Valentine’s Day is approaching. Even Israel isn’t exempt from the commercialization of secular holidays. I was recently walking through a popular mall in Yerushalayim and noticed all the pinks and reds, hearts and stuffed teddy bears, the chocolate kisses and red roses. My first thought was “Am I in an American mall or an Israeli one?” But then I thought, love is love. What’s the difference? So, I personally might not celebrate Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean others can’t. In fact, the mall looked really pretty and so cheerful. And in today’s day in Israel and the world at large, that’s the type of message that should be spread- regardless of its origin- the message of love.
I have never taken more buses as I have in the last 5 months since moving to Israel. Living in Jerusalem, in a city, without a car, it’s really the first time that I’ve needed to count on public transportation. Luckily, the buses are punctual and efficient. And I’m happy to say that I’ve encountered many pleasant and helpful bus drivers. There have been some funny and interesting ones too. So, I thought I’d list the top ten personality types I’ve met up until this point.
Today I thought I’d have a really good blog post to write about. The juicy type with lots of drama. All I would need to say are two words: Misrad Hapnim.
I’ve heard all the nightmare stories. Stories about needing to wait on line for 4 hours. Stories about waiting on line for 4 hours to be told you were on the wrong line the whole time.
Walking alone. Walking though Yerushalayim alone. I felt alone. I felt scared. I didn’t want to feel scared. I should not have felt scared. But scared I felt. Squeezing, clenching my pepper spray bottle hidden inside my coat pocket. I never owned mace until a couple of months ago. But I own it now. I own it so I won’t feel so scared.
I was walking down Rechov Yaffo toward the Old City walls. I was walking towards the Kotel to daven. I was walking with a purpose. I needed to talk to Hashem. Really talk. When someone in your family needs Tefillot, you need to talk to Hashem. And if I am lucky enough to live in Yerushalayim, then this conversation would happen at the Kotel. Up close and personal.