Dear Asher,

Shalom my dearest cousin!

It’s Thursday before Passover, and things are reaching a boiling point here. There is so much happening it has been difficult to find the time to write you. Please forgive me.

Everyone who is anyone in Jerusalem is convinced Jesus of Nazareth has committed blasphemy—the chief priests, Pharisees, scribes, etc. It is all quite frightening—Jesus and his followers I mean. Some of the rumors about his disciples are alarming. What will become of our service to God as gabbais if this groundswell continues? I agree with Rabbi Ezra that they must find a way to get rid of Jesus once and for all. (I know it sounds harsh but these truly are desperate times.) Ima does not agree. She says there’s something different about Jesus than say, Barabas (do you remember our neighbor’s nephew—the insurrectionist?).

Nevertheless, I have a hopeful suspicion that things might be looking up! Just this morning I saw on my ledger where one of the Chief Priests marked down 30 pieces for an “undisclosed purpose.” He has never done that before. I thought it strange and wondered what that purpose might be. Then I remembered seeing who I thought was one of Jesus’ disciples going to the temple last night. (I am nearly positive it was the one called “Iscariot.”) Of course this is only hearsay, but perhaps they have made an arrangement with him. What an answer to prayer that would be!

If they do bring Jesus in for questioning, they had better do so when there are no crowds around. Only God knows what would happen if they attempted something during one of his “healing” escapades.

Everyone here is well, in spite of the drama and uncertainty. Aliza is old enough to help prepare Passover this year! She is excited about that. Rabbi Ezra has given us some wine from temple again. We sure do wish you could be here to celebrate with us. Maybe next year. (Or if you leave when you get this letter, you could make it back in time! No pressure! Haha! I kid, I kid.)

Shalom to you and yours.