Michael was on his way to Easter mass and was quite proud of how he looked like. He greeted Mary Cunningham and was happy with their exchange. Mrs. Griffin then called onto him and told him about how the horse she bet on had won. The lady gave him a five-dollar bill. As he was thinking about what he was going to do with the money, he saw the rabbi angrily scrubbing off swastikas that were painted on the walls of the synagogue. He tried to comfort the rabbi but he was still too angry.
Michael ran to the church and asked Father Heaney for help. Father Heaney offered to call the cops but Michael didn’t want him to because the cops won’t be doing anything. Father Heaney said that they couldn’t get involved because they’re not the cops. Michael got frustrated and told Father Heaney that Rabbi Hirsch is a good guy and that a lot of people died defending the Jews from the Nazis.
Father Heaney commanded a lot of people to follow them to the synagogue. He asked people to buy buns and coffee and convinced the hardware to hand out rags and solvents so the mess can be fixed. Father Heaney told Rabbi Hirsch that they share the same God who punishes idiots who do something as horrible as that. The men worked on removing the graffiti. The Falcons and Frankie made an appearance, silently mocking the Christians who were cleaning up. They finally finished working and all of them remained silent. The rabbi thanked the men and Father Heaney for what they’ve done and offered to serve them tea and matzoh for seder. Father Heaney refused and parted ways with him.
Notes: There was no discrimination between Christians and Jews in their community. It was only narrow-minded people like Frankie McCarthy and his gang who were horrible about it.
On the same afternoon Michael washed up and handed the five-dollar bill to his mother. He told her about why Mrs. Griffin gave it to him. He told his mom to save the money so they can buy a new phonograph. He wanted to hear the music that Rabbi Hirsch was telling him about. He told her about what happened at the synagogue after dinner. His mother didn’t dwell too much on the story because she didn’t want their night to get ruined.
She took Michael to the Grandview so he can watch a double feature of a movie about battling Nazis. On their way home, he asked his mother why people were booing Jackie Robinson because of his skin color. His mother told him about how people don’t know any better.
As they reached their apartment, Michael saw the words “JEW LOVR” and a swastika on the landing of their roof. His mom decided to call the cops when she saw the vandalism. He was worried that something might happen to his mom because of him. After Kate called the cops, it took them an hour to arrive at their apartment. The cops were sarcastic about it, frustrating Kate further.
The cops checked out the graffiti. While they were investigating, Michael asked his mother if his father could dance. Kate showed him the dance that she used to do with her husband. The cops found a paint can thrown in the yard. After the cops left, Michael and his mother went to bed. The next morning, two detectives took statements from the two of them about what happened. Michael felt that they would never be safe in their apartment again.
Notes: Even Michael and his mother were not spared from the terrorizing of the Falcons.
Nothing happened for weeks. Everybody has heard of the incident, but no arrests were made. Frankie and his gang were still roaming the streets, yet they’re ignoring Michael and his friends. Michael continued to work harder at school and he was still doing janitorial duties at the apartment. He still thought about Jackie Robinson and seeing him play.
He suddenly realized that Jackie Robinson needs Kabalah, he needs the secret name of God. He told Rabbi Hirsch about Jackie Robinson and a bunch of stuff about the Dodgers. Rabbi Hirsch decided that they needed to help Robinson out. That night, he prayed to God that He let Robinson hit.
Notes: Michael’s love for Jackie Robinson is very tremendous.