Saturday, June 19, 2010

"New moon, you left me standing alone..."

Yom rishon, 5 Tamuz 5770.

Because Israel is a tiny country, it is easier to know famous people personally  -- or at least to pass by them routinely in the street -- than it is in a vast country like the United States.

We are blessed to have an MK (Member of Knesset) living in our yishuv.  And he is blessed to have several security guards looking after him.

The guys who guard politicians in Israel don't look that much different than the guys I have seen in movies, which I assume is what sets the "type":  they are all physically fit specimens, without a lot of excess cranial hair, and little squiggly wires sneaking out of their ears and into their shirt collars.

But the guys in Israel are different, because they are mishpacha.

I walked by a couple of them on my way to visit a friend the other day, and overheard a few sentences of conversation.  No kipot, not particularly religious-looking -- these guys were debating a Rashi.  No kidding!

Tonight, the Dearly Beloved left shul after davening.  He walked past one of the MK's security guys on his way out the door.  The guard spoke to him in Hebrew, so it took a few seconds before my husband knew what he was suspected of.  Turns out, the guy was asking him, "Aren't they supposed to be doing Kiddush Levana now?"  The Dearly Beloved thanked him for the reminder, and waited outside until the rest of the congregation joined them for the ritual.
One of the nicest things about living in the Jewish homeland is that, more or less, the whole family is on the same page.  In ways that you just won't see in Washington DC -- and in ways the media sometimes forget to notice.

Glossary:
Yishuv: community
Mishpacha: family
Kipot: yarmulkes, skullcaps
Rashi: a famous Biblical and Talmudic commentator
Shul: synagogue
Davening: prayers
Kiddush Levana: monthly ceremony sanctifying the new moon

14 comments:

sparrow said...

Lovely story, and photos! I have noticed that tendency in Israel too - that everyone claims you as "family" and feels the liberty to do nice things for you.......and tell you off;-)

Greetings from the land of the long white raincloud:-)

rickismom said...

Nice post!

Hillel Levin said...

Thanks Sis. Shavua Tov

Anonymous said...

They ARE mishpacha!! Some years ago, when I had to go to the Israeli Embassy in D.C., I had to restrain myself from hugging the young Israeli who was checking my ID! I was almost in tears at the sight of a person who understands what it is to be a Jew.

Caren said...

Thanks. Tonight we had to use the light of the moon and a flashlight to see the numbers on the telephone poles with burned out streetlights, so that we could let the city know to correct the problem.
Oh to live in a world without the need for streetlamps that obscure our view of the night sky.
Thanks for the post.
Shavua tov,
Caren

Miriam said...

Shavua Tov!

We are so blessed to live in this wonderful little country!

Kol HaKavod, the blog was wonderful...

Miriam

The Sussmans b'Aretz said...

Love it! Love it! Love it! I love these types of absolutely-only-in-Israel stories!

at the edge said...

Debating a Rashi! You must be kidding. Maybe you brushed on by too quick to tell. It's very dubious that such dudes, "without excess cranial hair", and wires dangling in their ears and collars, who take much time to be physically fit, could even get close to a Chumash, let alone a Rashi.

rutimizrachi said...

Sparrow: I knew I was becoming more Israeli when I started giving people unsolicited advice about their children. ;-)

Miriam and Romi: Agreed! Thank you for reading, and commenting.

At The Edge: I don't claim to have enough Hebrew to be infallible in my perceptions. But on the other hand, I know several guys who fit that description, to one degree or another, who were in Nachal Chareidi, or studied in yeshivot, or who otherwise care about their learning and their physical fitness levels. Two of them are sons of mine. Perhaps because they grew up the sons of soldiers, they have always seen "to protect and defend" as part of their job descriptions. In all likelihood, they might be mistaken for not being Torah scholars.

I hope your fierce passion and love of Torah will help you to see past the uniforms people sometimes wear. I have been very surprised as I have begun to practice this new skill. It makes it so much easier to see the best in my fellow Jews.

rutimizrachi said...

Anonymous: And I suspect those hard-working guards appreciate your appreciation. It's nice for service personnel to occasionally be treated as NOT being part of the machine or the uniform.

Caren: Come visit life in the country, Jewish-style, my friend. I'll share my night sky with you any time.

Hillel Levin said...

Right on Sis,

As we approach the 3 weeks is is oh so important to find the pintel (little drop) of Jew inside others and see them in a positive light.

I just told over a story to a friend, while in Milwaukee I did a taharah, ritual purification prior to burial. The deceased was a very big biker. On his back was a tatoo of a Magan David (Jewish Star), about 10-12 inches around. On his right upper arm was another tatoo, it was a flame, contained inside was the name "Leibish".

So, has hard a life as this Jew had, growing and living Chutz L'Aretz, he found a way, even if not in accordance with Torah Law, to be proud of his Judaism and to fulfill the mitzvah of Honoring one's father: His name was xxxxxx ben (the son of) Leib.

Kol HaKavod.

Hillel

Anonymous said...

Nice story!

sabra said...

love it

Batya said...

So true, great story.