|Quaint and uniquly Irish, Balbriggan lies just outside the hustle and bustle of Dublin.|
At night, he tears along the Irish coast, his fiery goatee flashing against the dark leathers. During the day, he loses himself in the mists of the timeless Shema.
He is the biker from Balbriggan.
The bike was propped up outside the house, a rugged piece with a bumper sticker proclaiming "There is only ONE G‑d. Stop applying for His position." Inside we met its owner, Eddie, also a rugged piece, but in looks only. Beneath the biker persona lies a proud Jew, but one who still has much to learn about what it means to be one.
So we sat down together, the yeshiva students and the Irishman. We walked carefully through the Shema, mining its lessons of monotheism, tefillin, mezuzahs, and reward-and-punishment, which Eddie poetically summed up as "and if ye doo t' wrong thing, yer flubbed."
We meandered happily about the landscape of Judaism, munching on kosher biscuits as we stopped to admire its sheer beauty.
We joined hands and skipped along as we shared our stories, two very different paths that crashed into each other in Balbriggan one fine June day.
And then, as the sun made an appearance through the bay windows, Eddie rolled up his sleeve and put on tefillin for the first time in his life. He stood motionless, head bowed, his thoughts a mystery to us, humbled rabbinical students.
After years of riding, of countless miles along endless roads, Eddie had come home.