Sunday, February 14, 2010

Only in Israel, Rosh Chodesh Adar edition

Only in Israel, Rosh Chodesh Adar edition

3 very cool stories from Israel that transpired over the past week...

1. Friends of our in Maaleh Adumim were supposed to host 2 yeshiva guys for Shabbat lunch in the framework of a "shabbaton" a local yeshiva was hosting. Lunchtime arrived and the guests didn't show up...

Apparently, the guests used a different entrance to the apartment building and found a family with the same family name...and assumed THEY were their hosts for Shabbat lunch.

The other family happily invited them in, not even realizing that the 2 guys were supposed to eat at the other family!

No one even felt out of place...

hat-tip: Devra

2. Called in for a meeting at Israel mas-hachnasa (IRS), this person was rather apprehensive, and had his own prejudices about what to expect. After getting the run-around from clerk to clerk, he found an available desk:

When I noticed an opening at a table I lunged ahead and gave my best Israeli greeting to catch the attention of the seated clerk.

No answer.

I 'ahem'ed and said hello. Silence. I used the opportunity to look around his office to hopefully find something that would be an icebreaker for our conversation. What would I have in common with this middle-aged, secular Israeli from a Kibbutz in the south who had a sign of his membership to the Israeli Art and Theater Association?

I gave up and cleared my throat again hoping to get his attention once more.

He looked up and said, "one moment more, I am just finishing up with something." I noticed he was binding some papers together and was very involved in this process. "I am just finishing binding my book", he stated.

His book? What would a clerk in the tax department write a book about? Tax law? How to penalize evaders of tax? Or perhaps a script in some drama he was writing in his spare time.
"What's your book about?", I ask.

"It is a commentary on Torah. I just finished the book of Bereishit (Genesis) and have begun Shemot. I bind it together and present it in my Torah discussion group on my kibbutz."



I collect myself and say to this man that I too am writing a book on Tanach.

"Really", his eyes light up. "What about?"

Tehillim, I respond. And then he proceeds to do something which amazed me until this very day. He pulls his hand back on the table and reaches for his trusty Tanach and says to me the following: "Funny you should say Tehillim, I was having difficulty with today's Mizmor, perhaps you could explain it to me?"

Read it all here
hat-tip: CG

3. Avital Revital (yes, that is her real name) is a teacher at the "Re'ali" school in Hafia, where she has been teaching for years. Unfortunately, Avital was recently diagnosed with a life-threatening kidney ailment for which there is no treatment in Israel. The only treatment available is outside of Israel, and costs NIS 550,000 ($147,000).

Her students decided to take the matter into their own hands, and orchestrated a fund-raising evening last week, including top Israeli performers such as Rami Kleinstein and Pablo Rosenberg. Kleinstein performed for free, as her girlfriend was a former student of Avital. Rosenberg also performed for free, as his wife is also an alumnae of the Re'ali school.

The students have raised 350,000 NIS so far, and are confident they will raise the other NIS 200,000 to pay for their teacher's operation. (source, mynet in Hebrew)

Happy Adar People!

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Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


jonathan becker said...

truly excellent and heartwarming stories, y'shkoyach.

nudnik editor correction: re: rami kleinstiens girlfriend, that would be "his" not "hers", if i'm not mistaken.

Neshama said...

Just love stories about Israel like this. My eyes water up. Can't decide which is the best, #2 or #3 (#3 is soh Israeli).

#2 could be a candidate for that theater group you started! (Is it still performing?) And this should be on a billboard near the haredi schkunot, or on page two of the Israeli Yated, or maybe submit it to Mishpacha (Israeli) magazine.

Unknown said...

Now this is real Purim Torah showing Am Yisrael turning from "a scattered and dispersed people" עם מפוזר ומפורד to "go gather all of the Jews together"לך כנוס את כל היהודים!

מי כעמך ישראל

Shira said...

Where did the "rate this post" feature go? This is off the charts - thank you for sharing it.

Shlomo said...

#3: What is the treatment - a kidney transplant?

Healthy, but curious said...

Unfortunately, Avital was recently diagnosed with a life-threatening kidney ailment for which there is no treatment in Israel. The only treatment available is outside of Israel, and costs NIS 550,000 ($147,000).

Why is there no treatment in Israel? Israel leads in so many medical areas. Yet we always hear about people needing money to go to Chul for treatment.

Is it because the doctors in the US are better and more experiences, or the doctors in Israel have no experience in it at all? Or do the patient's perceive it that way?

Why doesn't her health fund cover the trip and treatment?

Jameel, can you explain how that works?

Alissa said...

And because the jewish world in Israel is so very very small, the person in #2 was the rabbi of the shul we attended in Vancouver. He left for Israel before we started attending that shul, so despite many mutual friends, we never met him, but I met his wife when we were standing next to each other at Ben Gurion waiting for a Nefesh b'Nefesh flight carrying mutual friends from Vancouver.

I LOVE this country.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Healthy but Curious: That's a post for of these days.

Alissa: I LOVE this country.


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