Teen fiction novels include The Olive Tree Covering. Back home again is the title of the ninth chapter in teen fiction novels.
I watched out the window as the children played in the playground of the daycare center next to the synagogue. While my parents and Rabbi Mendelsohn had their discussion about my behavior, I impatiently tapped the arms of my chair eager to finish the meeting, leave, and go home. My stomach felt like popcorn was popping inside and I clenched my abdomen in an effort to calm my nerves and ease the pain and tension I experienced below my waist.
In teen fiction novels, teens have parents who sometimes lead them into uncomfortable situations.
At home, before this meeting, I told my parents that I didn’t want to attend. My belief in Jesus grew stronger each day. Rabbi Mendelsohn’s counsel wouldn’t change my inner beliefs.
“Tamara, your parents told me that you have accepted Jesus as your personal savior.” Rabbi Mendelsohn leaned across his desk close enough so that I could see his brown eyes.
Sometimes in teen fiction novels, teens explain their personal beliefs to adults who may not always accept them.
“That’s true.” I watched Rabbi Mendelsohn turn the pages of a large volume on his desk.
“How have you arrived at this decision?” Rabbi Mendelsohn rubbed his bearded chin.
“My friend Mike read New Testament scripture with me proving that Jesus is really the promised Messiah.” I leaned forward in my chair trying to read the upside-down pages of the open book on the Rabbi’s desk.
“That’s nonsense. The Talmud clearly shows us why this belief is false.” Rabbi Mendelsohn pointed to a page of the large book.
Parents always have the upper hand when it comes to disciplining their teens in most teen fiction novels.
“Rabbi, I’m sorry if we have caused trouble. We have forbidden Tamara to have outside contact with Mike. We didn’t know he was encouraging her to study a forbidden book.” My father grasped the arms of his chair while trying not to raise his voice.
“It is true that we recognize Jesus as a great rabbi or teacher of the law, but he cannot be considered divine.” The rabbi closed the book on his desk and put it back on the shelf behind him.
“Rabbi, I mean no disrespect. The New Testament Gospel readings explain the divinity of Jesus.”
I was disappointed that Rabbi Mendelsohn had ignored the fact that Isaiah foretold that Jesus came to redeem the Jewish people. I knew that he had spent years studying the Old Testament before he became a rabbi.
“Mr. and Mrs. Sulema, it’s evident your daughter is confused. I think you should keep her away from all association with Mike and his Christian organization.” Rabbi Mendelsohn pushed his chair back and stood up.
Teens are often disappointed when their parents sometimes disapprove of their friends in teen fiction novels.
“He’s Jewish…” I bit my lip holding back my angry tears. It felt as if my heart had been pierced with a pin and all the blood in my veins was slowly pouring down my legs and arms.
“Thank you for your wise counsel, Rabbi. We will do all that you advise.” My father grabbed my arm and put his finger to his lips as a signal for me to remain silent.
“Shalom. See you at the service on Saturday.” Rabbi Mendelsohn extended his hand for my father to shake.
“Thank you, Rabbi. We will be there.” My father motioned for us to follow him out the office door.
After we left the rabbi’s office, I spotted Rachel sitting on the sofa in the reception area with her parents. She was wearing a light blue dress with long sleeves and a floral design. That was something I might wear to the synagogue. Perhaps Rachel had also been summoned to a conference with the rabbi.
“Hi Rachel.” I walked past the couch she was sitting on. “I didn’t know you were waiting to see Rabbi Mendelsohn.”
“What’s wrong?” I took a step in Rachel’s direction.
“I’d rather not say.” Rachel opened the magazine on her lap.
“I should go. My parents are waiting for me.”
I hurried out of the synagogue in the direction of our car. My father opened the passenger door and motioned for me to get into the back seat.
A child disappears from a daycare helper. Teen fiction novels often have mysteries to solve.
“Can you help me find Devon?” Helen ran towards our car.
“What happened?” My father leaned against the open car door.
“When I last saw him, he was playing on the slides. I turned away for a minute to help another child. After I went back to the slides he wasn’t there.” Helen crumpled the tissue she held in her hand.
My father and I followed Helen back to the playground, where other daycare kids were playing. My mother stayed in the car.
“The last time I saw him, he was climbing up to the top of the slide.” Helen pointed at the playground equipment.
I looked under the slide and my father walked around the area near the swing set. Many kids were running, swinging, jumping, and climbing on the swings, slides, and monkey bars. My father walked into the dense, wooded area behind the playground and motioned for us to follow him.
“Girls, you should continue to look for Devon here. In the meantime, I’ll check back in the daycare center.”
Helen and I searched for Devon in the bushes and behind the trees. A thorny branch scratched my hand as I pushed it aside to look for Devon. The aroma of fresh pine filled my nostrils as my feet slithered through the muddy ground a few feet away from the pine tree. The murky waters of a bog smelt musty and stale and I retraced my steps back to the fragrant pine scent. Sitting under the rough bark of a pine tree, I thought about all the hiding places that a small boy could find.
“Did you find him yet?” I shouted to Helen as she approached the pine tree.
“No. He might be hurt and scared that he is lost.”
“I hope we can find him before his mother finds out that he is missing and panics. Let’s go back to the playground. I was watching the kids play there this morning from the rabbi’s office.” I pushed myself off the ground with one hand and stood up.
“How did the meeting go?” Helen walked beside me.
“Not well at all. Rabbi Mendelsohn told my parents to keep me away from anything involving Jesus.”
“I’m not surprised. I can’t talk to my father about my spiritual beliefs either. When Paul wrote about the dividing wall of hostility in Ephesians he wasn’t kidding.” Helen rested her hand on my arm.
When we entered the playground, I saw my father coming towards us with a small boy at his side. He was the same boy I had observed before going to Rachel’s house.
“I found Devon hiding in a closet. I heard him crying and opened the closet door. He was sitting in a corner hugging his knees. I dried his eyes with my handkerchief.” My father folded up his handkerchief and put it in his pocket.
The three of us walked with Devon to meet his mother who was waiting for him in the office. Devon’s mother was happy to see him and thanked us for finding him. Helen walked back to the car with us.
“I hope to see you at Ohev Shalom on Saturday.” Helen held the car door open.
In some teen fiction novels, teens aren't always allowed to do the things they are interested in doing.
“I don’t think that’s possible.” I climbed into the back seat of the car.
“That’s too bad. My mother was looking forward to meeting you. Maybe some other time. Thank you for all your help.” Helen walked back to the daycare center.
“I met Helen at a scavenger hunt I participated in at Ohev Shalom.” I closed the car door.
“Why were you at Ohev Shalom?” My father looked at me in the rearview mirror.
“Mike invited me to attend the youth group meeting.” I slouched in the back seat.
“Please don’t go there anymore. I think Helen is very nice but I’d rather you come with us to our synagogue.”
I didn’t answer my father. I knew that I would have to hide my true beliefs from my parents for a while. The wall of silence between us was painful to me. I was scared about the future. What would happen next? How could I make my parents understand that I wasn’t turning my back on our Jewish traditions and heritage? I didn’t feel comfortable expressing my inner thoughts and feelings to them. It was as if I was walking alone on one side of a brick wall trying to get to my parents who were on the other side. I was afraid of being alone and missed the comfort and sense of security I had with my parents when I was younger. I hoped and prayed that God would provide an answer to my internal dilemma.
What is the Talmud? Teen fiction novels seldom make a reference to this resource.
In this one of many teen fiction novels. go to chapter ten to find out what happens next.