Sabbath Siren

A few minutes ago, sitting at my desk, writing, I heard what sounded like an air raid siren coming from somewhere off to the left out my window, which is at the back of the building, facing west to Prospect Park and Grand Army Plaza, which suggests the sound to be coming from the south-west which is, more or less, further down Eastern Parkway, the Lubovitch sect’s area of the neighbourhood. Friday evening, 8 p.m., dusk… close to sunset… Orthodox Jewish… the Sabbath… Bingo!

The siren, which sounds to me just like the ones I heard during tornado season while living in Lawrence, Kansas, belongs to the local Orthodox Jewish community, and has just now stopped signalling the onset of Sabbath. In the stunned aftermath a few dogs bark, but apart from that, there’s uneasy silence. I put on my earphones and resume listening to Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”. Soon enough the cars in my immediate area will begin to vibrate with rap and hip hop from Crown Height’s other predominant demographic, signalling the onset of the Memorial Day weekend.

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