“The will of God is so,” explains the The Kiruv Rabbi in the most non-condescending voice he can muster.
The Pimply Kid before him, plucked from the bottom of the university barrel, nodded stupidly.
“And so,” continued the Rabbi, “It figures by default that the Jews are the most important people in the universe.”
He proceeds to illustrate this point beyond any doubt with a series of squiggly line diagrams and a video clip with a lot of reverb in the voiceover.
It’s been another valiant attempt at convincing the masses.
But there’s an element of doubt. “Is this person’s mother Jewish, which would be amazing, or is she not, which would be a total waste of food?”
“Not everyone is as dense as the Pimply Kid,” thinks the Rabbi. There’s that one guy, The Smart Dude. “We really need to get that guy. He’ll make Great Leader one day.”
Making others into A Great Leader one day is the core mission of The Kiruv Rabbi. It’s the reason he himself is a rabbi. He used to be a really good skier. He used to love philosophy. He was passionate about the environment and human rights. Now he’s a Great Leader.
People rotate through the house like a revolving door. His kitchen has fed so many mouths. His couch has supported so many butts. And his words have enthralled many hearts, but much less than the total number of mouths and butts.
Because the vast majority, eat his food, sit on his couch, and move on. The Kiruv Rabbi tries not to let this get him down. “This is the sign of our generation,” he consoles himself. “They don’t want to hear The Truth. All they care about is social media and how many likes they get.”
In his social media posts, The Kiruv Rabbi tries everything he can. He uses the sexiest women he can find “who still have some clothes on”. Sometimes he has his graphic artist Photoshop some clothes back on to even sexier photos. But it’s frustrating, because sex sells a lot less when you’re severely limited as to how sexy you can be.
So he resorts to good food and a listening ear. “Because goodness knows both of those are hard to find,” reminds himself The Kiruv Rabbi. But it’s not about the actual food or listening ear, he’s not a goddamn soup kitchen. He’s not a fucking psychologist either.
This is a means to an end.
When fresh meat walks through the door on a Friday night, The Kiruv Rabbi’s heart leaps. But there’s an element of doubt. “Is this person’s mother Jewish, which would be amazing, or is she not, which would be a total waste of food?”
Also, will he be a Pimply Kid, who comes back often, or a Smart Dude, who often does not? For a Smart Dude to come back, you need a unique combination of Smart Dude Who is Searching, which not all Smart Dudes are. Some have had a good upbringing. Come from well-adjusted homes. Claim to not need advice about happiness or marriage or morality, thank you very much.
“It’s a numbers game,” the Kiruv Rabbi’s Rabbis taught him during his Great Leader training. “You’ll have to touch thousands, for just a few to be a success.”
There are a couple of levels of success. You can make them not intermarry. You could make them shomer Shabbos. You could make them married in Kiryat Sefer with 12 kids, like the real old-time legends were able to do.
So far, all The Kiruv Rabbi has got in his collection are three people who are “very interested”, one who is studying in Israel, and two who are dating Jews. But they may have already been doing so before they met him, he can’t remember.
The Powers That Be are not too happy with his numbers so far. “This is what we pay tens of thousands of dollars for?” They ask. They, for one, are not convinced by the whole “millennials are bullshit” argument. “Millennials are twice as hard, but we’re paying twice as much, so something is wrong with this equation.”
The Kiruv Rabbi is saddened. He feels the pressure. His family’s livelihood is on the line. This is all he knows how to do, and it’s hard to admit that he’s not the best. He wishes he could play guitar as well as Rabbi Gladstone. Tell stories that made people cry like Rabbi Frampton. Drop scientific facts and figures like Rabbi Schnauder.
That last guy has a freaking Ph.D., which is one of the benefits of becoming religious later in life, when you’ve got some actual knowledge under your belt.
It also makes for a better story.
His story isn’t great. He didn’t grow up in an ashram. Discover the world of God on a mountaintop in the Himalayas. Drop his successful career because he realized it was all meaningless.
He was just some Pimply Kid. Someone who had wanted a warm meal and a place to put his butt while he told someone about his dating woes and study stresses.
Now it’s eight years later. Enough time to feel like his prime is behind him, but not enough to become the person he wished he’d be, the person they’d promised during Great Leader training.
Now his success is all about numbers. So he doubles down and shares another fact about God’s lovingkindness with the next generation’s Pimply Kid.