Mar 25, 2006

A funny things happened on the way from a remote desert town...

This weekend Elana and I were in Arad. It is a small city that takes 2 buses from Jerusalem to reach. It was a very small but nice community. Elana was asked to prepare the drash. (A "drash", or" dvar torah" is sermon that explains something about the week's torah portion and usually connects the torah portion to something in everyday life that the congregation can relate to.) She not only prepared a great drash, but she delivered her first drash in Hebrew! I was very proud of her. Actually, they asked her to repeat the whole thing in English because there was one congregant in his 90's who had not mastered Hebrew. She was a big hit.

So on our way back from the shabbat trip to Arad we were on a very full bus. It was so full that someone sat in the tourguide's seat. You might be familiar with what I am taking about. It is a seat that folds up over the stairs where people usually get on the bus. Normally it is only used when the bus is chartered and a tourguide sits there with a microphone pointing out when the bus is passing a herd of goats.

The man who wais sitting on the tourguide seat suddenly cursed to himself. He called his friend on his cellphone and loudly admitted that both he and his friend are idiots because they both forgot that 'the keys' are with him on the bus. The bus we are on is one that has a series of stops. The driver suggests to the man (we'll call him jovial idiot, or idiot for short) that he drop the keys off at a grilled meat stand. The idiot tells his friend this. A few minutes later, the bus stops at a regularly scheduled stop. A few people get on. A few people get off. Idiot had to get off temporarily at each stop to allow people on because his seat needs to be folded up to allow people to alight the bus. The driver yells to Idiot to hurry. Idiot run-waddles away to the grilled meat stand a few meters from the bus stop. The driver takes a minute while giving people change and telling various new passengers whether they are on the right bus. The driver tells a young woman that the tourguide seat is taken. She looks confused. Idiot run-waddles back after making his delivery. He jumps aboard, thanks the driver and sits down. Then he calls his friend and told him the name of the randomly picked server at the grilled meat stand who has the keys. All is right in the world again.

Elana and I had front row seats to watch this little adventure. It tickled us greatly to see a bus driver tell a passenger to leave his keys at a food stand in the middle nowhere. Can you imagine pulling into a rest stop off an American highway and having a greyhound driver telling a stranger to deposit something of value with a zit-faced teenager at the burger stand? Can you imagine the advice being listened to?


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