The wedding in Amsterdam was grand. Kushner, aunts, uncles, and cousins upon cousins were represented aplenty, and nearly every Orthodox Jew in Holland attended.
Zohar fasted on the day of his wedding. He delivered a homily on the Mishnah the night before, and was jovially questioned about the passage by his father-in-law and the assembled men.
He had knowledge of the Law, and he expounded upon it, even as his mind raced through procedural protocols, of instructions and observations that Ori Zohar was still making beneath the surface of Levy Levinsky.
As he spoke of the forbidden conjunction, he was scanning the room of black hats and coats, noting what he deemed important from an intelligence gathering standpoint. Ori Zohar and Levy Levinsky fought a soundless confrontation across a divide which Ori could almost see before him, the space between two worlds.
Following the wedding festivities Zohar sat down to the mountain of cards and cables offering congratulations. Cables arrived from the Argentina office of Kushner & Sons, and from Ganaver Chasidim in Europe and Israel. One arrived which was not in Yiddish, but English:
Mazel tov. Long Life and Many Children – N & O
Zohar presumed this was Nadab and Omri. Was it a joke? A true sentiment expressed circuitously? An acknowledgement that he, Ori Zohar, the orphaned agent, would stop at nothing to find the location of Yossi Kushner, even entering into a “sham” marriage?
But they did not know that he was no longer Ori Zohar. His entire short, unhappy life he had been on the periphery of things important: with his shut-in grandfather, on the kibbutz, where his solitary ways ran against the grain of the collectivist ethos. Here, among the Ganaver, he was central, a vital part of something which was interconnected from nearly every angle and circumscribed by a clear, visible boundary.
During the wedding, Zohar was introduced to several young boys named Yossi Kushner. Some were above or below the correct age, but many were in the right range, and bore a resemblance to the photographs Zohar had studied. Despite Zohar’s attempts, he was playing a double-game even at his wedding. He found six boys who could very well be Yossi Kushner.
After he made love to his wife for the first time, he contemplated what would be necessary to investigate this congregation of Yossi Kushers, to dig deeper beyond the facade of things. But then Bluma’s hand reached out to his, and she grasped it ardently. Levy Levinsky touched her, and they kissed deeply.
Only after Nadab signaled for a meeting at an Amsterdam hotel and he ignored it did Zohar suspect that Zohar was finally dead.
He disregarded the request to see what would happen. A week later another message came. With more conviction, Zohar ignored it as well. For sometime nothing happened at all. Levy Levinsky felt a type of foundational satisfaction, but on the periphery of this feeling, he sensed insecurity, as if the world around him was watching him with multiple and unblinking eyes.