It turns out that INN’s Baruch Gordon is in New York on a kiruv and aliyah project, working to bring people closer to Judaism and Eretz Yisrael. He was sighted twice in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, and today someone sent me a photo of him in New York, posing with one of the locals.
Baruch Gordon in New York
Luckily, I was able to reach Baruch on the phone.
“Baruch, how’s it going?” I asked.
“Great!” he responded with his usual up-beat enthusiasm. “I love the Jews here in America! They’re the greatest! Some of them look like they’ve been through Hiroshima with all the spiritual impurity they have to live with here, but they’re Jews all the same and I love ‘em. If you show them you care, you can uncover the shtikaleh Yidden in all of them. To me they’re like diamonds. Sure, they’re a little dirty and beat up from the exile, but when you clean and polish them up with a little Torah, they all turn out to be sparkling gems.”
“Who’s that guy you’re with in the photo they sent me?” I asked him.
“A new friend,” he answered. “The poor guy’s had a real down and out battle with guarding the Brit. For a while he was married to a gentile, then went through a long bout of addiction to porn on the net, but he wants to give it all up now and come live in the Holy Land. He’s starting to keep Shabbos and is even growing a beard. You can probably see it in the picture.”
“That’s great! Yasher koach!” I told him. “Hatzlachah! You should have a lot of success!”
“I’ve got him booked on a Nefesh B’Nefesh flight to Israel next week. Kiryat Arba has agreed to set him up in an apartment and start him off in an ulpan. The poor guy doesn’t know any Hebrew at all, but he’s gun-ho to learn.”
“When are you coming back home?” I asked.
“I really don’t know. There’s lots of work to do here,” he replied. “There's over two million Jews in the naked city. Each one could make a whole blog.”
“Listen, Baruch,” I told him, lowering my voice. “Bring me back a pastrami sandwich on rye with real New York mustard. I’ll pay you 1000 shekels.”
“No problem, my friend,” he told me.
I can’t wait till he gets back – not to see him, but to bite into that pastrami. Oh man. Just thinking about it drives me crazy! Come home, Baruch, soon!!!