Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sukkot Part II

We had a beautiful experience on Eitam (see part one) and then we began our journey back to Efrat. That turned out to be quite an experience all in itself. I knew things were not ideal when we were among the last few cars to manage to turn around on the rocky terrain and head back. There was a big gap between us and the rest of the motorcade with yours truly leading the way. I was not happy about this. This was not the sort of area that I would like to get lost in, but at least those handsome soldiers were there to protect us! My mother was busy reiterating to me that she would never visit me if I moved out to the Eitam before they paved the roads, when in the distance we saw a group of people walking towards us. Being in the middle of an Arab village, these were Arabs that were walking towards us, kafiyahs and all. They were taking up the entire width of the road and coming our way. They showed no signs of slowing down or moving out of our way. Of course just about EVERYONE else was on the other side of this blockade and so I did what any other Jersey girl would do – I panicked. I also slowed the car down and hoped that the security car would get to the group of people before I did. Unfortunately, the guy behind me did not slow down and drove right into the rear end of my car. Now I was no longer driving through a scary neighborhood, I was stuck in one! As those in the last remaining cars got out to assess the damage, we were warning them (like lunatics) to get back into their cars as the group was coming closer. Turns out, the scary Arabs were school kids coming home from school. Who knew? Probably harmless, but how could we know? Until now, our only interaction with Arabs has been with the guy that came to change the battery in my parents’ rental car. After thanking him for coming out during the holiday of sukkot and wishing him ‘chag sameach,’ we realized he was in fact an Arab. Although my mother had thought his name was Smiley, it was in fact Yismaely. Smiley/Yismaely wasn’t the nicest guy around, but he didn’t seem dangerous either. The Arabs walking towards us today appeared to us as a group of mobsters out to get us. Come to think of it, some of the Jewish teens I have taught looked that way too. So in the end, we did get back to Efrat in one piece though a little shaken. We got a nice ambulance ride to Haddasah hospital in order to check everyone out and thank Gd, we are all doing fine. Miracle of miracles, my parents still made their flight tonight (thanks to some protectsia from a neighbor’s son who happens to be doctor at Haddasah). Tomorrow we will take the car in to be fixed and on Tuesday we will file a report at the police station. It’s a bit of hassle, but with the High Holidays not far behind us, what else is there to say other than “kapara!” May this be the worst thing that happens to us and may it replace anything else that was coming our way! And may we be able to pave the road to the Eitam – both literally and figuratively!

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