His wife? Had Ehud heard right? Tzipora?
Slowly, Ehud stood up. Again he felt dizzy. Again he felt weak. His mind struggled to reason. Of course every man deserved a wife. But Tzipora was his wife.
“But I married her,” Ehud said.
“I married her too,” the man answered.
“I have a ketuba to prove it,” Ehud argued.
“So do I,” said the man.
“Her ring,” Ehud gasped.
“Anyone can buy a ring.”
“But we have pictures from the wedding.”
“Pictures can be faked.”
“Our children,” Ehud said. “What about our children?”
“The children are mine,” the man answered.
Ehud trembled. He was speechless. He was afraid to talk, afraid to reason. He would say white, and the man would say black. He would say up, and the man would say down. Both things were true. But his wife. He looked at his wife. His beautiful wife. She too was silent. She too was confused. Why belong to one man? Why not belong to two? Why should she be Ehud’s wife and not someone else’s? All people were the same, weren’t they? And weren’t all men brothers?
“I’m afraid I don’t have much time,” the man said. “Are you coming, Tzipora?”
Ehud looked at his wife. He knew she was his. More than that. She was him. He didn’t need a deed or a document to prove it. She was like a piece of his body. She was like his heart. Would he give the man his heart? That was what the man wanted. He was demanding that Ehud give up his heart. Ehud grasped the gun in his pocket. Slowly he raised it into the air. He intended to point the gun at the man, but he couldn’t. Instead, he pointed it at himself. He closed his eyes, and he fired.
That was the lesson that Ehud taught his children that night.Tzvi Fishman
About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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