| Win or Lose |

Win or Lose: Chapter 30

“Yitzy,” began Rabbi Levinson, “we need to talk.”

Wednesday evening, as the Levinsons sat around the dining room table, Mrs. Levinson immediately noticed that something was wrong. Her husband noticed it a few minutes after his wife. Something was wrong with Yitzy. His face looked pale, and the look in his eyes said that his mind was a million miles away from the Levinsons’ dining room table.

“Are you okay, Yitzy?” asked Mrs. Levinson.

“Uh-huh,” answered Yitzy as he drew a circle in his mashed potatoes with his fork.

“Are you not feeling well?” asked Rabbi Levinson. “You look a little pale tonight.”

“Baruch Hashem, I’m fine,” Yitzy murmured, without looking up from his plate.

Mrs. Levinson shot her husband a worried look. He motioned for her to wait until the meal was over.

Most of the food on Yitzy’s plate remained untouched as it was taken back into the kitchen. The dessert — chocolate fudge ice cream, usually a favorite of Yitzy’s — didn’t do much better.

When all the other children had left the dining room, Yitzy just remained in his seat, looking off into space.

Rabbi and Mrs. Levinson nodded to each other, and took a seat on either side of their son.

Yitzy looked up, startled.

“Yitzy,” began Rabbi Levinson, “we need to talk.”

Yitzy was surprised.

“Talk about what?” he asked.

“We need to talk about you,” answered his mother. “We’re worried about you.”

“Worried?” stammered Yitzy. “Why?”

“Look at you, Yitzy,” said Rabbi Levinson, “your skin is pale, you’re staring down at the table, you didn’t even taste the chocolate fudge ice cream. Obviously, something is bothering you.”

Yitzy looked at his parents. He hadn’t realized that his feelings were that obvious.

“Are you worried about the Mishnayos competition?” asked Mrs. Levinson.

Yitzy’s eyes opened wide.

“Worried?” he asked loudly. “Why would I be worried? Just because I lose a million-dollar building if I don’t do well tomorrow? Just because you and Mommy will have to be so worried about paying rent because of me if I fail? Those things don’t make me worried. They make me terrified. They make me horrified. They make me more scared then I have ever been in my entire life.”

Rabbi and Mrs. Levinson looked at each other. They felt terrible that Yitzy was feeling so much pressure because of them.

Rabbi Levinson jumped up out of his seat, and stood over his son.

He put his hands on either side of Yitzy’s face, and gently lifted it to face his own.

“Yitzy,” he said, in a very loud, firm voice. “I want you to listen to me very carefully.”

Yitzy was surprised by the tone of his father’s voice.

“Yitzy,” he continued, “You must know one thing. It doesn’t matter how well you do tomorrow. Mommy and I give you full permission to lose the Mishnayos competition, and get a zero on the math test. You have already made us so proud by the amount of effort you’ve put in to your learning. We are proud of the way you have grown. We are proud of everything about you. Winning or losing a contest doesn’t really mean anything.”

Rabbi Levinson lowered his face, closer to Yitzy’s.

“Yitzy,” he said, “You are much more important to us than any million-dollar building.”

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 765)

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Tagged: Win or Lose