Holly and a Honda

Holly and a Honda

Previously posted on WriteOn2014

The Christmas tree was up and decorated. The blue Star of David was released from its white tissue-paper blanket for placement on the tree. The nine-candled menorah sat on the sideboard. Holly, with an attached blinking cross, framed the exterior front door. In the front bay window, bright lights spelled out the greeting “Happy Hanukkah.”

As Mr. Brown-Finkelstein was climbing the ladder to position the Star, the family heard a loud vibrating rumble. “Is that the furnace?” Sol said to his wife Betty. Except for Sol, the family raced to the bay window to see what was going on out front. Sol, afraid the furnace was about to explode, rushed down the ladder and cracked open the cellar door. He listened intently; once he heard the normal purring of the burner, he joined his family at the window.

What the family saw next was a comical sight: Rabbi Cohen, in his ankle-length black wool coat, was turning a growling Harley into their drive. In the sidecar was the Methodist minister, Pastor Young, holding his black fedora tightly against his stomach. Except for the familiar coat and fedora, the two men were barely recognizable in their helmets and goggles. The motorcycle was going so fast that their winter neck scarves flapped behind them as the cycle skid to an abrupt stop. The Rabbi tripped off the Harley and the Pastor toppled from the car. They placed their helmets and goggles into a compartment of the car and headed toward the family’s front door.

Rabbi Cohen, struggling with repositioning his skull cap, missed the first step of the front stoop. His plump body smacked against the front door; its holly garland and battery-operated blinking cross tore from the door and came to rest on his shoulders. The garland draped down the front of his body and trailed at his feet. The cross continued its synchronized flashing from his upper chest.

Before the two could ring the bell, Sol opened the door. “Here, let me help get those decorations off you,” he said to the Rabbi, and headed towards him. To the Pastor, Betty said “Let me take your hat.”

They exchanged pleasantries then the Pastor led off by saying, “You probably wonder why we are here.”

“Well, yes…”the Brown-Finkelstein family chorused.

“Rabbi Cohen and I decided we’d go about the neighborhood this holiday season to visit newcomers to our places of worship. The Rabbi would visit the Jewish families and I would visit the Methodist ones. In your case, however, we became quite confused as your name was on both our lists. And, we were further confounded by your somewhat unusual holiday decorations. So, we decided we’d both come in”, he concluded.

“I can understand your bewilderment.” Sol said. “You see, I am Jewish and my wife is Methodist.”

“Aha,’ responded the Rabbi. “That accounts for the hodgepodge of ornaments.”

The Rabbi and Pastor then spoke softly between themselves before Rabbi Cohen asked “So, which faith gets your three kids?”


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