Monday, January 1, 2018
Crypto Jews, Conversos, and a Prophecy at Magnolia Bakery
It was the last day on our New York City adventure. The weather had been frigid the entire time we were there. After a couple of days, you adjust, make sure that your head and face are warmly wrapped and proceed forth. We were out in the dry cold and we were out in the snow.
Sadly, I have passed on my addiction to Magnolia cupcakes to Piper, my niece. We came upon the West Side location here:
In a typically New York slice-of-life, we ran into a wonderful Australian tourist who explained why the electoral college system ended up producing many US Presidents from Virginia. He modestly claimed he was a student of the US Presidency. Mr Land-Down-Under also shared that his week in New York was the very first time he'd seen snow in his life.
Then things come into perspective. I am never one to complain about snow. I love snow. How nice, though, for this man to experience it. While New Yorkers grumble...a visitor has the happy experience of his life. Isn't life like that? It is all in how you frame it.
A slender fifty-ish woman named Kim was appalled at all the empty plates and cups left behind by customers. She started picking them up. To be clear, Kim was a customer, not a waitress. You could almost see her immaculate apartment down the block.
We had a shared interest in genealogy. Kim explained the issues associated with researching a Jewish background. I learned about "conversos," that is, Jews who converted due to societal pressures. Crypto-Jews are those who may have outwardly converted but continue as Jews in secret. I'd never heard that phrase.
Anyone who professes Christianity as I do, yet does not understand the Jewishness of Jesus Christ is missing a great deal of his message. Due to a friend who is an Orthodox Jew, I've picked up a lot of info about Jewish thought. If you don't get Jesus as a rabbi, you aren't really understanding him at all.
We continued on in our discussion as Piper came back to the table with her cupcakes. Piper's father is Jewish and a Cohen (priestly caste) on his maternal side. Turns out Kim is also mixed, although she worships at a nearby synagogue.
Looking intently at Piper, she said, "You and I, we are the same. By cultural law, by the law of Judaism, we should not exist. (She was referring to the fact that Orthodox Judaism teaches that Jews should only marry other Jews.) This means that our souls have struggled for existence.
That means that you and I, Piper, have a destiny, a high calling on our lives. You should understand this."
This is what happens in New York City, these small hours, these little wonders, these twists and turns of fate (to quote Rob Thomas), random conversations and commiserations which leave you with something you remember for the rest of your life. And that's why I love New York. These small hours still remain.
Small Wonders - Rob Thomas