"You know I was taught that god was all-knowing and all-seeing, so why couldn't he see which houses were Jewish?"
"Damien, Yahweh moves in strange ways." Lenny accepted some profane thought, but he glared at my apostasy."Yes, here you have this god." Most people think the killer of the male first-borns was an angel. "Super powerful Yahweh blundering through the night killing young boys. Do you think there was any collateral damage like how our smart bombs hit schools in Afghanistan?"
"How should I know? I wasn't there, but enough of this narishkait, because your foolishness is in line with my thinking. Passaich is a celebration of death. Death of the guilty, but also the innocent. This I can not celebrate. Freedom, yes. Extermination,no."Several people had gathered around our discussion and a religious diamond dealer angrily demanded of Lenny, "You really think Yahweh was a murderer?""It wasn't the first time." Lenny didn't like this attention. He depended on the kindness of this street to support his sister."Actually I think that the second-sons of Egypt plotted to kill all the first-borns to destroy the rules of primogeniture and then blamed the Hebrews." I was talking nonsense to take the flak aimed at Lenny."Primogeniture?" The diamond dealer had a yeshiva education. "Primogeniture is where the first born inherits everything from the father. Like Cain and Abel."
"Cain killed Abel." Lenny nodded in agreement.
"The second son plot."
"Es iz nit geshtoygen un nit gefloygen." The diamond dealer muttered in Yiddish."What's that mean?" My Yiddish was rusty after a year of not working on the street.
"It never rose and it never flew." Lenny smiled with the pleasure of translating Yiddish. He was a vanishing breed." In plain speaking 'bullshit'."
"It's not foolishness." I protested with the fervor of a devotee to the untruth. "The only logical explanation of passover is that the Egyptians killed the first borns."
"It was God." The diamond dealer spoke with words with conviction. "And his killing angel."
"Isn't that the same name they called Josef Mengele?"
"Even worse. A pox on your head." The diamond dealer spat the words. Lenny shambled after him for a dollar.This day ended late."What was that all about?" Richie Boy exited from the exchange."The origins of Passsaich." "Who knows what Passaich really was? It was over 3000 years ago. I can barely remember what I had to eat for lunch."
"Me neither." I was lying. We had eaten Chinese take-out on the shootRichie Boy and I headed to the subway. He believed in life.It was something no angel could take away today.