Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Moshe Aryeh Friedman Fundraises for Seminary - Part 4


Reb Berish Lowenstein's cellphone showed no fewer than 78 missed calls, at least 12 of which were from his own home. He became suspicious when he realized that 16 of them were from his daughter's seminary principal, and he wondered why Rebbetzin Soro would call him and not his wife if chas vesholom his daughter was in some sort of trouble. She knew he was abroad, and she would rarely call him directly unless it was an emergency. The others were from neighbors, and he wondered what could be amiss on his usually quiet and stately block.

He checked his voicemail, and all he could decipher was one message from his usually calm next-door neighbor, Reb Nachman Lichtfeld. "The meshigginer, that Friedman, he says you gave him gelt and I should too. He's in chyrem, for what should I give him gelt? I know you didn't give him a cent, but what can I do? He's wearing a wig and a dress, who you know in the police that can maybe have him put in a byse-mishegoyim? He wants collect for his own seminary tuition, nebach, so crazy!"

Before he even thought to call anyone in Antwerp, Reb Berish called directory assistance and asked for the number to Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. He dialed that number, and asked to speak to the Jewish chaplain. He remembered that Friedman had admitted to spending some time at the notorious facility, and he suspected that when it came to his past hospitalizations, the minuscule menace was telling the truth for once. His brother-in-law was well-connected with politicians, and he figured he could somehow get Friedman deported from Belgium and taken right off the plane to Creedmoor if he could prove that Friedman was indeed of Creedmoor provenance.

Little did Reb Berish Lowenstein, an honest and well-meaning askan, know what was in store when the overworked and underskilled receptionist connected him, accidentally or purposely, to none other than the Admou"r meCreedmoor.

---to be continued tomorrow---

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