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September 29, 1989 - Image 75

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-29

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ed behind men who often forgot to do so. In
this way, Jacob's contribution wasn't simp-
ly the addition of another person's efforts.
It was, rather, that with Jacob one and one
made three. He made the others more than
they might have been. He didn't think it
made him more. He didn't think about this
at all.
Work for Jacob was, in many ways, like
a prayer. It was a repetition, leading him
out of himself and up Mt. Sinai with the
grace of a soul not restrained by the weight
of its own importance.
"Jacob!" a voice shouted, cutting
through the bakery.
It was Samuel, the owner. He called for
Jacob from the half-open swinging door
that divided the bakery from the store.
Samuel was approximately the same
age as Jacob but round and almost bald.
And, like the few people who actually knew
Jacob, Samuel treated Jacob in a special

Jacob didn't demand such considera-
tion. It was just that Jacob couldn't be
treated like the others. Having Jacob work
for him, somehow, made Samuel feel like
a more religious man.
"Jacob:' asked Samuel, "how are you?"
Jacob didn't say anything but simply
angled his head to one side, knowing that
the question had nothing to do with why
he had been called.
And Samuel knew that Jacob knew.
And, in that moment, such was the wonder-
ful silence both men shared.
"Jacob, I have a customer with a special
request, but I need your help."
Jacob smiled.
Samuel raised his eyebrows, offered a
helpless grin, and continued. "Jacob, you
know all those little pieces of paper you've
been writing on for years with your ideas,
or thoughts, or whatever you call them?"
"I don't call them anything," said Jacob.
"It's not what you call them that's im-

portant," said Samuel, now holding his
palms upward like a man frustrated trying
to catch rain.
"Somehow, one of your 'ideas' found it's
way into a customer's loaf of bread, and this
lady thinks I put it there on purpose. Now
she wants me to sell her bread for a com-
munity dinner, but each of the loaves must
have one of your thoughts in it."
Samuel's face began to plead. "So?
What do you say? Will you do it?"
Jacob pulled on his lower lip with his
thumb and forefinger. "What was written
on the piece of paper in her bread?"
"I don't know;' said Samuel. "Why
don't you ask the lady? She wants to meet
you. Come up front!"
Like a reluctant character dragged
before the footlights on a giant stage, Jacob
grew shy when he came into the retail sec-
tion of the bakery.
Waiting there was a dark-haired lady,
holding gloves in one hand and a purse in



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