Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

19 Iyar 5763 - May 21, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family

On Bus Drivers, Dreidels and Orange Juice

by Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein
Distributed by Feldheim
reviewed by Sheindel Weinbach

With the general dimensions of a regular envelope, stuffed with goodness, the juice of good cheer, of chessed, of joie-de-vivre-in-Eretz Yisroel, this book is like its subtitle -- "Life in Israel - It's More Than You Bargained For." It packs a lot!

Perhaps it is the very diminutive size that makes this book so dear. Every single page reinforces your love for your fellow Jew, for Hashem, for this extraordinary land where you never question that Hashem `has His eyes upon it' from the beginning of one year to the next.

The characters in this book are you and me and the bus driver. No kidding. You may find people you recognize from Har Nof, or the grass roots folk whom you recognize by general genre, if not by face, then by heart -- the amcha of a beautiful Am Yisroel.

All this is seen through the eyes of a gifted writer [who has appeared numerous times on our FAMILY pages and] who, in her acknowledgements, thanks her father for having "created within me the sensitivity and inner joy which enabled me to see and appreciate the wondrous beauty that abounds here both in the People and in the Land of Israel."

So now we can dig in and sample.

"Now, That's Service"

It's all a matter of keeping your eyes open.

After twenty-five years of living in Israel, the unbelievable stories that are constantly taking place here still never cease to amaze me.

I guess that's part of the miracle of the Jews' return to our Land... the unreal becoming natural.

One such unnatural, natural story happened last week...

My friend Faigy E. travels to work each day by bus: it's about a forty-five minute ride from her home. During rush hour, the bus is always stuffed with people in a hurry -- and the traffic on the streets is awesome.

Yesterday morning, a very, very old man wobbled up to the bus. The harried bus driver waited patiently for him to climb up the steps one by one, and the first seat was quickly vacated so that the old man could sit down.

When he was settled, the bus driver quickly closed the doors, and zoomed away.

Faigy was sitting close by, and overheard the very old man explain to the bus driver that he had to go to the local clinic for some tests. He asked the bus driver to tell him where to get off in order to get to the clinic.

Now, this clinic is not located on the main street where the bus line runs. In fact, it is two blocks off to the right of the main street.

Faigy was wondering how long it would take the poor old man to walk those two long blocks, when the driver stopped at a red light.

Turning around in his seat to face all the passengers on his crowded bus, he called out, "Does anyone have an objection if I drive this man to the clinic?"

No one objected.

And so the entire Egged bus, stuffed full of passengers all rushing to get to their jobs on time, left the regular bus route. and, two blocks later, the doors opened to let out the little old man -- at the clinic entrance.

What a country!


Why did I chose this story? Only because it was the first. All the others are equally entertaining, heartwarming, full of as much good cheer and ahavas Yisroel as this, if not more.

A really delicious flavor, like the lollypop the driver finagled from a juvenile passenger. When she brought him one the following day, he popped it right into his mouth. Where in the world do you see bus drivers with lollypops? Or like the mouthwatering flavor of freshly baked Angel Bakery rogelach filling a Friday afternoon bus. Nu, so what happened? I've tempted you? Read about it yourself!

Have a friend who's having a hard time getting acclimatized here? Tourist relatives coming to visit? A homesick girl new in sem.? Pass this irrestible book on to them.

Not your own copy, of course...


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