The things Goldstein gets me into! My friend Baruch Goldstein is a good missionary and a very competent leader at our New York branch of Jews for Jesus, but every now and then he gets some crazy ideas. I love Baruch’s sense of humor, but sometimes his fixation” on gorillas and gorilla jokes isn’t funny to me—like the time he wanted to hand out broadsides during the summer witnessing campaign in a gorilla suit.
“Fine,” I said. “You go out in the July heat and pass out tracts while you’re wearing a rug. You won’t pass out tracts for long; you’ll just pass out!”
But what can you do when you and your friend are both “fanatics” for the Lord, and your friend has a dream he must fulfill? You go along with him. And that’s what I said I was willing to do for Baruch—just go along.
So the next thing I know, Baruch is walking into our New York office with a great big bag and a grin to match. He starts to pull out this hairy gorilla costume, and I can see by the look on his face that his “life-long dream” is about to become reality. He is positively ecstatic!
Then he reaches further down into the bag and pulls out another costume. It’s a Donald Duck suit. He looks at me, and his grin gets even bigger. “What’s that?” I bleat, like a sheep about to be led off to the slaughter. “That’s for you,” says Baruch in an all too matter-of-fact tone. Oy! What some of us will do for friendship’s sake!
Looking back, I must say that it really was fun to walk around Manhattan wearing a Donald Duck suit. But the best part of it all was watching the faces of the people as they took broadsides from the duck and the gorilla. I really did feel sympathy for one father who had to answer his little boy’s question: “Hey Dad, is Donald Duck a Jew for Jesus?”
So there we were right out in front of the New York City public library—two Jews named Goldstein and Zaretsky, wearing a gorilla suit and a Donald Duck costume and handing out gospel literature. Sounds crazy, right? Sometimes “crazy” is very effective.
Let me tell you that between the two of us, we distributed more than 1400 broadsides in a little less than two hours on the street. Better yet, 15 people came over to our companion who was carrying a clipboard and sign that read: “Free literature from Jews for Jesus.” They left their names and addresses with him so that we could contact them later and tell them more about the Messiah.
Sometimes being a “religious fanatic” can be fun. Just be careful whom you choose for your friends. There’s no telling what some people can dream up. But then again, I must say that I have never had so much fun handing out broadsides in New York City!