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The trees gently swayed as Levi took a step closer, taking his brother into an embrace, “Thank you,” he croaked. “You stopped our useless fighting.”

Closing his eyes, Yakov thought of what his farm would look like, with a tall wall, blocking all sunlight. Closing him off from his brother’s world! What kind of world would that be? A dark, empty world. Clinging to his brother he thought about how many times he vowed he would make amends. He thought about how many inspiring moments during which he would decide to end these useless child games. And suddenly it all came back to him. The gentle cries for help which he skillfully dismissed for a whisper in the wind. The desperate signs of yearning, blasting so obviously in his face. Through all the childish stupid play, there was always that twinkle asking for a new beginning. He’d sometimes stop, listening to the cricket’s song, late on summer nights. He’d heard his brother calling out, but then he’d slip back into the old routine. Slip back into the old banter from when they were five and eight. Now it suddenly came blasting back, obviously. Impossible to ignore.

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“It was the same amount of wood,” Yakov answered, a smile now spreading over his face too, as he finally hugged his brother, without dropping an ice cube down his back.

(The story is based on a mashul heard from Rabbi Wallerstein.)

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