Every year, I manage to include an anecdote about the mikvah. Yankel, the guy in charge, is a real businessman. Up until this year, he has always been in “hot water,” and has now diversified his activities. He has transformed the mikvah antechamber into a warehouse. I do not wish to advertise this superstore, or embarrass Yankel, but he is in serious competition with Macy’s in the variety of goods which he sells. He is not selling furniture though – yet! He does sell zeiff (soap in Yiddish); it is only free of charge on Fridays.

During yom tov he had a terrible row with some of his clients and he did not provide even one towel for the second day of Shavuos. (He personally warned me the day before and showed me where he had stowed away a towel for me.) It was rather mean and a little humiliating for two old men who were soaking wet. They got dressed and put on their clothes quite unconcernedly. They remarked, “It is very warm outside (90°) and we will soon be completely dry.” They added that in the winter “it was a little more uncomfortable.”