Sunday, January 15, 2006

Israel: Where there is more to life than meets the eye...

Last night, after a "night-out" on the town, my wife and I were on a bus back home from Jerusalem. As the hour was fast approaching midnight, we had the pleasure of having a bunch of rowdy teenagers join us for the ride home. I recall remarking to my wife that these loud-mouthed, spiked (and bleached) haired, earring-wearing teenagers reminded me of some type a gang.

Of course, by the end of the bus ride, I would (thankfully) end up eating my words.

As the bus entered Ma'aleh Adumim, and people began getting off the bus, some of the teenagers took advantage of the newfound room on the bus to start roaming the isles. One of these teenagers noticed a wallet on one of the seats where someone had recently gotten off the bus. He quickly proceeded to take the wallet to the bus driver.

The other members of the "gang" gave him a funny look, seemingly asking him, "why did you give the wallet to the bus driver - you could have kept it"?

This loud-mouthed, spiked haired teenager (this one didn't have an earring) responded (in Hebrew) "It says in the Torah that it's forbidden to steal".

My wife and I broke out into huge smiles.

Sure, I wouldn't say that I agree with his style of dress or the way he and his fellow "gang-members" seem to carry themselves on a bus late at night, but this particular teenager reminded me that in Israel, one can't always judge a book by its cover.

This teenager might be just that - a teenager, but he also is a Jew; A Jew who in a single action, by my count, fulfilled many Mitzvot (commandments): He didn't steal, he returned a lost object, he sanctified the name of Hashem in the eyes of his peers, and last but not least, he reminded me that outwardly observant looking Jews (like myself) do not have a monopoly on what it means to live as a proud Jew in the Land of Israel and that observance of the Mitzvot does not fall solely within the domain of the outwardly religiously observant.
"Who is like Your nation Israel, one nation in the Land".



11 Comments:

"..but this particular teenager reminded me that in Israel, one can't always judge a book by its cover"

Very true Ze'ev. I see things like this all of the time!

By Blogger Cosmic X, at Sun Jan 15, 03:08:00 PM GMT+2  

It's one of the beautiful things of living here. I saw something similar in town the other day when a lady dropped her Teudat Zehut. It's nice to know these aren't one off incidents.

By Blogger ifyouwillit, at Sun Jan 15, 05:46:00 PM GMT+2  

I think it shows that there is something to work with, and that with a little (or a lot) more Jewish education, we could really change things in this country...

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Sun Jan 15, 06:10:00 PM GMT+2  

Howver they are they are 'our mishpacha' and we have to care.Never give up hope.Great story.

By Anonymous daat y, at Sun Jan 15, 07:09:00 PM GMT+2  

That's a wonderful story, it's great to hear things like this. It brings hope for this generation.

By Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report, at Sun Jan 15, 07:54:00 PM GMT+2  

That's a great story.

By Blogger Ezzie, at Mon Jan 16, 09:57:00 AM GMT+2  

Kudos to his parents. But don't think for a moment we don't have a serious crime problem in this country.

By Blogger tafka PP, at Mon Jan 16, 03:26:00 PM GMT+2  

PP, agreed - but thats what made this story special...

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Mon Jan 16, 04:20:00 PM GMT+2  

I can relate people often judge me by my Mexican wrestling mask

By Anonymous Strong Bad, at Mon Jan 16, 04:21:00 PM GMT+2  

Strong Bad - you too? I thought I was the only one who had that problem!

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Mon Jan 16, 04:25:00 PM GMT+2  

PP:
But don't think for a moment we don't have a serious crime problem in this country.

Sure we do, yes indeed.

We have the periodically-criminal-suspect E. Olmert (remember the Olam HaZeh mag? It was very good at investigative journalism; many of us Nationalists used to read every issue to find out just what kind of scum we were 'competing' with - E. Olmert 'starred' in quite a few cover stories, even way back then...], we have the unindictable-suspect [due to recently aquired vegetable status] in quite a few major crimes, S. 'Forever Young' Peres in some hot water due to strange [and illegal and massive]foreign 'financing', etc.

Then we have so many fine, upstanding non-Jewish 'Olim' imported from Russia by the late unindicted murderer and indicted [yet able to get out of going to jail by paying 'kofer'] for currency violations - spurring the violent-and-sex-crime, vice, grab-bag of drunken hooliganism, and of course 'russian mafia' situations...

The list goes on, but don't slander those many young Sabra kids who become victims of the cop-shop's need for actually 'solving crimes'/imprisoning someone [after all, even proven, reluctantly admitted-to 'entrapment' is not grounds for aquittal in Israel, as you might know].

Of course, after a little experience at being ground-up by the 'wheels of justice', perhaps that machine does really work - turning some citizens into real criminals in the end...


Truth.

By Blogger Truth, at Thu Jan 19, 11:08:00 AM GMT+2  

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