Riffs overheard on subways are always fun to transcribe. This one was especially fun, for it was being dealt by some dandy trying to impress his bored date. He began telling her stories of visiting his mother’s family in Costa Rica during summer months. Tales of a city kid trying to make it good on a farm. He was telling her the story of his run-in with the cow.
“I be lookin’ at the cow and the cow be lookin’ at me. The cow says moo. I go waaaa. The cow picks up its feet and heads to me. I run for the fence. The cow gets close, and I dive right for the fence, woo, right under the bottom wire and split my head on the barbed wire. I’m bleeding, like man, blood everywhere. My cousins go, ‘his brains are coming out.’ I believe ‘em and scream, ‘Mommy, Mommy, my brains are coming out.’ They be lovin’ it, making me scream. Then one cousin screams, ‘there’s a mouse crawling out now.’ And I scream, ‘how’d the mouse get in there?!’”
He must have been young when it happened, to believe anything and everything that was said to him. What could a five-year-old know about brains coming out and possible mice scurrying out, too. He just believed whatever was dealt him.
Yet, hopefully, we are more mature than that. That is why it amazes me how many weird things about Judaism folks will believe. I mean how does an author like Richard Zimler get folks to believe that Kabbalists sleep around randomly? When you hear someone tell you a mouse is scurrying out of your head, you know they are full of shtus (nonsense). When you hear a nonsensical version of Judaism, you can discount the storyteller’s other words. If a teacher slips in her own version of what is Judaism and you note that it is as outrageously untrue as that mouse in your brain, then discount her teachings and go find another teacher who is more truthful.
We are told by G-d, “Torahsee Al Ta’azohvoo” ‘My Torah you should not forsake.’ Why the word “My”, why not Torah (after all, isn’t there only one Torah). And the answer is that you are to follow the words of G-d, the laws of G-d…and not all the add-ons and take-offs that others try to sell you.