Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Evanstown Blessing

A short story

Gabriel Shook was supposed to look at the challah on the table in front of him while reciting the braucha over the bread prior to the Friday night.  His mother had recited her prayers over the Sabbath candles.  He had been rehearsed carefully by his older brother, Marty, who had made faces and grimaced every time Gabriel messed up in practice. Marty, of course, had been saying the hamotze for several years.  Now, it was Gabe's opportunity.  He knew the prayer, having learned it at Sunday School, but, nevertheless, felt a bit concerned about saying it for the first time in front of his parents.
He also didn't want to see his brother making faces at him.  Since Marty was seated across from the challah, Gabe was forced to look out the dining room window as he spoke.  That's probably why, in mid-prayer, Gabe saw something flash by the window.  The afterglow of the early autumn sunset could not overshadow the bright object that burst by and illuminated the whole dining room.
Everyone at the table stopped, then turned toward the window.  Gabe halted his prayer and stared.
"What was that?" Marty gasped.
"Finish the prayer," his father ordered calmly.

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