I live in a town within a town. Where once upon a time the people were all the same. Friends would be locked arm in arm – chains that would never be broken. Once there were open doors, always smiles and embraces; fresh coffee and pastries to share. No one had a thing and could barely read a word, yet the doors were always.

I lived in a town where we would all gather, in a deli, parking lot or the local beach. It was never utopian but it was better than most other places.

I lived in a town where Sandboxes and Soda shops served as social halls, where dances and parties were open to all.

As the town has grown the people have changed and the doors are locked and alarmed. The chains of friendships have broken apart into sects revealing the who haves and who have nots.

Parties are by invitation only and there is actually a person stationed at the door to make sure no one, not even your daughter gets in without their name on the list.

No more pastries, no more sandboxes or deli’s to meet and parking lots are non-existent. Private pools have replaces public beaches, boys and girls are kept apart.

I once lived in a town within a town, where the songs were sung in one tune and toasts were made celebrating life, love and the traditions brought in from the old world.

Now the orphans are prohibited and the ones who want to join are barred from our temples and the altars. The women seek power but the men still hold the pens for freedom. Old men gather around the table, smoking and counting their stash, while playing Russian roulette with peoples lives. Where are the women?

I once lived in a town within a town, but the good have been trumped and the bad guys have won; they subscribe and join in with the het haegel. It stands in front of the Stock Exchange on Wall Street, its placed on the stand adjacent to the holy books and the leaders are primed and taught from their childhood who the real god is.

All is not lost – the good of this town overwhelms any of the bad. But if people do not look in the mirror and see there are major problems here – then it can only disintegrate like the rotten apple you run from.