Last week, a couple of stolen Torah scrolls were returned to a synagogue in Brooklyn. Though the thieves have not been identified, there’s a good chance they were just a couple of junkies looking for some easy drug money (because who else would steal from a synagogue?) If you’re the kind of person who pawns your mom’s TV set every time you need a fix, it’s worth considering the lucrative option of robbing your local shul. To assist our drug-addicted readers, here’s the street value of your average synagogue, broken down item by item:
Torah Scrolls: This one’s a no-brainer. A single scroll is worth between twenty and sixty thousand dollars. Bonus: The Torah pointer is usually made of silver, which means at least another ten bucks at the pawn shop.
The Menorah: The silver seasonal centerpiece might fetch up to five thousand dollars if it’s really ornate, although you’d probably only make up to a thousand if you sold it on eBay. Still not bad.
The Ner Tamid: If there happens to be a particularly artsy or lavish sanctuary lamp hanging in front of the Ark, you’ll be able to sell it for a hundred bucks at some posh secondhand antique lighting store. That’s a gram of smack right there.
The Parochet: The lovely embroidered curtain that hangs in front of the Torah Ark generally goes for around two and three thousand, and even up to fifteen if you’re really lucky. You’d be able to pay a few months rent for your den while you squirm away in a state of mindless ecstasy.
And if you’re really desperate…
Prayer Books: Somewhere, deep in the heart of Queens, there’s a congregation ghetto enough to buy your full set of the Haftorah for a hundred bucks, no questions asked.
Yarmulkes: You might be able to sell these moldering, lice-infested head coverings for a buck or two each at a yard sale, if at all. Maybe you’ll get to score a hit of your friend’s shitty black tar.
The Organ: If you somehow manage to dismantle and cart away an entire Synagogue organ unnoticed — a feat probably beyond the average junkie “smash and grab” — you’ll still be faced with the unfortunate reality that there is literally no demand for pipe organs. Wait a few days and return it to the synagogue under the pretense that you recovered a stolen item. Hopefully, the rabbi’s grateful praise will absolve you from the sins you are about to commit with your trusty lighter and half-melted spoon.