Friday, October 05, 2007

'Good People in the Middle of the Way'

In the Israel of yesta-year, Israelis seemed to be willing to drop everything and help their fellow citizens out. The attitude, that most likely grew during the pioneers' building of the country on back breaking labor and brotherhood, was so 'common' that Israel's most famous songwriter, Neomi Shemer, wrote the famous song 'Good People in the Middle of the Way' (אנשים טובים באמצע הדרך). Fast forward to Israel 2007 and the attitude has sadly changed. Although still present within a lot of people in our country, Israel has slowly become like every other country - Helping others has become what friarim (Hebrew for suckers) do. Israel's leading rapper, Subliminal, honestly updated Shemer's chorus in one of his songs, 'But now there are no more good people in the middle of the way'. It's obviously not that bad but the point was made ... Us has become Me ... Which leads me to today's story ...

As we had Talya's mother's car, the wife & I decided we'd do an early shopping run this morning. As we both buckled in, the engine failed to start. We got out of the car and I started signalling drivers to stop so that I could ask them if they had cables and if they did, if they could help us re-start the car. A few disinterested drivers pretended not tos ee me, and a few others like us, had no cables. One did but was rushing home to his wife and baby - we didn't want him to stop. A few minutes later, a driver stopped for us. Reversing his car on a one way street, he was soon honked at by a Yemenite driver, "It's a one way street achi (Hebrew for 'my brother')." He responded, "I know, but I want to help them with their car." Within a few moments, both men were helping us. After the cables were connected, Talya tried with no success to start the car. By this time, a few cars approached our roadblock and suprisingly, no honking! One of the drives even popped out of his car to talk to his good friend, the driver who had originally stopped for us. The Yemenite man then decided to try his luck with the car and jumped in. Within moments, it started and he smiled, "You see, all it needed was a Yemenite's touch." With the car's battery re-charged, both men returned to their cars and proceeded on their ways with wishes of 'Shabbat Shalom'. At least there are still some 'good people along the way'.

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