After half a dozen prepared rhymes, and half a dozen shots of Scotch or glasses of wine, he would wax impromptu-poetic, obviously very high, and the singing would decibilate. When he ran out of steam and inspiration, everyone spilled out to the yard, where he chalked AMALEK on the ground and the guys would fervently and religiously do their best to stamp out its name and memory.
It was a memorable event with a wallop.
At this point in Mattersdorf history, decades ago, true-blue Yerushalmi families hadn’t yet seen many bona fide baalei teshuvah and they were enthralled. They crowded onto their porches, hung out from windows and gaped.
Later, they were to see these selfsame guys coming for Shabbos meals, gradually conforming to the regular mode of dress and eventually breaking the FFB barrier and making the grade.
Those were the wild days. Today’s baalei teshuvah come in a tamer version but comes Purim, you still can’t be sure who’s a beginner and who’s putting on an act.
But who cares? They all eventually equalize when they see the Happy Light.