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Shalom Auslander Digs Holes In His Head

He writes on Nextbook:

When I was fifteen, I took the subway from my yeshiva to Times Square. I buried my yarmulke in my pocket, and walked up and down 8th Avenue for an hour before working up the courage to duck inside one of the theaters. I locked myself in the first booth I could find, where I turned to find myself facing a two-foot tall, one-foot wide window that looked out onto a raised, circular stage. Music played loudly. Across the way I could see other windows, with other men looking out. Naked women roamed the stage, waiting for a face to appear at a window and hurrying to squat in front of it. This was what Sodom was like. What was God waiting for? A naked woman squatted down in front of me and said something.

“Excuse me?” I said. I couldn’t hear her over the music.

“Two for tits,” she shouted, “three for pussy.”

I had no idea what she was talking about.

“Two for tits,” she said again, “three for pussy.”

I reached into my pocket. All I had was my yarmulke and a five.

When I got home, I washed my hands and recited Tehillim for an hour. Sacrifices were no longer enough. The sin was too great. Burning was too easy.

That night, after showering and saying goodnight to my mother, I went to my bedroom, stood naked in front of my desk, and dropped the heaviest dictionary I could find onto my own tool of the Evil Inclination.

Here’s my interview with Shalom Auslander.

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