On one of the tables in the kitchen there's a box of free stuff in which you will find the most bizarre items. This morning I found one of our digital artists digging in the box, like a nighttime critter, pulling red and purple promotional tee-shirts reading "Corporate Caribou," and flinging them over his shoulder. This image brought to mind the "Hefker Table" in Seminary, the way girls would attack the left over rugaluch from Shabbat and random "Mazel Tov" taffies.
Just below the shirts (the digital artist would later return to claim,) I found bottles upon bottles of red-white oxycodone capsules in familiar looking Rx prescription bottles. Not knowing whether I had stumbled upon some drug deal- the kind where Fat Eddie would jump from behind the snack machine while Joe Thin Knuckles pulled a gun out from the coffee filters- I began rummaging.
In this box-of-all-sorts, I beheld something so precariously asking for trouble, it would have the FDA, Child Services, and the women of The View fuming. Like the ramifications of fastening some red, lacy negligee onto a lamppost at the intersection of Meya Sherim and Geulah- it would cause nothing short of a civil war. These bottles were not filled with actual drugs- they were filled with pill shaped candies used as some company's marketing swag.
These candy pills taught me a fundamental human lesson of deception.We live in an age where nothing is as it seems- where immorality is distilled, bottled, and sold to us on every cable, print, and media outlet. In this world where men beat the women they say they love, and women ask to be taken seriously wearing shirts to their navel.
In this upside-down society we call normality, I find it comforting that Judaism is the one religion that actively makes it difficult to convert. We put up stonewalls made of persistent rejection, months (even years) of Torah Study, interrogation by the Jewish court, circumcision, and countless ceremonies such as immersion in a tank of rainwater and contemporary versions of offerings made during the times of the Temple.
Judaism does not say believe in the Divinity of Christ as your waiver from burning in hell.
Judaism does not book you on your next ticket to Mecca during the Haj pilgrimage and say this is your ticket to absolution.
Judaism says "our way of life is not easy, you will need to make sacrifices, and yes, you really do need to snip down there." Judaism does not pretend to be something its not- it does not wield the next generation of over dosers. It says we are a nation who suffers aveilut together for the loss of z"l Eyal, Naftali, and Gilad and we can not and will not justify God's sentence. To do so, would be candied suicide.
A dose of reality