The Rabbi and The Rebbetzin

Free The Rabbi and The Rebbetzin by Shlomo Wexler

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Authors: Shlomo Wexler
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a chicken to
a rabbi? It must have been at least fifty years ago.”
    Aaron
knew that she was right, so he didn’t argue the point “Even working under your
guidelines, Shulamit, I still won’t be a rabbi until the sun sets tonight. For
the rest of the day at least you may still call me Aaron.”
    “As
far as I am concerned,” she said with a twinkle in her eyes, “you were a rabbi
from the time you were appointed to conduct the services. But, to make
everybody happy, I will call you Rabbi Aaron for the time being.”
     “Well,
that’s some degree of progress. At least I lost my surname.”
     By
now they were reaching the outskirts of Dunberg. “I know that you will need
some time to prepare for shul tonight, but I think you can spare a few minutes
for some coffee with me when we get to the house.”
     Aaron
did want to spend the time but he wasn’t going to hurt her feelings by
rejecting her invitation. He had followed the custom of fasting a half day on Rosh
Hashanah eve and could use the nourishment. “I would be happy to have something
but I wouldn’t want you to go to any trouble.”
    “It
won’t be any trouble at all, especially since I won’t be making it myself. We
have the caterer preparing the holiday meals in the kitchen, so the housekeeper
will serve us in the sunroom.”
    The
reality of the situation became clear to Aaron, who had never been inside the
home of a multi-millionaire. Abe Levine was rich and lived in style. He was
sure that Levine’s home would be a real mansion and he was already feeling
intimidated. Nevertheless, he took a lighter approach to ease his anxiety.
    “How
will you ever get married,” he asked her, “if you don’t know how to cook?”
    “It’s
a real problem,” she said with a smile. “If I can’t afford a housekeeper, and
live somewhere where I can’t order kosher meals and I don’t find a man who
likes to cook, I guess I’ll have to remain an old maid.”
    Aaron
enjoyed her wit and laughed heartily. The sports car pulled into the Levine
driveway and Aaron’s fears were realized. He was looking at a palatial home
with a long circular driveway and an impressive portico. Once past the
entrance, the driveway split left and right. The right road circled back to the
street, while the left road continued around to the back of the house where
several smaller structures were located.
    “I
guess you pay a fortune in rent here,” said Aaron teasingly.
    “No,
we own the house. But the Mellon Bank is a silent partner. That way we can deduct
the mortgage interest. In our tax bracket, it’s significant. It also adds to
our liquidity,” she explained
    “I’m
not sure I understand the economics of it, but I know I couldn’t maintain a
place like this.”
    “We
don’t do it by ourselves. We have a couple who works here and a housekeeper.
Larry is a mechanic, gardener and chauffer. Polly, his wife, is the upstairs
maid. Grace is the housekeeper. She’s a Jewish woman who has been with us
almost twenty years. She could easily get Semicha on the laws of kashrus.”
    Once
in the house, Larry took Aaron’s suitcase to an upper floor bedroom and showed
him where he would be staying for the holidays. “This room we call the rabbi’s
room. It’s the room that was used by Rabbi Solomon when he came for the
holidays. If you need anything other than food, you can call Polly or me.”
    Larry
then led Aaron to the sunroom where the housekeeper had already set up the
table. Shulamit introduced him to Grace, who asked him how he liked his coffee.
Once she had the information, she left to prepare it. Sitting in the sunroom,
Aaron could see a number of estates in what was obviously an upper class
section of Dunberg.
    “Is
this area far from the shul?” Aaron wondered aloud.
    “About
two minutes by car and fifteen minutes by foot,” she answered. Don’t worry.
Someone will drive you to shul before services tonight and drive you back after
evening services on Sunday

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