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This interview took place in the parking lot when I noticed that there were no spots left near the entrance of the shul. As I was getting out of my car, way down on the other side of the parking lot, Milt drove right up to the shul and took the handicapped parking spot. Ethel was being wheeled in on her walker from way down on the other side of the lot. The shul was packed.
What are you doing here?
I'm here for Minyin.
So, why are you...
I can't talk. I've got to run.
Exactly. And I saw you running at the JCC. How did you end up in this spot?
I have a tag.
Do you have a disability?
Old isn't a disability.
Did you see my limp?
But you were running in the gym?
No. Milt. You're in a good shape. You walk to shul on Shabbis.
Gd does that for me. I don't know how it happens. He gives me the strength. Bless Him. The only day he gives me great strength is Shabbis, when I can't drive.
So, the only day you have strength is Shabbis? When you can't drive.
Praise Gd. B"H.
Did your doctor give you the sticker?
How did you get the disabled parking sticker?
I inherited it from my wife.
That was in the inheritance?
It should've been.
Milt. You don't inherit a hip fracture. You don't get the kids, the house and a broken hip.
My wife passed.
I'm sorry. She should have an Aliyas Nishama. We miss her.
(No response from Milt. I think he was just thinking about the parking spot. He wasn't reminiscing about his wife and how he misses her. His wife was secondary to the conversation. The handicapped parking spot is what matters.)
What about Ethel? She needs a wheelchair and somebody to push her.
She didn't lose her spouse.
She did lose her spouse.
But that expired. Her husband past away twelve years ago. The handicap passes expire.
I am sorry for your loss.
Oh. How I miss her. We were together for so long. The parking sticker is all I have.
We missed almost all of Davening. More important than Minyin is a conversation. Any member of our community will get sidetracked and miss prayers if they get into a conversation.
I had to leave in the middle of Milt's eulogy for the parking spot. I had to go pray.
You can't argue with loss. He lost his wife. He deserves the spot. He didn't feel like she left him with enough. He needed the spot.
When somebody passes, their family gets a parking spot at the shul. That must be the rule. They should turn it into a bereavement spot at shul. Whenever people say Kaddish, they get to park at the spot. It seems that even grandkids inherit disabled parking tags.
Or it can be a seventy and older spot. All the members over seventy seem to have notes from their doctors. If they didn't inherit a good sticker, they get high dose prescription drugs and parking passes from their doctors.
Bereavement or old people spots. If you ask me, the wheelchair is misleading. The people in wheelchairs have to walk from the other end of the lot.
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That is how the punchline of a Jewish joke should look. Like you're questioning something, dealing with serious stomach issues, or giving a sermon.