She was with him when his mother passed away; moving in with him and his family, grieving with them, and then moving Nissim out to get him away from the drugs and the madness. And he didn’t need the fake-flattery-nonsense-aura of celebrity.
The doctors ran tests and concluded it was meningitis. He prayed for his son and for health and for life and for everything that’s important.
And then they were in the hospital and it was serious.
But fear – fear of the cops, fear of jail – is a powerful motivator. But his grandfather wasn’t destined to be a symbol of stability in his life.
Nissim thought a lot about miracles and faith and religion and God. His grandfather was a Muslim and taught him the Koran, how to make blessings in Arabic, and the salat (Islamic ritual prayer performed five times a day). Someone paid for the studio time, pressing, distribution, PR, the whole nine yards, and he wanted a return on his investment.
Seward Park is a neighborhood in southeast Seattle. It was a bad scene; when the dealers weren’t interested the cops were.
Visit if you’re looking for Seattle’s orthodox Jews. The neighborhood is chockfull of synagogues – including the oldest synagogue in Washington State – and other staples of Jewish life. The FBI raided their home in 1995 – Nissim was seven at the time – their house was battle-rammed; live firearms, AK-47s, his mother forcibly arrested. (Nissim’s mother died of an overdose when he was 19.
When he was seven his grandfather came to live with him. He thought that if you give up on Jesus you burn in hell. But the more you learn, the more questions you have. But a deal is a deal and he had to tour to support the album. But on the condition that he wouldn’t get paid – except for touring expenses – and in return for not taking any money he wanted to observe Shabbat and the holidays on the road.
And that was comfortable because he didn’t want to give up on Jesus. He no longer wanted to wade knee deep in the muck and mire of entertainment international.
She came from a close family and not being with them for the holidays was a difficult idea for her. And she convinced her sister and her sister’s husband to join them as well.