The Modern and the Orthodox - Episode Five
Setting: The home of Rabbi Baruch Rosenberg - later the same evening.
Rabbi Rosenberg, stunned by the news of his adoption drove his mini-van home in complete silence. His wife Malky resisted the urge to ask him "what are you thinking" every ten minutes and focused her attention on the kids and the Uncle Moishy CD playing for the 3rd time that evening. Malky knows that her husband does not like to speak when he is upset or angry until he's had a chance to think things out. This is something she finds both incredibly admirable and incredibly frustrating.
When they arrived home Baruch kissed the kids goodnight and disappeared into his office (really just large closet off the playroom/laundry room in the basement) while Malky put the already over-tired, over-stimulated, and over sugared kids to bed.
Attempting to give her husband as much space as possible Malky took her time putting away her mother-in-laws leftovers, playing the messages on the answering machine:
Three calls from Mrs. Rosenberg senior asking if everything was OK,
One call from the shul president about a stopped up toilet in the shul's men's room,
Two calls from congregants with halachic questions they didn't want to leave on the machine, and two hang ups (caller ID showed the number as Rosenberg.)
After showering and changing Malky finally went downstairs to check on Baruch, she knew he needed his space but she needed to know he was OK.
Malky Rosenberg: (knocking on the office door) Baruch... Honey? I'm sorry to disturb you, but I wanted to see you were OK.
Malky: Baruch? (opens the door)
Baruch is intently focused on the screen of computer.
Baruch: (Startled) Oh, hi. Sorry I didn't hear you.
Malky: Sorry to disturb you, I know it's been quite a night. (she sits down in the chair across the desk from her husband)
Baruch: (still looking at the screen) yeah, sorry about walking out... it's just a lot.. too much... I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore... like my whole life was just some strange roll of the dice. I don't know what to think, but now that I know I can't..not know.. you know?
(he smiles faintly.) Is every thing OK upstairs?
Malky: The kids all conked out as soon as their heads hit the pillow. They were tired! Oh and your mother called.... five times...
They both smile.
Well whatever you decide to do I'll support you, I know you'd do the same for me.
Baruch: Well, I've got some research to do first but then I think I may need to do a little traveling.
Malky: Are you coming upstairs?
Baruch: I'll be up soon I've got a few more things to look into first.
They wish each other a good night and Malky heads back upstairs.