- His face tilted benignly toward me, and he suddenly remarked, "Did you know that the word holocaust is Greek? It means a burnt offering- when the oracle would place the sacrificial bull and burn it in its entirety, until nothing was left but ash. Not a bit left to eat. Not a shred of skin or hide to make a scrap of clothing. Not an ounce of anything left for any useful purpose whatsoever. Burnt to nothing. That is what holocaust means."
The bus that was supposed to drop us off by Port Authority made one stop at Grand Central because it was running late. Thus, I decided to walk to 9th & 34th in order to find B&H. B&H is the electronic superstore comparable to Illinois' ABT. Except it isn't comparable at all because the vast majority of its employees are Jewish (and almost all of them, at least as far as I could tell, were male.) Plus, they have a huge calendar in the window telling you they'll be closed for Sukkot. On the other hand, ABT has a huge aquarium and a marble globe that floats on water that children can play with. ABT also has an entirely revved-up super snazzy theater that shows various films; once I saw "Gladiators" there. I have yet to figure out how that is a children's film (officially they only show children's films).
In any case, as you walk down 9th Avenue, you see various men with velvet kipot and long sideburns in curls smoking cigarettes and speaking to one another. A professional greeter opens the door for you when you find the entrance to B&H, and thanking him, you walk inside, only to notice the green cartons whirring and whizzing overhead on conveyor belts, almost as though you had managed to lose yourself within Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Fascinated by this, I wandered through the whole store and, directed by a helpful black lady, went upstairs to the Computer Section. There, a man who looked like Philip Seymour Hoffman with longer hair helped me out and now I have an external DVD drive! This means I can watch movies again- hurrah! What I did not know is that you cannot take your package with you in order to pay. I tried to go down the escalator to the 2nd floor only to have my package beep mercilessly. Guiltily, I walked over to the black man who sweetly told me I had to have it sent downstairs. Not understanding, I watched, awed, as they took my package and put it into a green bin that disappeared down the conveyor belt. Sure enough, as soon as I had paid and was ready to pick it up, it was bagged and ready, waiting for me. That is bizarre in a wonderful way.
Took the A train home and then found, to my great joy, that Sam was online! Sam is my wondrous friend in Israel whom I love very much. Whenever I talk to Sam he blows me away. He is totally sincere; it's wonderful to see.
- me: And if you don't affiliate with any sect, how do you define your Judaism? I'm very intrigued
What does it mean to you to be a Jew?
Sam: i believe that the torah was given by אלוהים
i actually believe that
and along the way im trying to find my own level of worshi
me: That's fascinating
me: So you wish to actualize the beliefs, then
Sam: of course
why pray or believe in god if not?
"Why pray or believe in God if not?"
Thank God for Sam! And thank God for wonderful books that talk about the redemption of man and lovely stores filled with Jews! It's all wonderful.