Sunday, June 22, 2008


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:
April 15, 1999
At dusk on Thursday, the call to prayer began. It's wailing chant permeated into my hotel room, declaring the end of the week and the start of another Muslim Sabbath in the Kingdom.

Alone on the bed, I sat tucked into the corner of my dorm-like room, and waited. It felt respectful, although I didn’t know when the prayer would end.

Forty-five minutes passed and that seemed good enough. I went to the window and closed the curtains, and then turned to the desk built into the wall and started my laptop. It whirred as it awakened, starting very slowly. I opened a drawer in the desk and took out a small candle. It wasn’t the correct candle for the prayer, but it didn’t much matter. I was a novice anyway, an aspiring convert to Judaism.

Then I got up and crossed the room, turned off all the lights except a small desk lamp. That and the glow from the computer screen helped me find my way back. Sitting in front of the computer I double-clicked the illicit document.

I started to read softly, not really afraid, but aware that what I was doing was illegal.

“Yeetgadal v' yeetkadash sh'mey rabbah”

(Read the rest of the story by clicking here.)

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