Wednesday, May 14, 2014

'Dare greatly, and if you must sin, sin nobly'

He entered the study and took the chair opposite the Rosh Yeshiva. Schulman closed the tractate of Talmud he was studying and opened the Bible without uttering a word, then noticed Decker was empty-handed.

"Where's your chumash?" the old man asked.

"I didn't bring it."

The rabbi closed the leatherbound book and waited.

"I ate traif today," Decker said.

"What did you eat?" Schulman asked.

"A Big Mac."

"Was it good?"

Decker smiled.

"Actually, it was terrible. The meat wasn't tainted or anything like that, but it didn't go down well."

"Hmmm," said Schulman. "If you were going to eat traif, why didn't you splurge on delicacies -- lobster, shrimp, filet mignon?"

Decker shrugged.

"I could never figure it out," Schulman said, pondering. "When bochrim go astray, they sin in the most mundane ways. Instead of committing adultery with a beautiful woman, they have sex with the ugliest zonah around. Instead of dining in the finest restaurant in L.A., they go to Taco Bell. Such lack of imagination. It defies logic. Why did you aim so low, Peter?"

"I don't know. I guess if you want to debase yourself, you don't do it in high style."

- Faye Kellerman, Sacred & Profane