Adar Stories

Adar Stories

The two businessmen in the nice car were inching along the narrow street, as slow as a tortoise.

And then I saw the reason why…

In front of their car an elderly Charedi woman was walking ever-so-slowly down the middle of the street, so stooped over that she literally walked at a right angle as she pushed her shopping cart on her way to the market. In her floral headscarf, she looked like a black-and-white photograph from the Transylvanian shtetl.

And behind her were the two businessman. At this rate, it would take them at least twenty minutes to reach the end of the narrow street.

But what struck me the most about this unusual scene was the men’s patience. They didn’t beep. They didn’t open their windows to yell at the woman.

They seemed relaxed and continued their conversation, as though they were watching a soccer game together, and not the tortoise-like progress of this great-grandmother as she walked with such great effort down the street. And they looked like they were fully prepared to dedicate the next twenty minutes to being the unannounced tortoise-pace chaperone of the old woman.

So I walked up to the old woman and I pointed out to her that there was a car behind her. Perhaps she could step to the side so that it could drive by?

She was surprised to realize that there was a car behind her, and was happy to move over to the side of the road, and I smiled at the men, and waved them past.

But there was something so magical and wonderful about that. A snapshot of courtesy and kindness and honoring the elderly in the middle of the rush and hustle and bustle of modern-day Israel.
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A few hours later, yesterday evening I was downtown when I heard a man singing as he waited for the light rail to arrive. He had such an amazing voice that for a minute I thought he might be the famous singer Yosef Karduner.

But he wasn’t. He was just a religious guy who loves to sing who was blessed with a phenomenal voice that is booming enough to serenade all of the Purim shoppers who were walking up and down Jaffa Road last night.

I consulted some young women sitting at the light rail stop about the
man.

One told me: “I’ve seen him before. I once heard him singing Maariv at the light rail stop by Mt. Herzl. And now he’s singing some Psalms.”

Her friend added, “I don’t think it’s fair. Somebody sings and puts out a dish to collect money, and nobody thinks he’s crazy. But this man sings on the street, but because he doesn’t put out a dish, he’s considered crazy.”

“I think it’s magical, he is truly gifted…. What a wonderful thing that he sings for everyone to hear…” I said, and walked home smiling. Feeling so blessed that I live in this city. Where so many things happen that fill my soul with so much joy.
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For the past few days, I’ve been looking and looking for something to post about Purim. A video, a song, an article, something. But nothing I’ve come across has really hit the spot.

So I decided to share these two random stories that made me feel so happy.

It’s funny, since the problems that have troubled me so deeply over recent months still exist. Nachlaot’s still full of pedophiles. Iran is still nuclear. So many people are still suffering.

But Adar has changed my focus. From the cup half-empty to the cup half-full that bubbles and gushes and runneth over in this happiest of months.

Related posts:

The Way God Runs the World
Send a Condolence Note to Rabbanit and Rabbi Henkin
When I Feel Lacking

3 comments

  1. thank you, for sharing these happy stories. i just wanted to share with you something that my rav, Rabbi Ari Kahn, says, which is that in Judaism, the glass is neither half-empty nor half-full. Baruch Hashem, He givs us exactly as much water as we need, but He puts it into a big glass so that we don’t spill it as we carry it.

    purim sameach!

    • I love that! Thanks for sharing. Also Jennie your stories are beautiful. My friend once wrote to me immediately after making Aliyah his ten top reasons to live in Israel e.g. how the cheesy elevator muzak around the winter holiday period featured chanukah songs instead of the kind we’re used to in N. America. He included a story about the daily mincha minyan at the law firm where he works and how the lawyers and senior partners were waiting patiently for the Janitor before beginning because they knew he had yahrzeit. He could not imagine in the secular corporate world high ranking lawyers, whose time is money, waiting around to begin something for the Janitor (let alone getting together daily to use their time to earn something infinitely more precious than money).

  2. Thank you for the snippets of Jerusalem life in Adar!
    It makes me want to be there!
    Purim Sameach!

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