Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Daniel mopped the slimy sweat off his forehead and then glanced around him. The man had said the second house from the corner of Bruchim and Bar Ilan. But that could be in several different directions. Left or right? Up or down the street? Why hadn’t he asked for an exact address? Why hadn’t he written down his phone number? How typical of him not to get the details. Zeesi was right. He wasn’t thinking things through. How Zeesi put up with him, he didn’t know. If he couldn’t manage to find the package his sister Frumi sent, how would he cope with finding an apartment they desperately needed?

With perspiration pouring from every pore of his body, once again Daniel swiveled his head to and fro trying to see if one looked like a more promising prospect than the other. If it weren’t so oppressively hot he wouldn’t mind the manhunt.


“Can I help you?” said a man with a bemused smile. “You seem like you are looking for something.”

“Yes, well, almost. I’m looking for someone,” Daniel started to explain feeling both frustrated and foolish. “I need to pick up something from a Mr. Fastag. I was told he lived at the corner of Bruchim and Bar Ilan, but I’m not sure which corner. I didn’t get the exact number.”

“Oh, Mr. Fastag. Sure. Come, I’ll show you where he lives.”

Daniel felt his frustration level drop; now he was feeling mostly foolish.

“I know it’s not smart not to have gotten the exact address. Thank you so much for helping me out. My name is Daniel Brown. What’s yours?” as he shuffled along after his savior.

“I’m Nosson Greensweig. It’s nothing. A pleasure to be able to help another Yid.”

They stopped in front of a nondescript building and Nosson said, “The Fastags live on the second floor. Hatzlacha and bracha.”

“Thanks so much,” Daniel called out.

Once in the hallway and out of the suffocating sun Daniel felt himself begin to relax. He climbed the two flights and knocked confidently on the door with the olive wood slab declaring “Fastag Family.”

In seconds the door was pulled back to reveal a man of medium height a bit on the full side, sporting a full grey beard and peyos, and a questioning countenance.

Ya, vhat can I do for you?”

“I came to pick up the package. I’m Daniel Brown.” Daniel was aware of his sweaty face and limp shirt. He must look like a sad case.

“Come in. Zit down.”

Daniel followed the man into the hallway lined with boxes and into the dining room and sat down. He really needed to rest his weary body.

“Von minute, “ Mr. Fastag said as he left the room.

Daniel’s older sister, Frumi, had sent him a package with friends of hers that were visiting Israel. He hadn’t asked for anything but Frumi always sent things when she could just so he could feel her love.

Mr. Fastag reappeared with a bottle of cold water and a plastic cup.

“It’s hot. Very hot. Drink,” Mr. Fastag urged as he filled the cup.

The cup was drained quickly and Mr. Fastag just as quickly refilled it and then sat down.

“You, came for somting, ya?”

“My sister, Frumi Starck, she lives in America and she sent me a package. She said it would be with a Mr. Fastag on Bruchim and Bar Ilan. Someone brought it to you. I’m not sure what their name is. Thank you so much for taking it. I came to pick it up.”

“Package? No, I not in America and no package here. Maybe you vant Shulem Fastag? Ich bin Shlomi Fastag. Shulem he live cross street. I not go to America.

I go to live mit my son in Beitar. I sell apartment. You vant apartment? “ Shlomi Fastag said with a laugh.

Daniel looked at the room with new eyes. It was a good size, everything he saw was clean, not new, but not in bad shape and yes he was looking for an apartment in the area.

Mr. Fastag watched as Daniel’s eyes studied the room.

“You need apartment?” His tone was questioning and hopeful.

When Daniel nodded in the affirmative, Mr. Fastag took his hand and led him around, going from room to room, explaining how he had improved each area, and singing the praises of each nook and cranny.

They ended up in the dining room and Mr. Fastag poured Daniel another drink of cold water.

“Here, is mine phone number. You come mit de vife and together you see it. Then ve speak money.” He thrust a piece of paper in Daniel’s hand with his number and Daniel stuffed it in his pocket.

The package from Frumi still needed picking up.

“Eh, Mr. Fastag, what number is Shulem Fastag?”

“Number tventy four. Come mit de Mrs., yeh? Beautiful apartment. You vill be happy here!”

He stood and left. Now to Shulem Fastag and the package from Frumi.

Shulem Fastag was not home but his wife ushered Daniel in and brought him the package from Frumi filled with his favorite nash and a 200 ft. roll of Reynolds Wrap! Wow, Zeesi would be thrilled!

With the goodies in hand Daniel traipsed through the steamy streets homeward bound. As Daniel walked through the door Zeesi looked up from feeding Suri and greeted him.

“Welcome home! I see you found your way to get the package. Anything interesting?”

Daniel made room for the goodies as he recounted the trail of events that led to both Mr. Fastags’ doors beginning with not having the exact address, being directed by Nosson Greensweig to the wrong place and then getting a tour of the wrong Mr. Fastag’s home and then finally getting to the right Mr. Fastag.

“What did the apartment look like?” Zeesi queried between nibbles of chocolate.

“Really, not bad. It isn’t new, but really looks okay. I think it has potential. And it’s right near stores. I don’t think he’ll have a hard time selling.”

“Daniel, let’s call him, find a babysitter and have a look. You know that things in that area are gone before it’s even advertised.”

Half an hour later Daniel and Zeesi were on their way to Mr. Shlomi Fastag’s place.

Two weeks later the deal went through and Daniel and Zeesi had a new address on the corner of Bruchim and Bar Ilan.

To celebrate Mr. Shlomi Fastag invited them for a l’chaim in his apartment. He said he would invite some neighbors so that Daniel and Zeesi could get to know them.

Arriving at the now familiar address they climbed the two flights to what would be their new home. Daniel and Zeesi marveled at the ways of heavenly intervention and direction.

The dining room table was filled with unfamiliar faces except for one man – Mr. Nosson Greensweig.

Mazal tov! You should have much mazal in your new home and we should continue to share in good fortune.”

“Thanks for the bracha, but what do you mean about ‘share’?”

“Didn’t Mr. Fastag tell you? Since I directed you to him I got a percentage of the deal. So, he was the wrong Mr. Fastag, but it was the right place for you! No need to sweat the details!”


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