Over all the brouhaha of the battle between chareidim and chilonim (“secular” Jews) — from the Kosel to the Knesset — it’s hard to remember how much really binds us all.
Last week, my son was in a cab in Yerushalayim. The driver was not religious — at least not so you could tell.
At a red light, a chareidi driver opened his window to ask the cab driver how to get to Ir David. The cabbie said, “It’s near the Kotel. Do you know the way to the Kotel?”
The other driver didn’t.
“What? You don’t know the way to the Kotel? Aren’t you mitpallel?…” And he went on, absolutely appalled that a chareidi Jew wouldn’t know the way to the Kotel blindfolded!
It reminds me of when I missed a flight from Israel to New York. My (former!) travel agent told me, “No problem. Just go back tomorrow with the same ticket.”
He neglected to tell me that it was a charter flight and that the ticket wasn’t refundable. After I was sent back again the next day, I called the travel agent again and, well, let’s just say the conversation wasn’t the friendliest.
That night, my nephew managed to get me a ticket on Turkish Air (pre-Erdogan). When I got to Lod the next morning, after my third sleepless night in a row, I was questioned by a massive security guard with a shaved head. (Even his skull had muscles.)
He asked me a few questions and I was still frazzled. I told him about my three-day mix-up.
All he said was, “Az, hayita b’Eretz Hakodesh od shloshah yamim — So, you were in the Holy Land another three days!”
Go know who is a “messenger”!