Saturday, November 5, 2011

Birthright Triggers Traffic Jam Preference

Dan accompanied two Hungarian Birthright (Taglit) tours and he just applied for a third one. It's a great idea to bring young Jews to visit Israel and meet Israelis. This is how he met P, his new Hungarian speaking Serb friend, who just stayed with us for a week, after a second tour to Israel, accompanying Holocaust survivors. Dan took him on trips to the North, South and [twice to] Jerusalem. They went to the beach, art exhibitions, Bauhaus architecture walk in Tel Aviv and Dan's favorite ice cream place. When Dan was at school, I showed P around the hi-tech area where I work, the promenade along the Yarkon, and then we walked around the Tel Aviv port, where he witnessed the season's first real rain and a wedding ceremony led by Rabbi Lau. After finishing his BA in Communications, P plans to make aliyah, learn Hebrew, enroll in the IDF and study for his MA at the Tel Aviv University. Zionism in motion. Israel needs young individuals like P, and P needs a place where he can build a happy, meaningful life.

What's the thing with traffic jams? Well, Dan needed my car for the trips and so I took the bus to work and to return home. I hated the bus rides. They were long, noisy and shaky, and brought back my old motion sickness. I sat near the same aging, religious woman, whom I saw on the same bus a couple of months ago, when I took the bus to work for a different reason. She reads the same prayer from the same overused book, for who knows how many years. But hey, at least I had a seat.

The next day I got my car back. On the way home, while crawling, as usual, in the heavy traffic on the Ayalon highway, I realized I much prefer the traffic jam in my car than the bus ride. A young Serb Jew decides to participate in a Birthright tour and I realize my preference for traffic jams. Butterfly effect.