Earlier this week, among eBay's bootleg phone chargers and MILF-handled copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, a slice of heaven was up for bid. A literal slice of heaven: an ex-Orthodox man from New Jersey decided to auction off his expected ticket through the pearly gates, and since a guaranteed Utopian eternity is hard to come by these days, bidding went as high as $100,000. Before eBay pulled the post, that is.
The bid was posted on Tuesday by 31-year-old Ari Mandel, a former Orthodox Jew from Teaneck, NJ who is now an atheist, and apparently has no use for an eternal place close to God, or whatever. Mandel decided to auction his "Portion in Olam Habaah," or the Jewish world-to-come, on eBay as a joke; he offered the highest bidder a contract guaranteeing his spot, along with a secondary contract promising a full refund if Mandel turned to a life of sin. "It was a joke that ran away from me," Mandel told the Jewish Daily Forward. "I’m not a master prankster. This idea just popped in my head and I jumped on it." The auction kicked off at 99 cents, but enthusiastic sinners started pouring in bids, and eventually it reached $99,900.