people, think what they’re feeling when they ask for money.”
He heard the warble in the boy’s voice, and he tried imagining his face.
It came to him in a flash — sweet, slight, courteous.
You have to feel the people, think what they’re feeling when they ask for money.
He probably looked just like that when he was 18, and probably had the same way of speaking. He remembered being Nussi Loemer’s age, first at Rabbi Weiner’s yeshivah, and then when that came crashing down, the new yeshivah in Kensington that lasted three months, and Tatty’s muted disappointment and the tears Mommy tried to conceal. Yeshivos didn’t have built-in therapists back then, like now, and it was before the invention of “it’s like telling an elephant to climb a tree,” and “your boy isn’t less than them, he just needs something else.” It was very much about “your boy is less and deal with it.”
Uncle Heshy got him the job in the grocery and that had been okay; he realized that even if he didn’t enjoy stocking shelves and mopping every time some kid knocked over a jar of pickles, he did enjoy making money, walking to the bank each Friday and depositing the lime green checks into his new account.
Six months later, he was evening manager and then, by the time he was 20, he was full manager.
It wasn’t nine dollars an hour anymore, but $1,200 a week. He bought a car, a beige 1983 Pontiac 6000, and no car he’d owned since had ever smelled more like happiness.
He was learning with Rabbi Horowitz three nights a week, and life was good until that Thursday night.
The store was open until nine on Thursdays, but it was quiet at 8:30 that night, one cash register open and a slow trickle of customers. It was July already, many people were in the country, and the air conditioning in the store didn’t work and it was just too hot. Ari had been planning to go out with his friends at nine o’clock sharp, but they pulled up 30 minutes early.
“Loemer, it’s a million degrees in here; it’s not even safe,” Mandel had said. “Let’s split. No one will know and no one will care.”
Ari hadn’t missed a day since Pesach. His bosses, the entire Kohl family, were already in Loch Sheldrake, and even the old man hadn’t called since four o’clock in the afternoon to check in. No one was coming in anymore. Mrs. Gringras, who was usually the last shopper on Thursday night, had already stopped by.
No big deal.
He started to shut down the freezers, and then cautiously closed the lights in the back aisle, as if testing the Kohl family. There was no reaction, so he shut a few more lights, and then started to move the cash from the registers to the safe. The boys in the car erupted in cheers as he locked the side door, and then came out of the car and gave him a standing ovation as he shut it all down, the letters outside — MAZEL GROCERY AND DELI — going dark, except the Z, which stayed lit for another few seconds and then gave in. The whole store was shuttered by 8:41, and he was in the car with his boys at 8:42.
Shapiro was driving, and he pulled out of the parking lot before Ari could change his mind, off to live a little.
Of course Mrs. Gringras came again — she had forgotten to buy cholent beans. And then Bordensky, who usually shopped at All Fresh but thought it too hot to walk, came by, and they both noted the time and snitched to Yossi Kohl, who didn’t care that much but still told his older brother who mentioned it to the old man who went nuts.
He called at 7:15 the next morning. Ari had heard him scream, but never like this. Ari couldn’t make out every word, but he got the general idea. People had told him not to hire Ari, takeh they were right, not trustworthy…. no responsibility… And then, when it seemed like he was calming down, he came back for another round, reaching a climax of and don’t come back. We’re done.
Ari was in shock. He had pulled out early, it was true, but no trust? When the freezers had broken the week before, he had stayed in the store with the electrician half the night until they were fixed. When the Tomchei Shabbos people came in and gave him cash, he told no one and simply applied it to the bills where it could make a difference.
He wasn’t trustworthy?
By Sunday night, Yossi Kohl had called and apologized, asking Ari to come back. “My father is old school; he built the store his way. The idea of closing down a minute early isn’t something he can handle. Please come back; Ari, let’s put it behind us.”
Two years later, when Ari was getting married and moving to Monsey, Yossi Kohl told him what had happened on that Sunday.
“You with me, Nussi?”
