This summer, in the middle of a fifteen-hour drive from Michigan to New Jersey, I stopped to buy two old wooden doors from a salvage shop in Cleveland. I found the seller, a kind, middle-aged dad who I’ll call Jim, on Facebook. Jim renovates properties and has amassed a collection of old doors rescued from various job sites. His “shop” was a covered section of his suburban yard.
Jim had exactly what I was looking for: two matching solid-wood five panels, unpainted, 24 inches wide. When we pulled them out into the sunlight to look them over, Jim struck up a conversation.
“So, what do you guys do?”
“My wife and I are clergy,” I told him. “She works at a congregation and I work in education.”
“Oh nice,” Jim said. “What kind of congregation?”
“Well, a synagogue. We’re both rabbis.”
I shot my kids a look to see if they were monitoring the conversation.
“Oh, you’re Jewish. My favorite person is Jewish!”
“Really?” I said, with false curiosity and a hunch about what was coming next.
“Yeah, Jesus Christ! You know, there’s a Jewish cemetery across the way from our house. Sometimes I do some tree work over there. I tell my friends that Jewish cemetery is proof the Bible is true.”
He paused for a second to make sure I was listening. I nodded for him to continue.
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