Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grunstein's Sabbath (a short story)

But as his cats disappeared, Grunstein fumed.   He sat in the synagogue, ostensibly to pray, but he actually obsessively raged against Fishbein.  He was the kind of man who would serve on a Judenrat.  That Fishbein would organize his own people for Nazi slaughter:  arrange ghetto lodgings, order people to train depots, and stage all manners of unspeakable infamies!
 As the cantor chanted the liturgy, Grunstein fantasized about Peter Fishbein’s violent death.  People died in terrible ways every day, he reasoned, why not Fishbein?   It was a small leap from this fantasy to the idea of killing Peter Fishbein himself.  But how could he do it?  Peter Fishbein lived all the way down in Plymouth.  The trip to the South Shore would kill Grunstein before he could get to him. 
As a man read from the Torah, Grunstein placed his hands over his face.  He shook, as if moved by the Holy Words, but actually, he burned with rage.  Now I hate, he muttered to God.  This is what you give me, he pleaded, so late in the game?

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