I step out of the store for a moment. Opposite Kosher City there’s a synagogue. Men with long beards hurry to and fro between the synagogue and the kosher store. Weststrasse used to be Zurich’s unofficial motorway, but now it’s been tamed. It’s like a Tyrannosaurus Rex curled up on the sofa, purring peacefully. It’s rare for a car to drive through here. Cyclists weave their way down the street, cursing at pedestrians and rabbis.
They’re particularly annoyed by two beggars, one with a red beard, the other silver. They stop everyone and point to a piece of paper. It probably says they need money. I’m amazed to see how, in just a few minutes, they have a fistful of notes. Suddenly they turn and stare at me. I duck back into the store.
The old rabbi is still standing there. He’s on his second cup of cholent. And the young rabbi? He’s immersed in a Jewish book. I hang back a moment until the soup pot is free, then finally fill my plate. It smells delicious. I was brought up to pay first, then eat. But, just like the old rabbi, I can’t wait – and burn my tongue.