Sunday, July 09, 2006

Looking for the Original Famous Ray's Pizza vs. Looking for the Messiah

All over Manhattan, you will see pizza joints called "Famous Ray's" or "the Original Famous Ray's".

Ray's pizza became very famous in the 1980's when a group of London students sent a few people over to London by plane to pick up some pies from one of the Ray's. But which one? And which is the original?

That's a bit harder to figure out.

We could use the movie Elf as our guide, where Santa says "there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one's on 11th.".

Wikipedia gives a history of Ray's that sheds some light on the issue:
According to "Pizza Wars: New York vs. Chicago,", a Travel Channel documentary, the first "Ray" opened his establishment on Prince Street in 1929. He was in fact a "Ralph", Ralph Como of Little Italy. "Ray's Pizza" shops eventually spread to almost every street corner in Manhattan, although competition and legal action between each other have since reduced the number to 47 (according to the telephone directory).

Although the definition of "Ray's Pizza" is contentious, "Famous Ray's of Greenwich Village" at 465 6th Avenue, is in fact the restaurant which, in the 1980s made the network news by being the shop from which a group of students in London ordered some pies. They raised money, sent 2 people to New York (they were from New York, actually) and ordered several dozen pies which were reheated and enjoyed. The article is posted at the restaurant and probably available online. Although the name is the same, the restaurant was sold to a new owner in the early 1990s.

There are really two histories when it comes to "Ray's Pizza". It may be that the name had resonance because of Ralph Como's early use and reputation. But the spur for a "Ray's on every corner" was the rise, during the 1970s, of the aforementioned Ray's on 6th Avenue and 11th St. Owned by two brothers who immigrated from a town named Roio del Sangro in the Abruzzi region of Italy. it innovated the thick "eat it with a fork" slice which overtook New York in the ensuing years, for a time making a classic thin-crusted New York street slice difficult to find.

This was the Ray's most of the others were pretending to be during the Ray's avalanche of the '80s. Many believe the 6th Av. original (which at one point had a second branch on the Upper West Side) is not what it once was. And the thick slice it was famous for (with toppings under the top layer of cheese) - neither Chicago deep dish nor Travolta-style walking slice - is no longer ubiquitous. Both the standard New York slice and other pizzeria names have slowly regained their place in the city's streetscape.

So there are 47 candidate for Ray's pizza. Which ones are authentic? I don't know.

And if you do find the original one, will the pizza be any good?

One is left in a state of confusion.

Fortunately, that isn't the case with trying to determine who the Messiah is.
  • Messiah was to be born at Bethlehem: Micah 5:1

  • Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah: Genesis 49:10

  • Messiah would present himself by riding on an ass: Zechariah 9:9

  • Messiah would be tortured to death: Psalm 22

  • Messiah would arrive before the destruction of the Second Temple: Daniel 9:24-27

  • Messiah's life would match a particular description, including suffering, silence at his arrest and trial, death and burial in a rich man's tomb, and resurrection: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

There's only one candidate that fulfills all that. The Messiah, Y'shua.

And Y'shua said that those who believe in him will have life and have it abundantly.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to break it to you but you have the wrong definition for Messiah. Messiah means more than one specific thing, so all the verses that you brought really do not bring any proof to your point. Sorry

7/17/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Anonymous didn't say what he thinks Messiah *does* mean so he can't make his point. Clearly the verses Goy for Jesus cites have been proof for Jews and non-Jews who believe in Jesus.

7/17/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Only Daniel 9, of the ones I listed, use the term "Messiah." However, the rabbinic literature supports the use of those texts towards the Messiah.

Only Y'shua fulfills all these various prophecies of an individual. I'm not sure what "Messiah" means to you. But Jesus is the only person who fits all the various texts.

7/17/2006 06:22:00 PM  

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