By the time I got to the place, it was night. I didn’t even need to buzz the apartment because Mike and his buddy Josh were just coming out on their way to Shul for Shabbat services. “Oh shit dude.” Mike said as he saw me smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk. “Oh well. Uh… Wanna come to shul with us?” “Sure. I got nowhere else to be.” “Alright cool. You can get a kippa at the Shul.” “That’s the last thing I’m worried about.”

The shul was 40 blocks away on 40th street. It was a long walk but the night was beautiful. On the way there, I found an abandoned sign on the ground that said “Jesus Saves! Repent Now!” So I picked it up and started walking to synagogue singing the B-I-N-G-O song but substituting the letters with J-E-S-U-S. Intermittently I’d throw in a “White power!” here and there. It helped pass the time.

When we got to the shul, I put the sign down in front of a very orthodox looking Rabbi and bid him good Shabbos. He looked very confused which pleased me. The services weren’t too long. I went through the physical motions the way I used to when I was in middle school. The 3 steps back and 3 steps forward. The constant bowing. The lips moving too fast to actually say anything coherent or give meaning to the words. I fit right in. I knew that I wasn’t the only one pretending to be in prayer so I didn’t feel guilty. Besides. I never really understood why I should thank god for anything. They never explained that part. They would just say be thankful for your lot in life and then give us a bunch of examples of all the unfortunate innocent people suffering in this world and in the old world and they really had it rough. But thinking about it like that only pissed me off even more. At them and this God.

When we got out of the synagogue it was already starting to rain. A light misty rain that felt pretty nice in the warm New York night. We went to some religious girl’s apartment nearby. She and a friend lived in a single unit with bunk beds and a kitchen. It was Mike, me, two other dudes I had just met at the Shul, these 2 girls and another girlfriend of theirs. As far as I know, all the Orthodox girls in New York City go to Stern College, a private Orthodox Jewish all girls college. We ate dinner on a foldout table. None of the food was prepared. It was all prepurchased. These bitches couldn’t cook to save their grandpa from Auschwitz. “So you go to Stern too?” I asked the cutest of the 3. “Yup!” she said looking all wide eyed and shy. They were all shy and had trouble holding eye contact. It was the sign of uncivilized behavior due to social isolation from the opposite sex. These girls were taught from an early age the concept of Tznias, modesty, waiting until marriage. Not just to have sex, but to even touch a man they weren’t directly related to by blood. Those who kept to this particular part of the rule were considered “Shomer Negiah,” observant of the laws pertaining to touch. These, along with several other nonsensical insane rules comprised the Halakhic laws of modesty.

Some, like in all religions, were closet sluts though. I speak only from empirical evidence, of course. I decided to test out the waters with this one in an absolutely crude manner. “So how ‘Stern’ are you?” I said as I reached out and touched the back of her hand. She jerked her hand away as if I was a pot of boiling water. It was instinct, but she realized it was somewhat rude to a nonobservant Jew and stopped herself before her hand could disappear under the table on her knee. She smiled at me. “Pretty ‘Stern’…” she said. Then she winked. What the fuck does that wink mean? Fuck that. I don’t need this shit on my conscience. I felt an unbounded hatred towards the Orthodox of any religion. Hatred towards the parents that perpetuated closed minded precision-prescribed views on all aspects of life. But more so, I hated what I had seen from the community in my own time. For the most part, they would all get married young, have 8 kids and then proceed to live in squalor and dirt and disorder, all the while praying to God 3 times a day. These girls were definitely of the poor wallow in their own filth type. The ones who happily enjoyed their lack of social success and negative views of anyone not-Jewish / not-observant, and justified it with their dedication to God and culture and heritage. God was a full time job. Everything else was secondary. I had always hated fanaticism and extremism of any kind. Even though I myself was quite extreme in my own generalizations and judgments of others. The strange mix of self-aware hypocrisy is likely partially responsible for my offensive sense of humor and general contrarian nature.

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