From the Board

As your board president at CBE, it’s fair to say that it has been a pretty crazy few months in our neck of the woods.

As many of you may have read in the Canyon Courier, there was a plot on my life a few months back.  Our mutual friend Mort. E. Chai, an elderly man in the area best known as Morty, initially from Buffalo, had the wherewithal to send me an urgent text that very day, pleading with me to avoid a certain meeting with two men in Elk Meadow, and I found out later that he had indeed saved my life.  The two men were caught, and are currently in custody at the Jeffco courthouse, and Morty’s actions are well chronicled now for all to see.  He even made the local news on Channel 9 News.

Meanwhile, I had hired a new financial advisor, Mr. Hamanov, and though he seemed quite competent, and seemed quite devoted to my interests, he did have some odd quirks.  First of all, he wore an oddly shaped hat that reminds me of a pastry, and, secondly, he seemed to want all who meet him to praise him and politely bow to him.  Weird. But, I figured that’s just how people are up here in the mountains.  Everybody seems to do their own thing up here.

So, recently, Mr. Hamanov came to me with a suggestion that, in order to avoid a fiscal catastrophe, I should just go ahead and dissolve our congregation, saying that there was no need for it anymore, and it would certainly resolve our financial issues completely.   This suggestion seemed odd, but Hamanov was so sincere and so convincing, that I went ahead and gave him permission to set up a meeting with our lawyer to have this done by the 13th of Adar.

After that decree, my beautiful second wife Joan, who goes by her middle name of Esther, asked to speak with me and Hamanov alone, and said that she would like to have a nice dinner at one of the best sushi restaurants in Evergreen with me and Hamanov alone. Interestingly, Esther is from Buffalo as well, and seems to know Morty in some way.  It’s a small town, I guess.

The next morning, I woke to an angry e-mail from Hamanov, saying that he had run into Morty down by the lake, and that Morty—though polite—had refused to bow to him, saying that it was just something he did not think was appropriate in this day and age.  Hamanov told me that this was just completely unacceptable to him, that he was livid, and that he wanted to have Morty arrested and charged and punished in some way.

This seemed to me to be an over-reaction, especially once I realized that Morty was the one who saved me from a certain death.   I thought about what Morty had done for me, and realized that I had never rewarded him for his good deed.

I had a meeting with Hamanov, and I asked him what the best way was to thank someone who had been a loyal supporter and friend of mine.  I guess that Mr. Hamanov thought I was referring to him, because he suggested that I buy this person a beautiful new suit, and rent a red Ferrari for him to use as his own.

Of course, I was thinking of Morty, and so I told Hamanov to get the new suit and the Ferrari, just as he had suggested, and to make sure that Morty got them.   He seemed really upset, especially given Morty’s refusal to bow to him, but I figured he’d get over it.  It was the least I could do for the man who saved my life.

After that, I decided to have that dinner with Esther and Mr. Hamanov at the sushi restaurant down by the lake.  Out of the blue, my beautiful wife tells me that there is someone who is plotting to destroy her people unnecessarily, and that it is Mr. Hamanov!

Hamanov fidgets uncomfortably in his chair, while Esther gives me more details, telling me that he wants to destroy our beautiful congregation over a fictitious financial crisis.  And then, to my great surprise, she tells me that Morty is her uncle (!), and that he had raised her in Buffalo when her parents died when she was a young child.  What a crazy dinner that was.

I turn to Mr. Hamanov, and ask him if this is indeed true.  He turns to Esther, and pleads with her and with me to have mercy on him.   He finally admits it, and I immediately fire him, and call the local authorities to have charges filed against him.  Surprisingly, the police arrive almost immediately, and take him down to the courthouse right then to be booked and arrested.

After that, my wife and I finish dinner, and we call Morty the next day.  He shows up in his new suit, driving this amazing red Ferrari.  To my surprise, he has an MBA from NYU, and is well-qualified to be my financial advisor.  I check with my wife to make sure that she is ok with having her uncle in this position, and she reassures me that we could probably not make a better choice.

So, that’s what has been going on here these past few months, and I am exhausted, but very happy with the way that things turned out.  My beautiful wife saved our congregation, and we have a very competent and honest advisor as a result.

Hal Stein


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