Anecdote from a Visitor

A visitor in Williamsburg told me today:


I once stumbled upon the Hasidic community – I think it was Williamsburg – when I mistakenly got off the train at the wrong stop. It was shabbes, but I needed to get to my location, so I used my phone;s GPS. So I’m walking the streets and looking at my phone and following the directions, and a Hasidic man suddenly stops me and says–
“My air condition… eh…eh… it’s not working…”So I didn’t know what to do. I was in a dilemma. Do I tell him I’m Jewish and can’t be his shabbes goy? But I have my phone out — and I’m busy with my GPS on shabbes? I could just go in and fix his air condition or get whatever he needs done and not tell him anything, but would that be dishonest? Do I need to tell him?

I said: “I’m so sorry– I can’t do it. See, I’m Jewish.”

And he immediately answered “of course, sure, sure! Git shabbes, git shabbes!” and off I went with my GPS.

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