06 April 2011


On my way home from some Pesach shopping, on Rehov Betzalel, I was shlepping my agalah and it was heavy. An agalah is a middle eastern shopping cart made from fairly waterproof fabric, on smooth gliding wheels that go over every bump, pebble, stone and hole with the ease of a Persian flying carpet.

I put out my hand to the approaching taxis and one stopped. The driver was wearing an interesting knitted kipa. He was old and I thought he was from Iran or Yemen. You know, one of those ancient Israelis that have stories about the good ole days - 1948 or 49. He lifted my agalah into the trunk and I got into the back. He "oyed" and I "oiyed". Off we went.

Something made me ask if he was a "Jew". He replied, but I couldn't make out exactly what. Next, I asked if he was an Arab.

We were nearing my street so I mumbled in choppy Hebrew for him to pull over. He then got out and asked if he could unload my agalah. I said, "yes, thank you" like a good exAmerican. All of a sudden my agalah was upside down in the street. Good thing it only contained a couple boxes of new appliances for Pesach. As I was lifting it up I couldn't find my parasol (that's umbrella in fancy speech).

At the same time another taxi pulls next to our taxi and the driver was asking what happened. Now mind you, all this was happening in quick succession. I have no idea if the second taxi was concerned for me or my driver, as I was busy straightening out my things. My driver was shrugging his shoulders, exclaiming innocence about my parasol, while his taxi was blocking the exit to my street with a car trying to get by honked, and the second taxi driver asking questions about what just happened.

He must have seen my driver turn over my agalah and perhaps really was trying to help me.

Anyway, now that I had time to reflect on the "incident" it is all coming together. Like what happened in
Wadi Juz and Hevron. (Hmm, doesn't that sound like, the 'Valley of the Jews'?)

I think I insulted the Arab by calling him an Arab! ... A stick is a stick, and an Arab is an Arab.