Today at shul, I saw the secretary looking very nervously at a man who was holding something partially out of a garbage bag. Another woman was explaining to the man that not too many people were around, since it was summer, so she didn’t think anyone was interested. So I stepped up to find out what was going on and what was in the bag. He was holding a birkat habayit picture; it was actually very pretty and in perfectly good shape. He then told me his story.
He’s been out of work for over a year and he’s looking to make some money. He found this on the side of the road; someone was throwing it out and he figured he could go to a shul to find someone to give him a little money for it. And he’s Jewish, even though he knows he doesn’t look it. He recited the first line of Mah Nishtanah with the thickest Ashkenazi accent I’ve heard in a while. He’s also a Viet Nam war vet; that part I could have told you; that part definitely fit him.
He asked where the rabbi was, maybe he could help him. I explained that the rabbi was waiting to hear from the dentist, since he was in desperate need of a root canal. But I took his phone number and I told him that the rabbi would be in touch with him.
Now, would you believe his story, that he found this picture on the side of the road?
I, myself, was eager to believe him, but I didn’t know how that could have been tossed away.
So ISHI came up with a very plausible and painful explanation.
There is a family that has just gone through a divorce.
They are moving and splitting up the household between them.
The brachah of the house, clearly, didn’t work.
I have to remind ISHI to call this guy tomorrow.