I occasionally hear from reader Stephen Listfield, a part-time rabbi. Today he sent me a note along with thirteen pictures, of which I show six below. His words are indented.
I’m a retired rabbi living in Atlanta. I officiate part-time at a small congregation in Huntsville, AL; I am there for the High Holidays and one weekend a month. Mostly older people. They have zero full-time staff. They do everything themselves, including all the prayers (except when I am there), all the food, all the maintenance, all the janitorial stuff.
Wednesday evening I conducted a Zoom Seder for the congregation. On Thursday morning, a husband-and-wife minister couple drove by the synagogue and saw the array of “artwork” shown below. Police are investigating. No conclusions as yet.
Sending it along for whatever you might wish to make of it.
Happy Passover, for whatever you make or don’t make of the holiday. (Quite irrelevant to the point of this message, but I say parenthetically that the supernatural part of the holiday — which, frankly, IS the essence of the holiday — is not my cup of tea. But the message that Passover has come to universally represent, namely, the human right to freedom not only from slavery but (ideally) from every unhelpful constriction, fear, irrationality and neurosis. . . well, Passover can serve as a very powerful liberating message indeed.)
When I asked Stephen if I could reproduce his name, the name of his synagogue, and also show the pictures, he said “certainly” and added the following:
Some say don’t give publicity to the bastards. Interestingly, and I know you’ll be interested in this, the entire disgusting mess was thoroughly cleaned within a couple of hours. . . largely via the volunteer help of several ministers and church laypeople who couldn’t come fast enough to express their solidarity and their tangible support.
That’s all great.
And yet I lean toward the opposite view: Let the oozing pus be exposed to some sunlight. It might help disinfect some of humanity’s intractable and hateful germs.
Happy Passover, indeed!