May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

“And an evil flying giant destroys the entire city!”

Josh looked on in horror as his friend, Mike, took a flying leap and came crashing feet-first onto the beautiful sand castle they’d been working on together all morning, completely destroying it.

“Jerk! I can’t believe you did that!” Josh yelled out over Mike’s loud cackling laughter.

“Come on, it’s funny!” Mike insisted.

But Josh was not amused. He was so not amused that he wouldn’t talk to Mike or even look at him.

“C’mon, it was just a joke!” Mike said.

Josh turned his head away and didn’t respond.

“Barbecue’s ready, guys!” Josh’s dad called out. Their two families had gone on the lakeside outing together, and as they sat down to eat, Josh made it a point to sit himself as far away from his ex-friend as he possibly could. Mike edged closer to him.

“Look, I’m sorry,” he said. “If I knew you’d get so mad I wouldn’t have done it.”

Josh ignored him, picked up his plate and walked over to the far side of the campsite.

A few minutes later, Josh’s brother Ken sat down next to him.

“Hey, what’s going on?” he asked.

“Nothing,” Josh shrugged.

“Don’t tell me it’s ‘nothing,’” Ken said, “when two guys who are usually closer than a burger and a bun are suddenly colder than the dry-ice pack in the cooler.”

Josh eyed his brother, then blurted out the whole story. “…So why in the world should I accept the kid’s apology? I’d been working for hours making that sand castle! Does he think he could wreck something that took so long to build and just expect it to be all right?”

Ken nodded and Josh felt sure he understood and agreed with him. Then the older boy turned to him and said, “How long are you and Mike friends?”

“You mean used to be friends. I dunno, five years or so, why?”

“I was just wondering why it’s so bad to wreck something that took hours to build but it’s okay to wreck something that took five years to build?”

“What do you mean?” Josh asked.

“Think about it,” Ken said and walked off.

Josh did think about it. It was true he and Mike had been friends a long time and that Mike had felt bad and apologized. But did that mean he had to forgive him?

After lunch, Mike was sitting by himself, bored, tossing some flat rocks, skipping them over the surface of the lake.

“Hey, nice triple-skip. Okay if I join you?”

Mike turned his head and was surprised to see Josh.

“Josh? Yeah, sure. You mean you’re not mad anymore?”

“Nah, why should I stay mad about a few grains of sand, when I have a friend who’s worth his weight in gold!”

Nesanel Yoel Safran is a writer, chef, and a teacher/student of Jewish spirituality.

By Nesanel Yoel Safran/

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