I took my gaggle of gentiles in the minibus to the synagogue last night. Fifteen nervous women. One lady had made a point of not eating pork for her dinner, out of respect. We arrived. Ladies who were married or had a partner produced head-scarfs of all colours and patterns.Polka-dot was my personal favourite. It went with her track suit. I was given a skull-cap to teeter on my head like a burnt pancake plonked on a wooly mammoth.
We were ushered into the main room and sat in the front wooden pew, a place normally reserved for men only. The guide left the room for a minute. As soon as he had disappeared, one of the ladies leapt out of her pew and ran up to the lectern at the front of the synagogue and said
Take a picture of me !
Then she sprang back to her seat, undetected by the guide who proceeded to speak for an hour about Jews in Belfast, persecution in the Russian empire, and a Jewish Lord Mayor of Belfast. I imagined the ladies would have been bored. No. They were buzzing, swarmed around the building taking pictures of themselves posing beside JEWISH THINGS.
And one twenty year old sidled up to me and whispered:-
Lets come here some saturday for their sabbath. I`d like to see what happens….
Lets see what happens.