As I recall, this one is for/about some dip shit Marina's mom was dating at the time. Which would explain the hostility about him never being the poet (father/man) that Buk hoped he was... Could use some verification, but I'm pretty sure there's a short story about the same guy.
99% that Joseph Aberman is Neeli Cherkovski, who's taking the bet? That "picking apples"-theme also appears in the letters, "Living on Luck". Obviously Neeli went to visit Jerusalem in the early 70's, probably living in a kibbutz for a while.