My eyes were thick with sleep, my hands limply reaching out for Baby, when a sudden overwhelming urge for chocolate made my eyes snap open.


Blearily, I squinted at the clock. Three forty-five. I shook my head, blinked and laughed. I settled Baby Hershy in for his post-midnight snack, exhaled, and promptly started dozing off.


I steadied myself and looked around, bewildered. Hershy sucked noisily, eyes closed. What was this? It had been seven months since I last craved chocolate! What was this business all about?

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, go get some chocolate!

I giggled under my breath. This was ludicrous. Still, I wanted chocolate so badly I could feel it in my bones.

Okay, okay, I told myself, pacifying the unnamed chocolate monster simmering inside me. As soon as Hershy’s done here, we’ll go get some chocolate.

It struck me that Husband had finished the last of the chocolate coconut squares after dinner. Chocolate Monster cried. Unhappily, I shifted Hershy and swallowed. My throat was dry. Okay, we’ll go get a drink and do some rummaging in the kitchen. I’m sure I can find something.

Mollified, Monster sat back and reduced his irate nagging to a whimper. I looked down at my delicious baby and ate him up with my eyes until I was drooping again. By the time Hershy had deemed his snack to be enough and I snuggled him into his crib, my bed was calling louder than the kitchen.

Drink! Chocolate, something sweet . . . Monster begged.

Sshh, let me sleep . . . Before breathlessly hitting my pillow, I resolved to ask my husband to bring home one of those Torino chocolates for me after morning prayers.

I’m sure I dreamt of fat, creamy Torinos wrapped in crackly red and silver, but I dreamt a little too long. When I woke up to Hershy’s wailing, Husband was back from synagogue, and I had to rush if I wanted to make it to my ride to work on time.

I hastily dashed through my morning routine, shoved Baby and myself into respective coats, waved goodbye to Husband, and hurried out, groaning all the time.

So much for that chocolate, I thought, grumpy, as I zipped down the streets toward my ride. My workplace is located a good half hour away from my home, and I had no place to buy a kosher chocolate bar. Visions of a quiet morning, reading a magazine while I nibbled on a creamy Torino stick and sipped frothy Irish coffee, wafted dreamily in and out of my mind while I braved the frosty avenues.

It was rather comical, to be honest, but I couldn’t shake that little dusting of sadness that settled over me like a second skin. I had experienced such a rude awakening, literally, when all I had craved was a little coziness. Throughout the morning, the tip of my chocolate bar-that-wasn’t kept waving in my mind’s eye, making me wither.

Still feeling down, I resolved to make myself a cup of coffee. With a royal sigh of frustration I pushed back my chair, declared that I was on a coffee break, and headed to the little coffee station in the adjoining office.

It’s about time we get a decent coffee maker, I thought, again, as I reached for a hot cup and measured out the coffee grounds as if they were darling pearls. A little more, a little less . . . I deftly shook my spoon, added another grain, intent on the perfect coffee. Not that it would help much—what I really needed was chocolate.

“Good morning, Faigy,” Mrs. Strauss called and I whirled around to see the door to her office ajar.

“Good morning,” I smiled and waved, before turning to resume my coffee prep.

“Faigy,” Mrs. Strauss called again, and she beckoned for me to come.

I smiled. Mrs. Strauss is a sweet, grandmotherly woman, and I padded over happily. I nearly choked when she held out a chocolate bar. Granted, it was not the dairy, foil-wrapped goody I had been dreaming of, but still!

“Take some,” she said, breaking off a few squares and handing them to me. “I bought this whole huge bar, and I don’t need so much. It’s delicious.”

I laughed, for I thought I might cry. I accepted her offer and returned to finish my coffee, while my heart swelled with an exquisite sense of love.

It was a kiss from G‑d, wasn’t it? I was working there for over two years, and this was the first time Mrs. Strauss had offered any food. But here I was, on this strange and random chocolate-crazy day, and G‑d looked down and sent me a little package of joy, wrapped in layers and layers of love.

I may be feeling like a harried, overtired, can-barely­catch-my-breath mom. But I’m also a Jewish woman, and G‑d’s eyes are on me at all times. Even when I’m cranky and pining for a goodie.

I stared into my coffee and watched the frothy liquid swirl, toasty brown and white, while my eyes stung. Something sweet, like the combined tastes of so many Torinos and Rosemaries and Schmerlings and so much more, flooded my heart.

It’s real. G‑d is real, He’s here, and He wanted to give me a taste of His sweetness, of His concern. I sat down to savor each delicious square of creamy heaven, but they tasted overwhelmingly of love.

I can’t complain, though. It’s by far the most precious chocolate I’ve ever had.