The Strange Phone Call

The Strange Phone Call

One evening last week I called the home of Yaakov’s wonderful kindergarten teacher, Racheli, to get her advice about Yaakov.

When I called, her husband answered.

“Shalom, may I please speak with Racheli?”

The husband sounded surprised, “Shalom, how are you? Racheli? She’s not home now. You didn’t try her cellphone? Is something the matter?”

“This is Yaakov’s eema, and I want to ask her advice about something…”

“Yaakov’s eema? What does that mean?”

Flustered, I answered, “My son, Yaakov, is in Racheli’s gan. I wanted to get her advice about next year.”

“Ohhhh! You are a mother from the gan!” the husband chuckled, “She’ll be home later, I will tell her that you called.”

What a strange conversation, I thought. I guess I’m the only parent who has ever called Ganenet Racheli at home…Maybe I shouldn’t have done that! Maybe that’s not something Israelis do…

The next morning, when I brought Yaakov to gan, Ganenet Racheli met me with a big smile.

“My husband told me you called last night…” she was chuckling like her husband had.

“Right, I’m sorry to have bothered you at home, he didn’t understand that I’m a mother from the gan…”

“When I came home last night my husband told me: ‘A woman called tonight with a foreign accent, and she had a high voice exactly like my mother’s! So I couldn’t understand why my mother was asking for you at home, and didn’t just call your cell phone like she usually does. And then this woman said she was Yaakov’s mother, I couldn’t figure out why my mother would be calling herself that! I had no idea what was happening until I realized it was a mother from your gan.”

Today I had to go to the Jerusalem courthouse to get a document, and I asked a man on the street where the courthouse was.

He mumbled something, pointed vaguely here and there, and then walked away.

“What did you say? Where is it?” but he kept on walking, and didn’t look back.

So I asked a security guard, and he pointed at the building right across the parking lot. As I headed to the entrance, I saw the first man I had asked walking by the courthouse.

“You’re a JERK!” I dreamed of yelling.

But then I remembered the story with Racheli’s husband.

And I wondered…

Maybe the “jerk” who saw me wandering around lost and didn’t help was deaf? Or mute? Maybe he was mentally disabled? Maybe he only speaks Spanish? Maybe someone he loves is very sick or just died, and he can’t deal with even the simplest requests right now.

There could be 1000 good reasons why people do the strange things they do.

And occasionally the real reason, as it was for Racheli’s husband, is actually the 1001st.


  1. Love this!

  2. GREAT story to remember

  3. Hilarious!!! Thanks for a good laugh. You really never know…

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