Nussi was still there, a large circle of bochurim around him hanging onto every word, since Bauer had put the call on speaker. Nussi’s mouth was dry. He had no idea what to expect.
“Maybe because of Yom Kippur, I’m feeling nostalgic, you know? Anyhow, you’re reminding me now that when I was about your age, I was already working and I messed up. Nothing major, but I got fired. My first real job, and I was fired. I was devastated. That night, they called to hire me back, and I figured they needed me too much.”
“You still there, Nussi?”
“I’m still here,” Nussi said, his voice coming out like a squeak. More bochurim had joined the huddle.
“Turns out, Nussi, that your father, my big brother, had driven to the mountains that Sunday. He left Brooklyn and went straight up and spoke to my bosses, man to man. He told them that they knew I was a good kid and a good worker, and if they couldn’t look away from an innocent mistake then they didn’t deserve me. He told them that if they didn’t call to apologize by the end of the day, he would make sure I never came back, and they knew that they wouldn’t get anyone as good and reliable as me. That’s what he told them.”
Nussi wasn’t sure what was happening. Rabbi Plaut himself had his eyes closed, like he was davening.
“Then he came back, didn’t tell me where he’d been, but he said, ‘Ari, things like this happen, it will all work out; you work hard and you’re honest. If they don’t take you back, it’s their loss and someone else will be lucky enough to have you. Don’t overthink it. Move on.’ ”
“Nussi, you there?”
“I’m here, Uncle Ari.”
“Anyhow, that’s the story; sorry for rambling — I guess some jet lag too, you know. I heard your voice. It reminded me of when I was your age, is all, so I shared this.”
Miriam Loemer was looking at her husband with real admiration, something he hadn’t seen in a while, and he winked. It felt good.
“That’s a nice story, sounds like my father,” Nussi said. The fair, direct, steady part sounded like his father, but he couldn’t imagine a time when Ari needed Tatty’s help.
“Anyhow, you didn’t call to hear an old man tell stories; tell me again how I can help?”
“My yeshivah, Cheshkas HaTorah in Franklin Lakes, is having a matching campaign and we’re all calling our family. It’s a very special yeshivah….”
“Yah, right, okay. I would like to help. What are you expecting?”
Nussi froze. He looked at Rabbi Plaut, who pointed to the screen. The display said $224,781.90, still short of the goal by just over $25,000.
“Ask him to bring us home,” he mouthed.
To Nussi, this seemed an impossible number. $25,000? Nothing made sense anymore. And the whole yeshivah was listening.
“Um, we’re actually almost at the goal, we can use that final push,” Nussi said, gathering confidence as he spoke. “We’re $25,000 away.”
“$25,000.” Ari sounded surprised. “Okay. We’ll do that. Put me down for twenty-five, and Nussi —” Ari checked that Miriam was still there — “add another five just because.”
Nussi owned the moment. “Uncle Ari, that’s really generous of you, we appreciate it. The zechus should stand by you.
“Enjoy Yom Tov,” he added.
“You too, regards,” Uncle Ari said, and he hung up a moment before the noise erupted, the screen flashing the updated total, $254,781.90, and people starting to dance as Halpern attached his iPod to the speakers and the music blared.
The rosh yeshivah hadn’t loved the idea of using Motzaei Yom Kippur for fundraising. It had taken Rabbi Plaut lots of convincing, and now, he sat in the office soaking in the moment.
The rosh yeshivah was still not sure it had been correct, but the thought of being able to pay vendors and even give the shoeil umeishivs an extra Yom Tov bonus was enough to lift his spirits.
All the boys had left, and the two men made a lechayim in the quiet building.
“What Loemer’s uncle did was really something,” the rosh yeshivah said.
Plaut basked in the moment. “30,000,” he said, savoring the words. “Really something.”
“The money?” There was surprise on the rosh yeshivah’s face, and something else, maybe a bit of the Yom Kippur glow still lingering. “It wasn’t just the money that Ari Loemer gave,” the rosh yeshivah said. “He gave Nussi something more than money, too. He gave him his father.”
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 931)
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