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ISSUE 9 VOLUME 1

03/26/2020 07:02:43 PM

Mar26

Jordan Hiller

Cedarhurst, New York. Day.

A line is formed outside of a supermarket and those on line stare dead ahead, looking impatient. Some cough, sniffle, or sneeze, drawing angry glances from those in the queue. One man is pacing as he waits, seemingly deep in thought, conflicted. He is recognized by a passerby.

MOSHE, a large unbearded man in his 40s approaches SHALOM, a bearded man in his 30s.

MOSHE

Shalom!

SHALOM

(Seeing MOSHE approach)Get back! What are you, a rodef?

MOSHE

Unsure if SHALOM is joking. But remains at a distance. 

Sorry. I know, I know, daled amos. What are you up to? 

SHALOM

What am I up to? I'm on line for three hours to buy cheese. But, also, you know I write for the 5TJT, right?

MOSHE

Sure, I read your recent article about Trump being the moshiach. Hard to argue. 

SHALOM

Thank you. Was worried it was too obvious a piece. But, I’m really struggling with this next one.

MOSHE

What’s it about?

SHALOM

Of course it’s going to be about the Coronavirus.

MOSHE

So, what’s the problem?

SHALOM

I've thought about it constantly. And I just can’t figure out the Jewish angle.

MOSHE

What do you mean?

SHALOM

I mean, it's happening in every country in the world. To all kinds of people. Not just Jews.

MOSHE

Really? I thought it was just in Israel and New York. I thought it was caused by going to minyan.

SHALOM

No, I've been following closely. Every country in the world. Even countries without Jews. It actually started in China. Hardly a frum person there. 

MOSHE

That is unbelievable. So it's happening to everyone? Not just Jews? And the Jews didn't cause it?

SHALOM

That's right. I can't wrap my head around it. 

MOSHE

Maybe a Jew will cure it?

SHALOM

That very well could be, but they say that would be bad because it will make it look like the Jews created it.

MOSHE

But you said it started in China.

SHALOM

Wouldn't make a difference. And either way, no one cured it yet and my article is due by the end of the week.

MOSHE

So, what are you going to do?

SHALOM

I'm actually thinking about writing something about HaKadosh Baruch Hu being the God of all humanity and there are times when He does things to remind us that all mankind are His children and that we are all in this together. That sometimes it’s not about us, but about US. 

MOSHE

Waits a few moments to see if SHALOM will crack a smile, but he doesn’t. SHALOM remains lost in thought.

I like Moshiach Trump better. Good luck, Shalom. 

MOSHE walks away rather quickly, leaving SHALOM to contemplate his article. SHALOM just then notices that he is only two shopping-cart-lengths away from the supermarket entrance.

By: Jordan Hiller

Mon, March 30 2020 5 Nisan 5780