Updated now that we have a few more names straight...
Rabbi Bloom looked up from his mac and cheese and smiled hello. He gestured to the open seat.
"I should have warned you," he winced as Andy sat down. "Tuna sandwich on Monday is never a good idea. We're only one day away from Tuna Casserole Tuesday. From a practical standpoint, Wednesday through Friday is the only acceptable window."
Andy looked up, resigned and defeated. "I guess I'll have the hang of it soon."
"How is Nancy?" the rabbi asked.
"And how are you?" Dave gently inquired.
The two men took a few bites in silence. Andy slapped the sandwich down and tapped the lone celery stick impatiently. "Well?" he demanded.
"Well, what?" asked the rabbi.
"What words of wisdom does your god have for me now?" Andy asked petulantly.
"I don't know, what do you think He wants to say?" Rabbi Dave asked.
"Stop answering questions with more questions! You sound like a shrink." Andy harrumphed.
"Sorry. Hazard of the job, I guess," said the rabbi as they returned to their food.
"So the thing is," Andy ventured, never one to be silent for long, "I've been thinking about what we talked about last time. About how Nancy is the sun, and I just orbit around her and raise her sons..."
"Yes, I remember."
"Maybe it's not really Nancy's sons I'm raising. Maybe it's Judah's."
"There is precedent for that, you know, to take responsibility for your brother's children," the rabbi suggested. He paused to consider for a moment, "In some periods of history, it was considered an obligation."
"That's NOT why I did it!" Andy snapped.
"Because I love her. Because I love them. All of them, even the ones that aren't Judah's. And that's the majority of them, by the way. I'm all they have. Except her. And she's can't...she was in prison, she's not...she's lying upstairs in a coma..." Andy trailed off.
"So, it's up to you to be the parent," Rabbi Dave stated calmly.
"But when did that happen? When did I become Judah? I was the irresponsible one, I used to be the black sheep of the family. I was the one they wrote out of their wills. I was the one they all 'tut-tutted' about. Now it's all on me. I never asked to be him. I never wanted to be him. Well, except on his wedding night. But then he went and died. And he left her. And them...And me. He left me. And she doesn't want me. I mean she wants me, but not in that way. She wants me to worship her, and to raise her kids, she wants me to be the responsible one; to be Judah. So maybe she never would have wanted Judah, not really, not in the long run..."
"So what are you going to do about it?"
Andy looked at him as if the answer was obvious, "I'm going to keep doing it. This is my life. I'm living my life, not his. These are my choices. These are my sons. She is my wife. Even if he, and they, and she, don't realize it yet: this is it. This is what it's about. This is my family. I'm doing it for me. This is what I want."
Rabbi Dave smiled. This one was going to be alright.