Monday, July 09, 2007


What a crazy day I had yesterday. Between teaching students and running in and out of town, I was rather frazzled.

In the middle of all the hu-ha I met Bubbie Channah and my friend C. for a pre-birthday lunch and a grand time plus good food was had by all.

Then I ran to catch the bus as I had a student to teach at my place in the afternoon. Two o'clock, downtown Jerusalem, July is about as hot as it gets. I found a shady place behind the bus stop and stood waiting for the #21 bus. Standing next to me was an Arab lady about my age. She was carrying two plastic bags. One had yellowy-orange flowers sticking out of it.

Nice flowers, I thought.

At most of our bus stops there are guards with walki-talkis and guns and they patrol the passengers getting on the busses. Unfortunately this is a reality of living in Jerusalem. I can't say what the system is like in our other cities as I don't usually travel on their bussses.

Anyway, the woman guard quietly approached the Arab lady and said "Shalom. What do you have in your bags?"
The lady answered "Just these flowers."
The guard: "Have a nice day."

And she walked to check out other passengers.

The Arab lady looked at me and told me that she was checked because of her head covering. I told her that I knew and mentioned that her flowers were beautiful. She told me that she was on her way to visit her sister in Shaare Zedek Hospital.

We stood in the shade and waited. She needed the #6 bus and I needed the #21. I knew her sister had just been diagnosed with cancer. I just knew it. And I knew that she was going to be all right.

I told her that I was sorry that her sister was in the hospital and she confirmed my feelings.

I told her that I knew her sister was going to be all right.

She looked at me and we hugged. And kissed each other on both cheeks.

And then my bus came.

A small step for mankind.

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.


At 2:34 PM, Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

That's where it all begins isn't it? Either for good or for bad. Glad you two chose the good.

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Jungle Mom said...

A very heartwarming account!

At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

Well, I thought I was going to win the least something..I just knew it:)
Must not have the gift:)
Did your Mom buy a lottery ticket?


I can't imagine having armed guards at the bus stop. That seems so sad to me. I hope I take a closer look at all that I have. connie from Texas

God bless you.

At 6:18 AM, Blogger muse said...

very Jerusalem
I also took the 21 yesterday.

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Val said...

It CAN be just that simple. 2 human beings relating to each other. Not an Arab and an Isreali, but rather, 2 people connecting. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing and being the type of person who would reach out to a stranger that way.

At 2:58 AM, Blogger torontopearl said...

(cue the music) "Close Encounters of the Marallyn Kind"! I'm sure you made this woman's day, "knowing" what you know.

At 5:29 AM, Blogger Geologychick said...

Just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday!!

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Lemon said...

BH for women like you!
Lovely post.


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