Those who read Milton Steinberg’s masterpiece novel “As a Driven Leaf” will remember that eternal life is a reward given for the fulfillment of two mitzvot (commandments), namely the honoring of one’s parents and the shooing of the mother bird from the nest before taking her eggs. However, yesterday those who wanted to taste eternal life could have simply logged into the preeminent online auction website eBay.com and offered a bid on heaven.
Ari Mandel of Teaneck, New Jersey, a self-proclaimed former Ultra-Orthodox Jew, listed his place in The World To Come on eBay for a mere 99 cents. Titled “My Portion in Olam Habaah (Heaven)”, Mandel says he did it as a joke and didn’t expect that bidders would bid it up to $100,000.
Since the auction “item” violated eBay’s terms of service it was quickly taken down from the website. Mandel told the Jewish Daily Forward that “it was a joke that ran away from me… when it reached $100,000 I didn’t really expect to get that money. It was nice to fantasize, but I didn’t think it was going to happen.”
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