So last weekend when my daughters suggested we make our way to Macarthur Park to sample the Hot Pastrami Sandwich (as seen on Best Things I Ever Ate Episode #29) I was more than game. We made our way through the crowded neighborhood, which is more like a Tijuana flea market --one vendor tried to sell me a VHS tape of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop for $2.00. Muy Bueno condition. Mira, mira. -- and arrived at legendary Langer's.
Sadly, the deli was closed. What kind of deli closes on a Sunday afternoon?
That's prime Jewish noshing/kvelling/kvetching time.
One does not dismiss the hankering for hot pastrami so easily. So we jumped back in the car and made our way to Canter's Deli on Fairfax. And that's when I discovered this obnoxious sign.
The Hebrew reads: Ra-aw-shot hach-mo ye-ros haw-ado-noi. Roughly (look, it's been a lot of years and there's no vowels.) Or as King David said, "The Fear of God is the start of wisdom."
Frankly, it saddens me to hear my people using the same type of rhetoric as the notorious Fred Phelps. Because the God I don't believe in, is loving, forgiving and has a good sense of humor.
But I'm hardly a scholar of religious texts.
Maybe God is angry, vengeful and hell bent on human suffering. Maybe the fear of God is the start of wisdom. Maybe Fred Phelps is right. Maybe God does Hate Fags. And infidels. And atheists. And people who eat shellfish.
Maybe God Hates a Whole Bunch of Us. In which case, I don't mind saying, "I Hate God."
But I do love a good pastrami sandwich and for that, I'll give him thanks.