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Volume 2, ISSUE 5

05/08/2020 12:45:37 PM

May8

Rabbi Jeffrey Miller

The Sacred Bin

It's a small problem in the scheme of things, but as my wife has told me on more than one occasion: "your cut, your pain." In my case, the pain is that I've run out of books to read. Shabbos is coming fast, which is wonderful, except that I’ve run out of books.  It’s a very long Shabbos without shul, a good book, and the Good Book.

Two weeks ago, I borrowed a couple of books from the Chaikins, with whom we've shared reading materials for years.  I really liked Galileo’s Daughter (thanks, Michelle).  It was not something I ordinarily would've picked up for myself but… I've run out of books and was desperate.  The second book seemed interesting until I read the first page. That’s when I realized that I gave that very book to Eli last year!  I appreciate the re-gift, Eli, but it did me little good.

Amazon was kind enough to deliver three books last week.  Stephen King's The Institute is now sitting on our den coffee table, waiting patiently for Enid.  (Think of it as a season of Stranger Things, King-style). Washington, like Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and Hamilton before him, is interesting but tolerable in small doses only.  I can say without spoiling the ending that George is currently a Colonel fighting for the British in the French & Indian War. The Future Father (of our country only since he had no children) must now rest for a month or so until I am back in the mood to read more about his exploits.  

Spoiler alert: There has been no mention of a Cherry Tree and George is now 26 years old.

That leaves Sacred.  I ordered it because I am a big fan of Dennis Lehane.  I am such a big fan, in fact, that I read Sacred when it first came out many years ago!  I am not sure what bothers me more: That I paid for it a second time or that it took me 18 pages to realize that the story and characters seemed too familiar.

In the old days, I would sometimes leave finished books on the subway, or at a Dunkin Donuts, or on a park bench, or an airplane, hoping that it would find a nice home with a kind person.  I wrote my name on the jacket and asked the finder to do the same when he/she was done.  

More recently, I've passed books off to friends in the neighborhood.  I've also received a fair share of books. Karma, kismet, Midah K'neged Midah, one good deed, blah blah blah.  My friends and I giveth and taketh.

So here is my plan, at least until Blue Door, Barnes & Noble and the Library reopen.  I will be leaving Sacred on the Shul's steps sometime tomorrow afternoon, where this Sacred does not quite belong.  Sacred won't be alone; I promise. It will be joined by two other worthwhile books.  I am keeping the titles a secret for dramatic effect but they are really good books. IMHO. These books will be placed in a Rubbermaid container, waiting for a friendly face to rescue them.  Don’t be shy; anyone looking for a book ("a" book; don't be greedy) is free to take it, no questions asked.  

And if you have a magazine from 2020, or a book that you no longer want, be kind and drop it off in the Sacred Bin. Just do not leave a puppy.  Or a baby.

I really hope there will something in the Sacred Bin for me before Shabbos.  Cause it is a long Shabbos.

By: Rabbi Jeffrey Miller

Wed, August 12 2020 22 Av 5780