This comes courtesy of my friend Alisha, who is awesome. And which goes to show you, those kiruv organizations — and those insistent concert promoters — have something; more people do look at fliers on the ground than fliers that are handed out:
Yesterday I was walking to the supermarket, when I saw a guy selling books on a blanket on the sidewalk. Normally, I would walk by, but I decided to stop for a moment. And I’m glad I did. One of the first things I saw was a tiny book with ‘Zohar’ written in Hebrew letter on the front cover. The guy wanted 30 RMB (about 4 USD) for it and was not willing to budge on the price. I asked him how he came to be in possession of such a book, because I know that they are not exactly allowed here. His only response was ‘I own a book shop, these books come from there.’ As if that answered my question. After I bought it, I read the introductions in English and saw that the book was originally part of something called the Zohar project, which intended to distribute copies of this small book for free. It seems that this book has had a very interesting life before it came to my home.
I’m not sure that this story has a purpose, but feel free to share it with others.
(Side note from matthue: does anyone have a photo of the mock-vodka ad posters all over Crown Heights? They say “Drink Responsibly” in Absolut-text, and, beneath it: “It’s the Chassidish thing to do.” Kol ha’kavod to whoever’s watching out for their brothers and sisters.