Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Moving Right Along

I'm actually doing something quite unique among roving rabbi types. For the first several weeks my partner, Shua Popper, and I are teaching people in a Chabad House and also going out in the (semi) wild west to look for people. Later we'll rove exclusively, but for now it's both. And you know what? They're both quite challenging.

For example, the first city we visited was S. Joseph, Missouri. It was a hot day. For some reason we couldn't find any contacts that the previous groups had made, so we were basically on our own. We were walking by the police station when we suddenly heard banging. Of course we looked up, and there was a guy waving at us. "Hey," we thought, "this is pretty easy! These guys are begging us to come!"

So we walked in, and the kind receptionist said, "People banging and waving? Oh, those must be the prisoners." And no, we weren't allowed to go and see if any were Jewish. The lady did give us the names and addresses of the two local synagogues, so we resolved to check out the situation. On our way back to the car I noticed the county office, so we went in. The commissioner was also very nice, and he was even friends with a (minister? priest? reverend?) "clergyman of another faith" who sits with the rabbi of one of the local synagogues on an interfaith board, and so we got a phone number. No one picked up the phones, or was by the synagogues, which was too bad.

Next Time...City Hall, Antiques, Baseball, and the local library