Avrum is a big success. Big. He’s only in his 40s and already he runs his own high-end luggage shop on Fifth Avenue. He works only 65 hours a week, when the salespeople he hired actually show up. He travels nearly an hour each way on the subway, which isn’t bad because at least he gets a seat. Sometimes. Okay, on Sundays, he can occasionally get a seat. By the time he walks up to his scaffold-encased brownstone on Avenue Q in Brooklyn, he feels like a wrung-out shmata on its last threads. His wife and kids are in great shape and greet him at the door, tumbling over each other with heroic tales (Abba, abba, guess what???) of playgrounds conquered, dandelions plucked, alphabets written, zemiros learned, and hard-wood floor refinishers contracted with for only several hundred more dollars (per room) than they’d budgeted.
Avrum’s doctor, who sits next to him at Young Israel every Shabbos, told him, tuches offen tisch, that if he doesn’t get off his tuchas, step away from the tisch, exercise, and do something to lower his blood pressure, he’s going to have a heart attack and drop dead in the middle of dinner one night, scaring his children and leaving his wife with an awful mess to clean up and no one to pay for the floor refinisher. They’ll bury him in an oversized suitcase from his shop and the rabbi will say that Avrum was a poor schlemazel who worked so hard he died before he could schep any naches over his kids.
Avrum is what educators call an “accessible role model.” He’s finally using his seichel by starting to take care of his body. Avrum may be a klutz, but he’s our klutz, he’s a mentsch who loves his family, and he had the chutzpah to volunteer here, so who are we to sneer or poke fun?