The Jewish Moshiach
By Andy Strowman
I have waited a long time and joined a long queue with my tsorus.
When we bensch the licht we gather a few crumbs of Yenevelt.
So it was for Mrs Goldstein. Each day she would return home, and she would sink into her little wooden chair, her body collapsing like a clown.
"Oy a broch! "She would say, "Dis a life?"
The neighbours said she was not long for the cemetery. Even the Rabbi began thinking of saying Kaddish for her. It was one cloudless afternoon that she fell asleep.
Soon, she was surrounded by ghosts and dybbuks beckoning to her, whispering in her ear. She began to see strange men with wolves clothing on. Dancing and singing songs that made her want to blush. One evil spirit led her by the hand and showed her the pit of Gehenna.
"See," the Evil one said. "Its not so bad after all down here."
"Look at all the men and women eating Cholent." He whispered, "Smak da vak."
"And wait till you taste the lokshen pudding."
She heard herself cry out, "Do they serve lemon tea?"
"Certainly", the Evil spirit said, " Everything is fleshaka."
"Once a week somebody comes round and makes sure we are doing things right."
"Tell me, " she whispered in his ear, "Do people get married down here?"
The Evil One sighed, "To tell you the truth people don't bother down here."
"There's my Solly," she cried.
"Mrs Goldstein don't worry. You'll see him soon," the Evil One said.
"Wait, wait, there's two women with him, " she said.
"Oy gevalt!" she screamed. She woke up in a sweat. The room spinned about.
She could see table lamps spinning in the air, curtains were flying past each other, and even her cat Pushka was dancing and singing a Sophie Tucker song.
Mrs Goldstein looked at her Big Ben clock. It was quarter to four in the morning.
The day drifted as days do. She remembered she had a train ride to make.
So she sat on the train wearing her best yellow scarf. The train was full of people unable to look at each other. Mrs Goldstein closed her eyes and tried to remember the Shema. All the words became muddled up. She went over them again and again but it was no good.
Suddenly, she heard the voice of a man next to her.
"Ladies and Gentlemen I do apologise. This is extremely embarrassing for me. I assure you it is no comfort to find myself in this position. I am sure you have heard this thing before. Many times. I am trying to raise enough money to get a bed in the hostel for the night."
Mrs Goldstein looked into the man's face.It was all bitter and twisted and lonely.
"The weather outside does not look too good and I really do not look forward to another night sleeping on a cold wet pavement. Please
Mrs Goldstein looked across at the man opposite. He was fast asleep.
The smell of the beggar entered her nostrils. Is this the Moshiach? she thought.
She heard herself shout, "It's the Moshiach! Come! It is the Son of David."
Quickly she grabbed his hands and in a quiet voice with tears running down her face she proclaimed, "All my life I have been waiting for you. Why did you take so long?" She kissed him on the face.
The people on the train looked on in amazement.
"There is much to do Moshiach! Much to do."
The train stopped and Mrs Goldstein pulled the Moshiach by the hand.
It had been raining and the platform was all wet.
"First, I must give you some chicken soup with balls. You have to keep your strength up."
The Moshiach nodded. The two figures looked a strange sight. Little Mrs Goldstein helping the Moshiach along as he hobbled with his crutches. They went past Kossofs the Bakers, and managed to get to Beck and Sherman's on the corner of Vallance Road.
A priest walked by them both. As they finally made it to Hanbury Street someone from the Shul gave Mrs Goldstein a look that would have spoilt a simcha.
It isn't every day the Moshiach comes to Whitechapel but who would know of it except Mrs Goldstein?
from the June 2006 Edition of the Jewish Magazine