Boy! The summer was much longer when I was a kid!
…My wife and I enjoyed a few days in Door County last week.
(Both our boys were off in camp.)
I don’t think most people there knew what a yarmulke is.
But a few did.
“You must be from Chicago!
I’m from Oak Forest. My wife was a librarian at Highland Park High School.
I attended so many Jewish events?
I’m not sure I’m still Catholic!”
… And there was this friendly fellow at the lake.
“Hi. You must be of the Jewish faith?
I grew up in Milwaukee.
We loved going to the Jewish bakery for the world’s best danish”!
I thought to myself, it’s true. I am of the Jewish faith.
But it’s more than that.
I’m also part of the Jewish People.
And even though I wish every Jew practiced their faith?
I feel a special bond with every Jew. Even those that don’t.
The bond between Jews is not something I could explain to my new friend.
… We walked into one of those tourist traps. Tea shirts and sweat shirts.
And as we’re looking around?
I hear, “Shalom”!
It was the guy behind the counter.
He looked “Mid Eastern”. But I was cautious at first.
Then I asked him, “mishpacha”? (“Are you family”?)
He said yes.
I knew nothing about his ‘faith”. But knew we were brothers.
“I’m Moshe”. “I’m Yaniv”.
And we started schmoozing.
He’s a Sephardic Jew. One parent from Morocco and one from Tunisia.
(Makes for great food!)
And like most Sephardic Jews, was brought up very traditional.
He’s all alone in Door County.
Wishes he “didn’t have to work on Shabbat”. Doesn’t eat non kosher meat.
And puts his Tefillin (leather boxes containing verses including the Shma) on every day.
It keeps him “connected”.
But he feels lonely.
And we became instant friends.
(Of course, we bought a sweat shirt we didn’t need. And of course, he gave us a big discount!)
… Our last night in Door County?
My wife and I were making our last “kosher turkey breast from Chicago” sandwiches.
And we started thinking.
“We could really stretch this a little.
Let’s make a sandwich for Yaniv!”
We did. And he was very touched.
… Yes. I am of the “Jewish faith”.
But the trip to Door County reminded me of my bond with every Jew!
All the best,