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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Buses, and Hope

Another week, another bunch of intercity buses,as I make my way out to historic Shiloh, home of http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com as well as a small monthly women's Rosh Chodesh davening/Torah gathering. 

I'm sure I will have much to report afterwards, But meanwhile, I just need to mention one of my favourite Israel things ever: when a bus pulls up after a long wait, everyone, no matter where they're going and, seemingly, no matter how long they've lived here, piles randomly into the doorway to ask the driver if he's going to their destination.
(and yes, I have had only one female driver, out of probably >200 male ones)

Asking is almost always pointless; the routes rarely, if ever, change magically to accommodate every single passenger's deepest desires.  But the drivers, blunt and rushed though they sometimes seem, and as annoyed as they usually act when forced to give directions, for example,  apparently never tire of answering.   

It's not just because they love to say no (though that's probably part of it!)... the bus I'm currently sitting in, stuck in traffic, goes to a shopping centre called Sha'ar Binyamin.  There must have been 20 passengers who asked, getting on board, "does this bus go to Sha'ar Binyamin?" (in Hebrew, of course!)  the driver happily, patiently, politely, said yes to each and every one of them.  (I thought Egged should probably make a sign, since that seems to be this route's most popular destination, but that's just me...)

In any event, this asking of the driver seems to happen throughout the country, and - judging by their accents - native Israelis seem to do it even more than newbies.  "do you go to _____?" [fill in location completely different from whatever is written on the front of the bus to which another bus at the stop will go directly, but which bus is inconveniently not arriving as quickly as the traveller would like]

I personally think this habit is awesomely beautiful, a reminder of the kind of hope-after-millennia-of-hopelessness that earned us our own country back after all those hundreds of years of "pointless" tefillah. 
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Sent on the go in the Holy Land - please excuse my typos!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you made it to Sha'ar Binyamin safely.
    Tomorrow to doven at Tel Shiloh, where the Mishkan had stood for almost 400 years.

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