Me, in front of the house on 27th street. Every day for eight years I’d leave, make a sharp left, and head for the corner. The yellow bus would collect kids from neighboring towns and deliver us to the Yeshiva in Union City. We’d have Hebrew courses in the morning. Followed by lunch and recess outside in the schoolyard. And some English classes in the afternoon. It may be a stretch to call Yeshivas breeding grounds for future rabbis. Our teachers were rabbis, most with their congregations around north Jersey. Talmudic studies drilled into us. I drifted away from them once I became a man at age 13. I identify more with my ethnicity than with being Jewish. I’m a proud Jew just the same. Mezuzahs on all doors, even to this day.
For the fashion-minded, note the yarmulke already firmly seated atop my head even before the bus arrives. And under that nice shirt rests my tzitzit. They’d come out through some opened buttons during morning prayers. I kissed a lot of tzitzit in my time. And in the briefcase that’s nearly as large as I am small was a collection of siddurs, a gemara or two, a chumash, a load of pencils (most likely in a pencil case), some composition books, and probably something in english for the afternoon rituals. I was cute little bucher. A real boychik.
All This By Hand