Back in Israel

30 Aug

900Arrived late this morning in Tel Aviv, went quickly through the citizens line at the airport for the first time when entering Israel, sort of a re-aliyah moment. Anyway, no trip from the airport is complete without a Nesher (shared van/taxi) to take 8-10 passengers to their final destinations. Drivers of the Nesher are often gruff, scruffy, with a deep smoker’s voice, and of dubious repute when it comes to handling the vehicle.

Before we are off the airport grounds, the driver (not wearing a kippah), whose name I later discovered was Levi, is already on his cell phone. Correction, he is yelling at person on the other end. Conversation concluded, the passenger(wearing a kippah) next to me comments to Levi that he must love driving back and forth all day between the airport and Jerusalem because of the beauty of the land. The two begin trading verses from all over the Bible. When one man cant finish the rest of a verse, the other one finishes it, but with the volume meter continually rising.

We then move on to politics. At this point, I have been listening to the conversation, which is in Hebrew, and been able to follow, I was afraid I would lose them once the topic shifted. Thankfully, I was able to hang in there with them, not daring to participate, but listening attentively. Both of them like the Prime Minister Netanyahu, but for different reasons, economic, political, security, etc… Levi begins to explain his position, but before he starts he warns the passenger not to interrupt. Guess what, the passenger interrupted. Levi’s response, “Ay, let me finish.” This was repeated a few times until Levi had driven home his points. The passenger then began, but Levi jumps in with an emphatic, “And one more thing!” I could hardly contain my laughter.

Levi also gave us recipes for Shabbat, new ways to use the Shabbat food warmer, told us that he doesn’t go outside in the winter, and tips on how to avoid Friday traffic all over Israel.

At some later stage, Levi reaches for his water, which means taking his eyes off the road for what seemed like five minutes. Taking a swig, he says, “This is the only good thing that the Arabs have taught me.” He had wrapped his bottle in newspaper, and covered it with a plastic bag. “Why pay 300 shekel” he says “for a thermos, when I can make this myself! I filled it at dawn, and I still have cold water!” He then offers his name and phone number to anybody who would like it. Why? He says, “For help, for restaurant recommendations, for reservations, for a driver, anything you want.” With that we were all dropped off at our respective destinations.

Back in Israel. Where else does this happen?

Shabbat shalom.

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One Response to “Back in Israel”

  1. Hank 14 FriUTC2013-08-30T14:45:42+00:00UTC08bUTCFri, 30 Aug 2013 14:45:42 +0000, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    He is a travel agent. He is a driver. He is a concierge. He is a thinker. It seems the two things he is not is a Rabbi and a Matchmaker. Must have been an interesting drive.

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